DETROIT — With rumors swirling that Alex Rodriguez's career as a New York Yankee was over, Rodriguez insisted after the postseason loss to Detroit he's not going anywhere.
"No, I don't think so," he said. "I love the big city and I love everything about being a Yankee. The highs are very high and the lows are extremely low. There's no question the last few weeks have been extremely difficult, not only on me but on all my teammates."
Rodriguez hit .111 in the American League Championship Series and was benched the final two games in Detroit. Overall he was three for 25 (.120) in the postseason. Although the Yankees struggled as a whole, Rodriguez took the brunt of the criticism because of his stature and huge salary.
The benching may have stung, but Rodriguez said he understood Manager Joe Girardi's decision to sit him.
"Look, I know it was difficult for Joe," he said. "I know Joe didn't want to sit me. It's something that was not easy. But again, if I do what I do, Joe doesn't have a choice. Neither does [Yankees General Manager Brian] Cashman or anybody. If I am who I know I can be, they'll worry about other guys…. I had plenty of opportunities. I just didn't get it done."
Rodriguez said his "track record is pretty good," suggesting people shouldn't believe he can't bounce back.
Asked whether he'd waive his no-trade clause for some teams, Rodriguez replied: "I haven't thought about that. I love New York City. I plan to be here and I plan to come back and be productive…. I've never thought of going to another team. My focus is to stay here. Let's make that very, very clear. No. 2, I don't expect to be mediocre. I expect to do what I've done for a long time."
Manager Jim Leyland's Tigers trailed the Chicago White Sox by three games Sept. 19 but came back to win the division and are now World Series-bound. After sweeping the Yankees, Leyland lauded the Sox's perseverance in the race.
"Hopefully, we've quieted some doubters now," Leyland said. "The guys stepped it up when we had to. We caught a couple breaks when the White Sox couldn't win a couple games they really needed to win. They really answered the bell all year long, and right to the end they did a tremendous job, Robin Ventura."
The last time the Yankees were swept in a postseason series was 3-0 by Kansas City in the 1980 ALCS.... Detroit closer Jose Valverde gave up four runs in two-thirds of an inning in Game 1 and was not used again. The Tigers starters gave up two runs in 271/3 combined innings.