Wednesday, July 14, 2010

What the heck was Joe Girardi thinking in leaving A-Rod on the bench?

I am still irate over the end of the All-Star Game last night. Thanks for nothing, Joe Girardi. And for once, Squawker Jon and I are in agreement on something - Alex Rodriguez should have been in the game last night.

I wrote on Facebook in the ninth inning that if A-Rod were given the opportunity to do so, he would tie or win the game. For the Boss, of course. And I'm furious that Rodriguez never got the opportunity to make history.

Think about this for a second - you can bring the tying run to the plate with A-Rod. It's also the day George Steinbrenner died. You mean to tell me Alex, known for his flair for the dramatic, wouldn't have had a big moment if he were given the opportunity? C'mon now.

What the heck was Girardi thinking? As Squawker Jon noted, A-Rod only started the four-run rally against Jonathan Broxton last month. Why not bring in Alex to remind Broxton of that worst outing of his career?

Girardi's explanation, courtesy of's Bryan Hoch, is even worse:

Asked for a particular reason he did not put Rodriguez in the game, Girardi said there was no injury-related concern with A-Rod, but rather with Beltre's left hamstring, which nearly prompted the Rangers' Michael Young to be added Monday as a replacement.

"We were talking about pinch-running [Rodriguez] in a situation," Girardi said. "We also had a little issue with Beltre and we were concerned about his hamstring, so if we get the tying run on, Al was going to pinch-run and then go in [to play third base]."

What the???? (Smacks forehead.) You're going to use A-Rod as a PINCH RUNNER to replace a gimpy Adrian Beltre? Are you freaking kidding me? Good grief. No wonder A-Rod looked so ticked off at the end of the game!

Yeah, if the Boss were in his prime, I think Girardi's head would have been on the chopping block - or he would have at least been the object of Steinbrenner's rage. And with good reason. Girardi not playing A-Rod isn't as bad as Torre batting him eighth, but it's still a huge misstep. What a nightmare.

What do you think? Tell us about it!


Anonymous said...

Why did Girardi leave A-Roid on the bench? He was trying to WIN. A-Roid is an overpaid, narcissistic mercenary. Bringing in A-Roid guarantees a loss, and Girardi knows it.

Baseball people are so superstitious. Isn't it a strange coincidence that on the day that Steinbrenner dies, the NL beats the AL in the All-star game, the manager of the AL (a Yanker) doesn't play the highest paid player in the game (a Yanker), and the AL LOSES. Are we in the Twilight Zone - doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo! I can see it now, the Boss dies and the team goes with him. Oh happy days!

Steven said...

Wow, what a managerial nightmare. I think the problem was that Beltre didn't otherwise have an at bat, and pitch hitting for him would have been a little tough. And I think Girardi was hoping to get that second runner on so Arod would have the chance to get the win with one swing. That's contrary to all baseball thinking, which is why he didn't fess up afterwards (although his explanation was stupid).

On a brighter note, the fact that the estate tax doesn't exist in 2010 probably means that the Steinbrenners will keep the Yankees for the foreseeable future.

Your post about George captured it exactly for those of us whose earliest baseball memories are the '76 series, or Reggie, etc.

Anonymous said...

Now let us call Girardi out!! He must go, because you don't ever do something like this. He is worse then Torre!!

Uncle Mike said...

I can see George, where he is now, going nuts over it. And I can see Billy Martin yelling at him, saying, "It's an exhibition game, George! It doesn't mean anything!"

No, home-field advantage doesn't mean anything. Hasn't since the ASG rule was instituted: 2003, Yanks lose 2 of 3 at home; 2004 and 2007, Red Sox sweep (cough-steroids-cough); 2005, White Sox sweep; 2006, Cardinals split the first 2 in Detroit; 2008, Phils split the first 2 in Tampa Bay; 2009, Yanks take 2 of 3 in Philly. See? It doesn't mean anything to a team capable of winning anywhere, which is what you want the World Champions of baseball to be.

And, Lisa, I don't know if you're aware of this, but... as with the Yankees, there were more players there than just Alex. We already have a Yankee blog titled "An A-Blog For A-Rod." Somebody once said, "An obsession is a passion become dangerous." I don't know if you've gone all the way to obsession yet, but you have gone to fixation.

Besides, the All-Star Game has rarely been a feature for the Yankees. I remember Catfish Hunter, Sparky Lyle, Ron Guidry and Goose Gossage all getting rocked in them, back when the NL winning the thing was not a miracle like it's been since 1996, but expected. It was a shock when Derek Jeter got the MVP in the 2000 edition, because no Yankee had ever earned that before. And while it was a Yankee, Phil Hughes, who was the losing pitcher last night, it was another Yankee, Robinson Cano, who drove in the AL's only run. Regular-season AL MVP, anyone?

The All-Star Game is a nice occasion, but let the record show that nobody ever took it more seriously than... Pete Rose. If Met fans (who saw through him in October '73, much sooner than most of us did) agree with me on nothing else, they agree with me that taking something as seriously as Rose took it is not a good sign.

Paul said...

ARod is overpaid and narcissistic, but I can't say he's a guaranteed loss. Much as I love to hate him and as annoying as it would be to add a big ASG moment to his bio, putting his bat in the game was absolutely the right thing to do.

I think this only becomes a nightmare if the Yankees are involved in a WS Game 7 this year and lose. Well, a nightmare for some and a sweet dream for others of us.

Uncle Mike said...

Don't worry, Paul, Joe Girardi will bring in Mariano Rivera for the 9th inning of Game 7 -- not the 8th -- if it gets to a Game 7.

Anonymous said...

The point is that you don't leave A-Rod hanging out to dry like this, no matter if it is an exhibition game or not. You play to win the game!! Always and forever. Talk to the Ny Giants and Herm about that. And A-rod gave the American league the best chance in that inning! Why would Girardi pull a Torre?! Why? Why? Why? Girardi isn't that clueless! Something was going on, I suspect!

Paul said...

If I were a Yankee fan I would certainly hope so, Uncle Mike. I have to say I do agree with your perspective on home-field. I think in a game 7, I'd prefer my team were at home but its not like its a guarantee.

Cheers from Boston!

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