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 hitter. Eric Chavez is the better third baseman. Girardi's lineup for Friday's decisive game against Baltimore accurately reflects those realities.
A-Rod is not solely to blame for the Yankees' current predicament, needing a win Friday to extend their season. He is hitting .125 in this series -- but that is better than both Robinson Cano (.111) and Curtis Granderson (.063). Granderson has struck out just as often as A-Rod, a team-high nine times in four games.
This decision has everything to do with A-Rod's at-bats against right-handers in this series, which have been consistently poor. Rodriguez has only two hit...