Saturday, October 13, 2012

Yankees and Cards win: A-Rod is benched

"I'm still getting paid"
I must admit, I am a casual baseball fan. For the most part, I am mostly indifferent to the marathon 162 game  regular season. But come October --similar to the original Mr. October AKA Reggie Jackson -- my passion for the game heats up.

DC Nats give up four 9th inning runs and lose to the Cards 9-7 

My heart sank last night as my second favorite team (remember I am a die-hard fan of all Philly teams) the Washington Nationals had an epic meltdown in their first post-season appearance. The Nats were only one strike away from advancing to the NL Championship playoff series before losing to the resilient St. Louis Cardinals.

Yankees defeat Orioles 3-1 and advance to the ALCS

Well the Yankees do what they always seem to do -- win. By defeating the O's, they will now face the Detroit Tigers in the American League Championship playoff series. The Yankees received great pitching by ace CC Sabathia and beyond great clutch hitting off the bat of Raul Ibanez.

But in all fairness to the Nat's meltdown, great Sabathia pitching and the out-of-the-world bat of 40 year old Ibanez: The biggest Major League baseball 2012 playoff story is the benching of the highest paid athlete (in salary not counting endorsements) -- of all times -- Alex Rodriguez.

Can you imagine Phil Jackson benching Michael Jordan in game seven of any playoff series. Shoot, can you picture Phil benching an uninjured MJ in any important regular season game. Well, this is precisely what happened to A-Rod:

NEW YORK (AP) — Alex Rodriguez watched the New York Yankees' biggest game of the year on the bench.
After being pinch hit for in Games 3 and 4 of the AL division seriesagainst the Baltimore Orioles, the $275 million third baseman was removed from the starting lineup for Game 5 on Friday.
"I'm not happy and obviously disappointed," Rodriguez said beforethe Yankees won 3-1 and advanced to an AL championship series against Detroit. "Want to be in there in the worst way."
Eric Chavez started at third base and went 0 for 3, while Game 3 star Raul Ibanez was the designated hitter and singled in the game's first run. It was the first time A-Rod didn't start a postseason game for his team since 1995.
"It is difficult. He has meant a lot to the organization, the game of baseball over the years," manager Joe Girardi said. "And he has been a very productive hitter. But he struggled against right-handers in the series, and Chavy has been good against right-handers all year long.
The 37-year-old Rodriguez was 2 for 16 (.125) with no RBIs in the series, going hitless in 12 at-bats against right-handed pitchers with nine strikeouts. He was 0 for 4 with three strikeouts in the opener against Jason Hammel, Baltimore's Game 5 starter. source
Here's an interesting  perspective on A-Rod's salary:
Salary per season:  29 million.
Per game:  $185,185
Per inning:  $24,786
Per at-bat:  $58,000
One can argue that the man who signs A-Rod's checks -- Hal Steinbrenner -- has several more zeroes in his bank account. In fact, credit to his father George Steinbrenner, Hal is worth billions  -- some reports say up to $8 billion.

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