[翻譯]A-Rod Agonistes...3

Yet that shyness has been his undoing. Rodriguez suffers from an astonishing lack of competitive arrogance proportionate to his immense skill. Jackson, for instance, hates the way A-Rod does his pretty peacock-preening practice swings and then lacks any physical presence once he steps in. Even his infamous gut reaction to Boston pitcher Bronson Arroyo's trying to tag him along the first base line in the 2004 ALCS -- Rodriguez awkwardly slapped Arroyo's glove rather than bulldozing the pitcher or first baseman Doug Mientkiewicz -- was a window into his softer side.
過於害羞已經成了他的致命缺點, 雖然有著極為優異的技巧和天賦, A-Rod卻完全缺乏可以匹配其能力的自負。舉例來說, Jackson就對A-Rod每次在一旁準備上場打擊時都能做出華麗的揮棒練習動作, 不過一但走進打擊區卻完全缺乏存在感的表現感到相當不滿。就算在2004年美聯冠軍系列戰中, 即便他試圖對準備觸殺他的投手Bronson Arroyo做出較具侵略性的動作, 他也只是很彆扭地試著想要拍掉Arroyo手套中的球, 而不是選擇直接衝撞Arroyo或是一壘手Doug Mientkiewicz, 這就足以讓人看到他個性中軟弱的一面。

Rodriguez knows reporters' names and their affiliates and will often ask them questions about themselves, a rarity among ballplayers. This solicitousness can be awkward, even detrimental, in the socially stunted environment of a clubhouse and the brutally demanding environment of Yankee Stadium. His blood may not run cold enough.
A-Rod記得每個記者甚至還有記者家人的名字, 他時常對記者的私人生活表達關心, 在球員中, 他可說是個奇葩。不過在現實的職業運動世界、或是殘酷的洋基球場中, 這樣關懷他人的特質往往會被曲解、甚至是對他本人造成傷害...


"You know what you are?" Jackson said to Rodriguez in the New York clubhouse last Thursday. "You're too nice."

"你知道你的問題在哪嗎?" 上週四在洋基球場的球員休息室中, Jackson這麼對A-Rod說, "你人太好了"

With a hitter as talented as Rodriguez, it would seem inevitable that after the drought would come a deluge. ("No," says Rodriguez, "because you don't believe it's inevitable when you can't hit the ball out in batting practice.") On Aug. 31 in the Bronx he banged out three hits against the Detroit Tigers, only his second three-hit game at home since the All-Star break. That triggered a 9-for-17 tear in which Rodriguez smashed five home runs, including one that looked so much like a routine fly-out off the bat that Torre yelled to the runners, "Tag up." Four hundred fifty feet later the ball landed in the black seats beyond centerfield. "Once you're relaxed, you react to the [pitch]," Torre said. "He's reacting to the ball, not predetermining what he was going to do, like before."
當一個球員有著像A-Rod這樣的天賦時, 人們往往會將其經歷低潮過後的強力反彈視為理所當然 ("我不這麼認為," A-Rod說道, "當你發現自己連在打擊練習中都無法將球打好時, 你就不會把反彈視為理所當然了。")。在8月31日在主場迎戰老虎隊的比賽中, 他單場擊出三支安打, 這是他自明星賽週末之後第一次單場三安的表現, 而這也揭開了接下來幾場比賽A-Rod一連串猛烈砲火攻擊的序幕, 他在17個打數中擊出包含5發全壘打在內的9支安打, 其中還包含一顆看起來就像是個再平常不過的高飛必死球, 就連Torre也向當時在壘的跑者大喊 "留在壘包上" , 不過最終這球卻落在中外野全壘打牆外、距離本壘455英呎處。"一但你開始學會放鬆自己, 你就能更自然地對投手所投出的球做出反應, " Torre說道, "他只是本能地對球做出反應, 並沒有預設球是否會飛出牆外, 就像過去的他一樣。"

Rodriguez hasn't stopped hitting, either, batting .360 since that breakout game as the Yankees, comfortably in control of the AL East, play carefree baseball. He rediscovered his smooth footwork in the field, and his hands felt faster at the plate. He began to wait long enough on pitches to drive them hard to centerfield and rightfield, the satisfying confirmation for a righthanded hitter, like a wink from a pretty girl, that life is good.

A-Rod的火力展示還沒結束, 在那場比賽之後, 他的打擊率高達.360, 而洋基也在美聯東區持續保持領先。A-Rod找回了守備時那行雲流水的腳步, 更找回了他傲人的揮棒速度, 而他也因此能等到最後一刻才出棒, 然後將球轟出反方向(中、右外野)的全壘打牆外, 這對一個試圖找回狀態的打者來說, 是個讓人振奮的消息。

After the home runs Rodriguez would credit Torre for helping to put the groove back in his swing. Under the stadium on a cool, wet night in which October seemed so close, I thought about that meeting Torre had with A-Rod in Seattle and had one last question:
在一個涼爽且略為潮溼的夜晚, 季後賽似乎就近在眼前, 身在洋基球場中的我, 腦中想著Torre和A-Rod在西雅圖的談話, 問了最後一個問題...

What was Joe's main message?

Rodriguez rolled the question around in his head for a moment. He hesitated, "Uh ..." and then answered with this: "'We need you.'"
A-Rod沈思了一會兒, 試圖在腦中尋找一個適當的答案...

"恩..." 他答道, "我們需要你。"

Issue date: September 25, 2006