Rodriguez may be the highest paid baseball player of all time. But
instead of playing in front of his mother when the Yankees play the
Marlins in Miami Friday and Saturday, he'll be sitting on the bench.
Citing what the team is calling "fatigue," manager Joe Girardi has benched Rodriguez for two games this weekend as the Bombers travel to Florida.
"We just feel that he needs a couple days physically," Girardi told
the Associated Press. "Is he sore? No, he's not sore. But we think he's
a little bit run down and that he could recharge his batteries."
After a lively offseason that included Rodriguez's admission that he
had used steroids earlier in his career, he missed the first five weeks
of the season following hip surgery. But A-Rod came back rejuvenated,
hitting six home runs during an eight-game stretch in mid-May. All
seemed to be on the right track for the embattled superstar and the
Yankees … or so it seemed.
In the month of June, Rodriguez has fallen back to Earth, hitting a meager .145 in 55 at bats heading into Friday's contest.
Perhaps the toughest part for A-Rod, however, was that this weekend was to be his debut in front of his hometown fans.
Rodriguez had reportedly gotten about 100 tickets to the games for
family and friends, including his mother. Though Girardi has said that
A-Rod will be available to pinch hit, if necessary, during the next two
games, Rodriguez didn't want Mom wasting her time just to see him
riding the pine.
"Have to tell her to save the gas money," Rodriguez said. "She's going to be disappointed."
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