The obsession over A-Rod's position in the batting order cracks me up.
This is because the A-Rod haters have expressed such certitude about how he needs to be moved lower. But here is my question: Who else exactly is such a no-brainer to be batting 3rd, and why?
Following the principle that the number 3 hitter should be your best overall hitter, the only obvious candidates are Jeter, Cano, and perhaps Ichiro. However, they happen to be busy batting first, second, and cleanup.
I suppose you could make Cano the #3 hitter; that argument carries some weight, because it might give him an extra
at-bat in a game. But right now, with Cano so hot, it's the hitter
behind Cano that is the most important lineup decision: who is
either going to force Showalter to pitch to Cano, or make Showalter pay
for pitching around Cano?
Anyway, the problem is that if you move Cano up to the 3rd spot, you probably have to flip-flop Ichiro and Jeter. Which is not unreasonable. However, I suspect Girardi may not want to make any wholesale changes to a lineup that's hit well over the last month, and thus will leave Jeter, Ichiro, and Cano where they are.
So who else is an option as the third hitter in the Yankee lineup?
You probably shouldn't bat Granderson third - he makes too many outs, plus you would then be stacking 3 straight lefties.
One could make a reasonable argument for batting Swisher or Teixeira third. However, neither of them has exactly hit with the consistency of a #3 hitter, so it's hardly a no-brainer.
You would think this exhausts the options. Of course the lunatic fringe has additional ideas: for example, my sister told me there was a WFAN caller who wanted Girardi to bat Ibanez third and to bench A-Rod in favor of Eric Chavez. I wonder if this is the same genius who called "911 to ask for female deputies to respond to his home for sexual gratification." 7 times!
Now if Girardi moves A-Rod to a lower spot in the order, I don't think it's a huge deal or a mistake. Rather, it's the absolute certainty of the A-Rod haters that I find comical - and not comical in a kind way, but rather in the way I felt after reading about the guy who texted a cop when looking for partners in a meth purchase.