New York Yankees manager Joe Girardi made an agonizing decision in the ninth inning, removing $29-million superstar Alex Rodriguez from a clutch situation and replacing him with veteran Raul Ibanez. Obviously, it worked out great when Ibanez tied the game with a homer off Jim Johnson and won it with a 12th-inning bleacher shot off Brian Matusz, but it still leaves Girardi with a potentially disgruntled superstar.
He said after the game that he went to A-Rod and explained the situation to him and doesn’t think the decision has hurt their relationship.
“No, I don’t,’’ Girardi said. “I mean, it’s a tough move. Sometimes you’ve got to do what your gut tells you, and my gut told me to make the move. I still have the utmost respect for Al and I still think he’s a great player. He’s just going through a tough time right now.”
Girardi would not say whether Rodriguez would be in the starting lineup for Game 5, but it seems likely he’ll be back in his normal spot against left-hander Joe Saunders.