For all of his home runs, All-Star accolades and huge salaries, Alex Rodriguez finds himself in a most familiar spot this season.
A-Rod is an October lightning rod.
With every swing and miss, memories of his amazing run during the N.Y Yankees’ championship season in 2009 fade even further. Instead, fans are becoming more and more vocal, calling for manager Joe Girardi to drop him from the No. 3 position in the lineup.
Rodriguez struck out to end the Yankees’ 3-2 loss to the Orioles in Game 2 of their division series, leaving the best-of-5 matchup tied at 1.
He’s fanned plenty of times – 5 in all while going 1 for 9 so far in the series.
”I feel fine at the plate,” Rodriguez expounded after the loss. ”I’ve just got to close at-bats. I’m getting good swings.”
After their train experienced an electrical outage after the loss and turned a usual 2-hour, 15-minute trip to N.Y into a 5-hour journey, manager Joe Girardi was reluctant to address the Yankees’ more pressing power problem.
”I think that we are going to do whatever is needed to win this 3-game series. Nothing that we do will be something that is merely a knee-jerk reaction,” Girardi declared. ”The great thing about this is I have a great group of men that’s very unselfish, and they actually want to win. And that’s what we’re going to do, what we think is best to win.”
Always protecte of his players, Girardi could be choosing to coddle Rodriguez after watching Joe Torre cause a fuss in 2006 by dropping the 14-time All-Star to 8th in the Yankees order against the Detroit Tigers in the 1st round.
”Sometimes it is just not as easy as just writing a name or taking a guy out, a pitcher out. You have got to consider the emotional part,” Girardi related. ”You always have to think that as a manager.” Basketball betting lines
An enthusiastic fan of the numbers, all collected in his ever-present binder, Girardi need not look too deep to see the 37-year-old Rodriguez isn’t the same player that has amassed 647 homers, fewer than only Willie Mays, Babe Ruth, Hank Aaron and Barry Bonds.
The 3rd baseman hit only 18 home runs and had a .430 slugging percentage while driving in just 57 runs in 122 games this season, totally batting 3rd or 4th for the team that scored the 2nd most runs in the majors with 804.
Overall, Rodriguez is a career .271 hitter in the postseason with 13 homers and 41 RBIs since making his 1st playoff appearance in 1995 with Seattle. He’s a career .300 hitter in the regular season with 1,950 RBIs. But Girardi insisted he likes what he sees from Rodriguez. He hit a sharp liner that Baltimore 2nd baseman Robert Andino stopped with a dive and singled before striking out twice as the N.Y Yankees tried to rally.
”He squared up 2 balls,” Girardi asserted. ”You look at the ball he hit in the 1st inning, he squared it up. And then he had the other hard single. Right now I haven’t got any plans to make any changes.”