Friday, October 7, 2011

$200 Million Failure

I know this is not what people want to hear but this is not entirely A-Rod's fault. Yes, the image of A-Rod striking out to end the season sums up his miserable season of minimal production. However, when you score 2 runs on 10 hits, you simply don't deserve to win that game. They didn't completely lay down but they failed to get that big hit, time and time again. Some (including myself) would consider that worse, but it is hard to get the big hit when your 4, 5 and 6 hitters are a drain rather than a spark.

Robinson Cano was our big threat and he was easily neutralized because he had zero protection. If you don't have to pitch to a big hitter, why would you? Our most consistent hitter was Jorge Posada who was batting 7th. Last night was likely his last game as a Yankee and it was the absolute definition of bittersweet. He went out producing but his last game was a first round exit.

Last night was also likely the last time Swisher will have donned the pinstripes. There are only so many times you can be completely useless in October and still return to the Yankees. This is likely the last straw.

Truth is, if the Yankees weren't contractually obligated to keep A-Rod, he'd be gone too. There is a common misconception when discussing the Yankee hitters. The notion that they live and die with Rodriguez's bat. People actually think that without A-Rod's bat in the lineup, the rest of our hitters don't produce. This couldn't be further from the truth. We saw this year, A-Rod got hurt and Nunez and Chavez but stepped in for him. During this stretch, the lineup was clicking beautifully. The issue is having a slumping A-Rod in the lineup. That is when his bat affects the hitters poorly. So am I saying that Girardi should have just sat A-Rod and put in Chavez? Maybe but it's easy to be a Monday morning quarterback. We would have been better off with losing A-Rod for the season but it didn't play out that way. Maybe it's time the Yankees have a sit down with Alex and make him the full time DH. His fielding was stellar this series but all his injuries seem to come while playing defense.

One thing is for sure, this season could have been so much more.
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