By Sweeny Murti
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Alex Rodriguez is the baseball player other baseball players think is the most overrated? Makes me wonder why we bother asking players anything at all sometimes.

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I’ve taken my shots at A-Rod over the years, but mostly because of the stupid things he tends to say and do OFF the field. Let’s face it—the guy belongs in the Stupid Things Said and Done Hall of Fame. On the field, the answer is pretty simple. He’s not overrated—others are just jealous.

There are certainly players that don’t like Rodriguez, and that’s ok. I’m sure Dallas Braden is one of them. I think Trot Nixon used to be one of them. If the SI poll question was “name the most hated player” then I’m quite certain A-Rod would win in a landslide of Reagan/Mondale proportions.

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But to call A-Rod overrated is nothing but jealousy. His talent is rivaled by only a handful and he’s combined that with the ability to parlay it into a long career and put up astronomical numbers. I get that the steroid scandal hurts the overall impact. I have a hard time myself trying to separate the players from the era, but I also recognize a few of the elite players (Bonds, A-Rod, Clemens) were elite players before they felt the stupid need to reach for more.

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But all that’s irrelevant here. How exactly is A-Rod overrated? In what area of the game has he not excelled on the field for the last decade and a half? The postseason failures were well documented, but A-Rod threw that monkey off his back in 2009. He is now a World Championship player forever and there isn’t anything the haters can say about it.

Even A-Rod seemed pleasantly amused that the subject that forced a dozen reporters around his locker was as benign as this one. Listen here to the informal session with reporters Tuesday afternoon in Oakland:

What’s the expression — “Don’t hate the player, hate the game?” In A-Rod’s case it should be “Go ahead and hate the player, everybody else does… but don’t hate his game.”

Sweeny Murti

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Well, is A-Rod overrated? Make your case to Sweeny in the comments below…