The will-he-or-won't-he story of Alex Rodriguez and his presence in the New York Yankees' lineup in the American League Championship Series has become the big story of the postseason in 2012.
Rodriguez was not scheduled to be in the lineup for the Yankees in Game 4 of the American League Championship Series against the Detroit Tigers on Wednesday, Oct. 17, but the game was subsequently postponed by the threat of bad weather. With Max Scherzer still scheduled to start for the Tigers on Thursday, Oct. 18, it is unlikely manager Joe Girardi will relent on his decision to keep Rodriguez glued to the pine.
That hasn't stopped Rodriguez from making headlines for his hitting. While he's been almost completely shut down in the batter's box, he has been taking a swing or two at getting a hottie's phone number since he's got some time to kill in the dugout.
But postseason futility is nothing new for Rodriguez since he joined the Yankees for the 2004 season. With the exception of his other-worldly performance in the 2009 playoffs, when he helped lead New York to its 27th world championship, Rodriguez hasn't exactly reminded anyone of Joe DiMaggio at the plate when has October rolled around.
Here are Rodriguez's 10 worst playoff performances as a Yankee:
10. The Slap (ALCS Game 6, Oct. 19, 2004)
Rodriguez hit a dribbler down the first-base line in the eighth inning of Game 6 of the ALCS against the Boston Red Sox with the Yankees trailing 4-2. Reliever Bronson Arroyo fielded the ball and Rodriguez slapped it out of his glove. Rodriguez ended up being called out for interference. Boston went on to tie the series with a win and completed the first-ever comeback from down 3-0 in a series the following night (click here for video).
9. Angels bedevil A-Rod (2005 ALDS)
Rodriguez drew a lot of walks against the Los Angeles Angels in the 2005 American League Division Series, six in five games. Without those, he might have never reached base. In the series, Rodriguez was 2-for-15 with zero RBIs, and the Angels eliminated the Yankees in five games.
8. Don't mess with Texas (2010 ALCS)
In his only postseason meeting against one of his former teams, Rodriguez didn't light the world on fire against the Texas Rangers in the 2010 American League Championship Series. Rodriguez was just 4-for-21 with two RBIs as the Rangers reached their first World Series by eliminating the Yankees 4-2.
7. Breezing through Baltimore (2012 ALDS)
Rodriguez had a .563 average against the Orioles in the 2012 American League Division Series -- as in nine strikeouts in 16 at-bats. As far as a batting average goes? Not so much. A-Rod was just 2-for-16 in the series and didn't drive in a run despite batting in the No. 3 slot in the order.
6. Going out with a whimper (ALCS Game 7, Oct. 20, 2004)
With only one game separating the Yankees from making the worst kind of history, Rodriguez came up small in Game 7 of the 2004 American League Championship Series against the Boston Red Sox. Rodriguez failed to hit a ball out of the infield and New York was crushed 10-3, completing the biggest choke job in Major League Baseball playoff annals.
5. His only hit of the night came from the dugout (ALCS Game 1, Oct. 13, 2012)
After being lifted for a pinch-hitter in the eighth inning of Game 1 of the 2012 American League Championship Series against the Detroit Tigers, Rodriguez was reportedly caught flirting from the dugout with a bikini model and designer named Kyna Treacy, who was in the stands behind the Yankees' dugout. The New York Post reported A-Rod sent a baseball bearing a note asking for the phone numbers of Treacy and her companion at the game.
4. Baseball's most expensive spectator (ALDS Game 5, Oct. 12, 2012)
At a salary of $29 million in 2012, Rodriguez was baseball's highest-paid player this season. But in a do-or-die fifth game in the American League Division Series against the Baltimore Orioles, Rodriguez wasn't even in the lineup and did not play in New York's 3-1 win.
3. Do the right thing (2012 postseason)
Right-handed pitchers have completely stymied Rodriguez in the 2012 postseason. In six games this October, Rodriguez is 0-for-18 with 12 strikeouts. He has looked lost at the plate against right-handers, swinging and missing badly at pitches in and out of the strike zone.
2. Tiger Tales 2 - The sequel (2011 ALDS)
Rodriguez has not particularly enjoyed seeing the Detroit Tigers in the postseason. The 2011 American League Division Series was A-Rod's second go-around with Detroit, and it did not go well. How not well? Try 2-for-18 with six strikeouts not well. And those numbers looked downright robust compared to his first series against the Tigers.
1. Tiger Tales (2006 ALDS)
Alex Rodriguez never struggled quite the way he did against the Detroit Tigers in the 2006 postseason. His 1-for-14 performance included going hitless in the final three games of the four-game series and famously being dropped to the eighth spot in the order by manager Joe Torre for what turned out to be the finale.
Phil Watson was a writer and editor for several daily newspaper for more than 20 years and is a longtime New York Yankee fan.
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