Yankees lose, scapegoat found

October, 23, 2009
10/23/09
2:53
AM ET
Uh-oh. The Yankees lost another game. Better start looking for a scapegoat. From the Newark Star-Ledger:
    The number was illuminated for everyone to see in bright Hollywood lights.

    There it was, dead center on the scoreboard, and Nick Swisher had to stare at it as he stepped to the plate. .107. His postseason batting average.

    He had not just been a little bit bad in the postseason. He had been epically bad, dumpster-out-in-the-hot-sun-smelling bad, and the way his teammates were hitting, he was adding a lousy lounge singer to this rock-star of a lineup.

    But here was redemption. Here was a shot to make everyone forget about his October so far with the biggest hit of this postseason yet, to come up big just like his other slumping teammates had on a wild night.

    --snip--

    How many more at-bats can manager Joe Girardi possibly give this guy to turn it around?

    Girardi has shown faith in his right fielder, rewarding his 29-home run, 82-RBI regular season. He has been a popular figure in the loosey-goosey clubhouse, one of the reasons the Yankees went from button-down to pie-in-the-face during this 103-win season.

    “Guys are going to struggle during the course of the season and you just don’t give up on a guy if he is struggling because the flip side of that is they are due to get hot,” Girardi said before Game 5. “We feel good about Swish.”
Case closed, end of story, thank you Joe Girardi.

Wasn't it just a few days ago when the pundits were screaming for Vladimir Guerrero's head? Or at least his cleanup spot? Wasn't it just a few weeks ago when the pundits were wondering why Alex Rodriguez even bothered to show up in October? Do we really never learn that a few lousy games don't justify or necessitate a lineup change? Does anyone still think that dropping Alex Rodriguez to eighth in the order in this game was one of Joe Torre's finest moments?

Let's just stop this right now. Let's decide right now that Nick Swisher is the last good hitter that we'll ever try to demote simply because he's going through a little rough stretch. And let's give Joe Girardi some credit for understanding how baseball players actually work. Now if we can just get him to stop pinch-running for Alex Rodriguez for no apparent reason.

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