Friday, October 19, 2012

Steinbrenner rolling over in his grave

Well, that was a thud, crash and burn that a few years ago would have had “The Boss”, thundering down from his owner’s suite into the Yankee clubhouse with the scythe of the grim reaper himself! After a season of winning the A.L. East on the last day of the regular season and then advancing to the League Championship Series by capturing a deciding game five at home, the Bronx Bomber collapsed in the ALCS, getting swept by the Detroit Tigers 4-0. On the route of the carnage, one very valuable broken ankle, along with a lot of broken bats and egos! So as always, unlike any other franchise is baseball, when the Yankee machine breaks down before the mission is complete, immediately the questions are raised what needs to change and who needs to go? Obviously taking the brunt of the Yanks demise is Alex Rodriguez and he should. A-Rod or maybe it really should be A-Roid; by the way his numbers continue to decline overall, since admitting his performance enhancing drug use several years ago was flat out awful and ended up having the best seat in the house to watch his team’s season end. Rodriguez finished the ALCS in a pinch-hitting role after being benched three times, twice in elimination games and being pinch-hit for in the divisional series. The one-time superstar went 0-18 versus right-handed pitching with 12 strikeouts this postseason. If manager Joe Girardi felt the Yanks chances were better without A-Rod now, why wouldn’t they be later? Well the answer is they probably would be, at least for the amount of money Rodriguez is making and still owed which is a huge problem for the organization. Under his current deal, Rodriguez is still owed 114-million dollars over the next five seasons! That would make him 42 years old when the deal ends, comical isn’t it? Not if you’re a Yankees fan or in the New York front office. The only solutions for the Bombers to this huge problem are the following; find a suitor who is willing to take him off their hands like the Florida Marlins and pay the majority of his remaining salary, which would probably be anywhere from 80 to 100 million dollars without getting much in return or continue to run him out there at third base and hope what happened in the post-season was just a bad slump at the wrong time. A-Rod is not as bad as what we just saw in October but truth be told, he is also not the same player that came over from the Texas Rangers what seems like many moons ago in 2003. In 21 post-season games between 2010 and 2012, Rodriguez is hitting a putrid .160! Over the course of 162 games when healthy, he’s probably .270 hitter, who will pop between 15 and 20 home runs per season with about 65 RBIS. Clearly not enough for 30-million a season, so general manager Brian Cashman has some serious work on his hands without a whole lot of options. Remember, Rodriguez holds a solid no-trade clause in his contract so he has the final say to his future. They only way Cashman might be able to wash his hands of this dilemma is to threaten to platoon A-Rod at third base in certain pitching match-ups and maybe that would make Rodriguez waive the clause and skip town. But A-Rod wasn’t the sole perpetrator in the Yanks post-season debacle. As a team in the ALCS they played 39 innings, failing to score in 36 of them with a team batting average overall in the post-season of .188, the worst ever for a team that played at least seven games. His replacement at third Eric Chavez went 0-for-16 in the entire playoffs. The combination of A-Rod, Nick Swisher, Curtis Granderson and Robinson Cano hit a combined 14-for-125 with one home run. Swisher was 1 for 5 with runners in scoring position. Cano endured a 29 at-bat hitless drought over the entire post-season. Those are the type of stats that get you eliminated from the post-season and the roster re-worked for the upcoming year. Swisher, who made 10.3 million this past season will most likely be wearing another uniform next season. The clubs holds options on both Cano and Granderson at 15-million a pop, but expect both to return wearing pinstripes. Ichiro Suzuki will probably be offered a chance to comeback but for much less than the 17 million he made this past season after coming over in a trade from Seattle. You have to figure the franchise will work out a new deal for the recovering legend, closer Mariano Rivera who missed the entire season with a torn ACL, while Derek Jeter who will undergo ankle surgery after being hurt in game one of the League Championship Series, still has two years left on his remaining contract. Chances are pitcher Andy Pettitte will retire for good now at the age of 40, while Hiroki Kuroda could be offered another one-year deal. Russell Martin and Raul Ibanez futures are up in the air at best in New York with Chavez probably looking for another team in-order to keep his career alive. This was the first time the Yankees have been swept in a best-of-seven series since the 1976 World Series against the Cincinnati Reds. If “The Boss” were still alive, heads would be rolling by next week! Current man in charge Hal Steinbrenner is not quite as irrational has his father George and much slower to pull the trigger on jobs and careers but you can bet, after the embarrassment the Yankees franchise just experienced over the last four games, this team will look very different in 2013.

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