Raúl Ibañez Saves the Day

October 11th, 2012 by AmyMac | Filed under Baseball, General, Phillies.

New York's newest golden boy!

By Amy McGinnis

I’m sure you’ve all seen or heard by now that last night, former Phillies left fielder Raúl Ibañez single-handedly saved the Yankees from falling 2-1 in the ALDS against the Orioles.  I suppose he had been saving up that postseason awesomeness for the last few years.

We all remember that Ibañez had his streaks at the plate … some hot, and some very, very cold.  Last night, he made MLB history as the first player to homer twice in a postseason game in which he did not start.  The last four words of that sentence are my favorite part (or maybe the only part I even like) about Raúl’s heroics in Game 3.  He came in as a pinch hitter for … wait for it … Álex Rodríguez.  A-Rod’s performance in the 2012 playoffs thus far are a far cry from his numbers in 2009.  For the ALDS, he has been 1-12 (not a typo).  Yankees fans essentially begged Joe Girardi to move Rodríguez from the 3-spot in the lineup, and last night, he did … he moved him to the bench.  It turned out to be a risky move that paid off in a big way – Ibañez homered to tie the game in the ninth, and he homered again in the twelfth.  Luckily, A-Rod was gracious about it … and I use the word “luckily” because I would have gladly put him on blast for unnecessary douchebaggery otherwise.

Raúl isn’t exactly a hometown boy, but he did spend three division-winning years here in Philadelphia.  I could say “I TOLD you Amaro should have kept him,” but I would be lying through my teeth.  Incidentally, do not say those words to me – that you never wanted him to leave Philadelphia – because you’ll most likely get an earful.   Do you remember the end of the 2011 season? I do.  I like Ibañez as much as the next baseball nerd – I have a foul ball of his in my living room – but I was ready for him to ship out after last season.  Why?  you ask.  Why the piss do you have to be so mean?  Well, kids, I’ll tell you why.  He was a 39 year old banged-up left fielder who had hit .245 for the season.  Yes, he gets a lot of credit for the 84 RBIs, but please do not forget that the Phils paid him more than $12M for them.  Our already-old, already-overpaid team needed to make room for new contracts (looking at you, Cole Hamels).  It was the right decision.

I’d be perfectly happy seeing Ibañez finish his career in his hometown and with some great highlights like the ones he had last night.  That doesn’t mean I want the man to have a World Series ring.  Great job last night, Raúl, but I want to see the Os steal this series.

 

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