Joe Girardi Defends Decision to Keep Alex Rodriguez Hitting Third, Claims Managing Iconic Players Is ‘Tough’


Joe Girardi Defends Decision to Keep Alex Rodriguez Hitting Third, Claims Managing Iconic Players Is 'Tough'Joe Girardi
was prepared for the criticism.

By keeping Alex Rodriguez in the No. 3 hole for Wednesday's game against the Orioles, the Yankees manager made himself a target for backlash since Rodriguez is 1-for-9 in the first two games of the series.

Before the game, Girardi defended his decision to keep Rodriguez high in the lineup.

"I trust our guys," Girardi said. "I'm with them every day. It's important they trust me. We played basically playoff baseball the whole month of September with Alex hitting third. We won a lot of games."

Part of the reason Girardi is avoiding slotting Rodriguez lower in the lineup is to preserve his mental psyche. With a slew of star players on the roster — especially one with hurdles in the postseason like Rodriguez — the skipper admitted it was a challenge.

"[It] can be a tough part of the job," Girardi said, when asked about managing iconic players.

Girardi told reporters that if he penciled Robinson Cano third in the lineup, he would've been forced to switch up Derek Jeter and Ichiro Suzuki in the order so that he would not have back-to-back lefty batters.

This isn't the first time that Rodriguez' place in the lineup has been a major talking point. In Game 4 of the 2006 American League Division Series against the Tigers, former Yankees manager Joe Torre moved Rodriguez down to eighth in the order.

Regardless of what happens, Girardi has his hands full.

Yardbarker

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