Raul Ibanez Pinch Hits For A-Rod, Does Way Better Than A-Rod, New York Tabloids Being Real Dicks About It
October 11 / Glenn Davis / SportsGrid
Boy, what a night for Raul Ibanez, huh? Comes in as a pinch-hitter in the ninth inning with the Yankees on the verge of going down 2-1 to the Orioles, hits a game-tying home run, comes up again in the 12th, promptly hits a game-winning home run? That must have been all anyone could talk about, what a storybook night it was for Ibanez, coming out of nowhere to be a big playoff hero and OH COME ON:
Yeah, Ibanez took A-Rod's spot in the lineup. True, it was because A-Rod (who was not, it should be noted, moved down in the lineup) struggled mightily again last night, going 0-for-3 with two strikeouts prior to getting pulled for Ibanez. Fine, "A-Rod's struggles/Ibanez's heroics" was an irresistible dichotomy for tabloids to exploit, given that those A-Rod struggles were such a hot topic to begin with. And I also get that A-Rod schadenfreude is just as irresistible - hell, the person with whom I saw part of last night's game - who doesn't even follow baseball - admitted to hating A-Rod, for reasons that boiled down to, "Eh, you sort of have to."
But would it have killed either paper to make their headlines at least sort of about Ibanez? What he did last night is the stuff of playoff lore. A 40-year-old guy who was born in New York and grew up a Yankees fan (albeit in Miami) comes in and pretty much single-handedly wins the Yankees a playoff game at the last minute? It's practically a fairy tale. Maybe bagging on A-Rod mercilessly sells better, but here, the storybook aspect of Ibanez's clutch play at least deserved equal time.