[翻譯]A-Rod Agonistes...2

Had he ever seen such persistent criticism? "Knobby," he said, referring to error-prone former second baseman Chuck Knoblauch. "[Roger] Clemens for a whole year. Tino [Martinez]."
被問到在其效力洋基期間是否有看過其他隊友遭受球迷如此對待? "Knobby," 他首先提到這位時常失誤的二壘手Chuck Knoblauch, "Clemens在洋基的第一年也飽嘗球迷噓聲, 還有Tino"

Has A-Rod's treatment been worse?

"I don't know," Jeter said. "I don't think about that. I'm just concerned with doing what we can to win."
"我不曉得," Jeter回答道, "我從來不去想這種事, 對我來說, 如何讓球隊贏得勝利才是我最關心的事情"

Here is the way Hall of Fame slugger Reggie Jackson, a Yankees special adviser and a member of the franchise's mythological pinstriped society, explained the yin and yang of the Jeter-Rodriguez relationship: "Alex is too concerned with wanting people to like him. Derek knows he can control only things within the area code DJ."
名人堂球員, 同時也身兼洋基球團特別顧問的傳奇球星Reggie Jackson提出了A-Rod和Jeter的差異,
"Alex太過在意他人對自己的看法, 他想要贏得所有人的喜愛, 而Derek就完全不同, 他清楚知道自己所能做的就是做好份內事, 我們無法控制他人的觀感"

Rodriguez must be deferential to Jeter because birth order within the Yankees' family is a powerful influence. Rodriguez will never be as popular as Jeter with New York fans, will never catch him in rings or Yankees legacy, in the same way the younger brother never will be the oldest, no matter how many birthdays pass.
以洋基球團的狀況來說, 球員的先來後到決定了他在球隊中的地位, 在紐約球迷心中, A-Rod永遠不會像Jeter一樣受歡迎, 也永遠無法比Jeter為洋基拿下更多世界大賽冠軍, 就像無論經過了多少年, 弟弟的年齡永遠都無法追上哥哥一樣

When I asked Rodriguez about his relationship with Jeter this year, he replied, "People always want to look at someone's silence and equate that with a negative thing. I don't see it that way."
當我向A-Rod問到他和Jeter的關係時, 他是這麼回應的, "人們總是會因為一個人對某事件保持沉默而斷定他心中一定持有負面看法, 我倒不這麼認為"

I reminded him that Jeter's words carry the most weight. "Mariano said good things [about me]. Joe said good things. [G.M. Brian] Cashman said great things," Rodriguez said. "But again, people want to focus on Jeet. Jeet's very quiet by nature, so I wouldn't want him to change who he is to come and defend me. Because I'm a grown man."
我提醒他即便同為洋基球員, Jeter所說的話還是其中最具份量的,
"Mariano從來不吝於讚美我, Joe和Cashman也不例外," A-Rod說到, "不過人們就只在乎Jeter說過了些什麼, 他本就是個安靜的人, 我並不會期待他改變自己來為我辯護, 我已經是個大人了"

Watching a Yankees-Angels game in Anaheim from a television booth, Jackson noticed Rodriguez (the number-two hitter that day) and Jeter (batting third) near the on-deck circle with their backs to each other. "Classic Ruth-and-Gehrig picture right there," said Jackson, referring to the legends and their frosty relationship.
在電視轉播台中看著洋基作客Anaheim對上天使隊的比賽, Jackson特別注意到A-Rod (當天擔任球隊第二棒) 和Jeter (擔任第三棒) 的互動, 他發現當兩人在一旁等待上場打擊時, 他們是背對彼此的,
"這個畫面讓我想起當年的Ruth和Gehrig, " Jackson舉這對洋基傳奇隊友相敬如"冰"的關係為例

Jackson likes Rodriguez, recognizes in him the same need for ego massaging that he had as a player. Jackson took him to dinner last month -- yet another intervention -- and described how bad he had it as a Yankee. Jackson talked about when his teammates left notes in his locker telling him that they didn't want him in New York; about how manager Billy Martin so beat it into his head that he was a bad defensive player that on the night Jackson hit three home runs in the 1977 World Series, he played a routine double into a triple because he'd been stricken with fear that he'd screw it up; about when he was in the midst of such a horrific strikeout streak that he pleaded to Detroit Tigers catcher Lance Parrish, "Tell me what's coming, and I promise I'll take a turn right back into the dugout no matter where I hit it. I just want to look like a pro a little bit." (Parrish replied, "F--- you"; Jackson, to his immense satisfaction, grounded out.)
Jackson很欣賞A-Rod, 從他身上, Jackson似乎看到了當年那個需要心態調適的自己。 Jackson曾在上個月邀請A-Rod共進晚餐, 希望能適時為A-Rod提供一些建議, 當時Jackson就是用自己球員時代效力洋基時一段飽受掙扎的日子作為教材。他提到自己當初的隊友在他的更衣櫃上留下紙條, 表示不希望Jackson成為洋基一員的往事; 也提到在1977年世界大賽他單場擊出三支全壘打的比賽中, 由於太過求好心切, 他讓對手一支平凡無奇的二壘安打成了三壘安打, 因此讓總教練Billy Martin指著鼻子罵他是個差勁的防守球員; 更提到在連續幾次上場打擊都慘遭三振之後, 他甚至這樣懇求對手老虎隊的捕手Lance Parrish, "告訴我下一球會是什麼球路吧, 我向你保證, 一旦將球擊出之後我會頭也不回的走向球員休息區, 我只不過想保有一點身為職業球員的尊嚴"(對於這個請求, Parrish的回應是"Fxxk you", 而最終Jackson總算逃過了被三振的命運, 擊出滾地球出局 )

During the game, Jackson told a parable to make a point about Rodriguez. A man is trapped in his house as floodwaters rise. Twice he refuses help, once from rescuers in a boat and then, when the man seeks refuge on his roof, from rescuers in a helicopter. "No, thanks," the man says. "I've got faith." The next thing he knows he is face-to-face with God in heaven.
Jackson用一個寓言故事來描述A-Rod目前的狀況, 故事是這樣的 : 一個人因為洪水來襲而被困在自己的屋內, 他兩度拒絕他人伸出的援手, 一次是來自搭船而來的救難人員, 而另一次則是當他被洪水逼到屋頂上時, 來自搭乘直升機而來的救難人員的協助。
"我不需要你們的幫忙," 那人對救難人員說道, "我相信我所信仰的上帝最終一定會拯救我的。"
不過不久之後, 那人發現自己身在天堂, 而上帝就站在自己面前。

"But I put my faith in you!" the man cried.
"我把我的信仰交付在你的手中 ! 你怎能這樣對我 !" 那人向上帝哭喊著

"Yes," God replied, "and I answered your faith and tried to help you twice."
"我知道," 上帝回答道, "因此我兩次對你伸出援手。"

As Jackson spoke, Rodriguez whiffed yet again, this time on a pitch that bounced on the grass in front of home plate. How does a player with so much talent get so bad? It seemed ages ago, but Rodriguez was the American League Player of the Month for May, when he batted .330 with eight homers and 28 RBIs. Then he lost the natural groove and quickness in his stroke. A crisis of confidence befell him when he could not hit the ball out of the park to right centerfield in batting practice.
正當Jackson在講述這個故事時, A-Rod又再一次慘遭三振, 這次是對著一顆挖地瓜的球揮棒落空。一個有著如此天賦的球員, 怎麼會淪落到今天這個田地 ?雖然看似相當遙遠的記憶, 不過A-Rod在五月時可是繳出打擊率.330和28分打點的成績單, 還因此榮獲美聯單月最有價值球員頭銜, 但是自此以後, 他似乎就失去了球感和揮棒速度, 而當他發現自己就連在打擊練習中都無法將球打出中右外野的全壘打牆時, 他更面臨了自信心崩盤的危機。

"BP is a big key for me," Rodriguez said. "And you don't know how devastating it is to hit a ball you think you got squarely and see it die on the warning track. Out of 40 swings in BP, I should hit 22 out of the park. I was hitting three out of 40. I couldn't hit a fastball. Eighty-nine, 90 [mph pitches] were going right past me, and I knew it."
"打擊練習是我用來評估自己狀態的重要指標," A-Rod說道, "你無法想像當我看到一顆自己覺得已經完全咬中的球無法飛越全壘打牆時, 那感覺有多麼可怕, 通常在打擊練習的40球中, 我可以把其中22球打出場外, 不過最近我卻出現只把3球送出牆外的紀錄。我無法抓到一顆時速89-90 mph的快速球, 只能看著球從我眼前飛過, 這我自己再清楚不過了。"

Trying to catch up to fastballs, he started guessing and began his swing early, lunging at the ball with his hips drifting forward, creating a flaw that robbed him of even more power -- or worse, flailing embarrassingly at what turned out to be a slider. Then as he carried the anxiety into the field, his usually reliable glove began to fail him.
為了讓自己的揮棒速度能趕上球速, 他開始猜球並提早揮棒, 於是在球棒接觸球的瞬間, 他的重心多半前移, 這也大為抵銷他的揮棒力量 - 更糟的情況, 他會發現自己面對的來球其實是顆滑球, 然後揮棒落空。打擊狀況不佳所帶來的焦慮最後也將影響他的守備表現, 讓他一向值得信賴的防守成了慘不忍睹的失誤秀。

"He puts in the work before games and looks textbook out there," third base coach Larry Bowa said last month. "But all of a sudden the game starts, and he quits using his feet and he's fielding with a lazy lower half. That causes his arm to drop, and the ball sails on him."
"他在賽前練習時的表現簡直就可被當作是防守教科書," 三壘教練Larry Bowa在上個月曾經這麼說道,
"不過只要比賽一開始, 他就忘了要善用自己的腳步來完成守備動作, 而這也是造成失誤的主因。"

There was one game against Boston in Yankee Stadium in June when Rodriguez looked so anguished by the rough treatment from New York fans that Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz, while watching him from the on-deck circle, grew concerned. Ortiz caught Rodriguez's attention and gave him an exaggerated exhale, the way you might when a physician asks you to take a deep breath. Rodriguez would later thank Ortiz. "It was painful to see his face," Ortiz said. "I had to tell him to just breathe and relax."
在六月一場面對紅襪隊的比賽中, A-Rod飽受洋基球迷噓聲的困擾, 情況之明顯就連在準備上場的紅襪隊指定打擊David Ortiz看到時, 都無法置之不理。Ortiz對著站在三壘前的A-Rod做了一個誇張的深呼吸動作, 就像是健身教練要求我們深呼吸時所做的動作一樣, Ortiz的舉動也讓A-Rod心存感激。
"看著他的臉, 我真是為他感到難過," Ortiz說道, "我想要提醒他放鬆自己, 做個深呼吸。"

Asked when his season turned sour, Rodriguez replied, "I was absolutely on fire in Detroit early in the year. Then I got sick and I didn't play for three or four days. And then the whole month was kind of lost. It took a while to get my strength back. I'm not explaining that June, the month I stunk, was because I got sick. Let's make that clear. You ask, 'What's the turning point, going from Player of the Month in May to June?' That's the only thing in the middle."
被問到哪場比賽是他這個球季表現由好轉壞的轉捩點時, A-Rod說道,
"之前在底特律的系列戰中, 我的狀況其實相當不錯, 不過之後我生了病, 大概缺席了3-4天, 等我回到球場上時, 狀態就明顯下滑了, 這花了我好一段時間才調整回來。我說這些話並不是要為自己六月個差勁表現找藉口, 拿生病當做理由, 讓我把話說清楚, 因為現在你問的是我五月和六月表現有天壤之別的分水嶺, 而這(生病)是唯一發生在其中的事件。"

He did admit that the media and fan criticism caused him stress that crept into his game. "I think it bothered me, early in the year," he said. The jeering of Rodriguez fed on itself, with Yankees fans emboldened by the obvious physical signs from A-Rod that he was unnerved. Posada could go 0 for 25 in August and go uncriticized, but Rodriguez would be excoriated for popping up in the first inning.
他也承認來自媒體和球迷的批評對他帶來了不小壓力。"我想這(批評)的確在球季之初對我造成了影響," 他說道。或許是因為A-Rod看似對批評毫不在乎的反應更讓洋基球迷想進一步地羞辱他, Posada可以在八月連續25次打數都繳白卷卻不受任何批評, 而A-Rod卻會因為一次在第一局擊出飛球被接殺的表現而飽受噓聲。

Sample A-Rod headlines from the summer:
以下是今年球季中曾經出現在紐約報紙的新聞標題 :






Said Rodriguez, "It actually reached the point of being so ridiculous that I just had to laugh. It's like if you show up at work one day with a red shirt, and I go, 'Man, that's an ugly shirt.' And the next day you wear a blue shirt, and I go, 'Man, that's an ugly shirt.' And the next day, yellow shirt, same thing. And on and on, every day. At some point you understand it's not really about the shirts. And it becomes easy to dismiss the criticism."
對於排山倒海而來的嘲諷, A-Rod這麼說道, "有些批評簡直是不可理喻, 而我所能做的就只有苦笑。這就像是有天你穿著一件紅色襯衫來上班, 然後我對你說"天啊, 這件襯衫真是有夠醜", 隔天你換穿一件藍色襯衫, 而我一樣對你說"天啊, 這件襯衫實在是慘不忍睹", 第三天你決定換穿一件黃襯衫, 但我還是對你說一樣的話, 然後故事就這樣沒完沒了地發展下去。到最後你會發現, 問題的癥結點根本不在於襯衫的好壞, 然後你就會學著無視這些批評了。"

Why must Rodriguez defend himself? He plays hard, is durable, stays out of trouble off the field, has hit more than 460 home runs and might wind up reaching 800, which would place him on the short list of the greatest players in history. He is a career .305 hitter (and has batted nearly the same with runners in scoring position, by the way) with 10 All-Star selections, eight Silver Sluggers, four home run titles, two MVP Awards, two Gold Gloves and one batting title.
為什麼A-Rod還得為自己的表現辯護 ? 他打球的態度認真, 他很少受傷, 在場外也不曾讓自己捲入麻煩之中, 他的生涯全壘打數已經超過460支, 並且很有希望在退休前將該數字推到驚人的800支, 光是這就足以讓他名列史冊, 他的生涯平均打擊率是.305(不過得點圈有隊友的打擊率也差不多就是這樣), 他十度被選進明星隊, 八次奪得銀棒獎, 四度榮登全壘打王寶座, 兩次獲選年度最有價值球員, 還是兩屆金手套獎和一屆打擊王得主。

And yet A-Rod routinely is treated like the guy in the dunk tank at the county fair, even, most incriminating of all, by his peers. In the past two years he's been called out by Boston pitcher Curt Schilling ("bush league"), Red Sox outfielder Trot Nixon ("He can't stand up to Jeter in my book, or Bernie Williams or Posada"), Chicago White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen ("hypocrite") and New York Mets catcher Paul Lo Duca (who accused him on the field of showing up the Mets by admiring a home run too long).
不過A-Rod卻老是扮演那個在園遊會中坐在一張放置在水池上方的板凳上, 只要有人打中標靶, 就會掉進水池中的倒楣鬼, 而且通常把他拱上那個位置的人, 都是和他一樣同在大聯盟中效力的其他球員。光是在過去兩年內, 他就先後成為紅襪投手Curt Schilling, 外野手Trot Nixon, 白襪總教頭Ozzie Guillen和大都會捕手Paul Lo Duca的箭靶 。

"One thing people don't like," said one teammate, "is his body language. Too much of what he does on the field looks ... scripted."
"球員們對他最不滿的..." 一個隊友說道, "...是他的肢體語言, 許多他在球場上的反應看起來都像是事先策劃好的一樣。"

I asked Rodriguez why criticism of him from inside and outside the game is so amplified. "We know why," he said.
"你我都很清楚原因何在," A-Rod這麼回答。

The contract? That 10-year, $252 million deal that no one has come close to matching for six years? He nodded.
是因為那驚人合約的關係嗎 ? 那個總金額高達2億5,200萬美元的十年合約嗎 ? 他點點頭。

"But I don't expect people to feel sorry for me," he said. "My teammates get more upset about the criticism and booing than I do. A hundred players have come to third base and said, 'This is bulls---. You're having a great year.' You wonder why it bothers players so much. Tim Salmon, Andruw Jones, Chipper Jones, Garret Anderson ... I could throw you a hundred names. They're looking at the scoreboard and saying, 'This guy's got 90 RBIs and I've got 47, and I'm getting cheered?'
"我並不預期人們會因為他們對我的批評而感到抱歉," 他說道, "我的隊友反而比我更無法忍受那些針對我而來的批評和噓聲, 不知道有多少次, 當對方選手上到三壘時, 會這樣對我說, "這真是不可理喻, 你的表現明明就相當出色", 聽到這樣的話時, 你會很好奇為何就連對方球員都會這麼為我感到不平。Tim Salmon, Andruw Jones, Chipper Jones, Garret Anderson...我可以列出一長串的名單, 他們都會看著記分板問自己, "這傢伙(A-Rod)有90分打點而我卻只有47分, 但我卻是那個接受歡呼的人?" "

"My agent, Scott Boras, was talking about [Oakland third baseman] Eric Chavez, who's a great player. He's hitting .235. He's got 16 home runs, 43 ribbies? This guy is getting cheered every time he comes up to the plate. If I can look back on 2006 and see I made 25 errors, hit .285 and drove in 125, I mean, has God really been that bad to me?"
"我的經紀人Scott Boras有次跟我提到Eric Chavez (運動家隊三壘手), 他是個很棒的球員, 成績大概是.235打擊率, 16發全壘打, 43分打點左右, 他每次上場打擊時都會接受全場球迷的熱情歡呼, 而我呢 ? 未來有天當我回頭看我2006年球季的表現時, 我會看到25個失誤, .285打擊率和125分打點, 這算是個糟糕的成績嗎 ? "

Alex doesn't know who he is," Giambi said in late August. "We're going to find out who he is in the next couple of months."
"Alex不清楚自己的價值何在," Giambi在八月曾經這麼說過, "我們也將藉由接下來幾個月的表現來評估他真正的價值。"

October is the foundry of Yankees legend. It's why Scott Brosius will never have to buy another meal in New York, though the third baseman was a career .257 hitter, including .245 with a dreadful .278 on-base percentage in the playoffs. But Brosius had a couple of huge hits, and the Yankees were 11-1 in postseason series with him.
季後賽是成就洋基傳奇的最佳舞台, 這也是為什麼生涯平均打擊率.257, 而季後賽打擊率只有.245, 上壘率更只有.278的前洋基三壘手Scott Brosius, 到現在都還深受紐約球迷喜愛的原因, 他幾次在季後賽敲出關鍵安打, 而有他在陣的洋基隊, 在12個季後賽系列戰中贏得了其中的11次。

For all his career achievements, Rodriguez cannot become a made Yankee without a memorable October. He won the AL MVP award last year, but what stuck to him was his 2-for-15 showing in a Division Series loss to the Angels. It reinforced his disappearance during New York's historic 2004 ALCS collapse to Boston. Until Game 4 of that series, Rodriguez had hit .372 and slugged .640 in 22 career postseason games. But since then he has hit .125 (4 for 32) and slugged .250 while the Yankees have gone 2-7. It's unfair, of course, but to find real acceptance in New York, Rodriguez must win a ring as a Yankee.
儘管有著如此顯赫的生涯紀錄, 要是無法在季後賽中有出色表現, A-Rod將永遠不會得到洋基球迷的認可。他在去年贏得了美聯年度MVP的獎項, 不過在季後賽第一輪洋基最終敗給天使的系列戰中卻只交出15個打數2支安打的難看成績, 這讓人聯想到2004年美聯冠軍系列戰中, 在洋基最需要他時他卻猶如人間蒸發般的前科紀錄, 在該系列戰的第四場比賽開打前, 他的生涯季後賽表現是在22場比賽中繳出打擊率.372, 長打率.640的成績, 不過從第四戰之後, 他的打擊率降到了.125(32之4), 長打率也僅有.250, 而洋基在這段時間內的季後賽成績也是令人難堪的2勝7敗。把敗戰責任全怪到他身上當然是很不公平, 不過如果一個球員想要在紐約真正贏得球迷尊敬, 唯一的辦法就是以洋基球員的身份贏得世界大賽冠軍。

Not that A-Rod believes he has all that much that needs to be redeemed this season. His extreme slump -- not his word, of course -- that peaked in Anaheim didn't seem so bad to him. "Reggie hit .230 one year," Rodriguez said. "That's awful. He struck out 170-something times in a year. I don't care who you are, extremes are just part of the game. I was awful [in Anaheim], but Jeter was 0 for 32 [in 2004], Mo blew three games in one week [last year].... Everybody goes through it."
A-Rod本人並不覺得自己在今年球季的表現對球隊帶來了多大的負面影響, 他那在安納漢客場作戰期間跌至谷底的前所未有低潮 (當然他本人並不這麼認為), 在他個人眼裡看來並非那麼糟糕。"Reggie (Jackson) 曾經有一年的打擊率僅有.230," A-Rod說道, "當時的狀況實在很慘, 他 (Jackson) 整年被三振了大約170次。無論是誰都有遇到低潮的一天, 比賽本來就是這麼一回事, 我在安納漢的表現很差勁沒錯, 不過就連Jeter也曾經歷連續32個打數沒有安打的低潮 (2004年球季), 而Mo也曾有過一個禮拜內三次救援失敗的經驗 (2005球季)...你總會經歷低潮。"

Rodriguez isn't the only Yankee who needs a good October. When he looks around the clubhouse, he sees more teammates who have never won a title in New York than those who have. And thanks to the Rangers' picking up $67 million of the money left on his contract when he was traded to New York, Rodriguez can find three players in the same room to whom the Yankees are paying more this year -- Jeter ($21 million), Giambi ($19 million) and righthander Mike Mussina ($19 million) -- and a fourth, lefthander Randy Johnson, to whom they pay an equal amount ($16 million). Next year the Yankees will pay outfielder Bobby Abreu ($17.5 million) more than Rodriguez, making A-Rod a veritable bargain. I point out all of this to Rodriguez early this month as we walk underneath the first base stands at Yankee Stadium toward the indoor batting cage.
A-Rod並不是唯一一個需要透過優異的季後賽表現來證明自己的洋基球員, 當他在球員休息室中環顧四周時, 他看到的隊友中有超過一半都未曾以洋基球員的身分贏得世界大賽冠軍。由於在當初被交易來紐約時, 游騎兵承諾將負擔A-Rod所剩合約金額中的6,700萬美元, 因此A-Rod可以在洋基陣中找到三位比起自己從洋基球團領取更高年薪的隊友, 分別是Jeter (2,100萬), Giambi (1,900萬) 以及Mussina (1,900萬), 而A-Rod則是和Randy Johnson一樣名列第四 (1,600萬)。從明年球季開始, 洋基付給Abreu的年薪 (1,750萬) 也將超越A-Rod, 這讓洋基球團付給A-Rod的年薪看似個還蠻划算的投資。在本月初一次和A-Rod一同走向室內打擊練習場路上的談話中, 我向他提到這些數據。

"Mussina doesn't get hammered at all," he said. "He's making a boatload of money. Giambi's making [$20.4 million], which is fine and dandy, but it seems those guys get a pass. When people write [bad things] about me, I don't know if it's [because] I'm good-looking, I'm biracial, I make the most money, I play on the most popular team...."
"Mussina從未因此 (領高薪) 而遭受批評, " A-Rod說道, "他 (Mussina) 可也賺了不少錢呢, 另外像是Giambi也同樣領有高薪, 但他們似乎都有免受責難的特權。當記者報導一些對我不利的新聞時, 我完全不懂他們動機為何, 是因為我長太帥?是因為我是混血兒?或者是因為我賺最多錢?還是因為我效力於最受歡迎的球隊?..."

He laughed easily, his mood still bright after a Yankee Stadium curtain call the previous day in which Torre told him the fans wanted him, prompting Rodriguez to observe, "I'm very shy when I play. I always wonder, If I was an a------ and a very flamboyant guy, how much attention could I really call to myself?"
他輕鬆地笑著, 看來昨天在球場上的優異表現讓他到現在還是心情愉悅, Torre甚至要他走出休息區向全場熱情鼓掌的球迷脫帽致意, "球場上的我其實是相當害羞的, 我一直都在想, 要是今天我是個混帳又愛現的人, 人們又會怎麼看我?"

[繼續閱讀 A-Rod Agonistes...3]