Arods return 

Arods return has him thinking long and hard.

I think the majority of the baseball fans in America would like to see Arods return fail miserably.  I'm positive most of the media would like nothing more than to see him tank completely.

Just look at these photos.  I found them by simply doing a google search.  If you do that you get a selection of photos on the right side of the page at the top.  Search for most players and almost all you will find are photos on the field.  Arod is so polarizing that he has triggered mostly pictures in front of a microphone looking uncomfortable or with a stupid look on his face. 

Why would you even put this picture up? But this is the type of pic they want to share lately.

It just seems like Arods return has triggered the media to take any chance to make him look bad. I guess their thinking is that's a better way to attract attention to your article than to write something positive.  Those in the media might want to start paying a little more attention to his play on the field and cut him a little slack.  I know we are working with a very small sample size so far, but if you just look at  his numbers, he is on pace for 126 RBIs, 36 big flies and 36 doubles.  He has an on base percentage of almost 400 and an OPS near 1.000.  Those are great numbers for anybody in the middle of a lineup on any team in Major League Baseball.

Realisticlly what can we expect from Arods return?

I can't say I believe he is going to keep it up, but I think we need to remember most of his decline was due to injuries.  You can say all you want about steroids, but those issues would seem to be in the past.  The fact that Arod was forced to take an entire year off might actually be a good thing for him.  I say this because he is just like any athlete near the pinnacle of his game.  If Arods return could have taken place last year, he would have been on the field.  He was going to play if he wasn't denied access.  He was 38 last year and if he could have been on the field that would have been one more year of abuse to his body, which was already starting to fall apart.  His suspension gave him a forced one year vacation and physical rehab opportunity that he seems to have utilized effectively.  I know he took some time working out with Barry Bonds here in the Bay Area during the off-season to get ready for this years comeback.  No one else in the world could be the guide that Bonds could be in this scenario.  Bonds was treated like a King until he became enemy #1 in the Steroid stain that hit baseball a few years ago and remnants still pop up here and there.  I think Bonds and Arod got together and it helped Arod to see things from a different perspective. 

Arod has always seemed to care a little too much about his image, in my opinion.  Presenting to the Media has always been a part of the strategies he and his agent and inner circle would work together on.  Bonds on the other hand seemed almost to scoff at the Media.  He did seemed not to care about anything being said about him on the front pages across the country.  While he  was going through a somewhat bitter divorce one year, he also had one of his best years.  Better than anyone before him, Bonds was able to ignore the circus that was a constant in the life of Barry Bonds, and go out on that field and be the best player in the game.  Arod needs to worry less about his image and what everyone is saying about him and just go out there and hit the ball everyday. 

It seems like that is his plan.  So far so good it would seem.  Let's see how he handles his first slump.  Yankee fans love you when you are hitting the ball, but it would not be the first time Arod will hear Yankees fans boo if it comes to that, and it will.  One day with runners on constantly, you will strike out 3 times in a close game, and the fans will boo.  How do you handle those moments?  Has Bonds helped you to say nothing and just dig into the box and shut them up with your play on the field, or are you going to get to the mic after the game and make excuses?  If he can keep his focus on his play and not his image Arods return will be as smooth as possible.  Whether he can help the Yankees win is all that matters to management and fans alike.  Time will tell.

If you want to check out Arod's official Yankees bio and stats page click here.

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