2006_05_sarodbobble.jpgHe has been called “overrated,” “phony” and “not clutch” yet he is the best player to wear a Yankee uniform since Mickey Mantle retired. Will Alex Rodriguez ever be appreciated in this town? Yesterday, A-Rod delivered the game-winning single in the 10th inning to propel the Yankees to a 4-2 victory over Tampa Bay.

A-Rod will always be the easy mark because he makes the most money and will never be Derek Jeter, but what else can we expect him to do? Last year he hit 48 home runs, but that wasn’t enough. In 2004 we jumped on him for his flameout against the Red Sox when he hit .258, but everyone ignores the fact that Jeter hit .200. Why do we magnify his mistakes, but ignore his accomplishments? Should we really be saying that Jeter is overrated, because that's what a Sports Illustrated poll of his fellow players finds.

In New York we like our heroes to be bold and brash like Reggie, or steely confident like Messier. We even embrace fallen heroes like Strawberry and Giambi, so why can’t we embrace someone like A-Rod? Even if the Yankees win it all this year, we will give the credit to Jeter and that is a pity.

And for those of you who were curious, the secret to A-Rod's prodigious hitting is the way he strokes his bat.

Image via MLB Shop