A-Rod, Bonds off to opposite starts

Alex Rodriguez is off to the worst start of any defending MVP, while Barry Bonds has exploded out of the gates.

Updated: April 21, 2004, 7:33 AM ET
By Jim Baker | MLB Insider
There is no amount of money in the world that can make you feel good after a weekend like the one Alex Rodriguez had. Sure, it might take the sting away a little bit, but it can't buy the kind of peace of mind that comes with smacking a couple of home runs or driving some balls off the Green Monster.

On Friday, we discussed A-Rod's struggles at Fenway Park over the previous three seasons, pointing out that he had his lowest OPS there among American League ballparks from 2001 to 2003. Naturally, I assumed he would take this small sample size and turn it on its head this weekend or, at the very least, make some strides in normalizing the number. Instead, he went 1 for 17 in the four-game set and failed to reverse the recent trend.

With the addition of the Four Forgettable Forays in Beantown, he is now off to the worse start of any defending Most Valuable Player of the last decade. Here are the lowest five, expressed in OPS through the first 13 games following their MVP season:

Jim Baker is an author at Baseball Prospectus and a frequent contributor to Page 2. You can e-mail Jim at