Worlds have collided. For quite some time now, in fact. Alex Rodriguez and David Ortiz work together at FOX Sports and provide insight an analysis particularly during marquee baseball games/events.
It has certainly felt weird for New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox fans. These two stars played ball during the height of this rivalry. Now they’re side-by-side talking about the sport they love as they laugh, reminisce and play off of each other on live television.
Perfect timing, boys. No better moment to come together in opposition of the Yankees during one of the most watched MLB events of the entire year.
During FOX Sports’ coverage of the Home Run Derby on Monday night, Rodriguez and Ortiz were in agreement that the Bombers may be in trouble when all is said and done in 2021.
Yankees haters have (largely) been in heaven since that epic run from 1996-2000. Outside of 2009, life has been hell for NYY fans. And 2021 might be the pinnacle.
Here’s what Alex Rodriguez and David Ortiz had to say about the Yankees.
"“The way the Rays and the Red Sox are going, I think, unless there’s radical change — and I don’t see one coming — I think the party’s over at least this year for the Yankees,” Rodriguez said.“As a right-handed hitter, I loved having a left-handed guy right behind me like Griffey, or Texieira, or Matsui. What we want as a lineup, we want lefty-righty-lefty-righty. That way, that opposing manager always has a tough decision. Right now, the way that team is architected, there’s eight righties against a righty. They’re last in doubles, they’re last in triples, they’re second in double plays. They have made a ton of outs — almost 40 outs on the bases.”“I always believe in veteran leadership,” Ortiz added. “I’ve been watching the Yankees quite a bit, especially this season. When I watch them in the dugout, I feel like there’s some communication missing between players. When we would compete against these guys, you could tell they were talking about game situations, what was happening during the game because they mob as a group — four of them over here, four of them over there. You could tell that the communication and the veteran leadership was there. That would probably be the problem right now with the Yankees because the talent is there. They might need a little bit of help with the pitching. Chapman might need to come back. … At the end of the day, when you have that type of talent, and you’re struggling that much, that means there’s some chemistry that needs to be fixed in that clubhouse to go back to what everybody expects.”"
So the Yankees have talent, that’s good to know. But based on the perspective from two of the game’s modern day legends, the lineup structure is bad and the chemistry is non-existent. The overload on righty hitters is on general manager Brian Cashman, there’s no way around that.
However, the chemistry aspect is the most depressing. Ortiz really twisted the dagger there. This team’s core has been together for quite some time. Aaron Judge, Gleyber Torres, Giancarlo Stanton, Gary Sanchez, Brett Gardner, Clint Frazier, Aroldis Chapman, Chad Green (should we keep going??) have all been playing together since 2018. Four straight years of continuity isn’t enough to develop a stronger bond on this front?
Throw in the excellent veteran additions of Gerrit Cole, DJ LeMahieu, Corey Kluber, Gio Urshela, Rougned Odor, Zack Britton and others, and that somehow hasn’t improved the situation? At least we know we’re not crazy. Fans have been complaining about a lack of an influential/boisterous veteran voice to light a fire under this lagging roster.
We’re still waiting. Maybe one will come at the trade deadline … but that’ll also depend how the Yankees perform over their next 15 games. So yeah … the Yankees need one now. They can’t wait.
Perhaps A-Rod or Big Papi can provide some morale in the dugout for a few weeks? That’d be a lot more helpful than whatever this bizarre ant-Yankees alliance was on Monday.