A-Rod's October brings Snub Seen 'Round the World

Associated Press  |  Last updated October 11, 2012
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-to-automatic out. The $275 million man lives for moments like the one Wednesday night, when the game and his team's season were tottering on a high wire between success and setback. A player who has spent his entire career trying to gain affection was told he was unwanted, at least not then. So he sat in the front row of the dugout, chin resting on his left hand, and watched as Raul Ibanez pinch hit for him and stroked the home run A-Rod wanted to hit, received the adulation Rodriguez craves. Afterward in the clubhouse, A-Rod said all the right things. ''Maybe 10 years ago I would have reacted in a much different way,'' he explained. While Ibanez's home runs in the ninth and 12th innings gave the Yankees a 3-2 win over Baltimore and a 2-1 AL division series lead, the fallout will linger for the rest of A-Rod's contract, which pays him $114 million over the next five years. ''He wasn't angry. I don't think it will change our relationship,'' manager Joe Girardi said Thursday. ''I saw Al's expression when Raul hit the home run, and you see the type of team player he is.'' Still, it had to sting. ''If you're Alex Rodriguez and you have 650 home runs, I've got to believe he believes he could have done the same thing,'' Girardi said. ''I had to make a hard decision, and we'll get by that.'' And it was a choice noticed around the major leagues. ''That's the toughest decision a manager ever has to face,'' said Washington's Davey Johnson, a veteran of New York's craziness from his time managing the Mets. ''There's times maybe I've thought about it, but I haven't pulled that trigger.'' Rodriguez's career has had more drama than one of those ''Real Housewives'' shows. Even before that February 2009 day in Tampa where he sat under the tent and admitted using performance-enhancing drugs - ''I didn't think they were steroids,'' he said before adding, ''I knew we weren't taking Tic Tacs'' - his body began to break down. He played seven full seasons without a major injury before a strained quadriceps in 2008 became the first of a string of ailments that caused five trips to the disabled list in five seasons. There was the hip surgery in 2009, the strained calf in 2010, the knee surgery in 2011 and the broken hand this year. He hasn't reached 30 homers or 100 RBIs since 2010, hasn't hit .300 since 2008. Fifth on the career list with 647 homers, Rodriguez has become a long shot to break Barry Bonds' record of 762 when just a few years ago it was such a foregone conclusion that bonuses were written into his contract. And since his remarkable postseason helped New York win the 2009 World Series, he's reverted to October bust by going 10 for 62 (.161) with no homers and six RBIs in postseason play, including 1 for 12 with seven strikeouts this year. Rodriguez hasn't homered in 80 at-bats since Sept. 14 and has been overwhelmed by good fastballs, his hands slow, his timing off. Greeted with light applause for his first at-bat Wednesday night, he was booed loudly by the late innings. Some may not think that's worth the $40.7 million he is costing the Yankees this year: $29 million in salary plus $11,687,500 in luxury tax. The money makes the scrutiny only more intense. So does his social circle. He has dated celebrity girlfriends such as Madonna, Kate Hudson and Cameron Diaz. Even knowing the Yankees loathe blemishes on their pristine pinstripes, he couldn't stop himself from making repeated splashes in the New York tabloids by associating with a stripper in Toronto, stopping by a swingers' club in Dallas and gambling at illegal poker hangouts. For all of A-Rod's talk about his desire to just fit in, he'll almost certainly never be loved by Yankees fan the way they adore Derek Jeter. ''Derek has four world championships and I want him to have 10. That's what this is all about,'' Rodriguez said when he arrived in 2004. Since then, the Yankees have won only once. And as A-Rod acknowledged on his first day with the team, World Series rings is the only number that counts.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Report: Bears likely to cut Cutler, focus on trading for Garoppolo

Jeanie Buss apologizes to Lakers fans for not firing brother sooner

Manfred blames MLBPA for no significant rule changes in 2017

Report: Zach Britton has potential oblique injury

The Rock returns to WWE, leaves CM Punk a voicemail after 'Raw'

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

After outfield collision, Ichiro pranks teammate and claims he’s been cut

Simeon Rice gets vulgar with radio host over HOF debate

Ronda Rousey to be guest star on NBC’s ‘Blindspot’

Lakers replace Jim Buss with Magic Johnson, fire Kupchak

Report: James Harrison, Steelers share mutual interest in 2017 return

Jimmy Garoppolo’s mom keeping him up to speed on his trade rumors

Nintendo is finally, thankfully embracing sports and eSports

The 'Did the Kings just make the Pelicans into a super team?' quiz

Will the Timberwolves start showcasing their potential?

'Playmakers' in Ice Cube's league who can help the Cavs

Box Score 2/21: It's trade heartbreak season

The guard tandems you'd want in a 2-on-2 tournament

We got our hands on the new Nintendo Switch, here are our first impressions

Top 10 second basemen in baseball for 2017

Teams and players who could be dealing at the NBA trade deadline

As NHL trade deadline nears, seven teams who could be dealing

Baseball movies you can stream now to hold you over until Opening Day

Movies you can stream now to get your football fix

MLB 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

Nintendo is finally, thankfully embracing sports and eSports

The 'Did the Kings just make the Pelicans into a super team?' quiz

Will the Timberwolves start showcasing their potential?

'Playmakers' in Ice Cube's league who can help the Cavs

QUIZ: Name every MLB pitcher to win 100 games with two different teams

The guard tandems you'd want in a 2-on-2 tournament

We got our hands on the new Nintendo Switch, here are our first impressions

Top 10 second basemen in baseball for 2017

Teams, players who could be dealing at the NBA trade deadline

As NHL trade deadline nears, seven teams who could be dealing

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