DETROIT – Alex Rodriguez was dropped from the Yankees starting lineup again Wednesday, this time with New York facing elimination and his future with the team still to be resolved.
Trailing 3-0 in the AL championship series against Detroit, the Yankees also benched slumping center fielder Curtis Granderson.
Rodriguez, only 3 for 23 in this postseason, was out of the lineup for the third time in New Yorks nine playoff games. The star third baseman also has been pulled for a pinch hitter three times.
We will go forward. Alex will go forward, Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said before Game 4 was postponed because of a forecast of heavy rain. The game was rescheduled for today.
That doesnt mean that hes done, that hes finished, that he is not capable. He is still a big threat, but for whatever reason right now we are adjusting to what we are seeing, he said.
New York was set to send ace CC Sabathia to the mound for Game 4 against Detroit right-hander Max Scherzer. Under the original schedule, there also was a chance for CC Sabathia to pitch a potential Game 7 on three days rest if the Yankees rallied in the series.
There was no immediate announcement on when Game 5 would be played if the Yankees win Game 4. If Game 5 is simply moved to Fridays scheduled off day, then New York would have to win four games in four days and Sabathia would seem unlikely to make more than one start. There is also a chance of rain in Detroit today and Friday.
The 37-year-old Rodriguez, with 647 career home runs, didnt like his seat in the dugout.
Im not happy about it. Obviously, you come to the ballpark feeling you can help the team win. When you see your name is not in the lineup, its obviously disappointing, Rodriguez said Wednesday night. Youve got to accept being a cheerleader and also make sure that youre ready when youre numbers called.
Ive played this game for a long time and bottom line is, anytime Im in any lineup, I think that lineup is better. It has a better chance to win, A-Rod said.
The firestorm may not end any time soon. He has $114 million and five years remaining on his contract – and a no-trade clause.
Yankees president Randy Levine and Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria joked last spring about sending A-Rod to Miami. The conversation took place when the Yankees played a pair of exhibitions to open the Marlins new ballpark.
Alex is Mr. Miami, Loria told him.
Take him. Tell me what youre willing to do, Levine said before the pair laughed.
Said Levine Wednesday: Its funny. You cant even joke with somebody anymore.
Cashman flatly denied that the team has had trade discussions concerning Rodriguez.