Thursday, October 11, 2012

Alex Rodriguez Shows Leadership

"I couldn’t be happier for Raul.  Ten years ago, I might have reacted differently. I admit I might not have taken it as well. But I have matured. I told Joe when he came to me that he had to do exactly what he felt he had to do." 

--Alex Rodriguez, New York Yankees All-Star, celebrating a winning home run by the Raul Ibanez, who replaced him in the lineup in the ninth inning.  

Wednesday night in the Game Four of their best-of-five American League division series with the Baltimore Orioles at Yankee Stadium, with the New York Yankees behind and facing a 2-1 series deficit, Alex Rodriguez saw Yankees Manager Joe Girardi walking toward him.  It was the ninth inning, the Yankees were trailing by a run, and Rodriguez had gone 0 for 3 in the game, with two strikeouts.  Girardi told Rodriguez that he was going to replace him with Raul Ibanez, a pinch hitter.
Ibanez tied the game, 2-2, with a home run to right field. Perhaps surprisingly to many people, Rodriguez was the first Yankee to greet Ibanez at the top step of the dugout after he rounded the bases.

Then, in the 12th inning, Ibanez did it again, winning the game, 3-2, with a second homer.

Asked if he was insulted by Girardi’s decision or if he would harbor any hard feelings, Rodriguez shook his head.

“No, no way,” he answered. “I’m one of the leaders of this team now. It’s about winning. We won; I’m pleased. Whatever it takes.”

Excerpts from (October 11, 2012), "Slumping in Middle of Lineup, Rodriguez Is Center of Attention" by Bill Pennington.   

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