A-Rod Might Get Dropped In Batting Order, New York Post Being Real Dicks About It
Alex Rodriguez is struggling in the playoffs again - through two games against the Orioles, he's 1-for-9 with five strikeouts. He looks lost enough, in fact, that Joe Girardi is facing more and more questions about dropping him in the lineup. A-Rod hit third in Games 1 and 2, and especially for that critical a spot in the lineup, his numbers through two games don't come close to cutting it. Sure, two games isn't much to go on, but we've been down this playoff road with A-Rod before, and that means his struggles are magnified. Magnified by outlets like, say, the New York Post. The Post, it's safe to say, also does not believe A-Rod should be hitting third:
Oh, Post. The question of whether A-Rod should get dropped, though, is a legitimate one. Some still don't think it's a good idea, but it's an idea worth considering as long as A-Rod keeps not producing. What's getting lost in this debate, though, is that the idea to drop A-Rod in the lineup shouldn't just apply to this playoff series - because A-Rod flat-out isn't that great anymore. He's still above average, but he's trending downward - which makes sense, given that he's 37. Look at his last few seasons - both his on-base and slugging percentages have taken precipitous slides from where they used to be. It's time to stop expecting so much out of him.
But less will probably never be expected of A-Rod. That's the price of playing in New York and having baseball's biggest contract. It's not A-Rod's fault the Yankees were willing to pay him $275 million, but when you're making that much and were once the best player in the game, big things will be expected of you whether you're clearly on the decline or not.
And when you add in that A-Rod has an almost mystical hateable quality that makes everyone - even many Yankees fans, seemingly - revel in his failures, and you get... well, Post back pages exactly like the one above. It would be logical to expect him to struggle in the playoffs considering he often has in the past and he's not even as good as he was then, but with A-Rod, logic's rarely entered into the perception equation. And with the Yankees about to enter a best-of-three fight for their playoff lives, it's not going to start now.
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