Joe Girardi Is ‘Trying to Win Games’

Alex Rodriguez

Three days ago, I watched Alex Rodriguez announce his forced retirement from the Yankees. And three days ago, right after he did that and right after Brian Cashman told some lies about the process as if he had no part in it, I watched Joe Girardi tell some more lies. Girardi said A-Rod would play in the final four games if he wanted to and he would even play the field if he wanted to. Girardi was going to allow the player responsible for Girardi still being the Yankees manager and Cashman still being the Yankees general manager decide how to end his Yankees tenure. Joe Girardi was going to do the right thing.

But a funny thing happened on the way to A-Rod having four games left in his Yankees career: Joe Girardi lied as he has so many times as Yankees manager. Girardi posted the lineup on Tuesday night in Boston and left A-Rod out of it. The reason? “We’re trying to win games.” So since Girardi is trying to win games, he left the .204/.252/.356 hitter out of the lineup, but included the following hitters:

1. .261/.350/.376
2. .274/.335/.374
3. .196/.283/.337
4. .231/.330/.413
5. .259/.298/.398
6. .288/.317/.456
7. .251/.325/.379
8. .263/.300/.421
9. .195/.256/.303

The only two hitters in that lineup that deserve at-bats are Didi Gregorius (sixth) and Gary Sanchez (eighth). The rest of the lineup would be better filled in by the Triple-A lineup, and if it were, more fans would go to the Stadium the final seven weeks of the season, and watch the games and pay attention because they might mean something. But to Girardi’s point, A-Rod might be 41 and have no position, but he wasn’t going to lose the game for the Yankees. He certainly couldn’t have done worse than those players that played instead of him.

There was Mark Teixeira striking out looking on a fastball down the middle with the bases loaded to finish 0-for-5 and to end Tuesday night’s 5-3 loss to the Red Sox. There was Aaron Hicks standing on third base as Teixeira struck out in an 0-for-3-with-a-walk night for the first-round bust, who has now wasted 255 plate appearances this season. And there was Alex Rodriguez watching from the dugout as he watched one of the four games remaining in his Yankees and possibly MLB career end without him playing in it.

Teixeira and Hicks aren’t the only Yankees who suck. Most of the time Brett Gardner, Brian McCann, Jacoby Ellsbury, Chase Headley and Starlin Castro do too. But right now at this moment with now just three games in A-Rod’s career left, Teixeira and Hicks are the focal point. Teixeira, because like A-Rod, his career is finished, but since he did the “You can’t break up with me because I’m breaking up with you” or the “You can’t fire me because I quit” in announcing his retirement he has immunity. And Hicks, because, well he sucks and is eating at-bats that could be given to A-Rod or Rob Refsnyder or anyone on the Triple-A roster or any prospect in the Yankees system that might actually have a future because Hicks certainly doesn’t.

A-Rod sarcastically laughed before that game at Joe Girardi because he was under the impression he would play these four games if he wanted to. Instead, Girardi said A-Rod would play on Thursday against a knuckleballer and on Friday against the Rays’ ace. His next at-bat will come nine days after his most recent at-bat and his next start will come 12 days after his most recent start.

Fenway Park started to chant “We want A-Rod” in the ninth inning on Tuesday night for one of just a few chances left to boo the player who was willing to give back $40 million to play for them 12 years ago, but they didn’t get him. Don’t they know the Yankees are trying to win games?