Alex Rodriguez and the Yankees Are Already Showing Their Age in 2012 Playoffs

Jason AmareldCorrespondent IIOctober 12, 2012

NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 10: Alex Rodriguez #13 of the New York Yankees looks on after striking out against the Baltimore Orioles  during Game Three of the American League Division Series at Yankee Stadium on October 10, 2012 in the Bronx borough of New York City.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Elsa/Getty Images

The New York Yankees are a team filled with aging players and bloated contracts. Somehow, they were able to over come their age for the first 162 games and win the NL East by the skin of their teeth.

Of the Yankees' starting nine, only one player is under 30. Robinson Cano, 29, who is 2-18 with four RBI so far in the ALDS. He will turn 30 on October 22. 

In the first four games of the ALDS, the Yankees' highest-paid players are struggling to perform. Alex Rodriguez, 37, and his $29 million contract is a whopping 2-16 with zero RBI. He is paid the big bucks to perform in October and he is not earning his paycheck.

Curtis Granderson, 31, is having a terrible postseason as well, 1-16 with no RBI and no home runs. He hit 43 long balls this season and made $10 million.

Derek Jeter and Raul Ibanez, the seniors of the group, are 38 and 40 respectively. Without those two, the Yankees would have lost this series days ago. Ibanez's home runs single-handedly saved the Yankees' season. Jeter is currently batting .421 this postseason.

Jeter was relegated to the designated hitter role in Game 4. He is suffering from a bone bruise on his left foot that happened in Game 3 of the ALDS. One has to think how his aging body is going to recover from an injury this late in the season.

With most of their core players struggling terribly, it seems unlikely that all of them will turn it around before it is too late. Is it age? Is it the grind of 162-game season? Or is it that the competition is younger and playing with more vigor?

It's hard to tell, but it is not looking good for the Yankees at this point. If the Yankees want to hang another championship banner on their mantle, a lot has to to change and fast. 

Even if the Yankees can pull out a Game 5 win over the Baltimore Orioles, can they continue to play at a competitive level through another seven-game ALCS series and then another seven-game World Series?

The Yankees will be lucky to get past the Orioles. If they do, they most certainly will not get past the ALCS if they continue to play like they're playing right now.