Hal Steinbrenner, Randy Levine and Brian Cashman have resumed their petty humiliation of Alex Rodriguez, which began in 2012, long before Rodriguez was suspended. They have never recovered from their own stupidity in giving Rodriguez a new contract that extends through 2017. Field manager Joe Girardi is complicit it following their orders.
Rodriguez has earned the right to go out on his own terms. Since the Yankees have capitulated by trading three valuable players in the last week, the team is fielding players as if it is already September and they are trying out unproven minor league players. Even that dubious practice is generally restricted to situations that do not impact teams in contention.
The Yankees just finished playing four games against the Mets, splitting 2-2. How does Don Mattingly, manager of Miami, feel about the Yankees doing this when his team is in close contention with the Mets for a spot in the tournament?
The big blow in the Mets win in game four was a three run home run by former Red Jay Bruce, whom the Mets acquired in the final hours before the 4 PM trading deadline Aug. 1. The Yankees could have used minor league players they received for relief pitchers Aroldis Chapman and Andrew Miller to get Bruce and remain competitive in 2016. Instead they are already playing less than their best players while Steinbrenner insists that the Yankees are trying their best to win as many games as possible. That is obviously not true.
The Yankees are trying a tactic that they have used before: humiliate Rodriguez enough to force him to demand a trade or to retire and leave $28 million on the table. It is unimaginable that Rodriguez would do that but the Yankee triumvirate continues to employ this tacky policy.
Perhaps worst of all is the disdain that they show for Yankee fans. They expect fans to attend games and watch on television minor league players while Rodriguez and probably Mark Teixeira sit on the bench or are dropped from the roster all together.
None of the veteran Yankee players should be humiliated. That includes Rodriguez, Teixeira, CC Sabathia, Brian McCann, Brett Gardner and Jacoby Ellsbury. Mistakes have been made but all are by the upper management. The players are doing their best, behaving properly and hustling. None of them were involved in the decision making.
Yankee fans should ignore the team until Girardi puts Rodriguez into the starting lineup. Then Rodriguez should decide if and when he should be removed. Rodriguez served his suspension and his conduct since his return has been exemplary. Since the team is no longer trying to win, it can afford to let Rodriguez struggle through his slump. Rodriguez is certainly a better option that at least one of the following: Gary Sanchez, Aaron Hicks, Rob Refsnyder, all of whom started in the final Met game.