A-Rod's Problems Change Very Little for the Yankees

When Andy Pettitte says that Alex Rodriguez could be affected by criticism of his steroid use, he knows of what he speaks. It was only a year ago when Pettitte and the Yankees were dealing with the pitcher's own admission, so he qualifies as an expert on dealing with fallout from drug use. 

"Obviously, he's going to get a lot of criticism, and it could affect him," Pettitte said. "The player he is, the magnitude. We're here in New York, where players draw an awful, awful lot of attention." 

With A-Rod, though, that's not that different than any other year. The lights have always shone brighter on him than on any of the other players and his performance has always been analyzed with a microscope. The tenor of it promises to be different this year, but it's hard to say that the man in the center will be affected any more than he is by postseason struggles, being photographed with strippers or leaving his wife in midseason.

The same could be said of the rest of the team. There's a current of thought running through New York that Joe Girardi's job has become more difficult as a result of the A-Bomb dropped by A-Rod. That's true, but only to a point. If you're being honest, an A-Rod collapse under the pressure that contributes to the Yankees missing the playoffs shouldn't be placed on Girardi's shoulders. How was he supposed to stop any of this from happening?

It's the Yankees, though, and thinks are never quite that rational in the Bronx. If the Yankees miss the playoffs, Girardi's hold on his job is going to be very loose. It would be no different if A-Rod played this season without any steroid cloud, hit 58 homers and the Yankees missed the playoffs. And, because of how good the teams in Boston and Tampa are, that means his job isn't that much more difficult than it was a week ago. 

Again, the same could be said of the whole team. It's impossible to predict just how A-Rod will be affected, but the bottom line for the Yankees hasn't changed one iota.

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