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He batted .341, with 41 home runs and 137 RBI . . . and took a 30% pay cut the following season for having an off-year. In contrast, Alex Rodriguez recently signed a record-setting $275 million dollar contract as a deserved reward for his 2007 MVP performance.

Rodriguez, in comparison to the underachiever's sorry season, hit .314 last year and posted nearly identical statistics to him in runs per game, at-bats to home run ratio, RBI per game, and hits per game.

The underachiever, in his year of decline, had a slugging percentage of .661. Rodriguez, the MVP, slugged .645. His on base percentage was .489, A-Rod's .422. He struck out half as often, drew a third more walks, and hit more triples. For good measure, he also led his team to a 4-0 sweep in the World Series that disastrous year, hitting .333, with six RBI and two home runs, one of which was the legendary called shot.

How far we've come, or gone, depending upon your perspective, since that 1932 performance by Babe Ruth, who on this date, February 26, was released, ever so sadly, by the New York Yankees in 1935.

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