Power Ranking Alex Rodriguez's Worst Yankee Postseasons
But rather than generalizing the superstar's inability to perform in the postseason, I'll review each of his October contributions since joining the New York Yankees in 2004.
The following power rankings order his eight pinstriped playoff appearances, which vary in quality from excellent to brutal. You'll see that it's pretty skewed toward the latter, as A-Rod has frequently underachieved under the brightest lights.
8. 2009 (Won World Series)
Postseason stats (15 games): .365/.500/.808 with 6 HR and 18 RBI.
Not a critical word was spoken, written or thought about Alex Rodriguez in October and November 2009.
After an underwhelming regular season (30 HR and 100 RBI, lowest totals since 1997), he regained focus.
He challenged an American League record by driving in 18 runs in a single postseason. Plus, most of his production came in high-leverage situations, with two outs and/or the game on the line.
For his efforts, A-Rod was awarded the Babe Ruth Award (postseason MVP).
7. 2004 (Eliminated in ALCS)
Postseason stats (11 games): .320/.414/.600 with 3 HR and 8 RBI.
No championship, but at least he made a decent impression on New York Yankees fans in his first playoff run with the organization. He played every inning of both series and batted in the No. 2 spot behind captain Derek Jeter.
Of course, as is always the case when a phenom doesn't "dominate," there was plenty of controversy.
Alex Rodriguez slapped a ball out of Bronson Arroyo's glove in Game 6 of the ALCS. He was berated for this unsportsmanlike and counterproductive action. At the time, Lisa Swan of the Daily News deemed this image "A-Rod's most famous one in the Yankees uniform."
Rodriguez managed just one hit in his last 12 at-bats of the series as the Boston Red Sox completed their improbable comeback from a 3-0 deficit.
6. 2007 (Eliminated in ALDS)
Postseason stats (four games): .267/.353/.467 with 1 HR and 1 RBI.
Much was expected of Alex Rodriguez at age 32. Baseball-Reference.com estimates that the third baseman was worth 9.3 offensive WAR in 2007 (a career-best).
CC Sabathia pitched to him cautiously in Game 1, walking him when the New York Yankees were threatening. The Cleveland Indians won in a 12-3 blowout.
From there, A-Rod struggled to make contact. He struck out six times in his final 13 plate appearances.
He blasted the home run late in Game 4, when the series was all but decided.
5. 2010 (Eliminated in ALCS)
Postseason stats (nine games): .219/.316/.281 with 0 HR and 3 RBI.
A dramatic drop-off from 2009.
Still, there were strong moments for him.
Alex Rodriguez only struck out in six of 38 plate appearances. Also, he was right in the middle of an epic New York Yankees comeback in Game 1 of the ALCS. His two-run single helped the Bombers seize the series lead on a night that they trailed 5-0 through six innings.
Unfortunately, things ended on a sour note, Rodriguez helplessly stared at the called third strike that clinched a World Series berth for the Texas Rangers.
4. 2011 (Eliminated in ALDS)
Postseason stats (five games): .111/.261/.111 with 0 HR and 3 RBI.
It was the second consecutive postseason run that ended with an Alex Rodriguez strikeout. This time, however, he was in the Bronx and at the plate as the tying run.
He took a swing at the final pitch (in case that provides any consolation).
Rodriguez recorded two inconsequential hits earlier in the series.
3. 2005 (Eliminated in ALDS)
Postseason stats (five games): .133/.435/.200 with 0 HR and 0 RBI.
His .435 on-base percentage was third-best among New York Yankees, though that's skewed by two instances where Los Angeles Angels pitchers plunked him.
Alex Rodriguez also made a crucial error in Game 1. He mishandled a ground ball with the team clinging to a one-run lead. That allowed Orlando Cabrera to reach base, and he came around to score with two outs as the Angels won the opener.
A 30-year-old A-Rod contributed only one extra-base hit in the five-game series.
2. 2006 (Eliminated in ALDS)
Postseason stats (four games): .071/.133/.071 with 0 HR and 0 RBI.
Manager Joe Torre fueled the chaos from the get-go by dropping his star to the No. 6 spot in the batting order. Alex Rodriguez disappointed during the summer, but he had never been disciplined in such a way.
He responded with three forgettable games, so Torre slotted him eighth for Game 4! Fun Fact: Rodriguez hadn't batted so low since his age-20 campaign (h/t Associated Press).
That did nothing to inspire him, and the New York Yankees exited in the ALDS.
1. 2012 (Eliminated in ALCS)
Postseason stats (seven games): .120/.185/.120 with 0 HR and 0 RBI.
Alex Rodriguez's career and personal life are eroding after a nightmarish showing in the 2012 postseason.
Drama began to build against the Baltimore Orioles.
The sport's highest-paid player was replaced for a pinch-hitter, an embarrassment that he had not previously experienced as a professional. The benching occurred at a pivotal moment, in a situation where A-Rod typically chokes. Instead, substitute Raul Ibanez heroically led the New York Yankees to victory.
Overall, A-Rod was hitless against right-handed pitching.
MLB Trade Rumors is exploding with speculation that he'll be traded this winter. One thing's for sure—the Yankees would need to sell low to find a taker for their fallen hero.
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