Aug
06

Like it or not, A-Rod is back and the Yankees need him

By
(Jonathan Daniel/Getty)

(Jonathan Daniel/Getty)

I’m going to preface this by saying I don’t think the Yankees are good enough to qualify for the postseason. I’m not even sure they’re good enough to finish the year with a winning record at this point. There are just too many soft spots in the lineup and too many question marks in the rotation. They’ve exhausted all of their depth and then some. I see too many things wrong with the team to think they can turn it around after more than three months of mediocrity.

That said, the Yankees are still only four games back of a playoff spot with a little less than two months to play. Nobody wants to run away with this thing, apparently. It’s a daunting task for New York because there are four teams ahead of them fighting for that spot, but it is doable. They’re going to need some help to do it though, they have for weeks, and they got a very unwanted piece of help on Monday night. Alex Rodriguez and all of his baggage returned to the lineup against the White Sox.

In his first game following hip surgery, a quad strain, and a historic suspension, A-Rod went 1-for-4 at the plate with a jam shot bloop single, two deep fly balls, and a strikeout looking. He worked the count well — 17 pitches in four at-bats — which is more than you can say about most of the lineup these days. If this is all that Alex is capable of at this point of his career, he won’t help the Yankees at all. But it was just one game, one big league game after two Double-A rehab games. It doesn’t tell us much of anything.

What we do know is that prior to Monday’s game, the team’s third basemen were hitting a combined .215/.272/.285 (54 OPS+) on the season, by far the worst production at the position in baseball. In fact, they’re being out-homered by Cubs pitchers 5-4. I wish I was making that up. The Yankees also came into Monday hitting a weak .237/.305/.344 (85 OPS+) against left-handers, which is a far bigger problem in the grand scheme of things. It’s one thing to have a really bad spot in the lineup, it’s another when you can’t hit an entire handedness of pitcher.

(Jonathan Daniel/Getty)

(Jonathan Daniel/Getty)

A-Rod, even at his age with all those injury problems and off-the-field baggage, is going to help with their hot corner and against-lefties problems. It would an upset if he didn’t. Even last year — the worst full season of his career — he managed a 113 OPS+ overall and a 146 OPS+ against southpaws. If A-Rod comes back as 70-75% of the player he was in 2012, he’d still be an upgrade. In a weird kinda way, he’s lucky the bar has been set so low. Expectations are low and that’s probably the best thing he has going for him. If he sucks, he’ll be doing exactly what everyone expected. No one to disappoint, I suppose.

Outside of the potential on-field upgrade, I do think there’s some small value in the distraction Rodriguez creates. He does draw attention and keep it away from others, which means fewer questions for CC Sabathia to answer about his awful season. Fewer questions for Andy Pettitte, who looks to be at the end of the line. Fewer questions about Derek Jeter‘s calf and Robinson Cano‘s impending free agency and the team’s overall poor play. There is always going to be some kind of hot button issue with the Yankees, the media makes sure of it, and A-Rod is a lightning rod. The more negative attention he takes away from his teammates, the better it is for them.

The Yankees have made it fairly obvious they want nothing to do with A-Rod. The kept him away from the team in Spring Training, kept him away from the team during his rehab, the GM very publicly told him to “shut the f**k up” following a seemingly innocuous tweet, and they pushed back his return from the quad injury as long as possible. I’ve said this before, but I truly believe the Yankees kept him out as long as reasonably possible in hopes he would get suspended and stay away from the club long-term. If Alex didn’t have almost $100M left on his contract, they absolutely would have cut him and gotten rid of the headache. Zero doubt about that whatsoever.

We’ve reached the point of the season where the options to upgrade the team are very limited. The trade deadline has passed and most of the guys stashed in the minors have already gotten an opportunity, so there’s not much available to the team anymore. Replacing the hilariously awful revolving door of third basemen with A-Rod and all of his warts could actually be a significant improvement over the final two months. All he has to do is be a league average hitter — that’s a .253/.317/.398 batting line, so we’re not talking about a miracle here — to be a significant improvement. The Yankees don’t like A-Rod and they don’t want him anywhere near the team, but they also want to qualify for the postseason. Their best chance to do that is with Alex on the field everyday.

Categories : Offense
  • Darren

    I’m happy to have him back. I hope he doesn’t suffer any ill health effects from anything bad he might have done.

    I really don’t see what he did that was so wrong. He didn’t bet on baseball or throw any games. It’s not his fault that Bud Selig let the culture of baseball embrace PEDs long before Alex was a player. Just like any rookie coming up, he tried to fit in.

    • fat jeter

      dude, seriously?

    • trr

      You have the right to your opinion, Darren, but that’s a very callow analysis.

      • Darren

        I may be callow, but the rest of the reactions are just shallow. I mean, of course what Arod did was wrong, but in the scheme of things, Bud Selig did significantly more damage to baseball than ARod. If half the ink that was spilled on ARod was spent investigating what MLB knew in the 80′s and 90′s, I think Bud would have been forced to resign years ago.

        So I don’t think ARod’s actions were this absolute abomination against the game. He fucked himself up (most likely), but that’s about it. He’s just a regular person, no better, no worse.

        • Needles

          I agree here completely. When this history is written, it isn’t McGwire and Sosa and Bonds and A-Rod who will be the villains. It will be Selig. Recognize that we’re talking about almost 20 years of increasing revenues since the 1994 strike. Those 20 years coincided with Selig looking the other way until Congress did their dog and pony.

          • trr

            You’re right insofar as we don’t know how future generations may view this era, but your implication that the players involved will be be given a pass is a bit of a stretch. I loathe Selig and the vacuous leadership he’s brought to the game, but even the players themselves are now calling for harher penalties. Those who argue PED’s don’t matter have landed (with a thud) on the wrong side of the argument

          • fat jeter

            Im with you, to a point. Donald Fehrr and the MLBPA are just as complicit if not more so as they were dragged, kicking and screaming towards testing. Indeed, there are a lot of guilty parties, but in the 10 years that this testing program has been in place there is literally NO excuse for players who still take this stuff. Hopefully, as time passes and all the dust settles a stronger and more stringent program is put in place and this PED distraction just goes away.

        • fat jeter

          that’s just overwhelmingly speculative, definitely not incorrect, but just a bunch of words. by no means do i excuse selig or baseball in any of this, just point to some sort of evidence outside of increased revenue and i’m with you. however, to excuse alex for “just going along” is one of the weakest excuses for human behavior i have heard yet, very 3rd grade. the “i’m just human” excuse bought some sympathy after the first admission in 09. people simply can’t keep making the same mistakes over and over again, refuse to to accept responsibility and then be embraced with open arms for their frailty. not trying to be a dick here, but i really hope you are not a parent, Darren.

          • Darren

            Not to be a dick, but if you make those kind of judgments from what you read on a Yankee message board, I hope you’re not a parent either.

            • fat jeter

              you’re right, that was a stupid throw-away comment that I regretted the instant i hit “submit”. I just don’t really see the entirety of your stance as alex continues to make the same mistakes in his professional life and, to me, there is no excuse for his behavior — especially the “everybody else is doing it excuse” which reminds me of how unsuccessful that excuse was growing up. the typical response i got was something about jumping off a bridge. again, many apologies for an unnecessary comment. there are enough assholes on this board and i really don’t want to be another.

              • Darren

                No worries at all! It’s obviously hard to present a full nuanced argument on RAB. Much easier over a few beers!

                Not that I love defending ARod – he CLEARLY had the opportunity to learn from the past, grow into a new person and didn’t do it. But….we’ll just never know the kind of insecurities that drove him to do what he did. Maybe he was worried he was washed up and simply couldn’t face it. Still wrong to cheat, but not like Selig who allowed it floursih under his watch for decades and finally started to enforce it.

                This whole thing would be 1000 times more palatable if Selig has resigned about 10 years ago.

                • fat jeter

                  gotcha. i am not trying to defend selig much in the same that you are not trying to defend alex, but there are just sooo many guilty parties involved in this mess and it is so much bigger than just one or two people. donald fehr, the mlbpa, and the majority of baseball players in the “steriod era” all need to accept some form of responsibility as PED use was essentially so deeply ingrained in baseball culture that the initial testing program was refused until Congress got involved. obviously there have been a number of errors throughout the process including the joke that was the Mitchell report up until this Biogenesis investigation. At this point its going to be up to the players themselves to make the penalties more stringent and to essentially outcast those who use going forward. What has passed is essentially the prologue to a much larger fight if there is a real desire to clean up baseball.

          • JMK

            Your last line is particularly curious, fat jeter. I hope your seminary’s adult baseball league is going well.

            At the end of the day, I think you’ve failed as a parent if you’ve taught your kids to believe athletes are paragons of virtue that should be considered role models. There are tens of thousands of truly inspiring people in the world doing legitimately selfless, incredible things. Find a few of them to use as your standard for moral superiority, not some guy with the ability to hit a baseball very far.

            • fat jeter

              no where in my post or at no time in my life have i ever looked to athletes as any sort of role model (though jeter’s list of conquests and gift basket policy is incredibly inspiring). as i already said to darren, that was an unnecessary comment i instantly regretted. again, sorry for getting so far off topic and taking it to an unnecessary personal level. funny thing is, i don’t have kids as i have a hard enough time taking care of myself.

              • JMK

                No harm, no foul. I think reasonable people can disagree on things, even here.

                • fat jeter

                  cool and agreed.

        • I’m One

          I generally agree, but not sure Selig has done “significantly” more damage than A-Rod. If the reports that A-Rod recruited or steered players towards Biogenesis, then he may have done significant damage to the sport. I do agree, however, that Selig and MLB turned a blind eye toward PEDs in the game for a long period of time, and that may be the legacy Selig leaves behind, not the A-Rod suspension.

        • http://www.retire21.org first name only male – Retire 21

          “(A-Rod) fucked himself up (most likely), but that’s about it. He’s just a regular person, no better, no worse.”

          That’s where I disagree. If he it turns out that he was just a serial PED user, then I agree. Somehow I get the feeling that he likely referred other players (Montero? Cervelli?) to Biogenesis and that reports he tried to interfere with the investigation are true.

          What A-Rod reportedly did falls way short of Pete Rose, but also far exceeds Mark McGwire.

        • steves

          A couple of points:

          1) Selig did or didn’t do what the owners (at least the powerful among the owners) told him to do or not do. If Selig didn’t do things the way the owners wanted it done he would have been gone in a NY minute. He was hardly an autonomous decision maker during his years as commisioner.

          2) It’s one thing to be sympathetic to Alex for succumbing to a pervasive PED culture as a young player. To continue to pursue it after his 2009 mea culpa makes him much worse of a guy than those who never did PED’s or those who stopped doing it once MLB started its crackdown. Also, there is nothing about Alex that makes him a “regular” person; he’s a once in a generation athletic talent, richer than an oligarch who has been coddled since junior high school.

    • jayd

      I ‘m with you Darren. And with Needles later on. Was reading yesterday about how Biogenesis is one Balco type clinic in one state and how the country has hundreds of these things across all the states. None of these guys seems to have tested positive so it is only the investigators who have turned the case here — not the MLB testing procedures.

      So how do they plan on catching Big Pappi? And how well does MLB think they have this under control? Seems to me AROD’s great crime is to have been associated with this slime ball who tried to blackmail him. Until they solve the problem I don’t think AROD needs to volunteer to become Bud Selig’s official whipping boy. That a**hole, by the way, is the real dog in all of this IMHO.

      Pardon me if I don’t sign up for the purity of the game and all that other crap I see being spouted off here.

    • OldYanksFan

      Between the Mitchel support, those already caught, and those ‘highly suspected’ (Bonds and Sosa weren’t caught), we probably have 150 names.

      My guess is that if we go back to 1980, that list is over ONE THOUSAND. Canseco said he thought at least 50% of players (of his generation) were using… and much of what he has said has proven true.

      I won’t even talk about what Mantle, Mays and Aaron would have done without Greenies.

      So lets say they publish a List of over 1000, over the last 30 years. ARod is on the list. And over 1,000 others. Are all those HOFers on the list out? Do we erase their stats? Take their baseball cards out of circulation? Are they all pariahs? Are they all now shitheads in our eyes?

      Are they worse than all those who have beaten women… or driven drunk… or hated Blacks… or were shitty parents?

      Mind you, what ARod did was very WRONG, and he looks to be a worse offender than most. But he has been singled out far more than anyone else sans Bonds.

      Will Cruz, Peralta and all the others be booed?
      Will they be considered pariahs?
      Will they be hated by their teammates?

      No… they won’t be.

      ARod was wrong, and he should be and will be punished.
      But we need to cut out the mob mentality and understand he IS Buds scapegoat. He is Buds answer, when he retires next year, that he ‘cleaned up’ the game (HA!). Let’s remember that most of these 12 did not fail a drug test, and many players (not 50% certainly, but still plenty) are still using.

      Let’s remember that both Bud and the MLBPA fought testing and REAL punishments for years.

      Let’s remember that my beloved institution of Baseball is still just a game.

      Let’s save some of our moral indignation for Politicians who are fucking MILLIONS of Americans every day and Corporations that are stealing BILLIONS in Tax dollars every year.

      ARod is a professional Baseball player who broke the rules.
      ARod was wrong, and he should be and will be punished.

      ARod is a sad, insecure little boy in many ways.
      He hurt himself far more than he hurt any of us.

      So let’s keep it in perspective.

      • JMK

        Well stated, OldYanksFan.

        I’m likely in the minority here, but I think of A-Rod as more a tragic figure than anything. I dare say I have some degree of sympathy for him. That doesn’t mean his actions (and alleged cheating) are justifiable.

        To me, it seems he understands baseball innately but just cannot navigate life’s waters. It bleeds over into baseball and when combined with his desire to be the greatest baseball player who ever lived, forms a toxicity. I don’t think he has the ability to truly understand people and that’s his real undoing.

        • I’m not the droids you’re looking for…

          +10000

    • I’m not the droids you’re looking for…

      Darren I’m so happy you posted this, and for the ensuing thread it inspired. Most of this is exactly what I’ve been saying in comments here in recent days, often feeling like I’m beating my head against the wall with the simpleton reductivist idiot children around here.

      Thank you again.

  • Eddard

    I’m sorry but this is wrong. A diminished A-Rod is an improvement over what they had but the bottom line is that the Yankees will not win another game started by CC Sabathia, Phil Hughes, or Andy Pettitte for the rest of the season. How do you expect them to make the playoffs when they only have a chance to win 2 out of every 5 games? And you’ll notice that Nova and Kuroda essentially have to pitch shutouts just to get a ND. They may win tonight because Hiroki is on the mound, but it’s against Sale. They will not win tomorrow because CC will give up 5+ runs and that’s the ballgame right there, even with A-Rod.

    • Mickey Scheister

      …the Yankees will not win another game started by CC Sabathia, Phil Hughes, or Andy Pettitte for the rest of the season

      You sir suffer from diarrhea of the keyboard. Hyperbole much?

      • JMK

        That’s his schtick.

    • Oy

      The last time Andy pitched a bad game was on July 19th. 6.1 ip, 4 er. Besides that, Andy has a respectful 3.89 FIP 3.94 xFIP and 4.14 SIERA, for a back end starter. Let’s not act like he’s been terrible.

      • Need Pitching & Hitting (but mostly hitting)

        He’s had a 5.32 ERA and .801 OPS against since returning from the DL.
        That’s the kind of performance that gets the Yankees to pay you to pitch for Pittsburg.

        • Eddard

          Yeah, we can cherry pick stats all day. You might as well just say, well he’s good in all the starts he’s been good in and let’s just forget about all those bad starts.

          I saw people trying to use the same thing with Hughes. Phil Hughes is brilliant, he goes 7 innings and only gives up 2 runs in all his good starts! But what about the bad ones? Exactly.

          Now, Andy isn’t a bad 5th starter for a 41 year old on his last legs. At least he has an excuse for being mediocre. CC and Hughes have no excuse. If CC and Hughes were decent, Andy’s troubles wouldn’t be as noticeable.

          • JMK

            I saw people trying to use the same thing with Hughes. Phil Hughes is brilliant, he goes 7 innings and only gives up 2 runs in all his good starts! But what about the bad ones? Exactly.

            What? Pretty much everyone not related to Phil Hughes agrees he’s hot and cold, and those bad starts are factored in.

  • Paco Dooley

    What’s the likelihood that Youk will return at some point and potentially help out the situation at the infield corners? I know that there is a good likelihood that he is done for the season, but he says he will be coming back??

    • trr

      Talk is cheap. He’s done, probably for good

      • JMK

        Yeah, Youk is most likely dead on arrival.

  • RetroRob

    Seeing A-Rod on the field last night was a reminder of how boring this team was before his return. He was the most intersting man in the world.

    Hopefully there is something left in the bat.

    • fat jeter

      knowing alex, it’s probably a cork

      • Needles

        F that, I hope he’s still on PEDs. What more does he have to lose? Seriously. I could give a shit. Two decades of PEDs and now I’m supposed to think the game is virgin pure?

        Moreover, all this media wailing and we ignore that Aaron and Mays used greenies, cortisone is rampant (trying playing your best under pain), and supplements will never cease.

        • I’m One

          +1.

        • fat jeter

          no one is trying to characterize this game as virgin pure. if anything, this biogenesis investigation is just another big step in hopefully cleaning the game up, with many, many more steps to follow. and considering the fact that alex allegedly took this stuff for several years and never failed a test outside of the preliminary rounds of testing in 03 leads me to believe he’s probably still taking stuff. i think i get what you are getting at and because its alex, his personality and divisiveness overshadows the real information out there in regard to supplements, adderall, greenies, and the like. there is an unnecessary moral element here that I sometimes find myself swept up in it. the nfl consistently uses the phrase “protect the shield” as a way of saying that they’re going to whatever they think is necessary to protect their brand and their game. baseball has the same right to protect their little white batter symbol thing and since 2003 going after PED use and PED users has been the target. to quote mark mcguire baseball isn’t here “to talk about the past”. whats done is done — and frankly, comparing what bonds, mcguire, sosa, alex and the rest have used to the use of greenies isn’t a fair comparison.

        • I’m not the droids you’re looking for…

          +10000

  • trr

    Yes we need him.
    No I don’t like it.
    And…….No, it won’t make any difference in the end.

  • fat jeter

    jury’s out as to whether or not we really NEED him. i get what you’re saying though, Mike, and I definitely appreciate the concept that 75% of what alex was last year would still represent an upgrade as i have been looking for a way to quantify just what he could still bring to the table at this point. i do however disagree with the idea that the distraction is helpful. the more he’s under the microscope, the more this whole team is under the microscope. also i expect a lot more leaked information to get out there as we await the appeal in november and that would mean more off-field stuff that the players, managers, and front office has to address as the team languishes towards the bottom half of baseball. i also resent the fact that through it all, all his mistakes, flaws, lies, denials, and general bullshit alex has put us all through he still has the opportunity to somehow come out looking like a savior and a hero. that’s just a concept i can’t get behind or embrace in any way shape or form.

    • Captain Turbo

      A-Rod has put “us” through nothing other than having to cringe at some of his awkward press appearances. On the other hand most of the ’13 Yankees not named Cano, Kuroda, or Gardner have put us through hell by sucking to one degree or another and making this one of the worst NYY teams in recent memory.

      • fat jeter

        the “us” is a universal us that covers way more than us yankee fans or us RAB posters.

  • Mickey Scheister

    I wouldn’t bet against A-Rod. He’s no stranger to the boo-birds or the hateful signs, or even PED controversy. I would be surprised if he didn’t put up at least a .270/.350/.450 line. His better days are behind him but he has a chip on his shoulder and should be more motivated to prove the haters wrong, and there are a lot of haters right now. Welcome back A-Rod, now hit a homerun please.

    • Wheels

      His better days are also behind him now that he isn’t using PED’s anymore. Presumably.

    • JMK

      While I agree he’s familiar with boos and media hoopla for anything he does, I don’t think a “chip on his shoulder” is going to matter. No one has ever questioned his work ethic or dedication; I think he’d give it his all no matter what the circumstances.

  • Frank

    I’m not sure what’s worse this year:

    1. The team’s lack of success… and issues with age/injury, or

    2. The fact our minor league system got exposed, demonstrating how unimpressive it really is.

    • Needles

      This.

      But the GM also got exposed, and not just to his Mistress, either. See he signed the overpriced, past prime slop AND promised a youth movement. I mean how many more years does he get?

    • YankeeFan

      I asked this in the Minor League Recap thread that was having some issues last night but take Jose Campos for example. He has been pitching 4 to 5 innings per start and has actually been performing well. Now last night, they make him come out of the pen & he implodes. Why oh why would you take him out of his comfort zone AND he’s coming off surgery? I thought with the hire of Gil Patterson we were getting away from the Nardi regime which ended up being a total bust after so much praise was given.

      They just have to make these kids pitch. Look at Nova. He was a workhorse in the minors, he came up, took his lumps, went back down and improved his breaking stuff both times he was sent down. Now he is a legitimate #3 guy for the present and the future with his capability to not only get groundballs but to get strike outs now. Last 243.1IP, he has 227Ks, compared to his first 207.1IP with only 124Ks.

      • JMK

        You’re probably reading way too much into one game.

  • Bavarian Yankee

    the way this season is going I won’t have a problem to root against him all year. He’ll probably hit the DL anyway like all the other guys that returned for a few days before him.

  • Vern Sneaker

    Hey, an upgrade’s an upgrade, why not? Assuming, of course, he turns out to be an upgrade. Hard to imagine he won’t be if he stays healthy.
    There’s always the odd miracle month of .750 baseball to get us to the playoffs, you never know! (Lol)

  • Aaarod

    This season has totally sucked

  • Needles

    Mixed bag here, but A-Rod is actually sympathetic to me now. Bud Selig, who presided over the worst period of cheating the game has ever seen, has decided to get tough on exactly one player – the same player that is far from universally loved. No one else got this treatment, and some have been welcomed back with open arms (e.g., McGwire). Had A-Rod gotten 50 games, we all would have shrugged.

    Otherwise, in line with the distraction bit, I’m very surprised a few stories haven’t gotten more airtime – here and elsewhere:

    1. How about Quintana? He went from scrap heap pickup to above average starter in three years. He could wind up as the best pitcher to come from the Yankee farm in Cashman’s 15 years. Isn’t that something? He’s already better than all of the Big Three.

    2. Why aren’t we talking about how Jeter rushed himself back three times? Remember, we got stories in the Spring how he was ready, then he pushed himself, then he re-broke his ankle. Again, we got the same stories prior to his return, then he tweaked his hammy in his first game back. And again, same deal, then the calf. He played all of 4 mL games…

    3. When do we seriously pull apart all of Cashman’s previous quotes on a youth movement, Fire Joe Morgan style? Recall he promised that commitment and where are they now? Not one starting pitcher has been developed and Gardner is the closest to a postion player. Problem is if you count Gardner then you better damn well count Austin Jackson and the 20 WAR he will have rung up over the last 4 years. See I wouldn’t have problem with this austerity approach if the Yankees were using the opportunity to actually develop players. Problem is, they aren’t and nor were they prepared to. That’s the folly that is their current season. They suck and they’ve got nothing in line to improve things and with only older players to continue to sign this is an org going nowhere. If Cashman isn’t accountable, who is?

    • fat jeter

      Your 3 points are pretty spot on. The alex distraction has overshadowed the real issues that continue to pull this team down to the bottom half of all of baseball. There is a real lack of player development, consistency in the front office, and an ability to keep players healthy. Part of me wonders, at least about the Jeter stuff if someone is sending him a message along the lines of “all right, gramps, you say you can play so go out there and wow us”. Jeter was always notorious for playing through pain, refusing to sit or even DH, and ignoring injury. In the past he has gotten the label of “gamer” for this attitude and behavior. I have, at times, considered it a touch selfish especially considering his reduced range and ability in the field. This year, at least, it is just more reckless than anything else.

    • I’m not the droids you’re looking for…

      Plus a billion on your overall thesis. Been saying this for days. Heartily agreed.

      One nitpick on #3 – Nova may turn out to be that SP…

  • Pee Wee Herman Ruth

    The Yankees should have benched Arod last night…We don’t NEED to play a cheater in a lost season.

    • Needles

      Funny, so you bench Pettitte too? Or don’t re-sign him?

      • Pee Wee Herman Ruth

        Andy is different because he admitted to using HGH and there is no evidence that he ever used it again. On the other hand, Arod admitted to using PEDs from 2001-2003 and vowed to never use them again. Indeed, Arod lectured young children about PEDs in 2009.

        Yet, Arod used them again. Accordingly, Pettite and Arod are different at least IMHO.

        • Troll Bait

          I smell you, comrade.

        • gc

          I guess some people will believe anything if it helps them sleep at night.

          When the Mitchell Report came out, in 2007, Andy SAID he used only once in 2002. That was proven to be a lie, however, when he admitted later that he used it another time in 2004.

    • I’m not the droids you’re looking for…

      Sigh. Child really? Don’t be such a sucker, or such a simpleton.

  • The DonSlaught

    “which means fewer questions for CC Sabathia to answer about his awful season.”

    This is really the biggest story, even though it won’t outshine A-Rod.

    Sabathia is absolutely horrid right now and probably has the worst ROI this year of any active player (not hurt or suspended). He won’t get the attention he deserves on this because he is a team guy and I do think he is trying to figure it out, but he really has been unreal bad.

    The fact that Phil Hughes and the Corpse of Andy Pettitte are also in the rotation have softened the blow on him, but no one should be “happy” when CC “makes it” to the 5th inning without having already given up 5-7 runs – that is our reality with this guy right now.

    • JMK

      I’m hoping CC’s year is a Mussina year where his stuff is reduced and it just takes him a bit of time to really figure out a new approach.

      Otherwise, goddamn, this is going to be a shitty few years.

  • Robert

    Nuno,Pineda,Phelps are any of them going to pitch again in 2013 Bronx.

    We cant even afford to dump Hughes if we wanted.

    51 games left 10 per starter,If Kuroda and Nova go 9-1 each and CC,Pettite and Hughes go 15-15 The Yanks win 90 games.

    Neither one of these things are going to happen….

  • Pee Wee Herman Ruth

    I know that CC has always worn a baggy uniform…but has anyone noticed that after literally every pitch this year, CC fixes his pants?

    Did CC always do this and I haven’t noticed?

    His uniform seems even baggier since he lost a ton of weight. Could CC’s baggy uniform cause him to lose focus before the next pitch, and therefore, be part of his problem?

    • trr

      (not sure if serious…)

      • Pee Wee Herman Ruth

        Half serious. But, watch CC’s next start and notice that he adjusts his pant leg after every pitch.

        • trr

          dammit, now that you put it in my head I will be!

        • Vern Sneaker

          But seriously . . . no way you get this kind of drop off in velocity over a sustained period unless there’s a big physical problem. He doesn’t seem to be in pain or discomfort, just not as strong as he was. Maybe skip him every other start for a month, see if he starts throwing harder. What’s to lose? Throw Warren in there.

    • Summer of George

      Not since those 2 games in ’94 when the Yankee’s switched to cotton has a uniform hindered a pro-athlete’s performance in such a negative way. (using sarcasm font)

    • OldYanksFan

      Could he have crabs?

      • fat jeter

        did he get jeter’s sloppy seconds — wait that’s herpes

  • The Lime

    I agree Mike – the Yankees aren’t making it to the postseason, but A-Rod increases their chances.

    My initial reaction to his suspension as a Yankees fan, combined with his appeal was “excellent” – money off the books, however, an upgrade to perhaps squeeze into the 2013 post season.

    The more I think about it, A-Rod should be getting 50 games. If the evidence truly does suggest that he deserves more, which anecdotally seems possible based on A-Rod’s attempt to be bought out, I could easily be convinced that he deserves a harsher punishment, but from what little has been released, why isn’t he be treated as a first time offender?

    This just seems like a huge violation of a player’s rights, even if that player is a douche. Despite the adverse effect on the Yankees’ future, I hope A-Rod beats Selig in arbitration.

  • The Lime

    I agree Mike – the Yankees aren’t making it to the postseason, but A-Rod increases their chances.

    My initial reaction to his suspension as a Yankees fan, combined with his appeal was “excellent” – money off the books, however, an upgrade to perhaps squeeze into the 2013 post season.

    The more I think about it, A-Rod should be getting 50 games. If the evidence truly does suggest that he deserves more, which anecdotally seems possible based on A-Rod’s attempt to be bought out, I could easily be convinced that he deserves a harsher punishment, but from what little has been released, why isn’t he being treated as a first time offender?

    This just seems like a huge violation of a player’s rights, even if that player is a douche. Despite the adverse effect on the Yankees’ future, I hope A-Rod beats Selig in arbitration.

  • Caballo Sin Nombre

    The Baseball Season is over as far as I am concerned. Now we are in the Alex Season. I no longer care if the Yankees make the playoffs. It’s now all about ARod and whether/when he serves his suspension, whether it is too long or just right, whether Selig/MLB was straight or slimy, etc. Next year, it will be the $189M Season. I’ve set my iPhone to ping me in 2015.

    • Mandy Stankiewicz

      Thanks for the heads-up, superfan!

      • Caballo Sin Nombre

        And thank you for sharing your… opinion?… thoughts?… knowledge? Actually I’m not sure what you just shared.

  • gc

    Major League Baseball is a joke. From now on, I’m only following the PURE leagues, like the NFL and NBA.
    :-)

  • Grover

    Five games back with two months to go should dictate a blockbuster deal with Gardner, Nova, Nunez and Romine on the table. This is also the perfect scenario where the farm system is used to bring in those aging stars for one last chance to help the Yanks win another ring. This practice dates back before most of us were born and I’m an old fart. Finally, use the power of money. Take on somebody’s overpaid expiring crap to lower the cost of the primary target. There is a added bonus this year of where the Yanks sit in the standings and the inability of those teams above to block anything. Get a move on Cashman. Ownership owes Selig and don’t be surprised if the $189M went out the window yesterday.

    • JMK

      Nunez and Romine hold little value. Nova doesn’t hold enough trade value to bring back what he might give you. And Gardner is our only reliable position player under 30. I’ll pass on your suggestion that we part with him. This team isn’t a playoff team and it’s probably too late in the season to do much about it. Mortgaging even a mediocre future would be foolish.

  • Duh Injuries

    By activating A-Rod instead of telling him the only thing he’s gonna do in Chicago is anything but play for the Yankees, the Yankees have sent a loud and clear message to not only baseball fans but to children including aspiring future MLB players that they want a just suspended steroids cheat playing for them and shame on them for activating him when they could’ve put him on the 60-day disabled list which would’ve then moved his suspension through Game 49 of 2015 (162 games in 2014 + 49 games in 2015 = 211 games total) if you can’t serve a PED suspension while on the disabled list. Not only do they look desperate, they look uncaring. Ownership is a disgrace and I am strongly considering boycotting the Yankees and baseball next year out of protest even if it means I miss out on the Yankees winning the World Series which I doubt they’d do next year even with a revamped offense as look at what 245 homeruns got them last year: a THIRD embarrassing postseason defeat against their new masters the Detroit Tigers.

    You, Mike Axisa, have made it loud and clear that you want a steroids cheat to help the Yankees make the postseason and perhaps win the World Series even though if they did win it all, it would be with an asterisk (*), especially if A-Rod drives in a run in a one-run World Series Game 7 win, I don’t give a fuck what run he drives in. If it’s a solo homerun, oh please, TAINTED FOREVER. Shame on you. It’s not cool, funny, or good that A-Rod is playing again, it’s embarassing, sad, and pathetic like A-Rod and the Yankees.

    So what A-Rod could be better than what what the Yanks have brought out there? The bottom line is it will be only perfumed shit, which is what his production is. Seriously, the Yanks have 51 games left to play. How many homeruns do you expect him to hit from hereonin? I doubt he reaches four homeruns. David Adams and Nix couldn’t smack a pair of homeruns apiece from hereonin? I know they’ll provide better defense and more baserunning speed than A-Rod. Nix will certainly be more of a basestealing threat than A-Rod (11 stolen bases without being caught.) What does A-Rod have to offer besides homeruns? I ask that question about the other all homeruns or nothing Granderson, too, Nice he hit a two-run homerun in a 3-0 win the other night, but that win was really from pitching. I want both of them (A-Rod and Granderson) outta here after this season (in A-Rod’s case ASAP after his suspension.)

    • Pee Wee Herman Ruth

      I agree with your overall premise…. however, “if A-Rod drives in a run in a one-run World Series Game 7 win,” I *may* have to cheer.

      • monterowasdinero

        And if, by some huge miracle, that were to happen, does the championship get nullified after ARod loses his appeal?

        Probably.

        Sad all around….

        • Pee Wee Herman Ruth

          Fortunately (or unfortunately) we wont have to resolve that dilemma.

    • Captain Turbo

      Quit being a drama queen.

    • OldYanksFan

      “I am strongly considering boycotting the Yankees and baseball next year out of protest…”

      Does this mean you will boycott this site also? (Oh NOs!!!!)

    • Robert

      You can serve a suspension on the DL.You get paid on the DL,If your suspended you dont get paid DL Or no DL.

    • http://www.penuel-law.com/ Cuso

      What’s all this talk of heroin helping you hit homers?

      Perfumed shit….I just threw up in my mouth.

    • Captain

      the Yankees have sent a loud and clear message to not only baseball fans but to children including aspiring future MLB players that they want a just suspended steroids cheat playing for them

      they did that already when they resigned Pettitte more than once.

      • thenamestsam

        If it has been said once it has been said 100 times, but if somebody’s kids are taking any message from MLB other than “Some people are really, really good at baseball and it can be fun to watch them play” that’s on them as a parent. Baseball players are just people. Some of them lie and cut corners to get ahead and lie some more to cover their asses and they cheat on their wives and get drunk and drive and every other manner of despicable thing. Just like some accountants do those things and some construction workers and some doctors.

    • I’m not the droids you’re looking for…

      Don’t be such a simpleton reductivist idiotic holier than thou child.

  • ialien

    They say you should be careful what you wish for, you might get it. ARod got his wish, which was to return to the yankees & play with them. You heard it in his presser, his joy to be back.

    but now, especially with Jeter out, Arod is going to be responsible for what this team does these next few weeks. If Arod delivers, & the team begins a run, it will wash away his sins.

    But more likely, he will be average. He will not be the spark the team needs. & with the brutal schedule coming up, & 3 starters flummoxed about their performace, the deck is stacked against the yankees.

    & if the yankees are under 500 at the end of august when jeter comes back, people will blame Arod. Thats what happens when your the star.

    • JMK

      Those who loathe A-Rod will not forgive him, even if he goes .400/.500/.700 for the remainder of the season and drags them into the playoffs on his back.

  • mick taylor

    there was astory today how west german national soccer team players were doped for years including the 1966 world cup final which they almost won. the hallowed steelers of the 1970s who won 4 championships were the first team to have numerous key players on steroids. this gave them a huge advantage over most other teams who were not as much using steroids and is why they won those championships. does anyone in the media question terry bradshaw. manny ramirez and david ortiz were on steroids when the red sox won in 2004 and 2007 . without their contributions those teamd would not have won. does that mean those championships are tainted and the curse of the bambino lives/

  • Captain Turbo

    This is actually the first time all year I’m excited to watch the team play. I just wish Jeter could stay healthy.

    • OldYanksFan

      REALLY! ARod’s ABs were about the only exciting part of the game.

  • http://www.penuel-law.com/ Cuso

    I am so humbled to be able to comment on this site once again.

    I thank God that I was given another chance to post comments on the site I love.

    • http://www.penuel-law.com/ Cuso

      I am so humbled to have been able to order pasta primavera again.

      I thank God I was given another chance to eat the dish I love.

    • http://www.retire21.org first name only male – Retire 21

      BOOOOOO!!!!!!!

      BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • http://www.penuel-law.com/ Cuso

        I love the fans of Chicago. They’re really passionate. I just thank God I was given another chance to play in front of them. I’m so humbled.

  • JLC 776

    My faith in this season is pretty shaken at this point, so my focus is now squarely on Mo. Anything that distracts from his final year needs to be eliminated.

    • Betty Lizard

      Oh well. Of course I love Mariano Rivera. I’m happy he got to pitch this year, thrilled he’s doing well and will be sad when he retires.

      But I am already tired of the “Farewell Tour” (the All Star game being the exception: that was a perfect tribute).

      My focus is not on Mo. Or on Derek. Or on Andy. Or on Alex. My focus is on the team and on the game of baseball and watching it begin played–well or poorly–by my team.

  • The Real Greg

    Feels like I’m beating a dead horse, but there it is. Cashman hires the staff to draft and develop and they have failed miserably at their jobs. They need to cleaned out and we need a new outlook in this organization.

  • FLYER7

    Last night’s game had a very 1979 post-Munson death feeling…just couldnt find Bruce Robinson, Paul Mirabella, Paul Blair, Don Hood, Dennis Werth anywhere in the dugout?

  • Kiko Jones

    As an A-Rod supporter, I’m saddened by last night’s press conference indirectly confirming his continued PED use by way of not denying it. His deflection of that particular question and his continued talk about “the process” leads me to think his legal team is hoping the Feds’ interest in Tony Bosch will remove Bosch’s evidence and testimony from MLB’s case and thus destroying their case against A-Rod. Sad.

    I still hope Selig gets tarred for his willful ignorance of PED use and his pious hypocrisy in the midst of rampant MLB coffer overflow.

    • Manny’s BanWagon

      Please explain how Selig is a “hypocrite” for enforcing the PED policy???

      Selig and all of MLB including the owners, front office, managers, GMs, players, media and the MLBPA all screwed up royally by looking the other way for 10+ years. That much is indisputable.
      Now, however, there is an official policy in place that’s in the CBA banning PEDs. It would be hypocritical for Selig NOT to go to the mat punishing these players.

      This meme that Selig is a hypocrite for enforcing the PED ban is not only incorrect, it’s just plain ludicrous.

      • I’m not the droids you’re looking for…

        It’s neither a meme nor ludicrous you simpleton.

        If all Selig was doing now was enforcing the new policy, fine. But he’s not. He’s being an over zealous sanctimonious prick who obviously has a hard on for ARod. How you can not see this (did you even bother to read the full text of his official statement?) is beyond me. Ludicrous in fact. How you fail to see the hypocrisy in all his words and deeds is similarly ludicrous.

        • Manny’s BanWagon

          Nice of you stooping to name calling but I guess when your argument is an inane as your’s, that’s about all there is left to do.

          Selig is punishing Arod more harshly because what he did was far worse than the rest of the PED users. Simple concept to grasp.

          Look up the definition of hypocrisy and consult an English professor to explain the meaning since it’s obviously far beyond your level.

          • Selig is a self serving sanctimonious hypocrite (formerly not the droids you’re looking for…)

            I’m calling you names because if the shoe fits….

            I’ll stack my degrees and English language comprehension against yours any day child.

            Selig is a hypocrite. Full stop. I am done trying to explain it to you. See the world through whatever bizarro filter you like.

            And good riddance.

            • Manny’s BanWagon

              MBW: ” Selig isn’t a hypocrite for enforcing a drug policy he said he would enforce as contained in the CBA

              not the droids you’re looking for AKA the No Donkey: he is a hypocrite, repeat ad nauseum until you’re convinced it’s true.

              http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fqs9DYisSsg

      • Kiko Jones

        “Please explain how Selig is a “hypocrite” for enforcing the PED policy???”

        In addition to the points made by Droids, as you acknowledge, Selig—plus the media, teams, MLBPA—”screwed up royally by looking the other way for 10+ years.” This isn’t a situation where Selig was unaware of PED use and was caught off guard. No. He purposely chose not to go after PED use b/c it was financially convenient to do nothing at a time when MLB was recovering from the financial beating it took after alienating fans with the ’94 strike. Once the tide turned, he went legacy shopping and now that it’s convenient for him, he’s decided to making a lasting mark on PED use by attempting to single out and make an example of a very likely guilty but heavily unliked player, the latter insuring Selig won’t be questioned much about his zeal or hypocrisy.

        To sum up: to put aside doing the right thing when inconvenient, and only change course when convenient, while puffing your chest when doing so, is the definition of hypocrisy.

        • Selig is a self serving sanctimonious hypocrite (formerly not the droids you’re looking for…)

          Thank you Kiko.

          • Kiko Jones

            Don’t mention it…um, what do we call you now? Ha!

        • Manny’s BanWagon

          Nice little narrative you created there even if there isn’t much if any truth to it.

    • OldYanksFan

      He is NOT appealing because he didn’t use PEDs (He did). He’s appealing because his punishment (211 games) is out of line with the CBA and what other offenders have gotten.

      • I’m not the droids you’re looking for…

        And this is why the suspension will be dramatically reduced. My bet is to 150 games total with an outside shot at 100.

        If what Mike posted yesterday was true (50 games for PED use, 162 games for obstruction) then Selig faces a major problem in arbitration. And ARod has the full weight and support of the union behind him on that particular point.

        Melky got zero games for his website shenanigans. Zero. Obviously what ARod is accused of is presumably worse, maybe even much worse. However, the zero precedent is there. If they’d given Melky even a token say 5 or 10 games for obstruction on top of his 50 for PED use then it’d be a different story. But they didn’t.

        • Manny’s BanWagon

          By definition a precedent has to be created at some point. This is it. He lied, blocked the investigation and recruited other players to Biogenesis. Melky reportedly used PEDS for a year. There’s evidence ARod used 2009-2012.

          He’ll play the next 20-25 games before the arbiter rules and then be suspended for the last 20+ games of this season and all of next.

  • OldYanksFan

    How much additional power is attributed to Steroids?
    http://steroids-and-baseball.c.....oidEra.jpg

    How many people have seen this:
    http://steroids-and-baseball.com/

    The considerable energy . . . transferred to the bat . . . is generated largely by the large muscles of the thighs and torso. The arms and hands serve mainly to transfer the energy of the body’s rotational and transverse motions to the bat and add little extra energy to the bat. In particular, the contribution of the hands and wrists to the energy of the bat is almost negligible.

    Steroids have a markedly greater effect on upper-body strength than on lower-body strength. Batting is almost exclusively powered by lower-body strength. Beefcake doesn’t drive long balls.

  • Jim Cavanaugh

    Like a few others have said here, Alex can come back and drive up TV ratings and bring all the drama he wants and what have you; But it’s not going to make a difference. This team is not going to make the playoffs. Sadly, we all knew at the end of last season this team had holes & A-rod was merely an after thought. We needed to add an outfielder (Ichiro at two years was not the answer) a corner infielder (Youk, please … no comment) and a catcher (not addressed at all !) and all of Cashman’s solutions were clear failures. The reason we are missing the playoffs is cause of Brain Cashman, plain and simple. Like another reader here said, we can’t even produce a useful minor leaguer … Not for the outfield or the infield. This is why we the team is in the state it’s in. It has nothing to do with Alex. This is why the final season of Mariano in pinstripes, the greatest post season weapon ever, will be ending in a postseason-less year.

    • Kiko Jones

      So on point, Mr, C. It’s not even funny. Damn.

  • Freeze130

    To me the media is fueling the guilty till proven headlines. I do not believe A-Rod is a saint but I believe in due process. I support him in his appeal. He should go down swinging. We don’t know the evidence against him. I take the position that MLB is using him their poster boy. And what the Yanks are doing is also unseemly, no one put a gun to Hank’s head to sign that contact. Two parties knowingly signed a contract, and that is a legal matter. It reflects poorly on the Yanks that they are bad mouthing A-Rod because they regret the contract they inked.