Leave A-Rod Alone New York, It’s Not His Fault
By Daniel Harris
Boston University News Service
The Yankees may not be damned, but placing the bulk of the blame on Alex Rodriguez for failing to advance to the 2012 World Series is ludicrous. The Bronx bombers’ bid for their 28th World Series championship fell short on Wednesday night after losing to an impressive Detroit Tigers team that many pundits predicted would win it all before the season began. Yankee fans have come to believe that every season is World Series ring or bust, and the New York media point fingers quickly when the team doesn’t go all the way. Who better to blame than their $30 million man? Except this time it wasn’t A-Rod’s fault.
It is easy to focus on A-Rod’s mediocre hitting for the team’s failures when he struck out in 12 of 25 post-season at bats and reached base only five times, and its silly to castigate him for sending his phone number via batboy to Australian bikini model Kyna Treacey who was sitting in the stands. That is nothing but a sideshow.
Alex Rodriguez immediately became the scapegoat for the Yankees’ malaise after his “mid-game bench womanizing” became national news. How about focusing on the guys that actually were on the field? Yankees All-Star second basemen Robinson Cano shattered the MLB postseason hitless at-bat streak at 27. Then there is Yankees’ home run leader Curtis Granderson who’s OPS (on-base percentage plus slugging percentage) hollowed from .811 in the regular season to a dismal .382 this October. Culpability somehow skipped past manager Joe Girardi who flip-flopped A-Rod in and out of the lineup, not giving him the opportunity to find a daily rhythm, especially after Yankee captain and perennial October hero Derek Jeter was sidelined with a broken ankle. Oh, by the way, A-Rod’s replacement Eric Chavez went hitless in his sixteen postseason at-bats. The media slammed A-Rod so hard that rumors of him being traded to Miami swirled around Yankee-land even before their season had ended.
The media unnecessarily focused their attention on Rodriguez guiding the fans’ opinions away from its manager and the rest of the team, which scored an average of 50 percent fewer runs in the postseason than in the regular season. Maybe its time to let A-Rod slip through the cracks–he just might perform like a three-time MVP.