(Eds: With AP Photos.) By TIM DAHLBERG AP Sports Columnist Joe Girardi should be manager of the year just for the guts it took to sit down his $275 million third baseman and help the New York Yankees advance a step closer to the World Series.
Benching Alex Rodriguez might turn out to be the easiest move in a drama that is suitable for Broadway, but will play out instead in the Bronx. What do you do now with an aging and increasingly fragile player who now threatens to be a drag on the Yankees for years to come?
The immediate answer Saturday night was to put A-Rod back in the lineup against the Detroit Tigers and hope he might guess correctly and square up on a fastball. Girardi declared him ''raring to go,'' relying on the same instincts that have proven remarkably successful the last few days.
''Sometimes you look at a guy's eyes,'' Girardi said. ''Sometimes you listen to his words.''
Sometimes you watch him bat, too, which is how A-Rod ended up in this spot to begin with.