New York Yankees: Alex Rodriguez can’t be the No.1 option


The New York Yankees are relying heavily on Comeback Player Of the Year Alex Rodriguez, but at 40-years old he cannot be the No.1 option for this offense.

Quick question: what happens when a 40-year-old designated hitter is the extent of your offense?

Quick answer: said hitter hits his 30th homerun of the season (the 15th time he has done so in his career), and you still lose the game, 2-1.

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Such was the case last night, as despite Alex Rodriguez hitting yet another milestone, the New York Yankees fell to the Baltimore Orioles, 2-1. This is the problem that has plagued the Yankees of late. With Mark Teixeira out with a deep bone bruise in his left shin, the Yankees are now relying on Rodriguez, who although is having a season worthy of a Comeback Player of the Year award, is a 40-year-old who rarely plays the field.

There is also a fair amount of uncertainty surrounding Teixeira. The Yankees aren’t sure if he’ll make it back, even if they make the playoffs.

“It’s been a long time and he’s still having issues,” said General Manager Brian Cashman to the New York Daily News. “I can’t predict what’s going to happen here. There is a lot of time left between now and the end of the season. I just don’t know.”

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While rookie Gregory Bird has filled in admirably for Teixeira, it would be unfair if he were expected to duplicate Teixeira’s production. One can’t simply expect to replace a hitter who has 31 homeruns this year. Rodriguez mentioned as much.

“You know how important Tex is, you know how I feel about him, and what he means to this clubhouse on and off the field and both sides of the ball,’’ said Rodriguez to the New York Post. “Birdie has been doing a great job. We have to keep rolling.’’


Anyway, with 25 games left in the season, and the Yankees now 1 ½ games behind the Toronto Blue Jays, the Yankees’ playoff hopes now rest on the shoulders of Rodriguez. While fans may still be optimistic about that, understand that this is the same Rodriguez who has hit .219, .111, and .120 in his last three postseasons.

Still optimistic?

There is no denying that Rodriguez is having a brilliant year. No one thought that he would be able to hit 20 homeruns this year, let alone 30. But this isn’t 2009. Alex Rodriguez shouldn’t be your best player this late in the season.

To think otherwise would be irresponsible on the part of the Yankees and on the part of fans. It should be noted that Brian McCann is also having a terrific season. However, it appears as though Rodriguez is the unquestioned leader of the Yankees.

As of right now, the Yankees are four games up on the second wildcard team, the Texas Rangers. They are also 6 ½ games up on the closest team that is chasing a wildcard spot, the Minnesota Twins. By now, we all know that if the Yankees fail to win the division, they will be staring down a one-game playoff against either Texas, Minnesota, or another team. How much confidence should fans have that any starting pitcher could win that game for the Yankees?

Tanaka hasn’t been Tanakaesque this year. Nathan Eovaldi might not be back until the playoffs. C.C. Sabathia, as much as this pains me, is done as a reliable pitcher. Ivan Nova is coming off of Tommy John surgery. Luis Severino, while a rookie with great promise, has never (obviously) pitched in the playoffs. Adam Warren? Yeah…

Simply put, unless the Yankees find more contributions from anyone other than Rodriguez and the bullpen, it’s going to be a long winter.

One last question: can Rodriguez pitch?

Next: Who is the greatest Yankee of all-time?

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