Yankees Manager Joe Girardi continues to get defensive with the media in regards to the way he is handling Alex Rodriguez‘s final few games.
Joe Girardi really brought this upon himself. When word broke that A-Rod would be packing in it on Aug. 12, Girardi told the media he would let Rodriguez dictate his final few appearances as a member of the New York Yankees.
Basically, this meant that if Rodriguez was ready, able, and willing to play, Girardi would allow him to do so out on the diamond, rather than from the dugout steps. Yet, after the first two games of the series against the Boston Red Sox, Rodriguez has only been used once as a pinch hitter.
For whatever the exact reason, Girardi is unwilling to waive the white flag when it comes to surrendering this season. While I’m all for giving it all you have for 162 games, there comes a time when you need to be realistic.
Before the Yankees come back win against the Red Sox on Wednesday night, the Yanks were still seven games back of first in the division, and 4.5 games from a Wild Card berth. While neither of these numbers is insurmountable, the current dearth of the Yankees’ starting pitching is enough to believe there is little to no chance of playing into October.
Luis Severino was sent down after Tuesday night’s shellacking, Nathan Eovaldi left Wednesday’s game with elbow discomfort, Ivan Nova is now a Pittsburgh Pirate, Michael Pineda is mostly ineffective, CC Sabathia looks like last years version of himself, and Chad Green is back in Triple-A. So that leaves Masahiro Tanaka as the only reliable option.
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Who then gets the call-up, Luis Cessa, Chance Adams, Dietrich Enns, Jordan Montgomery? Nothing against any one of these little-known hurlers, but not a one of the aforementioned pitchers exactly screams playoffs!
But perhaps Girardi knows something we don’t. Maybe, just maybe his job is on the line. Would you put it past Hal Steinbrenner to rule with an iron fist, that if the Yankees don’t make the playoffs, then Girardi is out?
Of course, it could be much more simple than that. Something like Girardi has a deep-seeded resentment for A-Rod and the way he’s played the game for the past 22-seasons. We in the media, and fans alike, will never now what really goes down when those locker room doors are locked shut.
Without jumping to conclusions, we know now Girardi will do whatever he feels is in the best interests of the team. A valiant and noble way of doing business, Girardi let it all hang out on Wednesday night:
"I’m putting out what I feel is the best lineup as we sit around and talk about it as coaches. That’s my job. That’s in my job description. My job description does not entail a farewell tour."
Reporters soon followed up Girardi’s comment by pointing out that he went well out of his way to honor former Yankees captain Derek Jeter when Jeter was on his retirement tour:
"I didn’t really have a replacement, in a sense. This year, we have people that we want to try. We have replacements, and that’s the biggest difference."
Right, like Girardi would not have batted Jeter second, or sat him against tough right-handed pitching. Besides, that 2014 Yankees team stunk too! The bottom line is that Girardi doesn’t have to tell us why he does or doesn’t do a damn thing. He’s calling the shots right now. For how much longer this occurs, is anyone’s guess.
I’m curious to see what happens if Girardi were to go against public perception and actually sit A-Rod in his final game against the Rays on Friday night. If that happens, then the gloves come off, and we may be ringside for some fantastic sound bites.