A-Rod Controversy

Alex Rodriguez has received a lot of heat from Yankees fans and the media.  I wanted nothing more than to see A-Rod Succeed during his time here with the Yankees, but anyone who has seen him play understand why he isn’t working out with this team.  He hit over 30 home runs and 100 runs batted in, but most were not during clutch situations.  During critical moments throughout this season, he has struck out, hit into a double play or failed to contribute significantly when it counted.  On the other hand, Derek Jeter consistently reached base and made contributions with the bad when it counted the most.  As for doing it with the glove, A-Rod had more than 20 errors, which could have been a lot higher had Giambi and other First Basemen not dug a lot of his throws out of the dirt or caught his errant throws and tagged the base runner before they reached First Base.  Derek Jeter consistently made his patented leaping throws to first or made amazing grabs to get vital outs, which should earn him another Gold Glove Award, if not the AL MVP.  He IS the Captain of this team and played like it every day.  I’ver heard the rumors that Jeter didn’t reach out to A-Rod or should have stepped aside…all of which are idiotic at best.  Jeter has been paying his dues for more than a decade and for him to abdicate his position for a player that is way overpaid by any standard should be able to play any infield or outfield position.  A-Rod is good, but got paid $25 Million this season to play $5 Million baseball.  Money isn’t everything, but considering how much improvement could have been made to the pitching rotation with that money AND a decent third baseman who actually knows how to play the position without committing a ton of errors; it is obvious to me that the Yankees made a very poor investment and are drowning in its wake. 

Joe Torre isn’t the problem.  Derek Jeter isn’t the problem.  The problem falls squarely on the GM Brian Cashman and Owner George Steinbrenner.  They gambled on what they perceived as great hitting to beat any teams best pitchers.  During the Regular Season, that formula works.  Unfortunately, the post season is about pitching and keeping the games close or largely in your favor.  The Yankees simply haven’t had that kind of talent (or mindset) since their last championship season in 2000.  Firing Joe Torre only amounts to treating the perceived symptoms of their early exit from post season play, but does nothing to cure the problem that has prevented this team from winning it all lately.  Lou Pinella is adored and respected here, but Joe Torre is Yankee Baseball.  I don’t know if his loss would keep the Yankees from making the playoffs, but am less confident that they will.  Mr. Steinbrenner: do all Yankees fans a favor and assure us that Joe Torre is going to stay and that the lessons learned from this "Sad Failure" don’t go unnoticed this off season. 

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