Saturday, October 13, 2012

Mr Benchtober Alex Rodriguez

The New York Yankees are going to the American League Championship Series to face the Detroit Tigers.  The Yankees also have a player on their team that is making nearly thirty million dollars a season.  Those two facts have nothing to do with each other.  Alex Rodriguez needs to take a good hard look as to what his Yankees career is going to be remembered by.  Right now, ARod will be remembered for steroids, 2009, many playoff failures, and the diva mentality that he brings to the clubhouse, in that order.  The playoff failures are so close to making every one forget about 2009, when he single handily made sure they won the World Series.

Now don't get me wrong, Rodriguez wasn't the only one who was having a terrible series.  Robinson Cano, New York's best hitter, went two for twenty two in the ALDS after hitting over .600 in the last nine games of the season.  Curtis Granderson was bad for the most part.  So was Nick Swisher.  Basically everyone in the lineup except for Derek Jeter and Mark Teixeira had a slump of a first round.  The problem is, they don't take the spotlight quite like Rodriguez.

Joe Girardi knew what he was going to start when he sat Rodriguez in the ninth inning of Game three on Tuesday.  The storm of controversy the follows this guy makes every move that his manager make under an even bigger microscope that being a Yankee provides.  The fact that Raul Ibanez came up and hit not only the game tying home run, but also game winning home run three innings later, justifies Girardi's decision.  What if he didn't?  If Ibanez strikes out there what happens to Girardi?  It is a bold decision that now shows your highest paid player that you no longer trust him in the big spot.  Rodriguez may be lost forever, but this is the playoffs.  This is the time when every decision you make is strictly for the now.  To win this game, to get this out, to get on base, there is no thinking about tomorrow in the playoffs.  This is why when Girardi took Rodriguez out of the lineup on Friday completely he was only thinking about winning that game.  He was not thinking of the next five years having a guy who makes more money than any person in the sport yet doesn't have the confidence to go up there and not strike out in a big spot.

In sports, people will get their feelings hurt.  A manager has to be able to put emotions and relationships aside when he is making the hard decisions.  Joe Girardi showed he had the guts to do just that.  Eric Chavez is only a down grade by name and salary.  Chavez hit two less home runs and for a better average in 200 less at bats.  Yet he makes 29 million one hundred thousand less than ARod.  Chavez might be what this team needs.  It would be fitting to see the sports richest player sitting the bench for an entire postseason.  Alex Rodriguez, the world's most expensive pinch hitter.

So do I agree with the notion that we were better with Rodriguez?  Yes.  I am happy I don't have to groan when he comes up to bat with men on.  I am happy that I don't see his face and immediately get sad knowing its five more years until he is out of this team's uniform.  I am happy that I have a manager that has the cones to take charge and make the moves that have nothing to do with money.

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