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Alex Rodriguez is having the worst season of his career, but Joe Girardi says “he’s due”

Jul 9, 2012, 12:21 PM EDT

Alex Rodriguez, Joe Girardi AP

Alex Rodriguez is having the worst season of his career, finishing the first half hitting .269 with 13 homers, 38 RBIs, and a .436 slugging percentage in 82 games.

Both his batting average and slugging percentage would be career-lows and he’s on pace to finish with an OPS below .800 for the first time in 17 full seasons as a major leaguer. All of which isn’t shocking considering he’s 36 years old and showed major signs of declining last season when he missed 63 games with injuries and had what was at the time the worst season of his career by hitting .276 with 16 homers, 62 RBIs, and a .461 slugging percentage.

His yearly OPS has dropped from 1.067 to .965 to .933 to .847 to .823 to .793 since winning the MVP in 2007 and between the aging and injuries Rodriguez seems unlikely to reverse that pattern. However, manager Joe Girardi has yet to bat him anywhere but third or fourth in the Yankees’ lineup and told Austin Laymance of MLB.com that he believes Rodriguez is going to have a big second half:

He’s due. It is what it is. Sometimes guys don’t get hot in the first half. Sometimes they have torrid second halves. … No one knows what the future holds, but I would say he’s due. Maybe he hasn’t driven in all the runs that we maybe expect, but he’s been on base, he’s hit some home runs and he’s a middle of the order guy.

Rodriguez is certainly capable of getting hot and even as a shell of his former self he’s been an above-average hitter as is, but the Yankees of all teams can do better in the middle of the lineup.

Dating back to 2010, among all hitters with at least 1,000 plate appearances Rodriguez ranks 84th in batting average, 56th in on-base percentage, 42nd in slugging percentage, and 46th in OPS. At this point he’s merely a good, solid hitter with occasional power … except he’s batting third or cleanup for the team with MLB’s best record and is still owed $114 million from 2013-2017.

  1. heyblueyoustink - Jul 9, 2012 at 12:27 PM

    Don’t worry Alex, a quick needle to the ass will fix everything.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jul 9, 2012 at 12:31 PM

      How original

      • heyblueyoustink - Jul 9, 2012 at 12:40 PM

        Gee Church, didn’t mean to piss in your Krusty-O’s.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jul 9, 2012 at 1:02 PM

        Why not come up with something original for once? Or is this another bad joke that you are going to blame on us being unable to pick up some sarcasm?

      • heyblueyoustink - Jul 9, 2012 at 1:15 PM

        I’m sorry overlord, maybe i’ll try harder next time.

        Maybe you could try to be a little less of a dry, critical, crumudgeon, yourself.

      • kopy - Jul 9, 2012 at 1:52 PM

        If this card is going to be played, it might as well be played on a player who has admitted to using steroids in his prime. Dead horse or not, it’s always worth mentioning when we talk about Rodriguez not aging in the most graceful of ways.

      • mrwillie - Jul 9, 2012 at 2:32 PM

        So you’re saying we should ignore the truth just because it isn’t original? See that’s the whole point in the truth…it stays the same….year after year after year, it never changes.

        So you see A-Rod is a cheater, along with MANY others, but the fact remains- he used steroids. Sorry if that isn’t original.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jul 9, 2012 at 2:59 PM

        Yes I know he used steroids, but the joke that he needs them to perform well infers that he wasn’t any good without them. In which case I’d ask how you can explain his ’07 performance? Or ’05 performance?

        Also, it’s not funny when the punchline is essentially “lawl steroids”. Come up with something better, or something that hasn’t been said thousands of times before.

      • mrwillie - Jul 9, 2012 at 3:34 PM

        No, A-Rod inferred he wasn’t good enough without them. He was the highest paid, and arguably the best player out there. But that wasn’t enough for him, he need to cheat. He’s far from alone in that aspect, but he gets the distinction of getting paid the most.

        Well people got paid a lot less than him, and they didn’t need to stick a needle in their ass.

        He’s not alone and it’s not original, but he’s stuck with it. He cheated….even though he was “the best”. And cheaters have been catching hell since they were old enough to step on a playground. This isn’t anything new, now he has to deal with it. Original or not.

      • heyblueyoustink - Jul 9, 2012 at 3:39 PM

        The point, Church, is that steroids have proven in instances to break the body down. Is there a chance that premature break down of his muscle reactivity abilities and neuroligical hand/eye reaction speed?

        You bet, and it’s worth noting.

        And 2007 is five years ago, which is a very long time in a baseball lifetime.

        As far as the shot in the ass thing goes, he deserves a little ridicule. What makes him so different than anyone else who juiced that he doesn’t deserve a little mean spirited commentary from time to time. They earned it, just like they earned their millions. And if his body is breaking down from it, he’s earned that too.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jul 9, 2012 at 4:00 PM

        As far as the shot in the ass thing goes, he deserves a little ridicule.

        Of course he deserves a little ridicule [but channeling Matthew Modine from And the Band Played On] how much is enough? A 100 comments? A 1000? If this site had tags, I can almost bet that 99% of the stories involving Arod for the past three years have some genius making a steroid comment on them (or like the Reggie one, an Afraud/Ahole/Gay slur comment on them).

        The reason I said be original isn’t because you choose to make a joke about using steroids. It’s that every article on Arod involves someone making that joke. It’s the same as when Craig posts a frivolous lawsuit story and someone brings up the McDonald’s woman.

        The horse has been beaten ten times over, give it a rest.

    • mattyflex - Jul 9, 2012 at 12:39 PM

      Why dont you just write “first!” next time?

      • heyblueyoustink - Jul 9, 2012 at 1:15 PM

        Thought about it.

      • purnellmeagrejr - Jul 10, 2012 at 9:01 AM

        I, for one, am tremendously relieved that I willl not be forced to watch what loooked like it was gong to be A ROd’s inevitable asssault on THE Home Run Record. ANd for allll you people wih your unoriginal steroid quotes why don’t you do something reallly clever like complain about the other posters?

    • 18thstreet - Jul 9, 2012 at 12:42 PM

      He just needs some fried chicken and Bud Light.

      Wait, which dead horse am I beating?

      • heyblueyoustink - Jul 9, 2012 at 1:16 PM

        At least you didn’t use anything involving the words “clown” and “bro”.

    • badintent - Jul 10, 2012 at 1:50 AM

      Takes one to know one , Eh ?? That cheap Mex Heroin working for ya ? Better than dropping $1400 a month on HGH

  2. darthicarus - Jul 9, 2012 at 12:28 PM

    Fairly certain this is what Anaheim & Detroit have to look forward to with Pujols & Fielder…I’m so excited for the future in Motown.

    • garylanglais - Jul 9, 2012 at 12:48 PM

      Why stop there?

      Cincy/Votto, Colorado/Tulo, Milwaukee/Braun

      • largebill - Jul 9, 2012 at 12:57 PM

        While the ones you cited got long term deals, they were not as old as A-Rod and Pujols when inking them. It is possible that all of these contracts are albatrosses around the neck of those organizations. However, the contracts reaching into a players late 30’s are almost always going to look awful at tail end.

      • southofheaven81 - Jul 9, 2012 at 1:13 PM

        Every hitter eventually/Everywhere.

      • garylanglais - Jul 9, 2012 at 1:23 PM

        I understand its not an apples to apples comparison since those guys were FA’s and these were extensions but it still fits the premise

        Tulo will be 36 when deal is up
        Braun, 37
        Votto, 40

        Assuming options picked up on the deals

  3. mattyflex - Jul 9, 2012 at 12:34 PM

    Mike Moustakas has a very similar stat line: .268 with 15 home runs, 47 RBIs, .490 SLG and OPS of .819.

    I say this because Mike Moustakas is going to make about $450,000 this season.

    • sasquash20 - Jul 9, 2012 at 3:43 PM

      He is only 23 and should get even better.

  4. sictransitchris - Jul 9, 2012 at 12:39 PM

    BREAKING: Aging ballplayer not as good as he used to be

    • vansloot - Jul 9, 2012 at 1:01 PM

      Most of those aging ball players aren’t owed $114MM.

      • sictransitchris - Jul 9, 2012 at 1:27 PM

        Most of them weren’t worth that much. A-Rod served his time making peanuts while being a great player, now he gets to still be a good player and make his money.

      • umrguy42 - Jul 9, 2012 at 2:31 PM

        “Served his time”? All of five years before being handed a contract worth over a quarter billion dollars, at age 25/26?

  5. js20011041 - Jul 9, 2012 at 12:39 PM

    I realize that Girardi can’t really tell the truth in that situation, that Rodriguez isn’t due, he’s just old, and has the hip of a 76 year old grandmother with osteoporosis. But would it surprise anyone if he actually believes it? Girardi doesn’t strike me as being very bright. I know he has that binder that he’s always referring to, but I’m pretty sure it’s filled with comic books or something. He just seems loathe to think outside the box.

    • yournuts - Jul 9, 2012 at 6:31 PM

      The Yankees are 7 games in front of everybody and Arod hasn’t hit yet. Imagine what it will be like when he starts hitting? Not only does Giradi believe it but all Yankee fans believe it. If you don’t think that Girardi is to bright then what does that make you? An imbecile? Only a true hater or a MORON would say something as STUPID as you. Which are you? My money is on a MORON.

      • js20011041 - Jul 10, 2012 at 8:09 AM

        Well, given both your name and your reading comprehension skills, I’m guessing you’re not much brighter than this moron. Or am I an imbecile? Now, let’s pick apart your name a little bit. Are you calling me nuts? Because if you are, the correct word in that situation is YOU’RE. Now, if you’re talking about my nuts, it’s correct, although that brings up another set of issues entirely.

        Now to my second point, reading comprehension. The whole point of both my post and of Gleeman’s was that A-Rod isn’t due. He isn’t slumping. He’s in decline. His numbers have been in a consistent decline since 2008. This isn’t coming out of nowhere. He’s old and has had injury problems, most notably, his hip. As a Red Sox fan I’m generally inclined to believe that most Yankee fans have no soul, but I doubt they’re really misguided enough to truly believe that MVP level A-Rod is coming back. You, sir are an outlier.

        As for Girardi, he may very well be a bright guy, but it doesn’t come across when watching him manage. This is just a general impression I’ve gotten while watching Yankee games, but just look at this series with the Red Sox. On one occasion he had Soriano warming in the pen with the Yankees up by 5 in the 9th. On another occasion he had Soriano close out the game with a 4 run lead in the 9th. Look, I know pretty much every manager doesn’t use their bullpen in the most optimal manner, but Girardi takes risk aversion and inside the box thinking to the extreme. If you can’t trust the last guy in your pen to close out a game with a 4 or 5 run lead, then why is he even on the roster? In another situation, I can’t remember the exact circumstance, but Girardi was questioned about his bullpen usage his answer was something along the lines of “well, he’s my 8th inning guy.” You almost want to tell him “you know Joe, freedom of thought is generally a good thing.”

    • Kevin S. - Jul 9, 2012 at 6:51 PM

      Joe Girardi graduated with a degree in Mechanical Engineering from Northwestern. You can argue with the moves he makes as a manager all you want, but he’s pretty freaking bright.

    • badintent - Jul 10, 2012 at 1:56 AM

      Joe was a catcher, so he knows the game inside and out.He knows that the Yankees LEAD the MLB with Hrs, so he doesn’t go small ball too often . But you go enjoy your Spiderman movie, it makes your comic books come alive.Like that Youklis doll you’ve been choking, or was it your chicken ?

      • js20011041 - Jul 10, 2012 at 8:25 AM

        How about you go form a rational thought and get back to me.

    • sparky1002 - Jul 10, 2012 at 8:27 AM

      Are you serious?? Girardi has his team 7 games in front of anyone else in the East and he has accomplished that with his best 3 pitchers layed up! Maybe you had best give up trying to understand a game that obviously illudes your ability to reason, or maybe you`re just another one of the thousands of angry RedSox fans? What was it now…oh yeah…Yankees won 3 out of the last 4 games they played with them. You must be yakking about Valentine…a far more worthy candidate for your kind of diatribe.

      • js20011041 - Jul 10, 2012 at 8:47 AM

        The word is eludes. Not mocking, just informing.

        Beyond that, what exactly does Girardi bring to the table? The Yankees have the highest payroll and have given him a lineup full of stars. Now, I will give him credit for platooning Ibanez and Jones in left and getting production out of those two, but then again, Cashman is the one who brought those guys in. The single aspect of a game that the manager has the most control over is the bullpen and pitching staff. In this regard, Girardi simply isn’t very good. He brings in Soriano with 4 and 5 run leads in the 9th. He refuses to use his best relievers outside of “their role” rather than in the most critical situations. Have you seen how many runs this pitching staff has been giving up? They’re winning in spite of the pitching staff right now. It doesn’t take a genius to write a lineup including Teixeira, Granderson, Cano, Rodriguez, Jeter, and Swisher.

  6. scottolstad - Jul 9, 2012 at 12:58 PM

    I hate A-Rod/Yankees/everybody but it’s also worth noting offense is down league-wide this year as well.

    • jasonwinter - Jul 9, 2012 at 1:11 PM

      True, but his OPS+ since 2007 has looked like this: 176, 150, 138, 123, 119, 112. So he’s getting worse relative to the rest of the league, too.

  7. kingjoe1 - Jul 9, 2012 at 1:08 PM

    With at best 5 years to go, it is looking more and more possible that he doesn’t break Hank Aarons HR record or surpass Bonds’ total. Guess ‘roids really do work.

  8. Jonny 5 - Jul 9, 2012 at 1:11 PM

    I’m having a terrible year myself. Does this mean “I’m due” too? Hmmm? It must, yay for me…..

    • 18thstreet - Jul 9, 2012 at 5:09 PM

      I read this three hours ago and I’m still laughing. Nice.

  9. paperlions - Jul 9, 2012 at 1:19 PM

    After the baby is born, I’m sure his performance will improve greatly.

  10. acdc363 - Jul 9, 2012 at 1:21 PM

    No worries.

  11. savocabol1 - Jul 9, 2012 at 1:23 PM

    Off the roids and his numbers go down? SHOCKING!

  12. Chip Caray's Eyebrows - Jul 9, 2012 at 1:23 PM

    Am I too late to make a hacky, unoriginal steroid joke?

    • 18thstreet - Jul 9, 2012 at 2:10 PM

      I think it’s clear that it’s never too late to make a hacky, unoriginal steroid joke.

      • deathmonkey41 - Jul 9, 2012 at 4:36 PM

        David Ortiz walks into a bar and orders a Dominican milkshake and the bartender says…

  13. deathmonkey41 - Jul 9, 2012 at 1:43 PM

    Maybe he needs to bang some other aging or unattractive starlet- does anyone know if Glenn Close is single- he can cover both bases there.

    • nategearhart - Jul 9, 2012 at 2:31 PM

      If you’re implying Cameron Diaz, she’s not even 40 yet, right? And if you’re telling me you’d turn her down for a whatever I’ll call you a liar.

      • deathmonkey41 - Jul 9, 2012 at 4:35 PM

        I was more implying that hag Madonna, but I’d still like to have most of Jete’s conquests over A-Rod’s.

      • nategearhart - Jul 9, 2012 at 5:28 PM

        Aaaaah, I completely forgot about Madonna. My apologies, dude.

      • Kevin S. - Jul 9, 2012 at 6:53 PM

        I thought it was Kate Hudson who had the magic touch.

  14. xpensivewinos - Jul 9, 2012 at 1:46 PM

    Guess the Yankees figured A-Hole would be the first player ever to actually get better in his late 30’s and early 40’s.

    DOH!!!

    • bbil2012 - Jul 9, 2012 at 2:04 PM

      You made your point but Barry Bonds did so he wouldn’t have been the first.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jul 9, 2012 at 3:00 PM

        Randy Johnson says hello too.

      • badintent - Jul 10, 2012 at 2:03 AM

        Thank you for the Bonds reference. !00% RIGHT. But please be gentle with our flock here, we don’t want to hurt them with too much correct information here, it would put them into to shock. And didn’t Pete Rose lead the Philles to the World Series around age 38-40 ??

  15. plmathfoto - Jul 9, 2012 at 2:10 PM

    Never, ever understood why when he opted out of his contract that the Yankees gave him that huge deal, unless I’m missing something they were negotiating against themselves.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jul 9, 2012 at 3:01 PM

      Because Hank Steinbrenner is an idiot. It’s why Hal and Brian have him locked away somewhere in the depths of YSIII to never see daylight. The kid got one chance and screwed up, so now the adults took over.

  16. hgfrombc2 - Jul 9, 2012 at 2:46 PM

    Girardi’s right – he’s due.
    While that implies that Girardi thinks he’s due to start performing as in years past, maybe it’s as simple as he’s due to have the worst statistical year of his career.

  17. buccaneerz78 - Jul 9, 2012 at 3:13 PM

    maybe 500 homers will mean something again… like when a player hits 36 years of age and his natural body starts to actually decline… you know… kind of like the sluggers from the 30’s-40’s-50’s-60’s-70’s…

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jul 9, 2012 at 4:04 PM

      Babe Ruth – .341/.489/.661 – 1.150 OPS for 201 OPS+ at age 37
      Hank Aaron – .327/.410/.669 – 1.079 OPS for 194 OPS+ at age 37
      Stan Musial – .351/.422/.612 – 1.034 OPS for 172 OPS+ at age 36

      Just a few examples. These guys are on the extremes, but not everyone follows the normal aging curve.

      • larrytsg - Jul 9, 2012 at 4:53 PM

        Ruth was an original…. unique… and dominated the game like nobody other than a roided up Bonds… Aaron and Musial are both regarded as probably the best all-around players the game may have ever seen.

        If I recall, Ted Williams also had a monster year in the late 1950’s…. here it is…. .388/.526/.731 at age 40…. not sure of the OPS+, but it must have been monstrous! Even his age 37/38/39 seasons look good, but wait, that happens to the top hitters ever in the game.

        A-Rod was good, very good, but most of those guys we all saw and wondered if they were all-time greats just have a hard time sneaking up on guys like Mays, Aaron, Musial, and Ruth. Sure, most of their records are to be broken eventually, but I bet we’ll see an exceptional player break one or two…. Like Rickey Henderson who broke the runs record, but was nowhere near the powerhouse that Ruth was. Jeter may well pass Musial or Aaron on the hits list, but he won’t do it with the power that either of them had.

        Remember when Junior Griffey was gonna break it all…. and Canseco (oops), McGwire, Sosa, …..

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jul 9, 2012 at 7:52 PM

        Williams also hit .316/.451/.645 at age 41(!) in 113 games in 1960.

      • badintent - Jul 10, 2012 at 2:07 AM

        Please don’t drag out stats for the girls and boys here, they’ll get their periods…… again. Thanks for all the correct information.

  18. wlschneider09 - Jul 9, 2012 at 4:13 PM

    So am I the only one who scrolled through this and wondered where Len is?

  19. papichulo55 - Jul 9, 2012 at 6:18 PM

    Its, early July, we’re have the best record in baseball. He will be ready when the playoffs start.

    Heard his cousin was lining up some Zoo Dust in La Capital, Santo Domingo, lol…

    Much luv, A-Rod….

    • hgfrombc2 - Jul 10, 2012 at 6:38 AM

      When has Rodriguez EVER been ready for the playoffs?

  20. gnyy69 - Jul 9, 2012 at 7:10 PM

    well hopefully A-Rod will step up in the second half. also hopefully he drives the ball better.

  21. papichulo55 - Jul 9, 2012 at 8:02 PM

    Yes, it seems everyone mentions the PED scandal. Me included. But as a baseball loving Dominican, I can assure you that you would be hard pressed to forgive ARod more than me.

    I guess I should have tried harder on my inside joke. Generall speaking, the empty protestations about PED is a joke in my country. ARod has earned so much that his great grandkids will not have to work for a living. Do you really think that he cares about our jokes? Trust me when I tell you that the ONLY thing that matters to Dominicans is signing a contract while going to America to get paid!

    Thank God Landis was not the Commisioner. He would have banned everybody!

    Anyway, have a good second half ARod!

  22. jg725 - Jul 9, 2012 at 8:08 PM

    Sooo many Yankee haters……………
    Jealousy and envy are so ugly

    • ptfu - Jul 9, 2012 at 9:08 PM

      True dat. I much MUCH prefer Mystique and Aura down at the local–ahem–nightclub. Hey-oh!

      Sorry, it had to be said.

  23. swu32733 - Jul 9, 2012 at 11:52 PM

    So long. A Rot!!

  24. badintent - Jul 10, 2012 at 2:12 AM

    TMZ reporting that A-Rod will reel in a big fish soon.. . and that means big numbers ! Sorry haters, you just never been in A-ROd’s world , trust me, as a liquor saleman in NYC , it’s the top of the top. But don’t let me stop you from going to Vegas and lining up for 4 hours to get in some club to do a few lines.A-Rod could buy that club 10X over.Sweet dreams and hold that Beanie Baby close.

    • js20011041 - Jul 10, 2012 at 9:12 AM

      Cool story bro.

  25. sparky1002 - Jul 10, 2012 at 8:48 AM

    Gotta love all the indignity coming from the A-rod haters over his steroid use. Guess he should have been more like Clemens and just lied about it to a congressional inquiry, then those same people would be defending him against those “horrible politicians that were out to get him”. He could put on the same kind of “crying act” as a means to generate more sympathy from a gullible public.

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