Let’s consider it from a historical perspective. Mickey Mantle is the demi-God of Yankees postseason play (though, of course, Mickey’s postseason games were all World Series because the playoffs didn’t start until 1969, the year after he retired). Mantle played in 65 postseason games, 10 fewer than A-Rod, and batted 230 times, 16 more. His BA was .257, six points lower than A-Rod’s. Mickey hit a World-Series-record 18 home runs, five more than Rodriguez’s postseason total, but actually had one fewer RBI, 40 to 41. But Mantle was surrounded by much better hitters, most notably Yogi Berra, and pitchers, like Whitey Ford, so nobody noticed when Mantle didn’t come through because somebody else on the Yankees usually did.
I’m not saying Alex Rodriguez has been a better postseason or clutch performer than Mickey Mantle. I’m merely pointing out that the numbers don’t say he wasn’t.
Let’s try one more comparison, Joe DiMaggio, a Yankee with nine World Series rings. In 51 games, DiMaggio batted 199 times in postseason play, 15 more than Alex Rodriguez. He outhit A-Rod by exactly 8 points, .271 to .263. Rodriguez has had more home runs, 13 to 8, and 11 more RBIs, 41 to 30. But no one dwelled on what DiMaggio failed to do in those World Series because the Yankees won them.