Via the Post -
With Alex Rodriguez’s budding friendship with Madonna making headlines, Yankees owner Hank Steinbrenner is hinting that “outside distractions” are causing the team’s offense to break his heart.
Steinbrenner told The Associated Press today, “We’ve got to start hitting. It’s getting ridiculous.”
Though he did not mention Rodriguez by name, Steinbrenner said, “We all know they’re better than that. I don’t know. Maybe a little less outside distractions and a little more concentrating and they’ll start hitting better.”
Since a 9-0 win over the Mets on Friday, the Yankees have scored seven runs in losing three of four games.
Rodriguez, whose visits to Madonna’s apartment came to light Tuesday amid rumors of her possible divorce, is 2-for-17 (.118) in his past five games.
Steinbrenner, the team’s co-chairman, said he has been surprised by the inconsistent offense, but noted that it’s been an area of concern for general manager Brian Cashman.
“Even when I was worried about the pitching earlier – starting pitching is the most important thing of all – but Brian would keep telling me, ‘Yes, but I worried about the hitting,’” Steinbrenner said. “That was Brian’s biggest concern even as we were reconstructing the pitching. … I thought they would go on a consistent tear, and it hasn’t happened yet.”
“Not just this one series, but maybe the next couple series is going to be pivotal,” Steinbrenner said.
“We can definitely still make a run at it,” Steinbrenner said.
I’m having Big Stein & Reggie flashbacks as I read this one. Maybe Hank thinks he can get A-Rod going the way Mussina went on a roll after the “Jamie Moyer” thing (from Hank)? I dunno. Alex is a lot of things…but, he’s not Reggie Jackson.
The bigger and hotter the situation, the better it was for Reggie. It doesn’t work that way with A-Rod. He tries too hard. If anything, it’s probably a better approach to try and take some of the pressure off Alex…than to try and prod him by applying more heat.