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Joe Girardi didn’t use A-Rod last night because he flirted with those women? Really?

Oct 17, 2012, 11:36 AM EDT

Alex Rodriguez AP

Ask yourself: do you really believe that Joe Girardi is the type of guy who would base an in-game decision on some fluffy nothing of a story in the New York Post before he’d base it on baseball considerations? If the answer is no, you’re not Bob Klapsich.

Klapisch’s column today tells the story of last night’s game and focuses, like so many others have focused today, on Girardi’s decision to not use A-Rod as a pinch hitter in the ninth.  Klapisch discounts any baseball rationale and says the real reason is tabloid silliness. He references the Post story and says:

A-Rod and GM Brian Cashman refused to discuss the story, but the organization was deeply embarrassed by it, especially since the Yankees were in the midst of getting swept in the first two games at home … So while Girardi insisted his decision to bench A-Rod was strictly a baseball-related move, his refusal to use the slugger in the ninth inning was unquestionably a smack-down for his behavior in New York.

Sorry, even if you claim it was unquestionably a smack-down, I’m gonna question it. I’m gonna question it because Girardi’s own explanation was that to pinch hit A-Rod would cause Leyland to bring in a righty, and there is nothing — not an anonymous quote or even a “sources say” — suggesting otherwise. I’m also going to question it because Girardi has never, as far as I can recall, gotten sucked into the New York tabloid drama, so why would he start now?

I’m sure Girardi wasn’t pleased to have a tabloid story floating around like that. I don’t doubt Klapisch’s report that the team as a whole was embarrassed.  But to believe Klapisch’s hypothesis, you’d have to believe that Girardi legitimately felt that punishing A-Rod for it was more important than putting his team in the best position to win last night. And there is nothing here suggesting such an astounding and unprecedented thing.

What is here is Girardi’s strategic analysis of the platoon problem and, most likely, his gut feeling that Rodriguez has absolutely no game at all right now. While one may reasonably disagree that Girardi’s call was the right one — I would have brought in Swisher, who would’ve eliminated platoon splits from the equation — that’s neither here nor there. Girardi said why he did what he did. To believe that there was more to it than that takes a bit more than someone’s assertion that it was “unquestionably so.”

  1. tfbuckfutter - Oct 17, 2012 at 11:41 AM

    If that is embarrassing enough to get him benched then banging Madonna would have gotten him shot.

    • kiwicricket - Oct 17, 2012 at 12:24 PM

      Yep, I would imagine you would need some sort of shot after banging Madonna…

      • napoleonblownapart6887 - Oct 17, 2012 at 12:54 PM

        This is one of those comments that makes me sad I can only thumbs-up it once.

      • historiophiliac - Oct 17, 2012 at 1:17 PM

        Really? You think she’s the only taint in that pairing?

      • Cris E - Oct 17, 2012 at 1:59 PM

        Two shots: liquor before and penicillin after.

      • xmatt0926x - Oct 17, 2012 at 2:03 PM

        No Napolean, you’d need some sort of shot BEFORE banging Madonna. I’d say about 20 shots of wild turkey would suffice. At that point you can just see past the old woman face and sagging skin.

      • Old Gator - Oct 17, 2012 at 5:53 PM

        Ah xmatt0926x, you really need to read Benjamin Franklin on this subject.

  2. kevinleaptrot - Oct 17, 2012 at 11:44 AM

    ARod is going to be wearing a different uni next year, probably Dodgers or Marlins. Hitting .240 w/15 HRs. It’s the beginning of the end. Such a huge contract for such a washed up player.

    • thebadguyswon - Oct 17, 2012 at 11:46 AM

      Exactly why would those teams trade for him?

      • mrwillie - Oct 17, 2012 at 11:52 AM

        Don’t ask “why” when the Marlins are involved.

      • hansob - Oct 17, 2012 at 12:38 PM

        Because this episode, his postseason in general, and the fans turning on him will make the Yankees willing to eat over half of his contract in a trade. I could totally see the Dodgers trading a marginal prospect for the right to pay A-Rod $40-$50M of his deal over 5 years. He’s certainly on the downside, but there’s a lot of teams that would love to have his 0.272/0.353/0.430 from this year.

      • marinersnate - Oct 17, 2012 at 1:01 PM

        “the fans turning on him will make the Yankees willing to eat over half of his contract in a trade.”

        I don’t care if the Yankees eat over half his contract or not, no other team is stupid enough to touch that contract. Also there is that pesky little NTC A-Roid has. (Plus 10/5 rights.) (Plus $30M in HR bonus’.)

        You gotta love how the Yankees (and their fans) think they can sign these old guys to stupidly long, stupidly expensive contracts, and then think that they can just take the good (first) half of it and some other team will gladly take the bad (second) half.

    • theawesomersfranchise - Oct 17, 2012 at 11:58 AM

      LOL wut?

      No he won’t

    • captn58crunch - Oct 17, 2012 at 1:49 PM

      If the Yankees are willing to eat most of his contract, there will be many teams who will line up. The Yanks have the money to do this. Just waiting for the decision to be made after the season.

    • pisano - Oct 17, 2012 at 5:32 PM

      I only pray to God you’re right, but in reality, no team is going to take him, especially with that contract and his fall off in production.

  3. thebadguyswon - Oct 17, 2012 at 11:44 AM

    Trim > Baseball

    • napoleonblownapart6887 - Oct 17, 2012 at 12:56 PM

      Calling girls “trim” < any other term.

      • mrwillie - Oct 17, 2012 at 1:26 PM

        Like Louis C.K. said, it should just be called “Fa-la-la-la-la” and have a butterfly flying around.

  4. Utley's Hair - Oct 17, 2012 at 11:47 AM

    Oh, please…ARod doesn’t do that. He has people to do that for him.

    And, um…LEAVE JETER ALONE!!!!!!! No…wait…a little help here, yankeesfanlen?

  5. cur68 - Oct 17, 2012 at 11:53 AM

    Let us not forget that Girardi knows the extent of ARod’s injury problems, too. His boy is hurt, probably. Add to that, Ibanez is a late innings stud (that’s the narrative, don’t knock it). Mr. Klapisch there just wants a new(ish) narrative to cuddle to his bosom and cherish. Not a bad narrative, as these things go, but he sure presumes that his readership wants that narrative. If its true it doesn’t paint Girardi or Cashman in a very good light. It’s tantamount to throwing a critical playoff ballgame to prove a point with front office sanction. Yeah, that’s a good idea. Also, bringing in Swisher to face a lefty or righty isn’t a sure thing (duh). Swisher’s been ice cold. What Girardi did makes sense, because don’t forget the original narrative: Ibanez = late innings stud.

    • cur68 - Oct 17, 2012 at 12:36 PM

      Hey, over at “Off The Bench” they have a post up about the “young ladies” everyone’s favourite centaur was flirting with. Seems the guy that tattled on ARod felt the ladies “did look a little young — even for A-Rod” as opposed to “wanted his stupid face in the press” (which is how he probably justifies to himself and the world his fine work in being a gossiping busybody). The “Young Ladies”? Yeah, one’s a 33 year old bikini model. What’s Alex gotta do, eh? Stick to women Madonna’s age? Dude’s gotta score. One way or the other. At least he’s sticking with women close in age to himself like a grown up. Can’t blame him for THAT.

  6. chill1184 - Oct 17, 2012 at 11:53 AM

    This is rather amusing

    • Brian Donohue - Oct 17, 2012 at 2:47 PM

      wow, Babe Ruth would have spent a lot of time on the pine…

  7. nategearhart - Oct 17, 2012 at 11:56 AM

    “So while Girardi insisted his decision to bench A-Rod was strictly a baseball-related move, his refusal to use the slugger in the ninth inning was unquestionably a smack-down for his behavior in New York.”

    Translation: “Joe Girardi is a goddamn liar, and I know this because I can read minds.”

    What a schmuck.

    • b7p19 - Oct 17, 2012 at 12:19 PM

      Wow, thats about as well as anyone could have put it.

  8. sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Oct 17, 2012 at 12:12 PM

    Shouldn’t the newspapers be more embarrassed about running the ARod story than the Yankees? Honestly, “Single Baseball Player Tries to Pick Up Attractive Woman” should not really be newsworthy, but since it is ARod they act like he is the first guy in a uniform who is not a monk.

    • polegojim - Oct 17, 2012 at 12:23 PM

      Not really Sab…. it’s all about focus. The guy seems concerned about everything BUT producing for his team in the post-season.

      Detroit’s got a rookie straight out of AAA ball producing better than A-Rod. A-Rod deserves all the criticism his 100 mil contract NONPERFORMANCE earns him.

      But hey… I’m loving it. Keep it up A-Rod and Co.

      Go TIGERS!!!

      • nategearhart - Oct 17, 2012 at 12:28 PM

        Once he had been sat, what should he have done to help his team produce?

      • sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Oct 17, 2012 at 12:51 PM

        Aw, come on. The guy was hot, broke his hand, and came back flaccid. I’m no doctor, but I have heard plenty of baseball players talk about how important hands and wrists are for hitting. I don’t think this is about any lack of focus. If there is one thing I have complete faith in with ARod it is that he has studied and prepared for every matchup and put in the work necessary. While he is not a 50 HR threat anymore, I don’t believe that he is suddenly someone who slugs <.300 either. The dude is hurt and that is probably the only real story here.

      • polegojim - Oct 18, 2012 at 3:05 PM

        Ok, I’ll sound like a jerk on this one…

        Unless you mean he has a perennial recurring October hand issue…

        Student of matchups is one thing… failure to deliver on the matchups his becoming A-Rods legacy.

        He’s done this for MOST postseasons, and every year for past 3, even with .272+ batting average in reg. The guy FOLDS under pressure and is a head case. Outside of a couple years, he’s pretty much absent during the playoffs.

        2010 .219
        2011 .111
        2012 .130

        I also beleive there is a NYY systemic issue… see Granderson, Cano, Swisher… If not for Ibanez and Suzuki, they’d be about scoreless. Tigers pitching isn’t THAT good.

      • sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Oct 18, 2012 at 5:37 PM

        Pole: I won’t go too deep into it, because smarter people than me already have. See here:

        http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/a-friendly-reminder-about-a-rod-and-october/

        Basically, ARod has actually been MORE clutch than Jeter in the playoffs. But don’t let real numbers spoil a narrative.

      • polegojim - Oct 19, 2012 at 11:26 AM

        We’re talking the ‘here and now’ though Sab… last night is a perfect case in point. So G pinch hits him… and all the studying in the world didn’t change that at-bat into a hit.

        For many years… and three years running, the facts are… that the playoffs are vacation time to A-Rod.

  9. polegojim - Oct 17, 2012 at 12:15 PM

    We all know that there is typically ‘some truth’ on both sides of these stories.

    How about this: Girardi was upset because A-Rod seemed more concerned with flirting than improving his postseason batting average.

    act is, A-Rod seems completely unmotivated and tuned out…. whether its women or a hang-nail, the result is— bench his butt for someone who may have a better attitude and chance.

    I don’t buy the ‘inury’ deal for a second. If A-Rod was so hurt that he couldn’t effectively swing a bat, EVERYONE would know about it to avoid crap storms like this.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Oct 17, 2012 at 12:42 PM

      act is, A-Rod seems completely unmotivated and tuned out…. whether its women or a hang-nail, the result is— bench his butt for someone who may have a better attitude and chance.

      I assume the first word is supposed to be Fact, and if so, the rest of your sentence is the complete opposite of it. How do you know this is what is going through his head? If you read anything about Arod in his first couple of years with the Yanks, his biggest problem was he over thought everything about the game. That he couldn’t stop focusing on what he was doing wrong. Now they are saying he’s not focusing enough? And by the way, we are going to lambaste him for both ends?

      If A-Rod was so hurt that he couldn’t effectively swing a bat, EVERYONE would know about it to avoid crap storms like this

      Just like everyone knew that Girardi’s father passed away? Or that Dickey was pitching was a rib injury the entire year? Or that Philip Rivers played an AFC Championship game with a torn ACL? Players often hide injuries from both the teams, and the public, because if you admit you’re injured, you are called soft (cf. Ellsbury, Jacoby). If you hide the injuries and play poorly, you “can’t handle the pressure”. They are damned if they do, and damned if they don’t.

  10. indaburg - Oct 17, 2012 at 12:19 PM

    To suggest that Girardi did not use Arod simply because he flirted during a game is to suggest Girardi is an effing moron. Girardi is no moron. I subscribe to the injured hand hypothesis and also, the reason Girardi gave himself.

  11. mfortuna45 - Oct 17, 2012 at 12:40 PM

    I’m beyond tired of hearing all the A-Rod trashing. Sure, he is struggling. Doesn’t anybody think that he may not be fully recovered from his broken hand?

    I don’t get the mindset of fans, pundits that just because a player gets paid a ton of money, it means he MUST hit .300 with a billion home runs or else he’s a piece of garbage. I’m certain he’s not trying to have a bad postseason and I’m sure he works harder at his craft than most fans or analysts do at theirs.

    If you want to say he’s having a bad playoff, that’s fine. That’s indisputable. But spare the character assassination and trying to make this story something that it isn’t.

  12. Jonny 5 - Oct 17, 2012 at 12:43 PM

    Just one idiot proving just how much of an idiot he can be while writing about another idiot. But seriously people, could a-rod be any more cheesy? I thought the centaur thing was the pinnacle of his douchenozzledom, then I thought the Madonna thing and kissing himself in the mirror was his douchiest moment ever. And just when I think he couldn’t get any worse, he goes and does this. He brings the meaning of douchenozzle to a whole new level.

  13. lgwelsh1 - Oct 17, 2012 at 12:57 PM

    The entire Yankee offense is horrible right now, New York fans love to kick a player when he is down LOL. This is nothing new!

  14. hughhansen - Oct 17, 2012 at 1:13 PM

    “But to believe Klapisch’s hypothesis, you’d have to believe that Girardi legitimately felt that punishing A-Rod for it was more important than putting his team in the best position to win last night. And there is nothing here suggesting such an astounding and unprecedented thing.”

    While I agree with you, managers do pull guys for not running out pop-ups. That’s putting punishment before winning. Girardi seems like someone that values discipline highly enough to do something like this.

    I don’t think he, or anyone else, would do it in a playoff game, though.

    • Ari Collins - Oct 17, 2012 at 10:00 PM

      Yeah, you do it in a regular season game because the morale of your team and the behavior of the player for the rest of the year are more important than one player starting in one game.

      That’s the difference between the regular season and the playoffs. You go with your best men every time, no matter what they do. PR be damned.

  15. Gobias Industries - Oct 17, 2012 at 1:23 PM

    Stop acting like any of this is untrue and unprecedented. Why, it happened to me just last week. After I spent the morning handing out baseballs with my phone number to the lovely young ladies in the office, my boss revoked my copier privileges for three days. This stuff really does happen.

  16. legacybroken - Oct 17, 2012 at 1:29 PM

    Tothose saying the Dodgers would want A-Roids, where would they put him. They traded gor Gonzo and Hanley to play 1st and third and have Gordon at Short. Also the Feesh will be having firesales not spending sprees this year.

  17. 49ersgiants4life - Oct 17, 2012 at 1:39 PM

    He didn’t pinch hit him because it was a clutch situation in the ninth and everyone knows any clutch situation calls for an A-Rod strikeout

  18. chill1184 - Oct 17, 2012 at 2:55 PM

    Did someone mention a trade?

    http://www.mlbdailydish.com/2012/10/17/3517572/alex-rodriguez-trade-rumors-yankees-marlins

  19. chadjones27 - Oct 17, 2012 at 3:28 PM

    Didn’t some ballboy for the A’s try this himself last year? Gave a cutie in the stands, something like, 34 foul balls, then asked her out. I think he may have gotten further than A-Rod.

  20. ermur22 - Oct 17, 2012 at 3:56 PM

    sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo?????
    Have u never read the NY Post? This wasn’t in any other newspaper that day. The Post is a rag…they always have shit like this in it…..that’s why I read it :)

  21. digbysellers - Oct 17, 2012 at 4:22 PM

    A-Turd meant to send it to the mustachioed dude in the seat behind her.

  22. djpostl - Oct 17, 2012 at 4:26 PM

    “I would have brought in Swisher, who would’ve eliminated platoon splits from the equation”

    …only to introduce the 1 for 456779302 with RISP in the playoffs equation part of it.

  23. txnative61 - Oct 18, 2012 at 2:50 AM

    I don’t know if Girardi lied, or if A-Rod is still hurt, or if the flirting (if it happened) is symptomatic of lost focus. I do know he has taken some bush league swings on third strikes which would cause any manager to refrain from using him in a pressure situation.

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