“(Rodriguez’s benching) had nothing to do with anything but what I felt was our best opportunity that day,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. “I just think he was one of our guys that was struggling, like a lot of our other guys.”
Blame it on the boos? According to one anonymous player, the unhappy home vibes may have contributed to New York being swept out of the ALCS.
The ALCS revealed serious cracks in the foundation, showing a team full of aging All-Stars at the plate, in the field and on the mound that suddenly seems a long, long way from championship caliber.
Go ahead. Admit it. It’s OK. You knew it was going to end like this, the Yanks and their life-support offense betrayed by ace CC Sabathia when they needed him most.
The Yankees kept their lineup the same as it would have been on Wednesday — with Rodriguez on the bench for the third time in nine postseason games. A-Rod is 3-for-23 with no RBIs in these playoffs.
Alex Rodriguez has been benched again by manager Joe Girardi, who also dropped center fielder Curtis Granderson from the starting lineup while trying to avoid elimination on Wednesday.
WFAN co-host Craig Carton let A-Rod have it — and he was just getting started. Yankees sluggers? More like Yankees slumpers.
The Yankees’ backs are against the wall, but it takes four games to win — a fact New York knows all too well.
It’s the second time that A-Rod has been benched this postseason. He’s 3-for-26 in the playoffs so far, and is 0-for-18 with 12 strikeouts against right-handers.
There were times this year when Justin Verlander took the mound while his team was reeling a bit — and the right-hander’s presence was Detroit’s best shot at snapping out of a momentary funk.
“This is a very easy place to play now,” said Tigers outfielder Quintin Berry, according to a report. “Coming from Oakland, the fans there were so rowdy. It was easier to come here.”
Uh-oh. There’s trouble in paradise. Hurt by jabs, jeers and insults from the home crowd, off-and-on fan favorite Swisher acknowledged Sunday he wasn’t much in the mood for roll call at Yankee Stadium.
“The technology is available,” said Girardi. “That’s what our country has done. We have evolved technology to make things better. Yeah, let’s have instant replay. And not just, not just home run, fair, foul. Let’s have instant replay.”
The manager doesn’t believe in panicking. The locker room doesn’t believe in panicking. But if ever there was a time for it, with Derek Jeter done and the Yankees’ hitters as lost as lost can be, this is it.
Raul Ibanez’s role will increase against the Tigers’ parade of right-handed starters and will be a key figure in the Yankees’ hopes of reaching the World Series.
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