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So why was A-Rod kept out of the All-Star Game last night?

Jul 14, 2010, 2:14 PM EDT

One of the biggest talking points after last night’s All-Star Game was the fact that Joe Girardi did not use Alex Rodriguez. Most notably, that he did not use him to pinch run for David Ortiz, who wound up getting thrown out at second base on a single to the outfield. 

I’ve heard two retorts to this: (1) Girardi was protecting A-Rod’s wonky hip or something and didn’t want him to get hurt on the basepaths in a (mostly) meaningless game; and (2) Since Ortiz didn’t represent the go-ahead or even the tying run, better to save your pinch runner for later.

Taking the second one first: huh?  In that situation all runs up to and including the winning run were critical. If Ortiz is thrown out someplace (which he was), it would dramatically reduce the chances of the tying or go-ahead runs scoring.  Given that there was no player on the American League team more in need of a pinch runner than Ortiz, you have to sub someone in for him.  Maybe not A-Rod — the better bet would have been to save Elvis Andrus or someone for pinch running purposes — but someone, and A-Rod was the only one left.

I’m more prepared to buy the A-Rod’s health thing, but Brian Cashman just took a good chunk out of that argument:

Cashman said that while he had not yet spoken to Joe Girardi today,
he believes that Alex Rodriguez is healthy and that there was no injury
situation that would have kept him out of last night’s All-Star Game.
There were reports that Rodriguez had a sore thumb, but Cashman said
there was “nothing that I know of beyond the daily maintenance stuff.”

Cashman added, “Was he available (to play)? Yes he was.”

Maybe Cashman doesn’t have the best information here — Girardi was in the clubhouse with A-Rod after all — and maybe he’s simply not being 100% honest (why let the opposition know if A-Rod is a little banged up?), but the health explanation still isn’t washing with me.

  1. Ditto65 - Jul 14, 2010 at 2:32 PM

    Perhaps Joe is planning a sweep in the World Series this year and wanted to celebrate at home.
    Stay Classy, HBT.

  2. Jonny5 - Jul 14, 2010 at 2:32 PM

    Or Craig, Joe G. thought it would be humorous to watch Ortiz get thrown out??? or, who would you rather get an injury sliding into the base if you’re Joe?

  3. Saintblitzkrieg - Jul 14, 2010 at 2:46 PM

    Um this is simple… why would you want to endanger your biggest investment in something that at the end of the day (yes I know it means home field in the series) means nothing.
    Look at the big picture… making him run and things of that nature dont outweigh the price tag he has.

  4. jkorn1818 - Jul 14, 2010 at 2:49 PM

    Arod pinch running would have been embarrassing. Keeping him on the bench till the 9th, only to run? That would be horrible. Better off he didnt play than to do that. Not to mention Ortiz is slow, yes, but hes a major leaguer, how can he not see that ball dropping in? give me a break.

  5. Md23Rewls - Jul 14, 2010 at 3:02 PM

    I don’t wonder about the pinch running (you are correct, Andrus should have been held back for that, rather than given one wasted AB in the middle of the game). I wonder why Girardi didn’t pinch hit for either Beltre or Kinsler. I understand that Beltre is having a great year, but if you’re not saving Alex Rodriguez to hit in that situation (representing the tying run in the ninth), then you’re not saving him for anything. And you wouldn’t have to worry about moving positions or anything, as they both play third. Even if you let Beltre hit, you have to hit Rodriguez for Kinsler, right? Worry about how you align your infield afterward. There were two outs.

  6. RickyB - Jul 14, 2010 at 3:25 PM

    The mistake he made was using his “utility” guy (Wigginton) to replace Longoria at third in the middle innings. He should have put A-Rod or Beltre in and held Wigginton until later. Girardi had three third basemen on the roster, yet he chose to put Wigginton in at third. Now Wiggy isn’t exactly a speedster, but the only people on the planet who aren’t speedsters in comparison to Ortiz are the Molina troika. Then Swisher wouldn’t have been used up in the seventh to hit for Wiggy either, giving Girardi a switch-hitter in the final innings if needed. The decision to put Wigginton in the game was the first domino to start the bad managing. Also, after getting Hughes up to pitch in the fifth and not bringing him in, Girardi should not have had him get loose a second time and pitch the seventh. I know he relieved last year and may have done that on a semi-regular basis, but you don’t do that to a starting pitcher in an All-Star Game.

  7. bblair - Jul 14, 2010 at 3:38 PM

    Great, A-Rod didn’t get in for whatever reason. The game wasn’t lost because of that. It was lost because of bad baserunning. Why didn’t David Ortiz didn’t react better to the ball, and realize it was going to fall in for a base hit? Watch the video, he starts going back to first when it’s obvious that Byrd is playing the ball on a hop. He’s not going to double him off of 1st if he has to slide or dive. Maybe Girardi pinch hits for Beltre if there are 2 on instead, nobody knows.

  8. Md23Rewls - Jul 14, 2010 at 4:10 PM

    Sometimes guys just don’t get good reads on balls off the bat. Plus, if you’re Ortiz, you can’t stand as far in the middle as some guys on that kind of hit, because you’re slow and have to be able to get back to first if it’s caught. Imagine if the ball had been caught and he had gotten doubled off at first because he was in no-man’s land. Then we’d all REALLY be riding him, lol. So he had to stay at least somewhat close to first. It’s too bad that he didn’t have a better read on it, though, ya.
    Why would you pinch-hit for Beltre with two guys on, but not with one guy on? It wasn’t even possible in this case, as Beltre was the second batter up.

  9. Baseball1 - Jul 14, 2010 at 4:36 PM

    The game was lost by Phil Hughes’ bad pitching, not by bad base running. Note that the other pitchers, both AL & NL did great. And Joe Girardi is the first AL manager in 14 All Star games to blow it. A-Rod should have been in there.

  10. bblair - Jul 15, 2010 at 11:19 AM

    Actually Matt Thornton gave up the 3 run double not Hughes. He got the loss, but Thornton didn’t get the job done there. What does the fact that the other pitchers, both NL and AL did great have anything to do with Hughes’ performance?

  11. bblair - Jul 15, 2010 at 11:26 AM

    Of course sometimes guys don’t get good reads off or pop-ups, that’s the point. You get better reads on balls by being in those situations. Like I said, if Byrd catches that ball, he more than likely has to slide or dive, giving Papi enough chance to get back to first. He actually starts back to first before the ball drops, assuming it’s going to be caught. Fact is, he’s just not a good baserunner and should share in the blame for the loss.
    Maybe you pinch hit for Beltre with 2 guys on because A-Rod has a better chance of popping one out there. I’m sure you’ll all continue to find creative ways to fault Yankees for the AL loss.

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