BY STEVEN KUBITZA
The New York Yankees bowed out of the ALCS last Thursday, but they still seem to dominate the media, both in print and on television.
The story throughout the postseason regarding the Yankees had to do with the struggles of Alex Rodriguez. This was especially the case during the ALCS, when he went 1 for 9 in three games, as he was held out of the starting lineup for games three and four.
What the media ignored is that A-Rod was not the only Yankee to struggle against the Tigers in the ALCS. Robinson Cano went 1 for 18, Curtis Granderson went 0 for 11, and Mark Teixeira went 3-15. The entire lineup only accounted for 22 hits and 6 runs in four games against the Tigers.
While this offensive stagnation was occurring, it was made out to look like A-Rod was the sole reason for the decline. The coverage got worse once he was held out of the starting lineup for the third game of the series.
Upon the news that Rodriguez was being held out of the lineup, Curt Schilling of ESPN’s Baseball Tonight went on to say that he had a hard time seeing A-Rod return to the Yankees next season. He questioned his ability to play in regular season games since he did not finish out the ALCS.
This point made sense, but he forgot to note that coaches make decisions based on who is playing well at the time. If A-Rod is struggling for a period of time, then it is nothing personal when he is held out of the lineup. It is simply done to give the offense a spark, especially when the entire team is struggling to hit. If there were valid replacements for each player, then Yankee manager Joe Girardi may have tried to make a few more changes.
Schilling echoed the thoughts of many, but those can quickly be put to rest by looking at the contract A-Rod is signed to in New York. He still has 5 years and $114 million left on the deal, along with incentives if he is to pass those ahead of him on the all-time home run list.
The World Series begins on Wednesday, and that should finally begin the transition from talk about A-Rod to talk about the Giants and the Tigers. That is, until the series is over and A-Rod again dominates offseason talks.