Alex Rodriguez, the most polarizing figure on the most polarizing team in all of sports, is under fire after the New York Yankees lost to the Baltimore Orioles, 3-2, Monday night, evening the best-of-five American League Division Series at 1-1.
A-Rod went 1-for-5 and is now 1-for-9 in the series. The question everyone seems to be asking is whether or not the Yankees should drop Rodriguez down in the order. After all, this is not new.
A-Rod's last home run was Sept. 14, and he has one extra-base hit (a double) since then. Going back farther, Rodriguez hit .111 in the playoffs last season and .219 in 2010. He has not hit a playoff home run since the Yankees' World Series championship season of 2009. That is not the production a championship team needs from a No. 3 hitter.
Yet, manager Joe Girardi says he has no plans to change the lineup.
"You know, right now I don't plan on having any changes to our lineup. You look at‑‑ he squared up two balls tonight. You look at the ball he hit in the first inning, he squared it up. And then he had the other hard single. Right now I don't have any plans to make any changes," Girardi said.
The problems with the offense run deeper than Rodriguez.
The Yankees led the major leagues home runs this season with 245, but were only 17th in batting average with runners in scoring position, hitting .256. That inability to drive in runs with anything other than a home run hurt the Yankees Monday as they went 2-for-8 with runners in scoring position and left 10 runners on base.
Nick Swisher, the No. 5 hitter, went 0-for-4. Swisher is now 9-for-55 (.163) with three RBI over the past three seasons in the playoffs. He left runners at second and third in the seventh inning Monday.
Yet, it will be Rodriguez who will be the focal point. So, let's ask. Should the Yankees drop A-Rod in the batting order? Vote in the poll.