On A-Rod and pinch-hitting


(Al Bello/Getty)

There was more to last night’s Game Three win than just a win. Joe Girardi‘s decision to lift Alex Rodriguez for a pinch-hitter in the ninth inning of a one-run game was almost like a turning of the page in A-Rod‘s career, one of the greatest playing careers the game will ever see. Forget about Raul Ibanez and what happened afterwards, it was an acknowledgement on the part of the Yankees that in that situation, they were better off with Alex on the bench. This isn’t some role player on a one-year deal who will be gone after the season, like it or not A-Rod is here to stay for a very long time.

The move was absolutely 100% justifiable, there’s zero doubt about that. Rodriguez has been struggling not just in this series but for the last few weeks overall after he came back from the broken bone in his left hand, and he looks especially feeble against right-handed pitchers. When Joe Torre dropped A-Rod to eighth in the lineup in the 2006 ALDS, I thought then (and still do now) that it was out of spite more than anything. The relationship between those two always seemed strained, but I’ve never gotten that vibe with Girardi. That’s why the pinch-hitting move took some major guts on the manager’s part.

“Of course you do (think about the magnitude of lifting A-Rod),” said Girardi after the game. “And you know you’re going to be asked a lot of questions if it doesn’t work … I mean, it’s a tough move. Sometimes you’ve got to do what your gut tells you, and my gut told me to make the move. I still have the utmost respect for Al, and I still think he’s a great player. He’s just going through a little tough time right now.

“I just went to (A-Rod) and I said, ‘You’re scuffling a little bit right now … We have got a low-ball hitter (against sinker-baller Jim Johnson), and we’ve got a shorter porch in right field, then left field obviously. Raul has been a good pinch hitter for us, and I’m just going to take a shot.’”

Rodriguez, as you’d expect, faced a swarm of reporters after the game and was drilled pretty hard about being lifted for a pinch-hitter in the late innings of a close playoff game. He joked that it was the first time he was pinch-hit for in a meaningful situation since “maybe high school,” but otherwise defended Girardi and his decision, preaching team over individual. Here’s the video of his post-game media scrum…

I thought he looked very sincere there and don’t think this was a case of a guy putting on an act like he did with Torre back in 2006. A-Rod really seemed to change back in 2009 after his hip surgery and PED revelations, as he shifted from a “this is what I did and need to do” angle to a “we’re a team and this what we did and need to do” approach. Everything has been about the Yankees and not Alex since then. “We preach about team, team, team,” he said. “That’s all we care about.”

Who knows what this means going forward for A-Rod both this postseason and for the final five years of his contract. Maybe he moves down in the lineup or sits against righties, who knows. Being lifted for a pinch-hitter last night was a bit of a statement though, and I don’t mean a harsh one like a message was being sent or anything. It was the beginning of an era with a de-emphasized Rodriguez, and era that may be slow to develop but has begun nonetheless.

Categories : Offense, Playoffs


  1. JohnC says:

    Kobe Bryant, a close friend of Arod’s did not like the move, saying its bad for the chemistry of the team. Hey Kobe! Shut up! You don’t worry about chemistry or hurt feelings this time of year. You do what you have to do to win games!

    • Rich in NJ says:

      I’m not sure that chemistry exits in baseball, but I do think what Torre did in 2006 had a very negative effect (Sheffield, at the time, said it sent a message of panic), but this is a different A-Rod, and, of course, results matter.

      That said, as I mentioned on the other thread, I wonder if another starter would have handled it as well as A-Rod did.

      • Robinson Tilapia (I BELIEVE IN PHIL HUGHES) says:

        There’s a difference between something you can’t quantify and something that doesn’t exist. I think “chemistry” absolutely exists as a concept in baseball and would like to think some of these teams that succeed despite the whole being much greater than the sum of its parts succeed because of it. It’s just not something we’re ever going to talk about in statistical terms.

        • Rich in NJ says:

          I think the sum of the parts point is a good one, but when I think of chemistry in sports, it’s in terms of the way players are able to mesh their skillsets for the greater good. IOW, passing or setting a screen instead of shooting in basketball, or maintaining containment instead of going directly for the ball carrier in football.

          Baseball has been referred to as a team game played by individuals. That’s largely how I see it, although again, I think the sum of the parts argument has merit.

        • jim p says:

          Some journalist somewhere said in other sports you talk about “culture” but in baseball they call it “chemistry.” Whatever you call it, intangibles are a factor in outcomes.

          Statistics can’t encompass actual life-as-lived, it can only record the traces of that after the fact. It can give you a rule-of-thumb to go by, the odds, and fairly reliably. But there always remains something which can’t be turned into sums and digits.

          • Mister D says:

            I bet stomach aches and non-baseball-related sadness have an even bigger on-field effect than chemistry and yet those are never harped on.

            • jim p says:

              There’s a reason teams dump talented players who cause bad times in the clubhouse, and a reason the Yankees avoid signing people with personal conduct issues.

              • Mister D says:

                Oh, I guess that explains why they never traded for or signed Gary Sheffield or Raul Mondesi or Randy Johnson or Kevin Brown or Sidney Ponson or Derek Lowe or …

                • Robinson Tilapia (I BELIEVE IN PHIL HUGHES) says:

                  I think there’s also more than goes into the evaluation of these players and how they’ll fit in, as well as more to them as human beings, as is revealed to us fans.

                  I don’t necessarily think the Yankees are run as, say, Jimmy Johnson ran the Cowboys and Dolphins, where he would literally sign guys on trial for rape and guys who had just slit their throat a couple of weeks before, but I also don’t think the Yankees stay completely clear of guys with baggage either.

                  • Mister D says:

                    Right. They’re just like everyone else in that character matters until talent concerns outweigh character concerns.

                    • Robinson Tilapia (I BELIEVE IN PHIL HUGHES) says:

                      Partially. I do think they sit down with these guys and have honest conversations as to “fit” before making contract offers. I used the Jimmy Johnson example as pretty much an extreme, since that’s what it felt like as Dolphin supporter in the 90′s (anyone remember Cecil “The Diesel” Collins?). I think someone may come with some baggage and the Yankees will decide whether that baggage can be checked at the door.

                      Sheffield was actually able to hold off on becoming a raging lunatic for the majority of his contract.

      • RetroRob says:

        I agree.

        As for chemistry, winning is the best ingredient. A-Rod was no doubt feeling down after being pinch hit for, but that quickly dissolved as Ibanez’s ball went flying over the RF wall.

      • MannyGeee says:

        “That said, as I mentioned on the other thread, I wonder if another starter would have handled it as well as A-Rod did.”

        I wonder if anyone would have handled at well as A-Rod did if Ibanez grounds out to 2B.

        But again, results matter, so here we are.

    • Mike HC says:

      Kobe is worried about he will be treated the same way if he starts to drop off a little and/or go through a prolonged injury/slump. Nash, Gasol and Howard gives the Lakers plenty of other options.

    • ron says:

      Im a laker fan but kobe needs to stfu and mind his own businees. He doesnt like it so what im sure that girl in Colorado didn’t like certain things. #2soon?

    • Joe F says:

      So Kobe Bryant and Ben Roethlisberger go to a bar…

      Finish the joke.

    • Gio says:

      Hey Kobe – tell me how Raul’s ass tastes.

    • youngmanalex says:

      maybe they should do another guitar hero commercial. “Guitar Hero: The Later Years”

  2. Raul Ibanez AKA Tom Marvolo Riddle says:

    I know it’s their job to ask him how he felt about being lifted for a Pinch Hitter, but to the reporters really need to continue basically begging him to turn on Joe and call it a bad movie?

    • Raul Ibanez AKA Tom Marvolo Riddle says:

      bad move*

    • Ed says:

      It’s ridiculous enough to try to get him to trash Girardi, but it’s just comical considering that things played out in the best possible way. There was no possible way for A-Rod to do better than Ibanez did.

    • CT Yankee says:

      A-Rod and Tex are both coming off injuries. Granderson and Swisher on the other hand have no excuses. Has anyone ever looked worse than Granderson right now? It’s a good thing they don’t keep stats like “missed pitch by X inches” because Granderson would own that category.

  3. burnettscreamfilling says:

    I am so tired of the AROD hate. Yes he sucked last nite, yes hes sucked the last couple of post seasons but guess what? So has Granderson, Swisher and Texiera and yet almost nobody mentions them?? it just more fashionable to hate on AROD. At least AROD came through and saved the Yankes in 2009. Tex, Swish and Granderson have yet to do the same, but again nobody remembers or even cares. its the begining of the end for Arod? really? he hasn’t been the same since he broke his hand this year, true but, hes not going to heal in the offseason? Its like people want and root for him to fail.

    • burnettscreamfilling says:

      btw i’m not railing on Mikes article its just i hear it everywhere in the papers, on TV, reporters tweeting..just tired of hearing it.

    • Usty says:

      Yeah, based on the vitriol directed at him, it’s like Girardi is batting ARod in the 3, 5, 6, 7 slots in the order.

      It drives me crazy that he takes all the heat, and most “fans” act like he didn’t carry the offense through 2 rounds of the playoffs in 2009 and then have big hits in the WS too.

    • JohnC says:

      I’m not hating on Arod at all. But Joe G had to try something. He’s not even able to catch up to 91-92 mph fastballs, let alone 95-96 like Jim Johnson throws. Fact is, Joe had to worry about trying to win the game, not saving Arod’s feelings, and he understood. Even if Ibanez had struck out, I wouldn’t have killed the move

    • MannyGeee says:

      Dont look now, but Tex is hitting 4-12 in this series, despite the ineptitude of the offense in general. Doesn’t phit the narrative, but we should begin to adjust the perception, and there is no better place to start that than here…

      and oh by the way… Go St. Philip of Hughes!

  4. Robinson Tilapia (I BELIEVE IN PHIL HUGHES) says:

    I thought it was the gutsiest move I’ve ever seen Girardi make, just because of the magnitude of sitting a name like Alex down for a pinch-hitter. It took 165 games, but I think I now forgive Joe for IBB’ing Sean Rodriguez.

    On that note, you’re only as good as your results and, had Raul, struck out, what would we be saying?

    What’s still amazing about this to me is not that Alex, obviously not doing much in his return from injury, was pinch hit for, but that he was pinch hit for with a 40 year-old man. There’s not even a “passing of the guard” narrative here.

    Alex is still a good player. He’s not the Alex of old. He will sit for reasons he never sat for before even more as time goes on. It happens. He’ll still get the women.

    • Raul Ibanez AKA Tom Marvolo Riddle AKA True Yankee(TM) says:

      I think I now forgive Joe for IBB’ing Sean Rodriguez.

      You’re a better man than I R-Tills. I will never be able to forgive Joe for that one.

      • JohnC says:

        yeah that one was a head scratcher, only because it was the very first game of the season, and the 3rd inning. Pretty hard to justify such a move that early

        • Robinson Tilapia (I BELIEVE IN PHIL HUGHES) says:

          It was one of the wimpiest things I’ve ever seen a manager do. This took some nerve. It’s like they cancel each other out.

    • VT Yankee Fan says:

      I read this morning that ARod and Ibanez were taken in the same draft. ARod was the first pick and Ibanez was number 1006.

  5. Mike HC says:

    I thought ARod handled it incredibly well. And for someone who seems to never be able to say the right thing, he did show some true leadership right there. I don’t think ARod is done or only a platoon player or whatever from here on out. I think he has some very productive years ahead.

    • MannyGeee says:

      this is old hat. A-Rod has turned into an emotional (if not offensively productive) leader on this team since 2009.

      • jim p says:

        It was a little late, but ARod definitely matured as a person. Good for him. People forget how young he was when he was putting up all the great numbers, how that glory, fame, and money makes it harder to do serious self-examination.

        But he’s done it, and is a team-first guy. I’m sure he hurts a bit inside seeing a proof of his decline, but that’s completely natural. That he didn’t pout is the important thing.

      • Mike HC says:

        He definitely turned a corner in 2009. I think this is the next level though. The veteran presents he will be able to hand out now will make up for any dip in production.

      • YanksFanInBeantown says:

        A .405 wOBA is nothing to sneeze at. He was still A-Rod in 2009.

  6. ND Mike says:

    FIVE MORE YEARS. I keep reading those words but I can’t quite accept it as fact.

  7. PhillyMatt says:

    Could the yankees get kate hudson to the stadium before the game tonight and you know take care of bidness :) looking for a slump buster

  8. Knoxvillain says:

    A-Rod is the most irritating player on the Yankees. I think a lot of us forget that it’s 2012 and not 2007. He’s not the same hitter and he never will be. Whether he’s the highest paid player in baseball or not.

    That being said, no matter how irritating he is or how much I’ve bashed him for sucking in the playoffs (minus 2009), I’ve always liked him a lot.

  9. Eddards says:

    This will work out in ARod’s favor. Do you think he wants to get pinch hit for again? This will light a fire under Alex. Joe made the right call. He’s a brilliant strategist and has out managed Buck in this series. ARod should be back hitting 3rd tonight vs the LHP. If he doesn’t show progress tonight move him down to 6th.

    • Knoxvillain says:

      It won’t. A-Rod is 37 and almost done. It might light a fire underneath him, but he isn’t the .320/45/130 A-Rod that everyone seems to think.

      • DC says:

        Who thinks he’s still a 320/45/130 guy? I’ve never heard anyone profess that thought.

        • Preston says:

          He’s a .275/.350/.450 hitter, which is still pretty good, the problem is right now with the hand he might be a .250/.320/.350 hitter. I’m not worried about lighting a fire. I’m hoping he starts getting a better grip on the bat.

      • Raul Ibanez AKA Tom Marvolo Riddle AKA True Yankee(TM) says:

        Anybody who thinks that Alex is still capable of that or holds him up to that standard is delusional.

        That being said he doesn’t need to be that guy to be productive. .280/.375/.450 w/ 20Hrs and 85-100RBI is more than okay for a 38 year old 3rd baseman.

      • Steve (different one) says:

        Who is this “everyone” that still believes Alex is that player?? I don’t think anyone still believes that.

        • Robinson Tilapia (I BELIEVE IN PHIL HUGHES) says:

          I often think he looks down into his pants, has his penis talk back to him in a high-pitched, squeaky voice (i.e. “yes, boss! Big Game Dave Phelps!”), and that counts as “everyone.”

  10. Darren says:

    I thought Girardi missed a little bit of a trick by failing to mention ARod’s injury. He could have easily deflected any talk about this being a move that indicates a new era, and just said that the Yankees asked ARod to come back early from the injury because they needed him, that the injury probably is still affecting him so they wantd to give him a breather, but that he probably won’t be fully recovered until next Spring.

  11. Yanks Fan in Sox Land says:

    I am no fan of ARod’s contract, but I must say his handling of the post game press was admirable. I get worked up about the amount of money tied up in a fading player but the amount of vitriol that comes his way because of it is massive. How many of us could withstand the constant confrontation of our shortcomings in such a public way and respond graciously. It’s an albatross of a contract, but at least ARod has seemed to turn a corner about what it means to be a true teammate. I don’t know the guy at all, but watching that gaggle of media surrounding him trying to get him to do what, break? crack? lash out? I gotta say he handled it well. Being gracious in victory isn’t that hard, but having your shortcomings thrown at you EVEN though the team won is something else entirely.

    • dalelama says:

      If I was getting $25M/year for sucking it would be easy to handle.

      • Jim Is Bored(Hughes the man?!) says:

        This isn’t even remotely true. Since when has money made everything easy to handle?

        You honestly believe that for an athlete at the highest level of his sport, the money is the only motivation? You don’t think competitiveness has anything to do with it? I make a decent salary at my job, but that doesn’t always make the shit I put up with worth it. Money isn’t everything.

        You only make asshole-ish comments though so I guess this is par for the course.

      • RetroRob says:

        Dalelama, that tells us all we need to know about you and your character. You’re a failure.

        • dalelama says:

          Poor little Arod, if he was a man of character he should have suggested to Girardi that he start Ibanez at DH rather than himself. The man is overpaid about $20M per year so I think he can handle it. For that amount of cash of course he is going to say the right thing.

    • RetroRob says:

      He did handle it well, and as someone noted above, I believe he was sincere in his support of Girardi, where I don’t think that was the case with Torre.

      He is still not the greatest when it comes to answering media questions, although a lot better than he used to be. He has a bit of a tin ear when it comes to self-awareness and how he is viewed. During his press answers he referred to himself as a leader of the team, and mentioned several times how he had matured, which he noted is something the media probably didn’t want to hear. All of those are bad answers! It’s like someone saying they’re cool. If you have to say you’re cool, then you’re not cool. If you have to say you’ve matured, then you haven’t matured.

      Contrast that with the master at these things, Detek Jeter. I made sure I waited to see Jeter being interviewed because I actual enjoy watching him answer every question without ever saying anything ever. So I was curioius to see how he’d answer the A-Rod pinch-hit quesiton when it when they inevitably came up. He turned into a joke, deadpanning something like of course Joe made the right move. He knew Ibanez was going to hit a HR to tie the game, and then another HR to win it. Reporters chuckled, Jeter said nothing, he didn’t insult A-Rod. End of story.

      Anyway, not meant as a knock on A-Rod. He handled it well, but let’s hope he never runs for public office after his playing career is done. On second thought, that would be quite funny!

      • Raul Ibanez AKA Tom Marvolo Riddle AKA True Yankee(TM) says:

        It’s sad that people(not just you but a lot of people) view honesty with the media as a weakness. Who cares if somebody is open with the media as long as they aren’t giving away state secrets? I don’t mean to attack you but I feel that I have matured greatly over the past 5 years, does it make it untrue because I stated an observation of myself?

      • vicki says:

        jeter is passive-aggressive double-talk nonpareil. i find him boring, when he’s not downright insulting.

        • I am not the droids you're looking for... says:

          I very much agree with this. To me, the idea that he always “says nothing” in his responses to reporters’ inane questions has always been false. His answers always seem to contain the following subtext: “you are a moronic douchebag and I cannot believe for the life of me how the fuck you got this job, nor the fact that, despite how much money I earn and how fucking awesome I am, I *still* have to stand here and listen to your stupidity.”

        • RetroRob says:

          Interesting. His answers are boring. They are designed to be boring by Jeter. They are non-answers, yet I found how he handles the questions in the most demanding media market around interesting.

          Jeter is a mega-celebrity in NYC. He has managed to be non-sensational and for the most part to keep his private life out of the news. Growing up in a bi-racial family coupled with the normal douchebaggery of many people in general no doubt shaped Jeter into the very private person he is. I don’t expect answers from him, but I do enjoy watching him evade all questions. If Im not going to get answers, then the very act of skillfully avoiding questions is fascinating. If the choice is the A-Rod and Reggie Jackson approach vs. the Derek Jeter and Don Mattingly approach, then I prefer the latter.

        • cr1 says:

          I find him amusing, when not downright hilarious.

          He has been doing this since he was a baby, silently daring the press to publish answers that will make them look as trivial and stupid as their questions alone should convince us they are.

          People who can endlessly repeat the same (dare I say downright insulting) questions day after day and year after year deserve worse, but Jeter is too polite to give them what they actually deserve.

          Meantime he amuses people who enjoy subtext And possibly himself …

  12. Klemy says:

    The important thing to remember here is that tonight will be the first time anyone has ever gone to the plate “swinging out of their ass”. It should be interesting.

  13. Preston says:

    I feel terrible for ARod, I think he really is happy for the team, but instead of enjoying the win he has to get questioned about whether or not he’s “really” happy, and get psychoanalyzed.

    • MannyGeee says:

      Ironic part is if he doesn’t get hit phor last night, no one questions if he is really ‘happy’ and just assumes he is really happy rolling around in his stacks of cash while not being able to hit a breaking ball…

  14. dkidd says:

    imagine the reaction if raul strikes out and the yankees lose?

    huge stones on girardi

    • VT Yankee Fan says:

      I give Girardi so much credit. Coaches/Managers most often seem to act in a way not to be criticized rather than to win. That is why we see ridiculous bunts in baseball and punts on 4th and 1 from the opponents 40 in football, etc.

      Girardi had to know he would get killed by sports talk knuckleheads if Ibanez failed and would get ignored if he succeeded.

  15. RetroRob says:

    A-Rod, even a diminished A-Rod, will have big days ahead, if not this postseason, than in games in the coming seasons. Yet he is nowhere near the myth and impact of younger A-Rod. He hasn’t been since the hip surgery, and now add in age. He’ll be 38 next year. He can still contribute, and probably at a higher level than most 3B’man short of the Longoria, Beltre level. Yet the Yankees need to understand that the A-Rod of old is not coming back. He is not the middle-of-the-order hitter he once was, but more of an above average contributor. At some point they will need to find a replacement. The pinch hitting last night to me was an acknowledgment that process is underway.

    • chrisF says:

      I don’t know… 2009 was pretty damn good. He got better as the year went on and had his normal numbers in limited ABs, and he earned every penny of that contract for that year in the postseason. And then in 2010 he still knocked in 125 runs and hit 30 despite another DL stint (though a shorter one). And even last year he was on pace for 30 and 100 again before he hurt his knee and then his thumb, which clearly diminished his power. But I mean, through June in 2011 he was looking good.

      This is the first season where A-Rod has been supposedly healthy when he’s played and really showed in my eyes a true decline. Who knows if something is bothering him physically or not, but if he’s healthy… he just looks slower and less explosive.

      Hopefully this lit a fire under him and he’ll step it up against Saunders tonight. But I think this offseason maybe he should look at possibly adjusting his mechanics a little bit. No huge changes, but he’s always had a lot of movement in his swing (I assume to make him more explosive). With slower reactions and less explosiveness because of his age, all that extra movement makes it so his timing needs to be even more perfect for him to have those monster home runs that used to come with regularity, and I think that may have a lot to do with the swing and misses/fouling pitches back. Maybe he should lessen the leg kick a little bit and just try and shorten the swing. I think it could help. Not sure obviously, just throwing something out there.

      • Jose M. Vazquez says:

        Someone yesterday mentiond Rudy Jaramillo. Arod had some of his best years with Jaramillo as his hitting Guru. Maybe Arod should pay Jaramillo off his own money for coaching lessons. It may not make much difference this year but perhaps in the coming years it will.

      • RetroRob says:

        I think we basically agree here. He was key to the Yankees winning in 2009. I’m not taking that away from him. My point is that since the surgery he has declined. Now he’s also three years older than 2009. As af fan, I want A-Rod to continue to contribute. I don’t hold it against him that his contract is now out of line with his production. That was basically a Hank Steinbrenner decision and the team is owned by the Steinbrenners. So be it. It is important, though, that the Yankees properly evaluate where he is as a player today which allows them to move ahead to address the needs of the team.

  16. DJ4K&Monterowasdinero says:

    Arod= Andruw Jones with hustle and without the 24/7 smile.

    /over the next 5 years

  17. Jim Is Bored(Hughes the man?!) says:

    I like to believe that a full offseason will do him good, maybe fully recover from that hand injury. I don’t need the A-Rod of old, a solid defensive 3B who can hit .270, ops around .800 will be fine with me.

    He’s never going to justify the contract, I’m long past hoping for that. But I do think some power can come back for next year.

  18. Gio says:

    Anyone else think everyone is overreacting here just a bit?

    • Raul Ibanez AKA Tom Marvolo Riddle AKA True Yankee(TM) says:

      Yankee fans? Over reacting? When discussing Alex Rodriguez? I HAVE NEVER BEEN MORE INSULTED ON BEHALF OF THIS FAN BASE! How dare you sir?! HOW DARE YOU?!

  19. Tcmiller30 says:

    I hope he goes 4-4 tonight with a couple homers and 6 rbis. I love arod. Always have always will

    • Mister D says:

      But I hope that HRs come after NY is already up 5+ just so we can listen to the dummies say that’s the only reason he was able to perform.

    • chrisF says:

      Me too. Not just because I love A-Rod but because if he does that, then this series is over and ESPN will finally STFU with all the useless coverage. And then I can focus on the ALCS without hearing “DROP HIM IN THE LINEUP” everywhere I look.

    • Robinson Tilapia (I BELIEVE IN PHIL HUGHES) says:

      *raises glass*

  20. Robinson Tilapia (I BELIEVE IN PHIL HUGHES) says:

    I’ve had ESPN Radio all day, but kept the volume low during supervision sessions. Has Chris Berman just been screaming all day?

  21. jjyank says:

    Always liked A-Rod. Pinch hitting him was the right call, and I thought he handled it as well as possible.

    I think he’s gonna make a great manager someday. Before a few dead cat bounce seasons, of course.

  22. DT says:

    At this point of his career Arod probably just wants to win. And i bet him more than anyone else knows he sucks right now. Not surprised he was okay with the move since it won them the game.

    • jdp says:

      Why should I care how he feels or how he reacted?
      Bat him third against the lefty tonight.
      If the Yankees win and he contributes all will be well.
      In the long run, and even in the short run, nothing else matters.

  23. DJ4K&Monterowasdinero says:

    The demise of ARod would have been perfectly juxtaposed with:

    The rise of Jesus.

    Yes that Jesus.

    • YanksFanInBeantown says:

      That rookie out in Seattle with a negative WAR?

      • DJ4K&Monterowasdinero says:

        Yes the 22 year old cleanup hitter/youngest catcher in MLB playing in the worst park with the worst supporting offensive cast.

        • jjyank (Phil Phucking Hughesllday) says:

          Dude, we get it. You miss Montero. Let’s not go back to April when everyone and their mother took threads off topic by talking about Montero.

        • vicki says:

          *platoon dh

        • RetroRob says:

          I still have faith in Montero and that he’ll improve, although his ability to handle the breaking pitch away from RHers is a legit question, and his defense was as bad as advertised.

          Major League pitchers will find and exploit any weakness, as they have with Jesus. It’s up to Montero to adjust and respond. I think he will, but I’m not sure. He was still a negative WAR player regadless of his ballpark. OPS+ which does take into account the hitting environment scores him at 95, or below average as a hitter. He can’t field and he is a horrible baserunner. In other words, for him to provide value he has to not only hit, but hit big time.

        • YanksFanInBeantown says:

          Dude, I laugh so that I don’t cry. I loved Jesus. And, more importantly, the years of terrible Jesus jokes we don’t get to make.

  24. SammySosasBleachingCream says:

    Chris Berman and Sutcliffe calling the game on ESPN Radio right now.
    One of the worst broadcasting teams I’ve ever heard. (Non Hawk Harrelson division, obvi)

  25. Rev Max says:

    Great piece. Arod is human. He will bounce back now.

  26. not that mike says:

    issue with all these guys we we expect a reasonable approximation of their regular season production when facing pitchers with whom they have a history of facing during the playoffs.

    as fans, we even afford a discount of performance due to better scouting / pressure / long season etc. when grading playoff performances – they really do not exist in a bubble.

    however, when players seem to fold under the pressure and look pathetic in their approach ( as sometimes we give exfcuses for a “great ab” or other failures) we become frustrated.

    i think thats the biggest issue with Arod in particular, as if he was batting 240 with a double in the three games so far he would not be under this scrutiny….and a bigger reason why i think the Yanks have to cut ties with Swish and Granderson moving forward because they look worse than automatic outs

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