Joe Girardi gets stuck in one last A-Rod controversy for old time’s sake


Between Alex Rodriguez‘s release/retirement and his press conference and his upcoming farewell game, you’d be excused if you thought that the Yankees would make it out of this without having any more A-Rod controversies. But hey, why not one more for old time’s sake? This one is about playing time in the A-Rod’s limited time left in pinstripes.

On Sunday Joe Girardi suggested that Rodriguez would play a lot during his final week with the Yankees. He wasn’t in the lineup for their game against Boston last night, however, and A-Rod was a bit miffed by it:

“I came to the stadium really excited, hoping I would play all three games or maybe two out of three.” A-Rod said before the game. Then he said that Girardi told him “we’re trying to win games” as an explanation for his being on the bench. A-Rod said “It was surprising and shocking.” He added, however, that he was going to do whatever Girardi said and it did not appear that he was going to make a federal case out of it.

Any hopes that the matter would die down ended, however, when Red Sox fans chanted “WE WANT A-ROD” at multiple points during the game. I’m sure they just wanted him out there to boo him, but hey, the opposite of love isn’t hate. It’s indifference. A-Rod was owed the boos too.

All of this is going to be forgotten soon. Girardi admitted after the game that he went back on what he promised on Sunday, saying he was a bit emotional at the time. He likewise said last night A-Rod would likely start Thursday, in addition to his Friday night farewell. It’s deck chairs on the Titanic stuff, really. Ultimately, whether a washed up player appears in two games or four games for a team that isn’t going anyplace before he exits the stage is not of much consequence.

All of that said, on some level, it’s appropriate that A-Rod’s final games with the Yankees are ending with a few bumps in the road. Anything else would be sort of deflating, frankly.

Free agent slugger José Abreu signs 3-year deal with Astros

Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

HOUSTON — Jose Abreu and the World Series champion Astros agreed to a three-year contract, adding another powerful bat to Houston’s lineup.

Abreu, the 2020 AL MVP, spent his first nine major league seasons with the Chicago White Sox. The first baseman became a free agent after batting .304 with 15 home runs, 75 RBIs and an .824 OPS this year.

With the Astros, he replaces Yuli Gurriel at first base in a batting order that also features All-Star sluggers Yordan Alvarez, Jose Altuve, Alex Bregman and Kyle Tucker.

Gurriel became a free agent after Houston defeated the Philadelphia Phillies this month for its second World Series championship.

The 35-year-old Abreu becomes the biggest free agent to switch teams so far this offseason. Born in Cuba, the three-time All-Star and 2014 AL Rookie of the Year is a .292 career hitter in the majors with 243 homers, 863 RBIs and an .860 OPS.

The Astros announced the signing. Abreu is scheduled to be introduced in a news conference at Minute Maid Park.