New York Yankees manager Joe Girardi reportedly went out of his way to try to spare Alex Rodriguez’s feelings during the playoffs.
According to CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman, Girardi called the Yankees public address announcer to have A-Rod’s name omitted from the announcement when Eric Chavez pinch-hit for the aging slugger during the postseason. Typically, pinch hit announcements include both the new batter and the player he is replacing in the lineup. In this case, A-Rod’s name wasn’t mentioned in the stadium.
Yankees GM Brian Cashman reportedly confirmed to Heyman that Girardi made the call.
Rodriguez was pinch-hit for on consecutive nights during the ALDS against the Baltimore Orioles. The first time was after he went 0-for-3 with two strikeouts in Game 3. Raul Ibanez replaced him and hit two home runs to help the Yankees win 3-2 in 12 innings. A-Rod seemed to take things fine and was the biggest cheerleader in the dugout after being replaced. Rodriguez was replaced by Chavez the next night after going 1-for-4 with a walk in a 2-1 loss to the Orioles in Game 4.
A-Rod was also pinch-hit for during a 6-4 loss to the Tigers in Game 1 of the ALCS. He was 0-for-3 with a strikeout before Eric Chavez hit for him. Strangely, he also served as a pinch-hitter replacing Ibanez when the Yanks were eliminated in Game 4 of the ALCS. They each went 0-for-2.
Rodriguez spoke positively about Girardi throughout the playoffs despite being replaced by pinch-hitters and eventually benched. He said Girardi had built up a lot of equity with him. It’s considerate moves like this that make us see why A-Rod would feel strongly about his manager.
Say what you want about the whole thing, but that’s a really considerate move by Girardi. It’s nice to hear about another side of him after the August incident.
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