Sunday, June 17, 2018
Sports

A-Rod has enough runs and hits — let's end his era

Any day now, Alex Rodriguez could be released by the Yankees. But the date hardly matters. It's only paperwork, a few keyboard taps, an email to MLB headquarters.

Truth is, Rodriguez has been gone for a while, an invisible man draped in pinstripes. For all practical purposes, Rodriguez doesn't exist, other than as a daily headache for Joe Girardi, who views A-Rod as nothing more than a question he no longer feels like answering.

"This has been difficult for him, difficult for this organization and difficult for me," Girardi said Tuesday. "It takes a toll on people because there's a lot of emotions in it."

Then here's a simple solution. Just put an end to the A-Rod saga. And this week would be the perfect time, as the Yankees look to reboot the franchise with a few Triple-A Scranton call-ups, which started Wednesday with Gary Sanchez, and will be followed later by Tyler Austin and maybe Aaron Judge.

Obviously, the Yankees could carry A-Rod for another month, as rosters expand Sept. 1 anyway. But what's the point? Rodriguez is due roughly $7 million for the remainder of this season, along with $20 million in 2017 and he'll be collecting every dime, whether he's sitting on a Bronx bench or water skiing at home in Miami. The Dodgers ate nearly $35 million by cutting Carl Crawford back in June, so A-Rod is a bargain.

If the Yankees truly want to start game-planning for the next dynasty, they're better off with Rodriguez sunning himself somewhere instead of clogging the roster. Cashman already has stated the team's priority of playing the youngsters in the coming months — a strategy endorsed by Hal Steinbrenner — and Rodriguez is merely a costly roadblock in that scenario.

A-Rod knows it, too. The past few weeks have been miserable for him as well, as he sits four home runs short of 700 and can't crack the lineup. Since June 19, Rodriguez is batting .174 (12-for-69) with one homer and 20 strikeouts. Overall, his .611 OPS ranks 255th out of the 274 players with a minimum of 200-plus plate appearances (Mark Teixeira is right below him at .595). A-Rod has made only two starts in the past 11 days — he struck out four times Saturday in Tampa Bay — and Girardi won't even play him semi-regularly against left-handed pitchers.

Look at it this way. The Yankees traded their designated hitter Monday in sending Carlos Beltran to the Rangers and Girardi still refused to pledge any more playing time to A-Rod. When asked if Rodriguez would DH Wednesday — against lefty Steven Matz, back in the Bronx — Girardi declined to give a definitive answer. Was that a not-so-subtle hint A-Rod would not be in uniform for that game?

"In the future do I see him getting a ton of at-bats?" Girardi said. "No, I don't."

That was a telling quote from Girardi, who usually dances around such combustible topics. But the manager was uncharacteristically blunt Tuesday during the A-Rod discussion, probably because he desperately wants it over with. The same appears true for Rodriguez. He's endured plenty of humiliation during his 12-year tenure in the Bronx, most of it due to his own bad decisions. But nothing like this, being the 26th player on a 25-man roster, a former three-time MVP who can't hit his own weight.

"I have to look in the mirror and I have nobody else to blame but myself," Rodriguez said. "Whatever they do, I'm at peace. I think I can contribute. I think I can help out in the clubhouse. But if not, I have two beautiful daughters waiting for me in Miami."

A-Rod said Cashman told him he wouldn't be released, but added the GM "has the right to change his mind."

Judging by Tuesday's comments, Rodriguez seems to have checked-out already. During the Mets' batting practice, A-Rod stood behind the cage, talking to Pat Roessler, their assistant hitting coach who once held the same title with the Yankees.

Was Rodriguez prepping for his next career move, like Barry Bonds and Mark McGwire before him? Anything is better than what he's doing now, which is zero for the Yankees. — Newsday

Comments
For starters: Rays at Yankees, looking to avoid a four-game sweep

For starters: Rays at Yankees, looking to avoid a four-game sweep

UPDATE, 11:37: Interesting decision by the Rays to move Adames to 2B today and reinstall Hechavarria at SS as he came off DL following Arroyo injury.Here is the Rays lineup:Duffy 3bBauers 1bRamos cCron dhAdames 2bHechavarria ssGomez rfRefsnyder lfFie...
Published: 06/17/18

Tarpons’ Castillo, North squad notch FSL All-Star Game victory

TAMPA — The Tarpons' Diego Castillo led the North squad to a 5-0 victory in the 57th Florida State League All-Star Game on his home field Saturday night.The game MVP went 2-for-4 with two doubles and started the scoring for the North in the sec...
Published: 06/17/18

Captain’s Corner: Trout bite at its best

The trout bite has been the best I’ve seen all year. Fish up to 26 inches have been common recently. Fish are sitting on the flats’ deeper edges, where the water is deeper and cooler, and moves a little more swiftly. Live sardines and hard plastic ba...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Peering into the crystal baseball to see what Rays could look like in 2019

Peering into the crystal baseball to see what Rays could look like in 2019

The Rays are still talking, as they should, about playing for something this season. The reality is that almost every move they've made, going back to the end of last season, and in some cases further, has been about 2019 and beyond.Clearing out vete...
Published: 06/16/18
Updated: 06/17/18
Rays lose again to Yankees, this time 4-1

Rays lose again to Yankees, this time 4-1

NEW YORK — Kevin Cash was not going to go all Lou Piniella on his Rays, raging and ripping and roaring over their latest mess, a 4-1 Saturday loss to the Yankees that didn't feel that close.Which is too bad because Piniella, the volcanic former...
Published: 06/16/18

Sports on TV/radio for Sunday, June 17

TODAYAutosXfinity: Iowa 250 qualifying2:30 p.m.FS2Xfinity: Iowa 2505 p.m.FS1BaseballMarlins at Orioles1 p.m.FSFRays at Yankees2 p.m.Fox Sun; 620-AMAstros at Royals2 p.m.MLBRed Sox at Mariners (in progress)5 p.m.MLBCubs at Cardinals8 p.m.ESPNCollege b...
Published: 06/16/18
Rays journal: Arroyo on DL, Hechavarria returns

Rays journal: Arroyo on DL, Hechavarria returns

NEW YORK — Just when it seemed like SS Adeiny Hechavarria might not play another game for the Rays, he will rejoin them on Sunday.The Rays announced after Saturday's 4-1 loss that INF Christian Arroyo was placed on the DL due to an oblique stra...
Published: 06/16/18
Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Rays-Yankees

Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Rays-Yankees

RHP Ryne Stanek did his job as the opener just fine in getting four outs on Saturday, but for the Rays' unorthodox pitching plan to work it takes a team effort. And LHP Ryan Yarbrough's inability to throw strikes quickly put them in a hole.The experi...
Published: 06/16/18
For starters: Rays at Yankees, trying to break through

For starters: Rays at Yankees, trying to break through

UPDATE, 11:49: Cash said he played Cron at 1B in an effort to get him more involved in the game, indicated he may do so again Sunday (with Bauers off vs. LH Sabathia) and should have done so more as Cron struggled. … Cash reiterated that CF Kev...
Published: 06/16/18
Bucs journal: O.J. Howard poised to take off?

Bucs journal: O.J. Howard poised to take off?

TAMPA — There's always a lot of attention on the rookie class this time of year, rightfully so. There's a reason the Bucs focused on defense, and DT Vita Vea, CBs M.J. Stewart, Carlton Davis and S Justin Whitehead all look like they could have ...
Published: 06/16/18