Without A-Rod, it just feels odd

This article was written during the sixth inning of last night’s game

For the second straight Sunday night, the Yankees were without the services of Alex Rodriguez in the cleanup spot. Fill in Robinson Cano did fine, blasting a home run to the second deck in right field, but for whatever reason, there’s this slight emptiness that comes over me when I don’t see #13 penned into Joe Girardi’s lineup.

It’s not as if the Yankees would be completely lost offensively without him for any extended period of time, but the lineup has a completely different feeling when Alex is absent. 2011 has definitely been a season in which the Yankees have put the “Bombers” in Bronx Bombers, and Rodriguez has definitely been a big part of that. His .541 wOBA leads the team by a lot, and leads the Majors by three points (Matt Kemp’s .538 is second) so he’s obviously going to be missed when he’s out. Again, the Yankees have the firepower to survive his exit from the lineup, but seeing the 1-9 without “Rodriguez” in the cleanup spot just doesn’t feel right.

The Yankees are a team that will never struggle to score runs, but any time you’re not seeing Alex Rodriguez in the lineup, you’re missing what really makes the lineup move. Robinson Cano has more than come into his own, Mark Teixeira is no slouch, and Nick Swisher is powerful, but there’s that special buzz that comes over us when we see Rodriguez walk into the batter’s box. While those other guys–any of them, really–can change the game on one swing, we’ve always been supremely confident in Rodriguez’s ability to so. Any time the Yankees are down or tied in the ninth and the top of the order is coming up, what do we always say? “Just get it to Alex; then anything can happen.”

Maybe this is just my bias towards A-Rod. He’s always been one of my favorite players and I think I root harder for him than I do for any player on the team. Watching him every game has been an absolute blessing. Every plate appearance of his brings a smile to my face because it means I get to watch an all time great player take a damn near perfect swing. I always miss A-Rod when he’s not in the lineup.

About Matt Imbrogno

A native and resident of the Mean Streets of Southwestern Connecticut, Matt is a narcissistic, misanthropic 20something English teacher who lives by a simple creed: Yankees Only.

6 thoughts on “Without A-Rod, it just feels odd

  1. I’m with you Matt. One of my faves too. It’s a great feeling when he comes up big despite the haters.

  2. In my opinion I feel that that the tightness might just be from the cold weather of New York and that A-Rod will be back by Friday at the very latest. This feels like one of those years where A-Rod could put up some massive numbers (40 homers) and approach 6 WAR. If A-Rod does that, Mark T. should get some more fastballs to hit, especially when the pitchers fall behind the count because there is no way in hell they will want to face A-Rod with men on base.

  3. Agreed – its strange without him. That said – we should be happy then that he’s under contract with the Yankees until a couple years after the Heat Death of the Universe.

    Can’t wait to see him circling the bases on a HoverRound in ten years or so. ;)

  4. Arod became one of my favorite players when he was still with Seattle. I forget which year it was, but it’s whichever year he (IMO) deserved the MVP, but KG jr won it.

  5. I agree that A-Rod is underappreciated. This is a guy who will definitely hit 700 HRs and has a good chance of getting to 800 HRs. He towers over his contemporaries.

  6. I have to admit that Alex is not and has never been my favorite player. However I can appreciate his skill as a ball player and I do get “that special buzz that comes over us when we see Rodriguez walk into the batter’s box.”