Alex Rodriguez is getting a day off and so are we.
On his quest for his 600th home run, Yankee manager Joe Girardi is sitting his third baseman in today's game in Tampa. Ramiro Pena is starting at third base for the Yankees, batting ninth against James Shields.
Since hitting his 599th career home run on July 22, Rodriguez has gone 8 for 36 (.222) in the next nine games, with two doubles and seven RBI. Rodriguez's wait is already the longest for any of the 600 club members after hitting career homer No. 599. Willie Mays went 21 at-bats between 599 and 600.
"The way I'm swinging now, it's probably going to take a while -- everybody get comfortable," Rodriguez told reporters, including MLB.com's Spencer Fordin following Saturday's game. "I'm just glad to be out there helping the team somehow. I scored a run. People are asking me about home runs. I'm asking for a hit-by-pitch, infield hit, bunt single, error. I'll get on base anyhow. The home run will come."
For those of us watching games and getting the live cut-ins on ESPN or MLB Network, we sure hope so. Unless this is some kind of Sisyphean punishment for Rodriguez and baseball's tacit approval of the steroid era. If so, it's a pretty good joke.
-- C. Trent Rosecrans
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