During the Yankees series against the Orioles last week, Alex Rodriguez got pulled from a game in the ninth inning in favor of Raul Ibanez. And, although it worked out well for the Yanks (Ibanez hit a home run to tie the game and a home run to win the game), Kobe Bryant wasn't happy to hear about what the Bronx Bombers did to A-Rod. So, he said he was going to call and give him a pep talk.
After last night's Lakers preseason game against the Jazz—hours after Rodriguez was benched for Game 3 of the ALCS—KB24 was asked about A-Rod again. And, he revealed that he had spoken to A-Rod recently in an effort to try and help him break out of the slump that he's in right now.
"We spoke a couple of days ago," Bryant said. "You can only control what you can control. You go out there and do the best job you can. If they take you out of the lineup, it's really on you to be a good teammate and support the other guys, which he's good about doing…I just say to him, 'You're Alex Rodriguez. You're A-Rod. You're one of the best to ever do it.' I think sometimes he kind of forgets that and wants to try to do the right thing all the time. Which is the right team attitude to have. But other times you really have to put your head down and say, 'Hell with it,' and just do your thing."
Kobe then took a moment to compare A-Rod's approach to baseball to his own approach to basketball.
"I think the real difference is, sometimes he forgets he's the best," he said. "Where, I don't…Hopefully the next game they'll kind of give him a chance, maybe put him back at third and let him respond to the pressure, which I think he'll do."
At this point, does it really matter? Barring a historic comeback, the Yankees aren't going to beat the Tigers in the ALCS. And, a big reason for that is that A-Rod (and several of his teammates) have been absolutely abysmal during the series. So, even if he does come out and have a great Game 4, something tells us that Yankee fans aren't going to care.
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[via ESPN Los Angeles]