There have been a lot of fans all year long who have said the New York Yankees as an organization is better off without the services of Alex Rodriguez and they are best moving forward without him in pinstripes.
Those fans need to get an actual clue and a grip on reality because that is the furthest thing from the truth. The truth is, right now, the Yankees offense, which was kept to zero runs in 19 2/3 innings by the Cleveland Indians this weekend over the course of two games and would have been 20 if not for Jacoby Ellsbury's home run, looked as lifeless as it could.
And lets not talk about the Yankees scoring 10 runs against Cleveland on Friday night, the Yankees didn't score runs in six of the eight innings they played offense in; they had two innings of five runs a piece.
The Detroit Tigers series is a hard series to gauge offense in because three of the four pitchers they faced off against; Max Scherzer, David Price and Justin Verlander, are all the last three Cy Young Award winners and the fourth, Rick Porcello, has been extremely dominant this season. Even so, they still struggled to swing the bat and against the worst pitcher of the bunch in Porcello, managed one run against the New Jersey native.
Around this time last year, A-Rod was just coming back to the Yankees after spending the first four month of the season on the disabled list recovering from hip surgery and breathed new life into the Yankees offense which DESPERATELY needed another right-handed bat to help Alfonso Soriano; Derek Jeter was on the disabled list, as was Kevin Youkilis and Mark Teixeira, which is why A-Rod's return was huge.
A year later, Teixeira is in the lineup but deals with his aches and pains, Jeter is also healthy and has played as well as anyone can expect for a 40-year-old and Soriano has since been released after a terrible 2014 that lead to him first being benched and then cut loose (Youkilis is now in Japan and hurt over there as well.)
The newest additions; Carlos Beltran has dealt with aches and pains and is limited to DH duties because of his elbow; Brian McCann is currently on the disabled list from a concussion and Ellsbury has been healthy and playing well all year. Add in Chase Headley too, who has been a big help to the Yankees lineup. Stephen Drew is still trying to find his stroke after no spring training and not joining a team until June.
In less than 44 games last season, A-Rod had seven home runs and 19 RBI, but wore down because he, like Drew, had no spring training to get ready, just a handful of rehab games and eventually, his legs tired out. The Yankees also played him primarily at third base and because he was needed in the field, again, his legs wore down from not being properly ready for the grind of the everyday baseball schedule, which is why his average dropped down to .244, although that was better than every other option the Yankees trotted out at third base.
The Yankees are desperately trying to get back into the playoff race and have been one of the better teams since the All Star break at 14-9, but at some point, the offense needs to join the pitching staff that has worked really hard to keep the Yankees in the thick of the playoff race and on the heels of the Orioles in the division.
Now some might say the offensive drought is also due to the departure of Robinson Cano too, and while yes, the Yankees really miss Cano right now, they also struggled with him last year too and stumbled to the finish line, getting to 85 wins and missing the postseason for the second time since 2008. Notice though, when A-Rod is out of the lineup for the majority of the season in 2013 and 2014, the Yankees offense has been bad.
But go back to 2012 and beyond, even if A-Rod isn't the MVP slugger that he once was, he still deepens the lineup and still has the necessary power to be an effective bat in the lineup.
Next season, the Yankees will welcome A-Rod back into the fold and he'll either be a part-time third basemen or full-time DH to keep his legs fresh and bat in the lineup and with Jeter retiring, the Yankees could use A-Rod's star power, even if he's 39 going on 40 next year. A-Rod as a name still draws people's attention and with Jeter retiring, the Yankees will need to draw ticket sales; why not a returning A-Rod to spark that, even if it's from people who dislike him and want to see him fail; either way, they're still paying to get into the park.
If the Yankees fail to make the postseason for the second straight time, the fans can all send their thanks to Bud Selig for keeping a bat they could have used all year long out of the lineup all year long because of his crusade to look like a hero going into his retirement as MLB commissioner. Because right now, the offense that puts up zeroes against a lousy Cleveland team could have used A-Rod's bat pretty badly, just like they could have used him in the other six months of the season when they failed to generate offense.
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Tags: Alex Rodriguez, Baseball, MLB, New York, New York Yankees