Hopefully my title drew you in because I would like to drop some very important information on you.
Alex Rodriguez, aside from 2004 and 2009, has been mediocre at best in the postseason. My advice to all you Yankee fans is not to forget this information when wondering what is going on with him. He’s 36, an admitted PED user, and hasn’t consistently shown up in the postseason enough to warrant most saying he needs to “step up” in place of Derek Jeter.
Now someone who has no excuses and desperately needs to snap out of his funk is Robinson Cano. Has anyone noticed he’s 2–for-32 this postseason? No. That’s because Alex Rodriguez has taken a brunt of the attention with woes that are par for his postseason career.
Cano, 29, has got to be the man in place of Derek Jeter right now. He’s the best overall player on that team and needs to set an example that might get this Yankee lineup out of the overall funk it is in. Not to mention that with an 0-2 ALCS hole and Justin Verlander staring them in the face it might be time for their approach to lean more towards “selective” than “aggressive”. Reason being is because, well, being the 2011 Cy Young Award winner and Most Valuable Player in the American League didn’t come because he woke up and decided he was just going to be this generations more physically gifted Pedro Martinez. He finds, feasts, and exposes every hole in the oppositions swing. Then he peppers those holes with 97-plus mile per hour fastballs, “space-to-hell” curves, and a change-up so brutal most have to assume it just isn’t fair he has all three.
You think he doesn’t know where those Yankee weaknesses are?
This isn’t putting too much pressure on Cano. This is recognizing that he wears the most famous pinstripes in sports, plays in a city that expects greatness, and will be looking to replace the greatest Yankee since Don Mattingly (Jeter) once he retires or possibly sooner.
Play time is over. Sense the urgency and feed off of it.
Why does Reggie Jackson get a pass in New York? Because he delivered in October and when it counted. He’s the all-time leader in strikeouts and played more baseball on the west coast (14 between the Angels and Athletics) than New York (five). Yet when we think of Reggie what do we remember? Three home runs in a world series game and three trips to the Fall Classic with two ending with a ride down the Canyon of Heroes.
I’m going to go ahead and state that if Cano doesn’t take the reins of this club and lead them there is no way they will win a world championship. He’s that important.
Time for him to start realizing this before flailing at one of those fastballs up and away.