Originally written on The Other Paper  |  Last updated 10/23/14
Joe Girardi did something Wednesday night that many New York fans think Rex Ryan should have done last Sunday — and the Sunday before and so on — and it paid off in a big way. The New York Jets head coach has the gut, but it was the New York Yankees manager who had the guts to pull slumping $29 million starter Alex Rodriguez and take a chance on pinch-hitter Raul Ibanez in the ninth-inning of last night's ALDS game with the Yankees trailing, 2-1. If anyone thought Girardi didn't have it in him to substitute a future Hall of Famer for a 40-year-old journeyman player in such a critical situation, he proved them wrong. We all know Ibanez saved the game by slugging a home run to tie the game but things only got better in the 12th his walkoff homer gave the Yankees a 3-2 win and made Girardi's gutsy decision look  like pure genius. Call it baseball's version of the Wildcat. The Yankee manager has been known to pull strings according to the statistics from his notebook in the dugout.  But pulling Rodriguez was a move born of instinct and nerve — knowing the risk. Joe Torre had the onions to bat then-struggling A-Rod in the eighth spot during Game 4 of the 2006 ALDS against the Detroit Tigers and the slugger never forgave him.  Coincidentally, shortly after, Torre was gone. Rodriguez had already struck out twice in Wednesday night's game — making it seven times in the three games — and the chances of A-Rod breaking out of his funk facing the Orioles closer Jim Johnson — who had been successful on 51 of 54 saves this season — was slim. "You're scuffling a little bit right now," Girardi told his third baseman before making the switch. "Raul has been a good pinch hitter for us, and I'm just going to take a shot." "A gut move," Girardi said later. Rodriguez took the move in stride and made no excuses. When Girardi made the slow approach to his star player in the ninth, Rodriguez said it ended with a cordial and brief meeting. "I said, 'Joe, you gotta do what you've gotta do'" said Rodriguez after the game.  "And then I got up to the top step and started cheering.  I'm Joe's biggest fan.  Joe has always respected me to the utmost and I give it right back to him." For now, Girardi's daring move looks like a win-win situation.  There was no sulking from A-Rod and the manager's move saved the Yankees from what could have been an elimination game on Thursday. Where Rodriguez and Ibanez end up on Girardi's lineup card tonight is any one's guess.  My hunch is that the manager's statistical binder might be the one seeing less playing time.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

C-USA hired PR firm to help Marshall’s playoff chances

Wilson denies rumored Harvin rift, blames media for scrutiny

Report: Cowboys could limit DeMarco Murray's touches

Lakers announce Steve Nash to miss season with back issues

Is Mack Brown the best option for SMU?

Jeremy Kerley on new contract: 'Bentleys for everybody'

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Buss: Any FA who won’t play with Kobe ‘probably a loser’

NFL to start airing its own anti-domestic violence PSAs

Ex-Bronco John Boyett punched cabbie, told cops to call Elway

Former NFL QB still feels effects of concussions every day

Robert Klemko given four-week suspension from The MMQB

Michael Vick: Percy Harvin won't be a monster here

NFL teams facing potential must-win scenarios in Week 8

WATCH: Jeremy Lin poses as Adidas employee for prank

WATCH: Peyton screams at fans to 'shut the f- up!'

Father auctioning off infant son's soccer club allegiance

Love thanks T'Wolves fans in essay for not burning his jersey

WATCH: Browns WR 'kicks out' son over favorite player snub

Memorabilia dealer wants Todd Gurley reinstated immediately

Aaron Rodgers gave girlfriend Olivia Munn a 'special ring'?

The 10 college football programs with most to gain in Week 9

Most disappointing potential dynasties of divisional era

WATCH: OHL hockey coach goes off on reporter: ‘F*** you!’

PK Subban as Michael Jackson at Canadiens' Halloween party

All Sports News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

NFL teams facing must-win scenarios in Week 8

Programs with a lot on the line this week

Wilson denies rumored Harvin rift

Lakers: Steve Nash out for season

Is Mack Brown SMU's best option?

Are sports leagues finally getting serious about domestic violence?

Brian Urlacher rips Jay Cutler

On Kevin Love, Kyrie Irving and embracing newfound roles

Top NFL storylines: Week 8

Kiffin's mom worried for son's safety

Report: Goodell will have to testify

Penguins do 'O Canada' following tragedy

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.