Rodriguez – I love the Yankees and….
Alex Rodriguez is again out of the Yankees’ starting lineup for Game 4 of the ALCS. Has Rodriguez become baseball’s $30 million platoon player? It certainly looks that way.
While Rodriguez, who is 3 for 23 in these playoffs, is out of the starting lineup for the third time, Yankees manager Joe Girardi and general manager Brian Cashman said before the Game 3 loss to the Detroit Tigers that Rodriguez was benched for the matchup with Justin Verlander for performance reasons only.
Rodriguez was 0 for 18 with 12 strikeouts against right-handed pitching in the playoffs. Against Verlander this season, he was 4 for 6 with two home runs. In his career, Rodriguez is a .267 hitter in 30 at-bats against Verlander.
As it turns out there may be more to the story. Rodriguez may still be a “player” after all.
The New York Post is reporting that Rodriguez who was lifted for a pinch-hitter in game one of the ALCS had a ball delivered to to female fans and the Yankee Stadium crowd during the game. The newspaper identified the women as Kyna Treacy, an Australian bikini model, and her friend Kate Quinn. “It’s true,” the team source said. “It was witnessed in the dugout.
The whole thing is true.” When asked about the Post report Tuesday, Rodriguez told ESPNNewYork.com’s Wallace Matthews, “Don’t believe any of that (expletive).”
Rodriguez has struggled and there is no shortage of those willing to weigh in on the matter. Kobe Bryant, who befriended Rodriguez during a commercial shoot a few years ago, recently had a chat with the Yankees third baseman.
“I just say to him, ‘You’re Alex Rodriguez. You’re A-Rod. You’re one of the best to ever do it,'” Bryant said. “I think sometimes he kind of forgets that and wants to try to do the right thing all the time. Which is the right team attitude to have. But other times you really have to put your head down and say, ‘Hell with it’ and just do your thing. “We’re different,” Bryant said. “But you’re talking about, ‘He’s one of the best to ever play.’ I think really the difference is, sometimes he forgets he’s the best. … Where, I don’t.”
It’s unclear whether or not Kobe gave him any advice on romancing women during the game. If so, here’s hoping he ignored it. Not exactly the person you want to approach for advice about effective flirting with women.
Donald Trump took management side when it came to dealing with the slumping Rodriguez. “I would terminate his contract, personally,” Trump said. “I think George (Steinbrenner) would’ve done that. I would terminate his contract on the basis that when he signed, he didn’t say that he took drugs. Since he signed his contract, they found out that he took drugs, He actually admitted that he took drugs. Now he’s not taking drugs anymore, and without the drugs, he’s a less than average player.”
Trump took exception to the fact that the Yankees are paying Rodriguez $30 million a year and he strikes out every time he comes up. Trump added “I don’t think he’s an asset, I think he’s a liability to the Yankees,”
As it turns out Trump’s remedy for dealing with Rodriguez may be somewhat prophetic. Numerous outlets are reporting that conversations have indeed taken place between Yankees president Randy Levine and Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria over the possibility of a trade that would send Rodriguez to the Marlins. And while nothing serious is likely develop right away, the possibility for getting a deal done may become serious this off-season.
The Yankees owe Rodriguez $114 million and obviously would have to eat a chunk of that money to trade Rodriguez. The Marlins organization has done their best to bring Triple-A baseball back to Miami. The team began a player purge earlier this summer and it seems unlikely Loria would be adding any significant salary to the payroll.
Rodriguez is from Miami and lives there in the offseason, and his situation in New York isn’t going to improve from a professional standpoint. As for his personal life in the Big Apple, that is subject for another column.