Alex Rodriguez is the biggest name, the highest-paid player, the lightning rod. So it's understandable that he gets the brunt of the attention for the Yankees' post-season failures. But benching A-Rod in the ALCS is a weak move by manager Joe Girardi, a way of deflecting attention from the overall team dysfunction.
The real culprit here is general manager Brian Cashman, who has been avoiding blame in New York for years. You could argue that Cashman, using the highest payroll in baseball, has put together the biggest collection of post-season choke hitters in baseball history. If you think A-Rod is the worst offender, think again.
Sure, A-Rod has struggled this October, but as of Wednesday, he was a .247 post-season hitter in pinstripes. Not great for a $25 million man, but at least he carried the Yankees to a World Series title in 2009. And you can find much worse than him in the Yankees' regular lineup of underachievers:
Nick Swisher: As a Yankee, hitting .159 (20-126) in postseason, with 4 homers, 6 RBIs.
Mark Teixeira: Hitting an even .200 (27-135) as a Yankee in postseason, with 3 homers, 13 RBIs.
Russell Martin: A robust .153 (8-53) in postseason in pinstripes, .204 including his Dodger years.
Curtis Granderson: Batting . 234 (18 for 77) as Yankee in postseason.
Robinson Cano: His ghastly 2012 playoffs has him at .226 (45-199) as Yank in postseason.
Eric Chavez: A-Rod's replacement is a career .195 post-season hitter, counting his days in Oakland. Has 3 homers, 29 strikeouts in 33 career playoff games. Still looking for first post-season hit as a Yank.
The assumption is that Cashman will now have to find a taker (the Marlins?) for Rodriguez, with the Yanks picking up a chunk of his remaining five-year, $114 million deal. But when you look at the roster he's put together, it's pretty clear that Cashman should be shown the door, too.