With all the drama emerging from the Alex Rodriguez scenario, the New York Yankees came from behind to ease the tension in the clubhouse.
For once, the major story for the New York Yankees is not hovering around the soon-to-be-released Alex Rodriguez.
Instead, a comeback victory over the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park in which the Bombers scored eight runs in the seventh with rookie Gary Sanchez stealing the show in Beantown.
The 23-year old not only hit his first major league home run but became the ninth Yankee rookie since the year 1913 to compile at least four hits in one of his first career games.
Gary Sanchez launched his first big league homer over the center field wall and it was a shot. #Yankees pic.twitter.com/WBqXZKq941
— Max Wildstein (@MaxWildstein) August 11, 2016
More impressively was the fact that manager Joe Girardi, who is under fire for his handling of A-Rod’s “farewell” tour, managed his bullpen to utter perfection after Nathan Eovaldi had to leave after the first inning.
Austin Romine recorded two hits, Didi Gregorius smacked a home run, and Rodriguez even contributed with a Sac-Fly. More importantly, New York had erased a three-run deficit by proving that winning as a team was more important than getting the whole A-Rod fiasco get in their heads.
Oh, by the way, they are now only 4.5 games out of a postseason berth.
The youth, which is, for now, led by Gary Sanchez, is providing these Yankees with a little bit of fire as they progress in their youth movement and yet the focus is on a 41-year old designated hitter who is about to be released.
Sure, he is one of the most monumental names in the history of the game, but it’s about time that the organization shifts its focus to playing the games that are ahead of them.
“It creates news,” Girardi told the Daily News. “That doesn’t help our situation. That doesn’t help our situation. It doesn’t help our clubhouse in a sense.”
The higher ups may have waived the white flag, but surely their young kids could and have already made a significant impact on their performance.
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Since Sanchez’s call up, New York’s offense has averaged 6.2 runs per game which is significantly better than their overall 4.12 RPG in all games prior to his promotion to the Bronx.
Though most view A-Rod’s “farewell” as a story that causes every other aspect of the Bombers to be irrelevant, there’s baseball that is trying to be played here.
You can say A-Rod should be playing, which most would agree. Aaron Hicks has been primarily an automatic out in the lineup with an above average glove and little to no pop while A-Rod – who has poor yet superior numbers – rides the pine.
However, like Girardi says, that doesn’t help the Yankees cause. That cause is to try their very best to make a run at the postseason.
Will a postseason berth happen? Probably not. Did A-Rod deserve at-bats as he strives for 700? Sure.
But by the time Friday night reaches it’s completion, there will be no more questions on why he wasn’t penciled in the lineup during the final week of his Yankees’ tenure.
Instead, the center of attention will be hungry kids like Sanchez, Aaron Judge, and Rob Refsnyder who will strive to reach an improbable playoff push with other high-minded talent in the farm ready to bloom.
Let’s not get riled up over this, too much. It’s tiring, aggravating, and counter-productive. This is a new era of Yankees’ baseball and while A-Rod should be remembered for what he did during is 12-years here, use Wednesday night’s comeback win should remind you that there are actually games left to be played.