The A-Rod/Yankee fan dynamic is one of the more fascinating things in NY sports to me since he's been here. He's constantly hated on by so many fans, despite being the first Yankee since the 60s to win 2 MVPs and consistently being one of the best players in baseball up until recently. He's struggled in the playoffs overall, but you don't face the Red Sox in 2004 without him, and you don't win a World Series in 2009 without him. You might miss the playoffs in a couple of those years without him.
I've also always thought it was comical that when A-Rod does something, it's fake, but when Jeter does something, it's genuine. Jeter's interviews are the worst thing ever. He never says anything of value. When A-Rod gives the same interview, people rip him for it. A-Rod cheers when his teammate does something, like Mike points out, and you think he's faking it. His reaction last night was immediate joy. I don't know how you can see anything but that.
Now, he's struggling because he's old and off steroids (probably). And maybe he's playing hurt. Expectations of him are just too high at this point. He's struggling in the playoffs, yes, but he struggled throughout September too. Now the story today will be "should A-Rod play tonight?" Logic says no...if you think that Ibanez is better suited to face the Orioles in a big spot, how it is any different in the 2nd inning? Play Chavez at 3B and DH last night's hero. But like Mike said, the story should be Ibanez, who had one of the greatest playoff performances of all-time. But NY fans' fascination with A-Rod will override it. I do feel bad for him to a point, and I always have. But he's still making stupid money for the next few years, so that feeling doesn't linger.