Following the Yankees 4-2 come from behind win Thursday night at Fenway, which gave the Yankees a two games to one series win over the Red Sox, the Bronx Bombers find themselves 3.5 games behind the second wild card spot. Of course, the Yankees will need to climb over Houston, Seattle, Detroit and Boston, in that order, to claim a spot in the playoffs. All the while, the Yankees are purging players from their roster in an obvious selling mode. Gone are key contributors Aroldis Chapman, Andrew Miller and Carlos Beltran, and rumor has it the Yankees would like to trade catcher Brian McCann, if only McCann would consent to waive his no trade clause.
So the Yankees have chosen to go with youth and have taken in quite a haul of prospects, and are now awaiting the exit of one Alex Rodriguez following tonight's game at Yankee Stadium, with Tampa Bay in town. Enter another prospect for Saturday's game, possibly Tyler Austin or Aaron Judge. Make no mistake, the Yankees are looking to the future, but hey, if they can sneak into position to play at least one game in the post season, then so be it.
Nothing is going to stand in the way of the Yankees getting younger, and tonight's scheduled release of Alex Rodriguez is more proof. To say the last few days have been a bit awkward is clearly an understatement. Bur everybody reaches the end of the line, Babe Ruth, Joe DiMaggio and Mickey Mantle included. Social media comments, in many case, make A-Rod's exit seem so tragic and unfair. Tragic is the exit of Lou Gehrig and the death of Thurman Munson. The reality is A-Rod is 41 years old and cannot hit anymore.
Some in social media are lamenting the Yankees not allowing A-Rod to reach 700 home runs or Ruth's 714, A simple answer to that is the home run record could have been chased throughout the 2014 season, exactly one year before A-Rod blasted 33 home runs. But it didn't happen that way because 2014 was a wasted year for A-Rod, and whose fault was that?
So while some things involving A-Rod do not earn my sympathy, I am keenly aware that he was among the best of his generation of players, and one of the all time greats, a key player in the Yanks' last championship in 2009. But unless there is a change of heart for players like A-Rod and Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens, Cooperstown will never call, which presents a sad and lasting legacy. The legacy of Brooklyn born Yankees first baseman and center fielder from the sixties, Joe Pepitone was summed up in the title of his autobiography, published in 1975. Perhaps if we changed the name in the title from Joe to Alex, the title would ring true for Alex as well as the era whose end is upon us:
Alex, You Could'a Made Us Proud.