"When it matters" is the crux of the A-Rod story. No one has ever denied his talent. They have merely denied that he is a winner. Or that he is "clutch" (not that clutch exists). Actually, it's possible that A-Rod's power this postseason is merely "progression to the mean" -- given his career, he was due for something like this. Long overdue, actually.
No question, some part of his previous problems were mental -- they defied quantitative explanation. And I'm willing to grant that even if there is no such thing as clutch, there is such a thing as choke -- consequently, there is something to the idea that A-Rod has simply relaxed.
It helps that the rest of his team is bashing the ball, that CC Sabathia is absolutely dominant, that there is a sense of inevitability to the Yankees' championship progression that has been missing since the first few games of the 2003 World Series.
So today's SN column lead is about how A-Rod has bashed -- and banished -- the ghosts of failures past.
More you'll find in today's column:
*Greinke and Lincecum for Cys? Obviously.
*Jay Cutler has momentum; Brady Quinn does not.
*Tony Pike > Jimmy Clausen
*I'll repeat: The Magic will win the East.
*CBB Top 25 countdown: No. 21 Illinois? What about No. 21... Northwestern?!
*Alabama kicking "scandal" is the new Rivera spitball "scandal"
Lots more. Check it out here. More later.