Originally written on The Other Paper  |  Last updated 10/11/12
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.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Brady issues statement on Facebook after having suspension lifted

Don Orsillo reportedly asked to lie about being fired by NESN

Matt Cassel believes Bills will keep three quarterbacks

St. Louis police seize scalpers' World Series tickets to give to friends

Eli Manning happy Tom Brady will play NFL season opener

Phil Kessel has shed 13 pounds this summer

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Cam Newton addresses ‘gang’ photo on Instagram

Steelers defense is younger and faster but not better

Duke basketball to visit White House next Tuesday

Report: Cowboys have interest in Broncos RB Montee Ball

NFL owners to discuss changing Goodell's disciplinary role

Report: Eagles trade Matt Barkley to Arizona Cardinals

WATCH: Ben Revere gifted Matt Wieters a home run

Judge Sarah Thomas as an NFL official, not a female NFL official

Redskins skip Robert Griffin III in jersey countdown

Wisconsin vs Alabama preview

Simona Halep popular with fans who want to kiss her

Patriots planned on raising a "Brady banner on opening night

Braves and Phillies sucking at the same time is rare

Montana St. linebacker delivers bone crushing hit in opener

Despite loss, all eyes still on Jim Harbaugh, Wolverines

Kirk Cousins discusses what it’s like to be called ‘Kurt’

Playoffs or not, Bryce Harper is the NL MVP

Donald Sterling’s wife Shelly seeking alimony

Chicago Bears and Jay Cutler: A love/hate relationship

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!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Wisconsin vs Alabama preview

Tom Brady issues statement on Facebook

Robert Griffin III and a dream deferred

Best, worst surprises of NFL preseason

The Gospel Of Harbaugh prepares for its ultimate test of faith

Meet the Utah Utes, the pluckiest program in college football

Iman Shumpert will name daughter Iman Shumpert Jr.

Dallas company celebrates Romo with DirecTV 'crownies'

Top 10 storylines for Week 4 of the NFL preseason

Matt Williams is still hopelessly married to the idea of the closer’s role

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker