Did A-Rod do the right thing?
By Glenn Giangrande
I don’t care what the numbers say. I firmly believe Alex Rodriguez should have underwent his major hip surgery the first time around.
People, who would argue in favor of A-Rod’s decision to have a first, “less invasive” procedure ahead of another operation after the season, would probably start with a couple of factors — the Yankees’ performance when he first returned to the lineup and the positive effects he had on Mark Teixeira, whom he was batting behind. Well, the Yankees have reverted to the scuffling form they showed in April, going 4-8 over their last 12 games heading into Tuesday’s game in Atlanta. They would be 3-9 if not for Luis Castillo’s game-ending error in the first game of the Subway Series on June 12, and save for a couple of big games versus the Mets in that stretch, their offensive numbers are down sharply. As for Teixeira, he has said that A-Rod’s presence has been a big help, but let’s be honest. Big Tex was eventually going to start hitting regardless of who’s batting behind him, even if the caliber of pitches he’d see would be down. He’s a known slumper in April, so who’s to say he wouldn’t have turned it around even without Rodriguez? It’s unfair to assume that A-Rod was the sole answer to Teixeira’s early-season woes.
Now the Yankees are being forced to give A-Rod steady rest, and he’s started to become a distraction again, albeit a mild one. Players with tired bodies should not be out on the town until 2:30 a.m., regardless of how famous they and their company might be. There were rumors about the possibility of Rodriguez’ two-game sitdown in Florida being some sort of punishment, and the conference call in which he was told that he’s “hurting the team.” There’s plenty of time for the superstar to get himself right, and as Michael Kay has pointed out on the YES broadcasts, A-Rod’s timeline is comparable to that of a Major Leaguer just coming out of Spring Training. But, with the prospect of another surgery looming, Rodriguez could wind up doing worse damage to his hip by playing, hurting himself and the Yankees in the process.