The New York Yankees are having a slow, rolling start to the 2015 season. They have not looked sharp in the starting rotation, and their play in the field has been absolutely atrocious. One thing that has not been ugly is Alex Rodriguez.
Seemingly, no matter how good A-Rod has been thus far, it is still not good enough to some of the Yankees’ faithful. Should it be? The Bronx is boiling and I need to blow some steam.
NO NEED TO FORG13VE, BUT WE NEED TO ACCEPT HIM
I have not hidden my feelings about A-Rod since he was reinstated as part of the New York Yankees 2015 roster. At first, I looked forward to his return, not as a person, but as a bat to help the anemic offense of the 2014 Yankees. Then, after the apology and firestorm in the media, I kind of wanted A-Rod to just go away from the game of baseball. Either way, I accepted the fact that he was part of the Yankees.
Here is the conundrum that A-Rod has posed the Yankees Universe over the past week. Many Yankees’ fans are already jumping ship this season and complaining via social media that this team is terrible. I think it is way too early, and I responded via Twitter the other day:
The ’98 #Yankees started out 1-4 and were outscored 36-15 in those games. Wound up winning 114 and a title. Calm down, long way to go!
— Wayniac Nation (@UofDWayne) April 17, 2015
Now, here’s the other end of the spectrum. There is still a large conglomerate of Yankees’ fans expressing their hatred of A-Rod over the internet. They want him gone, some will say. Others will say, and this is absolutely ludicrous, that the Yankees should simply bench A-Rod to spite him. This approach, which I have seen all too often, confuses me. The Yankees are paying A-Rod over $20-million a year. Should they bench him to “spite” him, A-Rod comes out the winner, having to do literally nothing for a $20-mill paycheck.
No, if A-Rod was re-instated by Major League baseball and he is on the Yankees’ books as their largest salary, I personally not only want to see him play, but I want to see him succeed. Not because I like A-Rod the man, not because I want to see him break more records, but because he suits up in pinstripes. Bottom line is when A-Rod strives, so do the Yankees.
That’s what I don’t get. The Yankees’ faithful still want to hate on A-Rod, and they also want to hate on how awful this rendition of the Bronx Bombers may appear to be. But they can’t have both when A-Rod is clearly a deciding factor in the Yankees’ wins.
Friday night, the Yankees beat the hot Tampa Bay Rays 5-4. A-Rod got the Yankees the lead with a solo bomb in the second inning. He tied it on a two-run bomb in 6th inning, and drove in Brett Gardner for the winning run in the eighth inning. If you want A-Rod on the bench so badly, the Yankees lose that game and fall to 3-7. Instead, they beat a team that was atop the division… and haven’t lost since.
The Yankees have six wins thus far in 2015. A-Rod has 8 RBI in two of those wins, and has scored four more in the last two victories. The Yankees need his bat in a lineup in which every other regular starter is batting less than .265. You don’t have to embrace him, nor respect him, nor forgive him. But it’s time to accept that A-Rod is not only a part of this lineup, but an important one at that.