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The Yankees gotta get Alex Rodriguez out of the three hole

Oct 9, 2012, 12:28 AM EDT

Alex Rodriguez AP

I’m not going to go all “blame A-Rod” here. The fact is that baseball’s active home run leader wasn’t half bad on Monday night. He lined into a double play in his first at-bat, but that as just bad luck: the ball was scalded. He had a clean single his second time up.

Of course, that was pretty much it. Rodriguez went up to the plate three more times: he flied out in the fifth and then struck out in the seventh and ninth. The second strikeout ended the game as the Orioles won 3-2 to even the best-of-five series.

In all, Rodriguez has five strikeouts to go along with his single and a walk in 10 plate appearances against the Orioles. He did finish the regular season okay, going 6-for-15 with four walks and three strikeouts in his last four games. However, he was in a 2-for-24 slump before that. He has one extra-base since Sept. 14 and one RBI since Sept. 19.

In short, Rodriguez looks like the easiest out in the Yankees lineup right now. He’s not getting around on good fastballs, and when he does get a mistake breaking ball, he’s not driving it out of the park. It’s not that Rodriguez can’t hit in the playoffs or needs to be benched or any of that nonsense. It’s just that with the way he looks right now — and with the way he’s looked pretty much the whole year — he’s probably more of a No. 6 hitter than a guy who should be hitting ahead of Robinson Cano. Switching him and Mark Teixeira would make a lot of sense.

  1. riverace19 - Oct 9, 2012 at 12:39 AM

    Well it does make sense but now if Girardi makes the move, it won’t exactly be all his idea now, won’t it?

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      • Gardenhire's Cat - Oct 9, 2012 at 7:24 AM

        Umm, no.

      • cur68 - Oct 9, 2012 at 7:49 AM

        Could someone please hook up with doris there and put her out of our misery, please?

    • pjmarn6 - Oct 9, 2012 at 10:06 AM

      Why does a .273 hitter with no leadership abilities deserve a $30,000,000 salary? We know the Yankee organization is crazy but to keep this person who always folds at the exact moment he is needed for the big hit is ridiculous. He can not handle pressure and is an embarrassment to the uniform.
      Stick him in as a reserve bat boy.

      • 4cornersfan - Oct 9, 2012 at 12:42 PM

        Uh, maybe it’s the 647 HR, 1950 RBI and 2901 hits over 19 years. And he’s averaged 5.5 WAR in the 9 years as a Yankee. In baseball you tend to cash in for what you did, not what you are going to do, so that’s what’s happening now. Sorry Dude, that’s the way it works.

    • bh0673 - Oct 9, 2012 at 11:04 AM

      I have been saying this for months and I don’t even have a sports column. A-Rod is a rally killer in the 3rd spot of the batting order.

  2. 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Oct 9, 2012 at 1:05 AM

    Those were my thoughts exactly when I saw the lineups before the game. With all the pop in the Yankees’ lineup I can’t see how batting A-rod third is justified.

  3. nworca - Oct 9, 2012 at 1:42 AM

    It’s not really where ARod bats in the lineup. Even the 9 hole hitter might come up with runners on second and third, two out, the Yanks down by 1 in the ninth. That is the situation when ARod is a guaranteed strikeout. His name should be A-Choke. He only hits when his team is up by more tha 5 runs. With a game on the line in the late innings, if I am the opposing manager, a smile comes to my face every time ARod steps to the plate.

    • nixonotis - Oct 9, 2012 at 4:48 AM

      “guaranteed to strikeout,” “his name should be A-Choke,” and “he only hits when his team is up by more tha [sic] 5 runs?” Do you watch this team? Playoffs represent a smaller than small sample size and judging a player off of 2 games is insane. Maybe we should bench him, eh? Who would you like to play 3rd? Chavez? Nunez? Give me a break, 3 years ago Rodriguez had one of the greatest postseasons ever and now we are STILL talking shit about how he is a “choker,” “can’t get the big hit,” etc. This is one of the best players of all time and, like it or not, he’s here until 2017. Your use of hyperbole says more about your personal feelings toward Rodriguez than they do about any legitimate baseball strategy.

      • tmarlin1221 - Oct 9, 2012 at 9:47 AM

        do you watch this game ? You realize that outside of 3 years ago, when he may have been cheating, this guy is the king choker of all time. I’m a huge yankee fan, but batting him 3rd is an automatic rally killer. Bat him 7-9 and, and forget about his massive ego or paycheck

      • mdisptch11 - Oct 9, 2012 at 10:32 AM

        The guy had not done much out of that season. In his 11 year postseason history, half of his home runs came that year. So I guess since David Freese won the World Series MVP last year, we need to put him in the HOF.

    • bh0673 - Oct 9, 2012 at 11:05 AM

      I would play Chavez tomorrow night at third.

    • bh0673 - Oct 9, 2012 at 11:09 AM

      You’re right anywhere in the batting order he has become a liability but right now the top of the order with Jeter and Ichiro getting onbase and into scoring position more often having A-Rod come up next is killing the run potential. At least down in the order lets say between Swisher and Ganderson the out may not loom as large.

  4. tomtravis76 - Oct 9, 2012 at 3:43 AM

    Do Yankee fans even care if ARod is on their team? Do Yankee fans really care if he breaks the home run record in a Yankee uniform? They should just eat a major part of the contract and send him to the Marlins to help them sell tickets.

    Alex did win a ring, but his career doesn’t standout to non Yankee fans, none of the Yankees do beyond 2003. Its just an All Star team and thats boring to non Yankee fans. There are no good stories except that each guy is just about the highest paid player at their position.

    • apr680 - Oct 9, 2012 at 4:07 AM


      Great post: No, I think I can speak for most Yankee fans in saying that we do not want Rodriguez on the team……No, this guy breaking the HR record is a joke, AND he won’t even do it…….Yes, they should pay him to not show up or eat the contract and dump him on Miami.

      It is fortunate that the Yankees won a ring with Rodriguez in 09, or there would be more outrage than there already is.

      Bottom Line: DUMP THE BUM

      • nixonotis - Oct 9, 2012 at 4:41 AM

        You can speak for yourself. I would like to ask you why, exactly, “the Yankees won a ring with Rodriguez in 09,” could it be because they HAD Rodriguez in ’09? As a Yankee fan myself, I can confidently say that our fanbase is among the most fickle on the planet and I hate you all.

      • aceshigh11 - Oct 9, 2012 at 8:21 AM

        I’ll see your Yankees fanbase and raise you a Red Sox.

      • daisycutter1 - Oct 9, 2012 at 10:57 AM

        nixonotis is right.

      • 4cornersfan - Oct 9, 2012 at 1:14 PM

        I am a Yankee fan and I also think he should be moved down in the order because of his diminishing abilities. However, I do not understand the personal attacks on him. I have watched most of the games that he has played as a Yankee and I can tell you that unlike Robinson Cano, who everyone seems to revere, he hustles on every play, He never fails to run out ground balls and never makes halfhearted plays in the field, He takes walks, always tries to take the extra base and leads the team in steals. In addition, he plays a very good third base. I think that a lot of the haters base their animosity on jealousy, his personality and his personal life. However, if one wanted to hold other Yankee greats to the same standards, Mantle was a drunk, Ruth was a boozer and glutton and Dimaggio stalked women.

      • jolink653 - Oct 9, 2012 at 3:42 PM

        The reason A-Rod draws so much criticism is because he decided to opt out and get himself a brand new deal for even more and unfortunately we were stupid enough to give it to him…When you’re paid as much as he is, going 1 for 5 in a playoff game is not acceptable, particularly when he has shown absolutely no power to any field and I can barely remember the last home run (or even extra base hit) he hit…I was one of the ones who stuck by him when he struggled in the playoffs when he first became a Yankee, but now it’s getting even worse as I have no faith in him to hit in a big spot anymore so I say move him down to 6 or 7

  5. davidly - Oct 9, 2012 at 6:23 AM

    Please. The NY sealed their fate when they traded Skibby Marue!

  6. jayscarpa - Oct 9, 2012 at 8:07 AM

    Lineups mean nothing except you want you better hitters to get the most at bats. ARod isn’t one of them right now and I think he knows that. Girardi is probably looking back to the when Torre moved him down to 8th and the circus that followed – no one wants that kind of distraction this time of year.

    In any event, this has been the Yankees modus operandi all year – hit HR and they win, kept in the park and they lose.

    • stex52 - Oct 9, 2012 at 8:20 AM

      Couldn’t you pretty much generalize that MO to all teams? If they hit a bunch of home runs they will win?

      • jayscarpa - Oct 9, 2012 at 8:52 AM

        Generally speaking you are right.
        This Yankees team, however, has been awful with RISP, ranking 18th in the majors. They hit HR in a record 131 games and I believe that more than 50% of their runs scored was via the HR. I don’t remember their record when they do not hit a HR but it is epically bad.

    • Alex K - Oct 9, 2012 at 9:03 AM

      There is a big difference between moving this version of A-Rod down in the line-up and moving 2006 A-Rod down in the lin-up.

      2012 – .272-.353/.430 18 HR, 37 years old
      2006 – .290/.392/.523 35 HR, 31 years old

  7. randomdigits - Oct 9, 2012 at 9:20 AM

    You do realize that the third slot in the lineup should be reserved for the team’s fifth best hitter right?

    I think Arod still qualifies as the fifth best hitter on the Yankees.

    • bh0673 - Oct 9, 2012 at 11:27 AM

      Is he really? Granderson has twice the RBI’s and HR with a lower average. Grandersons .242 average has been more productive then A-Rods .276
      Granderson is another liability right now though batting .143 in the post season.

      • scatterbrian - Oct 9, 2012 at 12:25 PM

        Dear lord, two games and we’re talking about postseason batting average?

      • 4cornersfan - Oct 9, 2012 at 1:20 PM

        Right now Granderson is an automatic out. Throw a breaking ball into the dirt and he will miss it by a foot. At least ARod hits singles occasionally.

  8. anthonynj2012 - Oct 9, 2012 at 10:53 AM

    I don’t have a problem with moving guys down/up in the lineup during the postseason however guys come up with RISP all the time and the only gurantee is that the 3rd hitter will hit in the 1st inning. After that it’s all up in the air. Alex hit a rocket in the 1st inning that very easily could have been a run scoring single and singled in his next at bat.

    The Yanks did not lose the game because Alex hit 3rd. I do agree with the other posts that unless the Yankees score without the HR they will not move forward. They have shown resiliency this year and I’m confident they will bounce back on Wednesday.

    • bh0673 - Oct 9, 2012 at 11:15 AM

      Anthony think about it he has killed more rally’s then he has contributed to. Yes the out in the first inning was a bullet line drive that if it want through would have scored one maybe two runs but more often then not he either hits into a double play or strikes out. I would rather have someone hit in the third hole that has a better chance of driving in one of the two more consistent on base guys. Score one or two of those runs and the out potential doesn’t loom as large. Cano, Texiera, and Swisher in the 3,4,5 slots I still think would drive in more runs and after that A-Rod and Granderson can swing for the fences and then Martin. Now the argument that a batting order like that created a higher potential for outs in the bottom of the order but the top of a batting order like that has a greater potential of driving in runs instead of leaving them on base.

    • bh0673 - Oct 9, 2012 at 11:18 AM

      And yes they didn’t lose because of A-Rod but could they have had one or two more runs with a change in the batting order. In 1996 Torre shook up the line up after losing the first two games of the World Series at home and it paid off. The Yankees have left too many runners on base in scoring position and making a change can make a difference.

  9. deathmonkey41 - Oct 9, 2012 at 12:24 PM

    Don’t know if it makes much difference, with the way Tex insists on pulling the ball and the way he’s running, he’s a big canidate for a lot of DPs.

  10. sparky1002 - Oct 9, 2012 at 12:51 PM

    With the possible exception of a very few there is plenty of blame to go around the Yankee club for the results of last nights game without making A-Rod the skapegoat for the entire team. The loss last night rests on the shoulders of all those who continue to freeze at the plate with runners in scoring position. How else do you explain losing all those games by one run in the regular season with many of those losses coming from pitchers of mediocre ability? The Yankees loss of a ten game lead in the East happened for exactly those reasons, and sadly the choke-disease appears to be continuing.

    • 4cornersfan - Oct 9, 2012 at 1:21 PM

      Amen, brother.

    • youngyankee - Oct 9, 2012 at 5:59 PM

      THANK YOU. someone who finally gets it.

      The Yankees have been TERRIBLE hitting with RISP this season.

      It doesn’t matter who bats 3rd, 6th, 7th, etc. whoever is up when there are RISP, you need to hit in the playoffs. plain and simple.

  11. chucklewis13 - Oct 9, 2012 at 1:02 PM

    The problem with Girardi is that he thinks with his Northwestern Degree in Electrical Engineering, he is smarter than anyone else. He is a stubborn as a mule and at times he manages like he has shitz for brains. None of this was more evident in the second to last game of the year when he batted Tex in the clean-up spot despite it was Tex’s second game back after being out for 35 long days. What did Tex do–he left 9 runners on bases, hit into two rally killing double plays and struck out. Somewhere along the line, Binder Bender Joe came to his senses and batted Tex 6th the following night. A-Rod should bat 6th in the lineup. A-Rod is void of power and he really looks lost at the plate. Good managers should be able to recognize same.

    • 4cornersfan - Oct 9, 2012 at 1:37 PM

      Actually, Girardi is pretty smart. Smart enough to keep his team in 1st place the entire year despite the fact that he lost Rivera, Robertson, Pineda, Petitte, Chamberlain, Teixiera, ARod, Gardner and several others for all or a significant portion of the season. He did a masterful job of juggling a lineup of part-time position players, castoff pitchers and rookies. And you conveniently ignored the fact that in Teixiera’s first game back from injury he hit a homerun.

  12. electstat - Oct 10, 2012 at 10:49 AM

    Yanks went on the road and took one out of two from a hot team. That’s the headline. They needed to win a game and they did.

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