For the second time in less than a week, Yankees manager, Joe Girardi, benched Alex Rodriguez in a critical playoff game. His replacement, Eric Chavez, went hitless and committed an error at third base.
Everyone’s hating on A-Rod, but the real question is, what is Girardi doing? This is the ALCS. This is the same team that won 95 games, a division championship AND a first round playoff series. Game 3’s lineup featured Chavez (let it be known, his 2012 post-season average is .000), in place of A-Rod, Brett Gardner (31 at-bats all season), in place of Nick Swisher, and Eduardo Nunez, for the injured Derek Jeter. That’s one-third of the regular starters, shaken. To top it off, Curtis Granderson (43 homers, 106 RBI), batted eighth. Yes, the team is stinking up the joint, but playing the backups does not give them a better chance.
The ALCS is not the time for Girardi to be messing with the lineup card. Those guys got him this far; they need to ride it out. A-Rod, despite being in a post-season coma, poses the threat to yoke one out on any pitch, and could have been the difference in a single run defeat. Opposing pitchers ought to write Girardi a “thank you,” for keeping him on the bench. Don’t think Tigers’ fans weren’t relieved to see that, had the Yankees loaded the bases in the ninth, it would have been Swisher in the box, and not Rodriguez.
If Jeter were struggling like A-Rod, would he be taken out of the lineup? Absolutely, positively, and without question, NO. The Bronx would be in chaos over such a move. What about Robinson Cano? He’s 1 for his last 30… Nope, he’s still in there too. The benching isn’t just because of performance, it’s personal. But, because it’s A-Rod, no one cares. In fact, they’re happy.
As for A-Rod, well, he’s occupying the most expensive seat in the house.