Roger Clemens won't make a decision about whether to retire, after 24 seasons, and we've seen him change his mind in the past. But what friends and associates are saying is that they believe this will be the final year for The Rocket, because at age 45, the grind of pitching is wearing on him differently, and his numbers reflect this: The batting average against him, of .271, is the highest since his first season, in 1984; the slugging percentage of .411 against him is the worst of his career, and his strikeout-per-nine innings ratio of 6.19 is the worst of his career.
Speaking of Rodriguez, x-rays were taken after the game last night on his right ankle. They came back negative. He might sit out tonight. But even if he's not seriously hurt, I fear that his swing will be thrown out-of-whack. I hope I'm wrong, of course. Hope it's just me being nervous.
Yo, I'm itching for Rodriguez to hit 50 dingers. I want him to set the single-season HR mark for third basemen and I just want to see a Yankee to hit 50. Right now, Rodriguez has an OPS+ of 179, which would place him in the top half-dozen great seasons ever by a third baseman.
Rodriguez has already scored 125 runs, his best mark as a Yankee (his career high is 141 in 1996). He has 28 doubles, one shy of his Yankee-best 29. The 46 dingers are just two shy of all-time record for third basemen, a mark Rodriguez already shares with Mike Schmidt and Adrian Beltre. Rodriguez has 131 RBI, his high in New York, and just nine shy of his career best (142 in 2002). Oh, and he's also swiped 22 bases while getting caught just twice.
Jorge Posada has had a dream season, same for Magglio Ordonez, but right now, the AL MVP is Rodriguez's to lose.