Friday, October 12, 2012

No So Alex-cellent Playoffs


The other shoe finally dropped on the otherwise amazing career of Alex Rodriguez. 

Joe Girardi benched the superstar third baseman for the winner-takes-all Game 5 against the Baltimore Orioles.

This decision has been like watching a snail move.  You know it is coming it just has taken a long time to get there.

A-Rod has been completely disappointing in these playoffs with a stat sheet littered with goose eggs and strikeouts.  He is currently hitting 2 for 16 and has struck out 9 times.

9 times!                    

I DO remember him striking out 9 times! 

And so does every Yankee fan out there and especially his manager Joe Girardi.  And he has seen enough.   
A-Rod has had a stellar career and is one of the best baseball players of his generation.  He just has really never produced consistently in October like a person of his stature should. 

 If Reggie Jackson, left, is Mr. October then A-Rod is Missing October. 

And he is missing pitch after pitch after pitch in the seasons most important month. 

He has actually been playing like he is a substitute player and he is obviously not paid like one. 

See his $30 Million dollar annual salary. 

I mean, $30 Million for that kind of production?  The Yankee ownership has to be kicking themselves.  I can hear Dr. Evil saying to the Steinbrenners, "I used to think you were crazy but now I can see your nuts."

For someone to be making bank like that he should be giving his team and his fan base more from the dish than two hits and two walks this post season.

I am not saying that A-Rod hasn't ever produced before in the playoffs, as he did carry the Yankees in 2009 with 6 homers and 18 rbi, he just isn't doing it on a consistent basis. 

He seems to have a real confidence problem right now and is really struggling against right handed pitching.  It also doesn't help his case when he is one of the most scrutinized players in the league in the biggest media city in the world.  Everything he does is magnified.   

The situation isn't going to be getting any better as they will now face a Detroit Tigers pitching staff stocked with right handed power arms.

If he is getting benched against the Orioles' Jason Hammel do you really think he will be successful or playing against, Detroit's Justin Verlander, right, or Matt Scherzer, or Doug Fister?  Even if he would potentially be coming off the bench Detroit's closer is right handed.  Not a good equation for Mr. Rodriquez. 

A-Rod may very well be able to bounce back and show everyone the past series is over and a new beginning is on the horizon.  We don't know but I can't really see it changing for the better.  Not even in a fantasy world. 

When you are a player that has accomplished as much as A-Rod throughout your career you feel like it will always be easy to you.  This game comes naturally and when you start to press and try even harder you tend to do worse.  When your mind comes into your play and you think about your at-bats then your goose is cooked.

These players have an instinctual ability to perform this very difficult sport.  A-Rod, to this point, has been unable to perform and now is thinking too much. 

It didn't help his situation that he was pinch hit for in favor of Raul Ibanez in Game three.  It also didn't help A-Rod's case when Ibanez hit the game tying home run in the bottom of the 9th and then the walk off homer in the 12th to win it.

A-Rod did and said the right things after Raul's heroics, left, but you have to believe deep down it had a crushing effect on his psyche.

Ibanez' innate ability to sit in the dugout the entire game then be called upon to perform and he did just that.  He didn't think about anything other than swinging a bat at a moving ball.  

Which again brings us to Game 5.  The biggest game of the year and your manager has no confidence in you to perform the way you are being paid and he benches you in favor of Eric Chavez.  Who has been even worse than A-Rod having NO hits at all.   

The Yankees obviously didn't need either of their offenses to win Game 5 but the mental makeup of a very accomplished and proud player has been damaged.  

Is it damaged beyond repair?  We don't know until  he is called upon again in a similar situation.  

It will be interesting to see though who is penciled in Joe Girardi's lineup card for Game 1 of the ALCS as that series starts the very next day.  

Baseball players, especially A-Rod, almost need a form of sports Alzheimer's or that Men in Black mind eraser.  If something goes bad, or you make an error, or you strike out, just wipe it from your memory and play on.

This separates the men from the boys and determines who are the postseason heros from the zeros. 

This is what Alex needs to do going forward with his swing and his mind. 

Fix it and forget it.


  1. This was a great read but I hope to read more about our beloved St. Louis Cardinals.

    1. Thanks for the feedback. I will give some love to the Cardinals who are doing the unthinkable again this postseason. As much as it pains me, as a Cubs fan, to give St. Louis anything positive. Keep comming back and I hope to have something real soon.

  2. A-Rod has always been the whipping boy for the Yankees.

    Don't think so? Consider this: At shortstop, Jeter has the range of a refrigerator on wheels. If A-Rod were still playing shortstop with that lack of range, Girardi, the tool of Yankee management, would make him a DH.

    Have you checked out Cano's batting stats in the playoffs? Well, I don't see him being humiliated by being pulled out of the lineup or being dropped down in the order.

    Bottom line, Jeter is the King of the Yankees, and anyone who challenges him is going to pay a price.

    1. I don't disagree. Now that Jeter is out of the lineup they really are going to struggle to score. A-Rod has been horrible, Cano is almost 0 for the month, and Granderson is like Willie Mays Hays from Major League. They all plan to put on a hitting display but it isn't happening. Great comments and excellent insight. Can't wait for the rest of the playoffs as we all know crazier things will happen.