Sunday, October 14, 2012

Does Joe Have the Guts To Return Alex to SS?

He likes to talk about his gut reactions in helping him make decision. Joe Girardi celebrates his 48th birthday under a dark cloud. Not only is his Yankee team down a game to the Detroit Tigers, a team who has become the latest in having the Yankees number, but he has lost the iconic Derek Jeter for the remainder of the postseason. While the Tigers were bouncing back to win the opening game in extra innings, a doctor was explaining to Derek that for the rest of 2012 at least, no longer could the SS tell his manager that he was fine. Jeter is expected to need at least 3 months to recover from his fractured ankle. The immediate answer is what do you do to replace someone like Jeter? The answer of course, as every Yankee fan knows is you don’t. Sure, you can now pencil in Nix and replace Jeter on the roster with Nieves, but you don’t replace 3.304 hits in 18 years and another 200 in the postseason with Nix and Nieves. In fact, there is only one extraordinary thing you can do and I doubt Joey G has the guts to do it. You see it seems that Joe has become the poster boy for gutsy during this season, his 5th as Yankee skipper. He had the audacity to pinch hit for the 25 million dollar man, Alex Rodriguez, the only Yankee to bank more dinero than Jeter and he has now done it not once, but three times. Yesterday’s move led to Alex being replaced by Eric Chavez, who has been floundering as much as Alex. Joe also made the gutsy move to replace Granderson on the bases with Gardener. I scratched my head on that one. Grandy is not slow and you just removed one of the better defensive center fielders from the game and made your outfield defense weaker. Sure enough, when the Tigers locked the game away, it happened around a ball that should have been caught in RF. It was a ball that would have been caught in RF if Joe had maintained his usual substitution moves and moved Ichiro to RF and sat Swisher. With Grandy out of the game, Joe was boxed in. Yes, Joe is making what he calls gutsy decisions. They just happen to be dreadfully wrong. As the Yankees teetered towards the end of the season, desperately trying to keep pace with the Orioles, leaking oil down the stretch and blowing their once comfortable lead, I challenged Joe to move Ichiro up in the order and start the game with a Jeter-Ichiro duo, sort of a double lead-off man approach. Hard headed Joe didn’t see the light until the Orioles had almost passed the Bombers. When he finally made that move, Ichiro caught fire and was one of the main reasons that the Yanks won the division. Now, I am calling for Joe to make the boldest move of all and I don’t think he has the guts to do it. The Yankees need a bold of lightning after losing their captain. They need to do something to shock the Tigers. They need to rouse their remaining superstar and tell all the world that we are still in it to win it. They will only do that if they return Alex Rodriguez to SS today and I challenge Joe to make that move and shake up the baseball world.

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