Alex Rodriguez Doesn't Suck Because He Stopped Using PEDs; He Sucks Because He's Old

We may earn a commission from links on this page.

Alex Rodriguez will be sitting on the bench tonight when the Yankees take on the Orioles in Game 5 of the ALDS. This is because A-Rod is mired in the kind of slump that 37-year-old sluggers tend to get mired in, but there are some who want to extrapolate more meaning out of his predictable decline. One of those people is Jeremy Schaap:

Schaap's implication that A-Rod now sucks at baseball because he's not on steroids anymore is stupendously idiotic for two reasons. First, it naively assumes that A-Rod is no longer using performance-enhancing drugs. Second, a dramatic dropoff in production between age 32 and age 36 is entirely typical. It's commonplace among anyone who looks at aging in baseball. Here's a list of a few great players who fell off a cliff—many of them more sharply than A-Rod—once they hit their mid-thirties:

Jim Rice
Keith Hernandez
Dick Allen
Ralph Kiner
Mickey Mantle
Willie Mays
George Bell
Dale Murphy
Jackie Robinson
Bobby Bonilla
Joe DiMaggio
Jimmie Foxx
Mo Vaughn
Ryne Sandberg
Roberto Alomar
Garret Anderson
Bobby Grich
Fred Lynn


And here is a helpful chart from Baseball Prospectus showing how a player's value rises and falls, on average, as he ages (in terms of VORP, I think):


Learn something about baseball, Jeremy Schaap.