The 1994 film Shawshank Redemption claims that “fear can hold you prisoner, hope can set you free.”

The 16 year career of Alex Rodriguez has seen its shares of ups and downs over the years.

From the taboo Yankees contract opt-out announcement during the Red Sox 2007 World Series clincher, to the steroid admission in 2009.  Life in Major League Baseball hasn’t been too good for Rodriguez.

However, all of that turned itself around in a blink of an eye in the Fall of 2009.

Despite all of the past performances of being considered a “non-clutch” performer, Rodriguez proved them all wrong.

The guy who once stranded any and every runner on base during the postseason, snapped out of his wicked spell.

Highlights included, a game-tying home run of Minnesota Twins closer Joe Nathan in the bottom of the ninth inning in game two of the ALDS, a game-tying home run off Carl Pavano in game three of the ALDS, and a third game-tying home run off of Angels pitcher Brian Fuentes in game two of the ALCS in the bottom of the 11th inning.

Just to make things more interesting, his first World Series hit, was a home run reviewed by instant replay, off a camera lens above the wall in right field in game three.

It seems to me that the thing that was getting in the way of Rodriguez the most, was himself.  After he relaxed and let the game come to him, things started to happen.

His hard work and outstanding play was rewarded by the Yankees receiving their 27th World Championship in 2010, A-Rod’s first.

Now that the Yankees have swept the Minnesota Twins in the 2010 ALDS, a tougher opponent, the Texas Rangers, await the Yankees arrival in Arlington.

Again, some focus turns towards Rodriguez, as he is playing his former team and still has a lot to prove.

One amazing postseason performance doesn’t seem to have the city of New York behind Rodriguez just yet. Frankly, I don’t think it will ever matter how good he does.  When he strikes out looking, he’s booed, when he hits a home run, he is cheered, simple as that.  

Surprisingly, Rodriguez is 8-for-30 (.267), has two home runs and seven runs-batted-in off of Rangers’ ace Cliff Lee.

In game one, C.J. Wilson will start for the Rangers, a man that A-Rod is only one-for-13 lifetime against.

If A-Rod stinks it up this postseason, the media and fans will have forgotten all about last years performance and will be looking for more results this year.

That is the kind of pressure that comes with a contract the size of Rodriguez’s.

However, don’t be surprised when A-Rod hits the baseball right down your throat as he helps the Yankees secure another spot in the World Series.

Some sports writers and papers seem to think differently about Rodriguez’s future performance this postseason.  Those same writers most likely thought wrong last season and they will be wrong again this season.

Just because you don’t like him, doesn’t mean he won’t perform well out there for his team.

Lately, he has been in the business of proving people wrong, and I love every moment of it.

Read more MLB news on