Found October 11, 2012 on
The Other Paper:
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.
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
CENTAUR OF ATTENTION
A day after Alex Rodriguez was pinch hit for in favor of Raul Ibanez, another A Rod suffered a similar fate at Belmont.
The Yankees and the ALDS have an eerie relationship. It serves as either a small stepping-stone towards alarger pedestal or a heartbreaking roadblock of a larger goal. The Yankees aren’t like your favorite baseball team. The Baltimore Orioles have already had a successful season, anything in addition to making the ALDS is icing on a historic cake. They are playing with house money...
GET YOUR POPCORN READY?
After Terrell Owens took to Twitter to plead with the Jets to take a flier on him, Jets head coach Rex Ryan didn't say the team would do so but didn't rule it out, either.
Alex Rodriguez carried the New York Yankees to the 2009 World Series title with an amazing power display. His more recent postseason memories all too often involve ending with a swing and a miss.
A-Rod struck out to end the Yankees' 3-2 loss to the Baltimore Orioles in Game 2 of their division series Monday night, and calls to drop him from the No. 3 spot in the lineup and give...
Jets Coach Rex Ryan Won’t Rule Out Signing Terrell Owens -Coach Rex Ryan didn’t completely rule out signing free agent WR Terrell Owens during a Tuesday press conference. Owens made an open plea to the Jets via Twitter during Monday night’s loss to the Texans. “Hey JETS!!! I’m available! I’m ready, willing & able! Call my agent [Jordan Woy] & let’s make it happen...
Yes, I added this for Gay Porn Traffic10) Ryan is an agnostic who rejects ESPN and all of His works9) Once he plays this card and loses, the Jets will no longer be interesting to even the tabloids8) Wants to keep Designated Sidehow Tim Tebow fresh for those crucial fake punts7) Hasn't done quite enough to bury the man's chances at every having a career outside of New York...
People are going to read into the wording used by New York Jets coach Rex Ryan when he said on Wednesday that Mark Sanchez will remain the Jets starting quarterback "this week." The fact that Ryan did not commit beyond Sunday's game against Indianapolis may or may not mean anything, but it certainly will fuel speculation about whether Tim Tebow could become the starter...
It looks desperate. It's not.
Joe Girardi's decision to bench Alex Rodriguez for the winner-take-all Game 5 of the American League Division Series is a matter of common sense.
Based on the way he's been swinging -- long before this series began -- A-Rod is not the New York Yankees' best option to start against right-handed pitching.
Raul Ibanez is the better designated...
Alex Rodriguez will start the New York Yankees' biggest game of the year on the bench.
After being pinch hit for in Games 3 and 4 against the Baltimore Orioles, the $275 million third baseman was removed from the starting lineup for Game 5 on Friday.
Eric Chavez is set to start at third base, while Game 3 star Raul Ibanez will be the designated hitter in the winner-take-all...
Down by a run in an all-even AL division series, Joe Girardi approached Alex Rodriguez and told baseball's highest-paid player he was going to pinch hit for him.
Bold move, benching one of the game's great sluggers.
''I just had a gut feeling,'' the Yankees manager said. ''I just went to him and I said, `You're scuffling a little bit right now...
Mark Sanchez is still the starting quarterback for the New York Jets, according to the head coach of the New York Jets.
Head coach Rex Ryan continues to stand behind his quarterback, despite continued aerial ineptitude, which was showcased for all of the nation to see on Monday during a Monday Night Football loss to the Houston Texans.
His production shriveled, his aura dissipated, his place in history unsettled and his ego almost certainly bruised, Alex Rodriguez took a seat following the Snub Seen `Round the World and became a spectator, little different than the 50,000 other fans at Yankee Stadium.
At age 37, he has become perhaps the biggest hole in the New York Yankees' batting order this October, a close...
The New York Jets are placing Darrelle Revis on season-ending injured reserve, a few weeks after Rex Ryan said the team would wait until after surgery in case the star cornerback could return in time to play in the Super Bowl.
Ryan says Friday that Revis will have surgery next week to repair the torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee suffered almost three weeks ago at...
The New York Jets are the definition of dysfunction, and the circus is only getting better as time moves forward.
In an interview on CNBC, Woody Johnson made a plethora of comical remarks that should raise our eyebrows, but more specifically, he said of the possibility of hanging on to Tim Tebow, "He's going to be with us for three years."
Meanwhile, Manish Mehta...
The New York Jets will be without defensive end Kenrick Ellis for 4-6 weeks with what coach Rex Ryan labeled a "significant" knee injury. The MCL injury suffered Monday against the Houston Texans is likely a small tear. Ellis isn't the only player on injury watch this week. All-Pro center Nick Mangold didn't practice Thursday and safety Eric Smith, who sprained...