October 20, 2012

A-Rod Needs to Go

By - Jaquan Murphy

Atrocious. Disgusting. Embarrassing. Disappointing.

After hitting a dismal .120 during this postseason, take your pick from a vast majority of words that can be used to describe the performance of Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez.

Photo by: Getty Images
Now the question is, what should New York do with the aging superstar?

I say trade him.

Now, if you are one of those overly optimistic people who think A-Rod will have a turn around season next year and put up massive numbers to redeem himself, you should reconsider -- fast. The most homers ever put up by a 37-year-old is 47, which was done by Hank Aaron back in 1971.

This is a completely different game compared to then.

Pitchers are way more developed and scouting is way deeper. Plus, Rodriguez turns 38 in July. The most home runs hit by a 38-year-old is 45 by Barry Bonds. But it was Bonds, so that number comes with a giant question mark. Nonetheless, A-Rod has not hit over 40 since 2007, so hopes of that kind of season need to be forgotten.

To say A-Rod needs to go because he struggled this postseason is completely unfair though. Let's be honest, the entire Yankee lineup struggled at the plate in the playoffs. The only players who get a pass are Derek Jeter, Mark Teixeira, Ichiro, and Raul Ibanez.

But in Rodriguez's case, digging deeper into the numbers shows that he is notoriously bad in the playoffs as a member of the New York Yankees. He has only three impressive series out of thirteen. Those were the 2004 and 2009 Division Series against the Twins, and the 2009 Championship Series against the Angels.

In series that the Yankees lost, Rodriguez only hit over .200 three times. In total, he has hit under .200 in six of thirteen playoffs series in pinstripes. On the other hand, a player more known for consistency and being a playoff producer, Derek Jeter, has only hit under .200 in a series four times -- in his entire postseason career.

In a city where success is measured by rings, A-Rod definitely is falling short in the minds of many Yankee fans. He was brought in to be the missing piece of another Yankee dynasty, yet more often than not, he goes quiet at the time he needs to be making the most noise.

Strike one.

We all know that chicks dig the long ball, and general managers dig productive stats. Or at least stats that mirror a players salary.

Rodriguez does not appeal to either anymore.

Since his 54 home run 2007 season, A-Rod's power numbers have been on a steady decline. Since 2010, his homer total has virtually been cut in half. Rodriguez's backup, Eric Chavez, had nearly 200 less at-bats and only two fewer home runs. A-Rod's 2011 and 2012 RBI totals put together do not even equal his 2010 RBI total. In fact, the last 2 years have seen A-Rod put up his lowest RBI totals since his third season in the majors in Seattle.

Before 2010, Rodriguez's terrible playoff performances were somewhat overlooked because he was putting up massive regular season numbers, so people tolerated his postseason shortcomings. Now, he's not doing much of anything in either.

Strike two.

The only other way to keep fans off your case and justify your name being in the lineup on a daily basis is to play solid defense. Everyone knows the phrase "defense wins championships."

Well, like in so many other categories, A-Rod is falling short with the leather too.

This year saw Rodriguez post his worst fielding percentage as an everyday player. Looking sabermetrically, he had a career-worst range factor and range factor per game.

So the one thing left that could make a case for keeping A-Rod around does not help at all. His glove is just as much on the decline as his bat.

Strike three.

Also, keeping Rodriguez in the Big Apple does not make sense from a pure business standpoint. He is due $114 million over the next 5 years. A-Rod supporters say his salary is the reason why people are making a big deal about his production, and that plenty of teams would be happy if their third baseman put up 18 home runs and 57 RBIs with a .272 average every year.

But in reality, those are only average numbers at best.

If the Yankees want average numbers, they can sign an average third baseman and for an average salary. When you are paid as much as he is getting paid ($29 million this year, $28 million next year), salary is absolutely the reason why his numbers are a problem.

Raul Ibanez had more homers and RBIs this season, yet he has made less in his career than A-Rod will make for the remainder of his contract. Four guys who put up very similar power numbers to Rodriguez; Chavez, Ibanez, Andrew Jones, and Russell Martin, make less than a third of what A-Rod made in 2012 -- combined.

To make matters worse, reports are surfacing that Rodriguez was spotted flirting with fans after he was benched in the ALCS. One would think that if you are already in hot water, you would lay as low as possible. Not A-Rod. His inner diva and his need to be the center of attention had to rear its ugly head again.

The bottom line is, Alex Rodriguez needs to go. All good things must come to an end one way or another, and this relationship has reached its expiration date.

We are watching A-Rod age right before our eyes. That once dynamic player that attracted attention every time he stepped to the plate is rapidly turning into the former superstar living in the shadows of the player he once was.

It has reached the point where Rodriguez is not even an asset to the Yankees anymore. The indispensable tag can be removed from his name, and a trade would actually be welcomed in New York. It was fun while it lasted, but things never really reached the potential that everyone thought it would reach.

Being a Yankee is not only a job, it's a lifestyle -- and A-Rod has epically failed at it.


  1. I agree that he should go, but the problem will be getting anyone to take him. This is why you should never give anyone offer 35 more than a 1-year contact. Signing A-Rod to five years was STUPID!!!

  2. The Yankees first mistake was signing him to begin with.

  3. I'll pay some of his salary for next year out of pocket if it will get his sorry ass out of town faster.

  4. The hard part will be finding a team dumb enough to take on all or even part of his salary. For that reason I don't see it happening.

  5. Well A-Rod has already said he'll be back with the Yankees next season, and seeing as how he has a no-trade clause and can veto any trade, I'd say that means he isn't going anywhere. Lol