A-Rod Helping the Yankees Turn it Around

You can say what you want about Alex Rodriguez, but there is no denying the impact his return has had on the Yankees.

The Yankees are 9-5 since Rodriguez has returned and that includes winning nine of their last 11 games. The Yankees have averaged 5.6 runs per game in those 13 games compared to just the 3.96 runs per game they are averaging over the full season.

Obviously, Rodrirguez is not doing everything for the Yankees alone. Alfonso Soriano went on one of the greatest streaks you will ever see an MLB player go on and Curtis Granderson has hit .288/.422/.462/.883 since his return from the DL. Also, Robinson Cano has caught fire, as he is finally seeing pitches to hit with Soriano and Rodriguez hitting behind him.

What Rodriguez has really done is make this season relevant again for the Yankees. Forget about all the off the field nonsense, Rodriguez has finally made the Yankees worth watching on it. He has hit .308/.400/.462/.862 with two home runs since returning to the Yankees. The aura around the team seems different and a ton of that has to do with A-Rod’s presence. Even when he is not hitting well Rodriguez’s presence alone usually has a positive affect on the lineup.

The narrative was that Rodriguez’s return was supposed to divide the team and his distraction was supposed to be too much to handle. As is the case with most media narratives, that turned out to be just a total fabrication.

If anything, the Yankees have rallied around Rodriguez, as was evident Sunday night in Boston. After Ryan Dempster purposely threw at Rodriguez three times before finally hitting him, Joe Girardi came out and cursed out home plate umpire Brian O’Nora and Dempster in a big rage.

Fortunately, Dempster was not thrown out of the game and the Yankees crushed the gutless, cowardly and mediocre pitcher to the tune of 7 runs in 5.1 innings. This included an absolute bomb from Rodriguez that went almost 450 feet out to dead center and started the Yankees rally from down 6-3. He hilariously imitated David Ortiz’ home run celebration for good measure. His teammates played with much more energy after the incident, and Dempster might have woken up a sleeping giant.

With all the attention being placed upon Rodriguez, other players seem more free to just go about their business without being bothered. Rodriguez, who is no stranger to all the attention and criticism, has absolutely thrived off of it. His focus to go out there and perform the way he has with everything that is going on off the field is incredible.

With the recent additions of Rodriguez, Soriano, Granderson and Mark Reynolds the Yankees now have a playoff caliber offense. Reynolds was a solid pickup so that Lyle Overbay no longer has to embarrass himself against lefties. The question will be can CC Sabathia, Andy Pettitte and Phil Hughes pitch better?

Hughes pitched very well last night, as he went six innings, allowed two runs on seven hits and struck out six. However, it came against a very mediocre Toronto lineup with Jose Reyes and Jose Bautista. I do trust that in big games down the stretch that Pettitte can come up big like he always does. However, Sabathia has not shown many signs that he will be able to turn it around this season. He has just allowed far too much hard contact on his fastball and changeup and has completely lost the strike zone in his last two outings. It may take a whole offseason of changes to fix his problems.

Before Rodriguez came back the Yankees were dead in the water and just a boring team to watch. Now they’re back in the race for a playoff spot, albeit still a long shot at six games behind a playoff spot. Even if they fall short of a playoff spot, at least they will be entertaining to watch the rest of the season. Love him or hate him, but in your heart of hearts you know you have enjoyed the Yankees so much more with the return of Rodriguez.

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About Matthew B

I am a student at William Paterson University and studying to become a sportswriter. I have a huge passion for the Yankees and love sharing my opinions on them. I can analyze every aspect of the Yankees very well. I am very active on Twitter so feel free to contact me there Twitter: @RAYROBERT9

Posted on August 21, 2013, in No Category. Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.

  1. Amen to that!
    With or without Junk, he is still a force!

  2. Pumpernickel Bread

    I hope Arod beats his suspension and plays for us…. we need his bat. It is amazing that he can perform under such scrutiny .

  3. MLB has missed the boat on this subject, experts agree that the falling batting averages are due to the banning of amphetamines and not steroids. Steroids make a good player stronger as does HGH. Amphetamines actually makes a player react quicker, feel more confident, and give a hitter an edge. Amphetamines have made many borderline players into big league players. Since many Hall of famers have taken amphetamines, MLB has put this on the back burner. Bottom line is many Hall of famers have taken PEDs, and A-Rod is just selective punishment. Most of the media, fans, MLB, and some players are the hypocrites.

  4. You are right Doug, cheaters have always existed. Mickey Mantle popped so many greenies and drank so much Sclitz he could hardly see . He said he saw 3 balls most of the time. That’s why he struck out more than any other player.

  5. Old Yankee 07-

    Welcome back from the witness protection program. While you were gone:

    1.Aroid got caught again doing PEDS
    2. Aroid lied about his health
    3. Aroid ratted out His teammate Cervelli
    4. Aroid obstructed an investigation by bribing his supplier

    As you say “he is a force”

    A force for EVIL !

  6. So, that little Peperbug got you !
    Why don’t you shut up bug, you denigrate all the players that were some of the greatest and can’t see past the press and media hype on others that are very good but, not even close to the really great ones.
    My god, don’t you ever tell things as they really were and not go by a statement made in jest or the greenies…hell, everyone used them back in the day. The press knew it but, didn’t write about it because the stars were doing the same as everyone else.
    Don’t instigate the fans or posters anymore…just go away! You use to be fun to banter with, now you are just a pitiful liar, with no relationship to the whole truth, on most of what you say or write. You won’t/can’t separate self-deprecation from the sh-t you live in…get a life!

    Bye the way, all 4 of your statements are lies, until they are proven. Or are you now the judge of A-Rod. He may be guilty as hell but, that is not for you or I to say as a statement of fact…even though it may be!

    End of any discussion of any sort with you!

  7. I thought to look-up the S.O. stats, this is what I found;
    #1-Reggie Jackson–2597
    #5-A-Rod–2047
    #15-Manny Ramirez–1813
    #22-Derek Jeter–1743
    #25-Mickey Mantle–1710

    Notice something out of place with this list?
    Truth shall set you free!

  8. Talking toupee. – look up k’s per at bat. That’s the real measure of how drunk Mickey was. Notice all the juicers on the list.

    Mantle and Aroid greenies and steroids. Jeter= clean.

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