Sunday, July 21, 2013

The Last Best Chance?

Unless something extraordinary happens to him today (and while I am not a fan of the man I am not rooting for any such occurrence I assure you) Alex "Lightning Rod" Rodriguez shall make his season debut with the boys from Steinbrenner Tech tomorrow night when the Yankees take their road show to the home of one of his former employers, the Texas Rangers.   A-Rod tends to get booed mercilessly by his former fans in the Lone Star State, which might make it a bit of a hostile environment in which to mark his return to the Bigs.  Then again, these days he gets booed mercilessly at Sunglass Hut so where he re-enters the Yankees' atmosphere is largely moot.
His arrival follows hot on the heels of Derek Jeter's return to the disabled list.  In case you missed it - and you are forgiven for blinking as it is something we all do - thus far this year Jeter's stat line includes exactly one game played.  Four at-bats.  One hit.  Admittedly it is a batting average Ike Davis of the Mets would sign up for right now but it is considerably less production than the Yankees hoped to receive from their shortstop.
At the beginning of the season, the Yankees were without Rodriguez, Jeter, Curtis Granderson and Mark Teixiera.  The hope was that they could hang around the edges of the playoff race until their "A" List players healed and returned to action.  The reality has been that while Jeter, Granderson and Teixeira did each return from the injury that had them shelved on Opening Day they played a total of 24 games between them prior to being lost again to injury - Teixeira for the rest of the season.  And the Yankees daily lineup has been populated by players unknown to most fans - not to mention the coaching staff. 
A-Rod may be well advised to spend his pre-game Monday night signing autographs for - and getting acquainted with - his new teammates.  Given the propensity of the team's aging stars to get re-injured almost immediately upon their return, it seems that is a safer, more prudent way for him to spend his time than taking batting practice or fielding ground balls. 
Here in the scorching heat of mid-July, October baseball seems far, far away.  Very far in fact.  Alex Rodriguez as the Yankees' last best chance? 
Who would've thunk it....

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