Adry Torres: Alex Rodriguez Needs to be Let Loose

NEW YORK - AUGUST 27:  Alex Rodriguez #13 of the New York Yankees stands in the dugout during a game against the Toronto Blue Jays at Yankee Stadium on August 27, 2012 in New York City.  (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)

NEW YORK - AUGUST 27: Alex Rodriguez #13 of the New York Yankees stands in the dugout during a game against the Toronto Blue Jays at Yankee Stadium on August 27, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)  (2012 Getty Images)

A-Rod has received the message and so have we, loud and clear.

Now maybe it's time for Joe Girardi to take a stand and put Alex Rodríguez's name back in the lineup.

If you're going to want to pull a trick out of the box then now is the time to do it.

Just bat him ninth, first, or seventh, anywhere in that lineup if you have plans of taking the ALCS back home to the Bronx.

At first, Girardi's experiment all worked out.

The Yankee's manager looked like a genius when, after lifting  Rodríguez in Game 3 of the ALDS, Raúl Ibañez answered with a homer to tie the game and later replicate that magic to win the whole thing. 

But then came Game 4, where Girardi pinched hit for him again with no avail as Eric Chavez made the last out. 

Luckily this decision was once again redeemed in the decisive Game 5 when the Yankees marched to beat the Baltimore Orioles despite Rodriguez being a sitting duck. 

With Derek Jeter out for the rest of the playoffs, this was the time fans have been looking for A-Rod to seize. To make the Yankees his team, if only for two playoff series, and keep the team united until their Captain can return to his reign in spring training.

But Girardi has other plans. He didn't believe in him in Game 3 and surely doubted him in Game 4. By Game 5 he was basically telling a hitter who's blasted over 600 home runs that he no longer was good enough to contribute.

A-Rod has now been  left hanging out in the dugout in those grey hooded sweatshirts that go for $69.99, the same ones we've grown accustomed to seeing players wearing during this postseason.

He's in a terrible funk just like the other hitters in the lineup. While guys like Curtis Granderson, who is 3 for 29 in the playoffs with 15 strikeouts, keeps seeing his name in the lineup, and Robinson Canó has three hits in just 36 at-bats, finally getting a hit in the ninth inning, A-Rod has been left in the bench to rot.

When Girardi was asked if A-Rod was being grounded for allegedly sending a ball boy to fetch a woman's number sitting behind the dugout this weekend, the Yankees skipper said "I am not going to comment on that."

And when a second writer asked the same question in a different way as to if Girardi's second benching was due to performance or based on another issue, that involving A-Rod's short lived romance with that fan, Girardi denied there were any issues   

If A-Rod got his only RBI based on what we saw reported in the New York Post, then Girardi is at fault for it as much as his beleaguered slugger. And let me be clear, I'm not letting Rodríguez get off free of his wrong doings but how far can this go?

By benching A-Rod, Girardi has demoralized the fragile star who has five more years left on his contract. You can't trade him. And you're sure not going to pay him all that money to be a pinch-hitter.

Right now A-Rod has more value to the team in the lineup as a  home run hitting threat than he does warming a bench. A lot of hitters before him and after him will fall into the same slump. It's just not the right way to handle a star who right now has no confidence.

With runners on first and second and two outs, Girardi could have inserted Rodríguez for Raul Ibañez with a lefty Phil Coke on the mound.

It could have Rodríguez's moment to shine on the big stage.

But instead, with a righty warming up in the Tigers bullpen and A-Rod hitless in 18 at-bats with 12 whiffs, Girardi's mind was made up well before Ibañez's subsequent strikeout.

While there may be only a few, some A-Rod believers are behind him whether or not his manager is. 

Kobe Bryant told reporters last night that he knows his friend can still come up big but that his buddy somehow "forgets" all about it and doubts himself in big moments.

"I just say to him, 'You're Alex Rodríguez. You're A-Rod. You're one of the best to ever do it.' I think sometimes he kind of forgets that and wants to try to do the right thing all the time. Which is the right team attitude to have. But other times you really have to put your head down and say, 'Hell with it' and just do your thing," Bryant said.

This time I'm siding with Bryant and hoping Girardi will give Rodríguez another chance. 

Girardi, listen to this NBA MVP and help give the Yankee's their best shot at redemption.