LeBron James (now), Sidney Crosby, Albert Pujols (while with the Cardinals), baseball's Giants as a team, Derek Jeter through the years, Mariano Rivera, Eli Manning, Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, Mark Messier, Wayne Gretzky, Michael Jordan, Henrik Lundqvist and plenty more.  You get the picture.  When these guys step-up, their teams win and advance.  

In team sports it is tricky.  You cannot just blame one guy.  In basketball you can more than the other sports because there are only five guys on the floor and a 35-point game can take over the entire ballgame.  Think LeBron or Michael Jordan.  In football, this isn't the case, but at the same time, without a quarterback, you don't win a Super Bowl, period.

The Yankees maybe don't make it to the 2009 World Series without Alex Rodriguez.      A-Rod apologists point towards the fact that he shouldn't have been the one to blame for Yankee postseason failures in the 2000's, that the whole team was bad in big spots.  Yet, when a big RBI guy doesn't show-up, look what happens.  Collapses and rallies ended and a loss of momentum.  When a superstar does come through, the Yankees in 2009 are a case in point.  Look at the Cardinals in 2006 and 2011.  Albert Pujols was unconscious.  St. Louis won the Fall Classic both years.  LeBron James rose to the occasion last season through the NBA playoffs and the Heat won the title.

Hard to blame one guy.  But more importantly, when a superstar athlete shows-up in the most crucial spots, it can be the one difference in advancing or going home.  Ask Washington Capitals fans about Alexander Ovechkin.  They will tell you all about it until they are red in the face.

The Rangers are moving on.  They have Henrik Lundqvist.

By:  Mike Lindsley, "Mid-Day with Mike," 1-4, Yankees pre/post game host on 104.5 ESPN Radio.  Follow him on Twitter @MikeLSports.

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