Alex Rodriguez makes a great New York hero. He was born in Washington Heights and raised by a single mother to become the greatest baseball player of his generation and maybe the greatest of any generation.
The headline writers went to work the instant his ninth-inning home run gave the Yankees a lead. He is the back-page hero today. It is well deserved for so many reasons, but the biggest for me is that my rainy walk to work was made a lot brighter just thinking about how good he must have felt rounding the bases.
I also thought about the forgotten heroes and forgotten plays that were washed away by A-Rod’s blast:
Melky Cabrera’s great catch in the right-centerfield gap to lead off the third inning.
Hideki Matsui digging Dustin Pedroia’s double out of the corner, hitting Jeter with a quick throw and Posada’s great block and tag to get Julio Lugo at the plate.
Robinson Cano’s slick fielding and bullet triple to drive in the tying run in the eighth.
Bobby Abreu’s game-saving catch.
Luis Vizcaino, Kyle Farnsworth and Brian Bruney doing the job in front of Mariano Rivera.
This team makes a great New York hero when it plays like that.