Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Alex Rodriguez the Mentor?

As the Yankees youth movement continues, they should begin to place a greater emphasis on having their veterans teach younger players everything they can. While players like Mark Teixeira, Carlos Beltran and C.C. Sabathia all have valuable knowledge to impart on younger players I firmly believe that Alex Rodriguez is the player who can help the young guns the most. 

Rodriguez is often mentioned as a future managerial candidate. He has eaten, slept and breathed baseball since he was a teenager. His entire adult life has been about the game. He is going to be a baseball lifer. The skills and techniques he has picked up along the way are something that should not disappear when he retires.

Rodriguez has already started helping the Yankees beyond being a player. At the beginning of the 2015 season, Didi Gregorius was struggling offensively and defensively. The shadow of Derek Jeter still loomed largely, and Shane Greene was off to a blistering start. Fans and reporters were calling the trade a bust. Rodriguez worked with Gregorius on his footwork and defense. Gregorius' defense improved too, and that allowed him to focus on his offensive game which was always the biggest concern for him. His offensive game improved steadily throughout the season. The concerns are no longer about if he is a long-term solution at shortstop but rather how much better is he going to get.

Alex Rodriguez tutoring Didi Gregorius

Having Rodriguez as a mentor seem strange considering that until Jenrry Mejia was suspended for life last week, A-Rod was the player who had served the longest PED-related suspension. However, his path to redemption adds to what he can teach players. For the longest time, A-Rod was all about himself. His banishment from baseball changed him, and he is now all about the team. A team first mentality is something you want all players to have. His PED history also serves as a reminder what happens when shortcuts are taken. At one time a sure-fire future Hall-of-Famer he will now be lucky to get in.

Just as Manny Ramirez served as a Player-Coach for the Triple-A team of the Chicago Cubs, I believe A-Rod should fill a similar role with the Yankees albeit playing more often. What do you think of the Yankees using Alex Rodriguez to mentor young players and be a Player-Coach?


  1. I like the idea very much and the best part is, all those South American players can understand him. Let's face it, when was the last time you found a superstar that was any good at coaching.
    Ted Williams, Frank Robinson, Pete Rose, Ron Guidry all tried to coach/manage and fell flat.

    1. I agree Mr. Reed and Eliot. Rodriguez would make an excellent mentor or coach for any organization, especially this one. He has already taken many players under his wing and worked with them over his tenure and he hasn't received nearly enough attention for that. Why not make it official, you know?

  2. I think the hardest part with Hall-Of-Fame talent players coaching or managing is that they can't make the players they coach have the skills they have. I don't think they should stop looking at superstars as coaches or managers because of the lack of success though.

    1. I agree Eliot, but the difference between A-Rod and most of the others is just what you said...they all had such great God-given talent, they didn't need to learn the game in depth.
      Whereas, Even with his great talent, he has always worked hard to learn as well as live baseball. Now I think he has been trying to work with those that need and accept the wisdom of his many years in baseball. I saw it when he took Cano and Milkey under his wing a few years ago. The problem with that was they thought it was easy and when they found out he worked harder than damn near any two players around...they quit working out with him.
      Just my opinion but I think he would be a very good manager/coach...experience and baseball knowledge are invaluable to any player.

    2. Look at Didi before news broke that Alex was working with him in the field and look at Didi after. Didi does not have the skills and talent that Alex has or had at the shortstop position, third base or even in Alex's left pinky toe. Alex understands the game though and he, in my opinion because we'll honestly never know for 100% certainty, got the best out of Didi last season.


Sorry for the Capatcha... Blame the Russians :)