After an ugly end to a 2012 postseason in which Alex Rodriguez's struggles became a focal point, Yankee president Randy Levine came out in defense of the third baseman.
The Yankees' 2012 season ended unceremoniously on Thursday night as they were swept away by the Detroit Tigers in the ALCS. The Yankee bats were silent throughout the postseason, and third baseman Alex Rodriguez took the brunt of the blame from both fans and the media for the team's offensive struggles. Andrew Marchand of ESPNNewYork.com spoke with Yankees president Randy Levine about the criticism directed at the team's highest-paid player:
"I think that too much attention is put on Alex (Rodriguez)," Levine said. "The fact that we lost this was a total team effort, a total organization effort. To single out one person is not fair. At the end of the day, we as an organization lose as an organization. We are all in this together."
A-Rod's woes at the plate forced manager Joe Girardi to yank him out of the lineup on several occasions in the postseason. He finished the playoffs with a .120 average in 25 at-bats. In a bit of a role reversal, Girardi did pinch-hit Rodiguez for Raul Ibanez in Game 4, but A-Rod went 0 for 2 with a flyout and groundout.
While things certainly seemed to get worse in October, Rodriguez's postseason struggles were seen by many as a carryover from a lackluster season at the plate. His pedestrian numbers have prompted many to discuss ways the Yankees could unload him, but his massive contract makes moving him difficult. On the heels of the disappointing finish, Levine told Marchand that it was too early to start talking about any major changes that might be made to the roster.