Profiles in Courage: Joe Girardi Pinch-Hits for A-Rod

 

Don’t mess with me…I pinch-hit for Alex Rodriguez…and lived to tell about it.

October 10, 2012. 50,497 Yankees fans roaring. Millions of viewers tuning in.  The stage is Game 3 of the ALS Division Series between the New York Yankees and the Baltimore Orioles.  Yankees down 2-1 with one out in the bottom of the ninth and Alex Rodriguez due up.  Girardi pinch hits for super-star $305 million A-Rod with Johnny Damon Raul Ibanez.  What happened next (and then next again) will be the stuff of legend for years to come.

Rodriguez had not been pinch-hit for since high school.  On this night however, it was time for Rodriguez to take a break driver eight.  Yes, the man with 647 career homeruns and almost 2,000 career RBIs was being asked to stand down.  Low-ball hitter Raul Ibanez delivered, driving a 1-0 pitch deep into the night for the game-tying home run…and A-Rod wasa right there greeting Ibanez at the top step of the dugout with a high-five and hug.

The Finish…Ibanez in the 12th.  40-year old DH Ibanez took Orioles pitcher Brian Matusz’ first pitch into Yankees history with his second home run (this one a walk-off winner) in two at bats and total of three pitches.  Yankees win one for the ages.

Final Note on Kobe Bryant. Laker guard apparently didn’t like Girardi having the stones to pinch-hit Ibanez for A-Rod.  Bryant had this to say: “I don’t like that.  That’s not good for the chemistry of the team. I’m going to have to call A-Rod.”

Kobe Bryant acting like a clown…does your ego know no bounds?  Call A-Rod if you want, but Joe Girardi calls the shots for the men in pinstripes in Yankee-Town.