The New York Yankees are known for being THE Major League Baseball powerhouse. They have won 27 world championships, which is 10 more than the next team in any sport. However, Raul Ibanez did something on Oct. 10 that no other Yankee had ever done before.
Down 2-1 in the ninth inning, manager Joe Girardi pinch-hit Ibanez for Alex Rodriguez. Ibanez hit a homerun on the first pitch he saw to tie the game at two all. Ibanez stepped up again and hit another homerun into the second deck to give the Yankees a walk-off win and a 2-1 series lead over the Baltimore Orioles. Ibanez became the first Yankee to ever hit a game-tying homerun in the ninth and a winner in extra innings.
The media has made a huge deal over Girardi deciding to pinch hit Ibanez for Rodriguez. With “A-Rod” being one of the MLB’s elite players, many people saw this as a risky move. But, with A-Rod struggling so much in the American League Division Series, the move seemed rather easy for Girardi. Many also thought A-Rod’s ego wouldn’t allow him to be taken out without frustration, but he was quoted as having told Girardi to “do what he felt was best for the team.” The Yankees have a mature team that is willing to do whatever it takes to win a 28th title and this situation shows that perfectly.
The Washington Nationals are falling under controversy now that they’ve fallen behind the St. Louis Cardinals 2-1 in their National League Division Series. The Nats started the series with a win, but have allowed eight runs or more in back-to-back games and have fallen behind 2-1 in the NLDS. Many people are pointing to the fact that Washington left star pitcher Steven Strasburg off the postseason roster even though he’s completely healthy. The Nats decided coming into the season that Strasburg would only throw some many innings during the season and not be used after that.
While the Nats have stuck by their decision to not use Strasburg in the playoffs, it is falling under a lot of scrutiny. If Washington hadn’t given up 12 runs in Game 2 and eight more in Game 3, the Strasburg controversy probably wouldn’t even have arose. However, with the Nats pitching struggling, it is an obvious place for the media to point their finger to explain the struggles. The Nationals organization is simply investing in the future of the franchise and not just the here and now by limiting Strasburg’s work early in his career. He has already suffered a major injury and there’s no reason Washington should take a chance on getting him hurt again in only his third big league season.