New York Yankees: A-Rod Back to Shortstop?

Paul SalmanSenior Analyst IApril 9, 2008

With the recent injury to Derek Jeter, some in the New York media are calling for Alex Rodriguez to move back to his original position at shortstop.

In theory this sounds great.

The Yankees have a former Gold Glove shortstop playing at third. It seems pretty obvious to put him in the position over, say, Wilson Betemit.

Some are even saying that with Jeter's defensive skills on the decline, maybe this can be the first step in moving Alex to short and shifting Jeter to the outfield later in his career.

As I said above, this all sounds great in theory.

However, we know good ol' Hank, the New York media, and the New York fans are an unreasonable bunch. This move will come with consequences. Let’s take a look at each possible outcome of this move.


1. Alex takes over at shortstop and is as huge a success as he was in his days with the Mariners and Rangers.

This will result in the New York media saying “We told you so,” with the fans following.

All of this happiness will be followed up with the move back to third when Jeter returns and people will question every error or mishap that Jeter has all year. Just when we thought the drama has cleared up with the Yankees and A-Rod, it will all pick up again.


2. Alex takes over at shortstop, but after four full seasons at third he does not quite have the angles down and makes a few costly errors—possibly against the Red Sox in the first series of the 2008 season.

This will follow with Jeter's return and a move of Alex back to third with a new blemish on his record. He will no longer be considered an amazing shortstop.

At least right now he can still say he used to be a Gold Glove shortstop. If he failed here, "used to be" would be followed by reminders of this brief and broken return to the position.


3. Alex takes over at shortstop and, as in scenario one, he is great and Yankee fans are so happy to know that they have another great shortstop in case Jeter needs to be moved.

Jeter then returns and Alex is moved back. Upon his return to third base after a few games at shortstop Alex is a bit off, as he was in 2006 (when he had 24 errors).

This then is followed by the media and NY fans saying that Joe Girardi made a huge mistake making the temporary move, all while forgetting that they were in support of it at the time.


It could all work out great if everything runs smoothly and there are no major consequences that follow making this temporary move. What I am suggesting, of course, are the worse case scenarios.

But, with the Hank at the helm, the New York media and those unreasonable fans of New York, does anything run smoothly?