Living in the New York-Metropolitan area, and listening to sports talk radio during a two-hour commute every day, it’s impossible to avoid the drama surrounding Alex Rodriguez and the Yankees right now. To me, it’s fascinating that the man who some consider the greatest baseball player of all-time is left out of the lineup in the postseason — and in his team’s elimination game no less! I understand that the Yankees have All-Stars at every position (including the bench), and that A-Rod is not looking like the player he once was, but still, his status and paycheck would suggest that his is the first name to be written into the lineup card (especially with Derek Jeter injured). I’m trying to draw a theoretical comparison to the Mets and falling woefully short. I guess it would like if the Mets were in the playoffs (ha!) right now and Terry Collins chose to bench David Wright. The last time I can remember a superstar of this magnitude being benched in the postseason was in 1977, when Billy Martin sat Reggie Jackson in Game 5 of the ALCS vs. the Royals. Times were different back then, of course. For example, although there were players who tried to get fans’ phone numbers in the middle of a game, beat writers wouldn’t report it as news.
Something tells me that this A-Rod situation is only beginning — especially if the Yankees are eliminated by the Tigers. Already there are rumors of trading A-Rod to the Marlins, which seems plausible considering Miami’s spending frenzy last winter and continued need to build a fan base. But Rodriguez carries with him another 5 years and over $110M — a staggering commitment, and especially egregious after looking at how much his health and production have suffered since admitting to taking steroids (hmmm …..). Will the Yankees trade him? Can anyone afford him? Will they pay some of his salary to get him out of New York? What kind of package of players can they get in return? Can A-Rod contribute to a championship club, or is it all about fannies in the seats?
What do you think? Are you paying attention to the Yankees drama? Do you find it entertaining? How do you think things will turn out with A-Rod? Post your notes in the comments.
About the Author
Joe Janish began MetsToday in 2005 to provide the unique perspective of a high-level player and coach -- he earned NCAA D-1 All-American honors as a catcher and coached several players who went on to play pro ball. As a result his posts often include mechanical evaluations, scout-like analysis, and opinions that go beyond the numbers.