ALBANY, NY – Before you start shaking your with disgust/disbelief, I am not talking about Alex Rodriguez being back in his 2007 form. We’re suggesting the 2010 Alex Rodriguez here, who when healthy was an All-Star and totaled 62 RBIs in 99 games.
The Yankee third baseman may have finally found his swing Sunday, after launching his first home run since September against one of the best pitchers in the game, Justin Verlander. Not only did the troubled third baseman launch a solo-shot over the left field wall off Verlander but he also tagged the ace for an outfield RBI single in the fourth.
In just his fifth game of the season, Rodriguez doesn’t look half bad. Yes he only has one home run and two RBIs, but for a 38 year-old coming off hip surgery he looks pretty good. A-Rod is making good contact with the ball and looks like he’s moving well in the field as well. Rodriquez said himself that he’ll need 40-50 Major League at-bats before he considers himself fully back and if this is what he’s got so far than the future looks bright.
Granted, some would argue that Chicago White Sox slugger Adam Dunn’s game-tying single in the hole in the left side of the infield on Wednesday was A-Rod’s fault because he “didn’t react fast enough.” In all honesty, it wasn’t. Who a player known for hitting bombs and striking out, to hit a hot shot the hole in the opposite side of the infield. Not me.
And yes, drama aside Rodriguez’s return was what the Yankees were desperately looking for (whether they want to admit it or not.) Second baseman Robinson Cano can’t do it on his own anymore and quite frankly no one should expect him to; he’s done more than enough so far this season. The whole Vernon Wells/Travis Hafner experiment was nice but has come and gone. Youk – who Cookie loves – didn’t work out. Tex never got healthy. This season has been a mess. And yet, the Yankees -whether you like it or not – are right in the thick of the Wild Card race.
Sure, New York is seven back of JG Clancy’s Oakland A’s for the second Wild Card spot, but Oakland has lost seven of their last ten. Uh oh! And the Yankees are coming off a series win against the best team in baseball and are gaining momentum.
Whether you like A-Rod or not, you know you’d take him over Jayson Nix or David Adams (who isn’t even on the roster anymore.) You know you’d take the 10-12 home runs and 20-22 RBIs A-Rod will produce too.
AND most importantly, if a lineup including Alex Rodriguez gives the New York Yankees the best chance to take it to the Boston Red Sox come October. I’m all for it! And I know you are too!