The New York Yankees find themselves at a crossroads unlike any they have encountered in a long time. This is the time where leaders must step up and pull their team through the toughest of adverse situations. It gets no more adverse for the Yankees than taking the field without their team captain Derek Jeter. That’s the reality the Yankees now face. The show must go on, however who’s going to step up now?
Paging Alex Rodriguez?
Should I be checked for temporary insanity for picking Alex Rodriguez to be the man that steps up and helps fill the void created from losing one of the greatest Yankees of all time? Maybe. We don’t even know if Rodriguez is going to be allowed to step on the field at the rate he’s going in this postseason. He’s currently trapped in the confines of the worst slump of his professional career and at the worst possible time too. He’s looked absolutely lost at the plate. His pride has taken a huge blow by being pinch-hit for. It took another blow when he was benched in the division series clincher against the Orioles. However, I have to believe that Rodriguez can find his way out of the fog he’s currently in. The reality for the Yankees is that they need him now more than they ever have before.
Now if someone will just tell Alex Rodriguez this:
- Tell him that his team needs him to step up and put behind the last 7 days.
- Tell him that it’s time to be the leader that someone who’s making that much money should be.
- Tell him that it’s time to look in the mirror and say to himself that enough is enough … you’re Alex Rodriguez!
The rest of this series against Detroit will tell us all what we need to know about Rodriguez. It will also tell us everything we need to know about what manager Joe Girardi thinks of him. He’s already pinch-hit for Rodriguez and benched him. However with Jeter now out, the Yankees should put that to rest and just play Rodriguez. Just put him out there and watch to see if he can pull himself out of the fog he’s clearly been in.
It hasn’t all been on Rodriguez. Robinson Cano is working with a 2-for-28 heading into Game 2. Nick Swisher has a 3-for-23 dark cloud following him around. Curtis Granderson is good for the occasional home run and that’s been pretty much it. The Yankees have to get something from these bats if they plan on getting past the Tigers.
It’s the ideal time for Rodriguez to seize the moment he’s always wanted since becoming a Yankee. I still believe he can be the intimidating force in the lineup. Opposing pitchers are not going to challenge him with too many pitches down the plate just to see if he really can’t catch up to a fastball anymore. What I’ve seen is someone right now who just can’t seem to get out of his head long enough to be able to succeed.
The baseball world is looking at him right now. They are waiting to see if it is indeed the decline of one of the greatest home run hitters of all-time. The Yankees should look at him now too. They should just put it in his lap and walk away. The team is down, the Captain is lost for the rest of the journey and there is no time to stop and feel sorry for anything. This is the time for Rodriguez. He is going to either respond to the challenge or he’s not. He can either let what’s happened continue or he’ll take this time to say enough is enough, it’s time to lead this baseball team.