Alex Rodriguez: Benching Troubled Star for Game 3 Is Right Move for Yankees

Steven Cook@@stevencookinFeatured Columnist IVOctober 16, 2012

NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 14:  Alex Rodriguez #13 of the New York Yankees flips his bat as he reacts after he struck out in the fourth inning against the Detroit Tigers during Game Two of the American League Championship Series at Yankee Stadium on October 14, 2012 in the Bronx borough of New York City.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Elsa/Getty Images

Even though it's a tough decision for manager Joe Girardi and the New York Yankees, the decision to bench Alex Rodriguez for Game 3 of the ALCS against the Detroit Tigers was the correct one.

New York's decision came just hours before Tuesday's 8 p.m. ET game, and the Yanks are desperate to pull out a victory, as they trail the series, 0-2, with the series heading to Detroit for Game 3.

ESPN SportsCenter's Twitter account broke the news about A-Rod's benching:

BREAKING: Alex Rodriguez not in @yankees' lineup for Game 3 vs @tigers

— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) October 16, 2012


Rodriguez hasn't exactly been hitting the cover off the ball this series, as he's batted 1-for-7 through the first two games of the ALCS.

That hasn't been his only problem, apparently. News broke out early Tuesday that A-Rod engaged in some flirting with females in the stands quickly after being taken out in the eighth inning of New York's 3-0 loss at home, according to Emily Smith of the New York Post.

A-Rod came into this series with enough problems, as the 37-year-old has shown major signs of decline all season long. That trend only became more severe in the Bronx Bombers' opening series against Baltimore, where A-Rod was benched for the decisive Game 5 that his team eventually won.

It was enough of a problem for the $275 million man to be struggling so badly through a critical stretch, but now it's obvious that his head just isn't in the game, instead focused on getting girls to scratch their phone numbers on a baseball for him. 

Maybe A-Rod should take the so-called baseball with his new friends' phone numbers to the batting cage and see if he can get out of his slump.

To make things worse, fellow team leader Derek Jeter is now out of the lineup and Girardi's club certainly misses his production.

A-Rod is one of the first players who should be stepping up in this Jeter-less scenario, and he's instead stepping out of the equation entirely.

If A-Rod hadn't made this decision easy for Girardi before with his subpar play, he has with this latest rumor. 

The Yankees are a deep team, and it's safe to say that they have enough firepower to make this a series again. But it won't be easy against reigning AL MVP Justin Verlander, who is on fire this postseason and seems to be an unstoppable force.