Joe Girardi on Benching Alex Rodriguez: ‘I Just Think He’s Going Through a Difficult Time’


Joe Girardi on Benching Alex Rodriguez: 'I Just Think He's Going Through a Difficult Time'Alex Rodriguez
, once considered the greatest baseball player of a generation, will be relegated to cheerleader in the Yankees' most important game of the year on Friday afternoon.

The New York third baseman was benched prior to the winner-take-all Game 5 of the American League Division Series between the Yanks and the Baltimore Orioles.

It's not the first time that New York manager Joe Girardi has had to make a difficult lineup decision with Rodriguez, opting to pinch hit for him in both Games 3 and 4 of the ALDS.

"I think he's just going through a difficult time," Girardi said, according to USA Today. "He's meant a lot to our organinzation. But he's struggled against right-handers in this series. So I made the decision to start [Eric Chavez] today."

Girardi also said that, somehow, he can sympathize with Rodriguez.

"The man has a lot of pride and the man has accomplished a lot in his career," Girardi said, according to ESPN.com. "I'm sure it's not easy. I mean, imagine if you're in his shoes? Everyone wants to be in it. I always wanted to play, too. And I understood. It's something he'll have to deal with."

The 37-year-old, who is making $29 million this season, is just 2-for-16 in this series with nine strikeouts. 

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