Big League Stew - MLB

Hey, remember this guy? Goes by the name of Alex Rodriguez(notes)? Plays third base for the New York Yankees? Used to be one of baseball's biggest headline-makers?

Yeah, when's the last time we heard from him? 

As noted by LoHud's Peter Abraham this morning, A-Rod has somehow achieved a feat we once thought impossible of him, blending in with the rest of his Yankee teammates for an extended period and taking a season-long break from sensational stories. 

A-Rod's absence from anything resembling a major media firestorm has to rank as one of 2009's biggest surprises, especially considering that his steroids saga during spring training looked like it would cast a cloud over the entire campaign.

Instead, he's traded in ego-driven photo shoots for what looks like a healthy relationship with Kate Hudson and publicly parading his kids around for image purposes for privately warning school children against PED use.

No, it's not a complete reputation overhaul, but it's definitely a start.

I suppose that's what happens when the Yankees are well on their way to surpassing 100 wins, Manny Ramirez(notes) and David Ortiz(notes) work their way into the PED controversy and media members completely overdose on A-Rod coverage before the season's first pitch is even thrown.

Still, it's interesting that A-Rod has been able to transform himself into clubhouse wallpaper during what has been one of his least productive seasons. New York is 70-33 since he returned from a hip injury on May 8, but most of his current numbers are on track to be the lowest since his first year with the Yankees in 2004.

Of course, that's all relative to his previous success and kudos to the rest of the Yankees for more than making up for his slip. Minimizing A-Rod's time in the media is clearly a team effort and fantastic seasons from others have steered the team's lightning rod from any storms. 

So can A-Rod, the Yankees and New York media keep this up en route to their first World Series since 2003? Yankees fans would like to say yes, but I'm going to reserve judgment.

As such, I've taken the precaution of scheduling this post to self-destruct upon the first 0-for-4, two strikeout performance from A-Rod in the upcoming postseason.

Yes, it's been quiet. But a little too quiet, if you know what I mean.  

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