Mancuso: Is This The Last We See of Alex Rodriguez?

There was Alex Rodriguez before the game at Citi Field Tuesday night. He claims there is peace with himself regarding the New York Yankees roster changes and possibilities that he may have seen his last days in pinstripes. After the Mets 7-1 win over the Yankees that gave out this series at a game apiece, A-Rod and his future remains uncertain.

That was a prevailing question asked to manager Joe Girardi, and moments after Rodriguez as a pinch bitter in the ninth inning flied out to end the game.

The manager said, when asked if that was the last time we would see A-Rod at bat as a Yankee, “There has been no discussion.” And with that, more drama about A-Rod and what the Yankees will do when they make a roster move prior to their game with the Mets in the Bronx Wednesday night.

All indications are, the Yankees will call up one of their young and bright prospects, catcher, Gary Sanchez who is a part of this youth movement to put the Yankees in the right direction. That means, of course a roster move and Girardi having three catchers on the roster with Brian McCann and Austin Romine.

So the Yankees need to make a roster move, and as Alex Rodriguez continues to stay on the bench, and with dwindling skills at the plate each time he gets there, a 41-year old with $27 million or more still owed to him, has become the latest drama of this Subway Series.

He has been in one game since July 22 and can’t handle a fastball. The Yankees, without the departed Carlos Beltran could see A-Rod get more playing time as the regular DH and that could begin Wednesday night. The owner, Hal Steinbrenner did not indicate in a radio interview earlier that he was going to eat up the remaining money owed to Rodriguez.

A-Rod was not available for comment, nor were many of the Yankees who show their emotions more after a loss with a revamped roster. Monday night it was different as they talked in the visitor’s clubhouse, and there was that big lift with a revamped roster and win over the Mets in extra innings.

But, as this series has shown over the past 20-years, there is always room for drama. Tuesday night it was A-Rod, Wednesday and Thursday night in the Bronx, it could be something else. What is known, is the Mets needed a win against their crosstown rivals and they got it.

The Yankees, on the other hand, believe it or not, have two less losses than the Mets and both teams are 7-½ games from first place in their respective divisions. And with A-rod or not, the Yankees say they will continue to compete and anything can happen in the remaining 56 games of the schedule.

The Mets continue to hang in there. Drama on their side centers on Yoenis Cespedes who with an injured quad, ran hard to first with a pinch hit infield single.Newly acquired Jay Bruce, in his debut, went 0-for-4 and struck out twice. Cespedes is expected to DH the next five games in American League ballparks.

Manager Terry Collins wanted to test the quad. Wednesday night and he gets to see that possible offense that is needed with Cespedes and Bruce, the NL leader in runs batted in, inserted in the lineup at the same time.

“He took off, ran properly, all good signs,” Collins said about Cespedes and the good run down the line. Tomorrow night in the lineup, he (Bruce) and Ces,…Pretty nice little duo.” The Mets certainly hope so as they continue to be among the last in runs scored in the National League and at the bottom in hitting.

And a rarity. The Mets scored runs Tuesday night, seven and for the first time since July 7th when they defeated the division leading Washington Nationals 9-7. Alejandro De Aza hit a two-run homer in the third inning to open the scoring and Travis d’Arnaud hit his third of the season in the fifth inning.

Cespedes said through a translator that he felt a little pain going down the line, but when he got back to the dugout everything was fine. Here is the drama with Cespedes, as he said, “The problem is that once I take a couple of days off I feel better, but once I go full speed is when the pain returns.”

That certainly leaves little room to work with. Cespedes runs hard, feels some pain and then feels better. One positive to this drama, he won’t be playing the field but any more aggravation to that quad, then the duo Collins talks about won’t be seen.

And at this point, as if this is not the biggest secret, the Mets need run production if they have any chance of returning to the postseason a second straight year.

Drama of the Sunway Series and yes there was baseball.Masahiro Tanaka (7-4) took the loss for the Yankees after tossing 6.1 innings. For the Mets, Jacob deGrom improved to 7-5, with a 1.55 ERA in his last seven starts and Jonathon Niese reacquired from Pittsburgh at the trading deadline tossed 2.0 innings out of the pen and gave up a solo home run to Didi Gregorius in the ninth inning.

And the drama continues Wednesday night at Yankee Stadium. All eyes on Cespedes and of course that never ending chapter in the career of Alex Rodriguez with the Yankees.

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About the Author

Rich Mancuso

Rich Mancuso is a regular contributor at NY Sports Day, covering countless New York Mets, Yankees, and MLB teams along with some of the greatest boxing matches over the years. He is an award winning sports journalist and previously worked for The Associated Press, New York Daily News, Gannett, and BoxingInsider.com, in a career that spans almost 40 years.

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