NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Many think — some even hope — Alex Rodriguez’s time in the Bronx in over.
Don’t tell that to A-Rod, who vowed to return to the Yankees after Thursday’s AL championship series-ending defeat to the Detroit Tigers in Game 4.
“That’s correct,” said Rodriguez, who has a full no-trade clause. “I will be back, and I have a lot to prove, and I will come back on a mission. … I’ve never thought about going to another team. My focus is to stay here. Let’s make that very, very clear.
“No. 2, I don’t expect to be mediocre. I expect to do what I’ve done for a long time.”
Rodriguez had a nightmarish postseason, going 3 for 25, and was hitless in 18 at-bats with 12 strikeouts against right-handed pitching. He was left out of the lineup multiple times, pulled for pinch-hitters, and found himself embroiled in controversy after reportedly flirting with Australian model Kyna Treacy at Yankee Stadium late in Game 1 of the ALCS.
Rodriguez wasn’t totally to blame for New York’s anemic offense. Not even close. Nick Swisher, Curtis Granderson and Robinson Cano also struggled — not only in the four-game sweep, but throughout the postseason.
“I expect Alex to be here,” Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said. “I expect Alex to come back and be our third baseman. Obviously, what just happened here, I just don’t think it’s reflective of Alex’s abilities — and I think that’s true of a lot of the guys, not just Alex.”
Cashman was forced to refute a report on Wednesday from Keith Olbermann which stated there were talks with Miami regarding A-Rod. On Thursday, the general manager said he “wouldn’t be willing to get rid of anybody unless it made sense for us.”
Rodriguez is guaranteed $114 million over the remaining five years of his contract.
“I fully expect Alex to be here next year,” said Cashman. “Clearly, he hasn’t done well against righties for whatever reason this particular year, but that can change. His history is different than that.”
Though A-Rod admitted this postseason was “extremely difficult,” he insisted he loves “everything about being a Yankee.”
“I love New York City,” he said. “I plan to be here, and I plan to come back and be productive for this team for a while.”
Is this bad news or good news? Yankees fans, make your case for or against A-Rod in the comments below…