The New York Yankees are enjoying a very successful 2015 season so far. At 55-42, they sit atop the AL East with a six-game lead over the Toronto Blue Jays. They own the second best record in the American League, and the third best in baseball behind the St. Louis Cardinals and Kansas City Royals. While there are many reasons for the Yankees success this year, a lot of credit can be given to Alex Rodriguez. Fresh off of his yearlong suspension, Rodriguez has returned in great shape and proved that he hasn’t lost a step.
Rodriguez is batting .277 this year with 23 home runs, and 58 RBI’s on the year so far. His last game was a memorable one, in which he belted three home runs, his 5th career three home run game. His third home run was a solo shot in the top of the 9th tying the game and leading a Yankees’ comeback win. At 39 years and 363 days, Rodriguez becomes the 5th oldest player with a three home run game, behind Stan Musial, Jason Giambi, Reggie Jackson and Babe Ruth. Rodriguez is beginning to look like his old self up there at the plate. He looks relaxed and waits for his pitch every time he steps up to the plate. Joe Girardi having A-Rod DH and not taking the field every day is certainly keeping his body healthy and getting the most production out of him.
His three home run game not only shows that Rodriguez still has power throughout the game, but that he can also hit the ball a mile. All three of his home runs went 420 feet-plus, with his fourth inning blast going an incredible 460 feet at Target Field. With the constant threat of him leaving the yard, pitchers often try not to give him anything to hit. His 48 walks on the most he’s had since 2010, and he is on pace to break that.
But all the credit can’t be given to Rodriguez. With Mark Teixeira in the cleanup spot behind him, needing to step up in order for the Yankees to be successful, the Yankees have relied upon this bounce-back duo. Teixeira has 24 home runs on the year and has driven in 65. While the Yankees have had production up and down the lineup, this 3-4 power combo is just the thing the Yankees needed.
With the media always frenzying around Alex Rodriguez’s every move, all the coverage of him in 2015 wasn’t as bad as expected. After his suspension, sportswriters all over the country were itching for him to mess up or not play well so they could bash him. But Rodriguez has been very quiet and humble about it and has shut the sportswriters up with his play. A-Rod is having his best season since his 30 homer, 125 RBI season in 2010, with no signs of slowing down. For the first time in a long time, newspaper headlines with Rodriguez’s name in it have been positive, and so they should be.