Posts Tagged ‘A-Rod’

Banished. Barred. Banned.

Sunday, January 12th, 2014
Photo: Keith Allison

Photo: Keith Allison

No matter how you phrase it, the arbitrator handed down his decision yesterday and A-Rod is done for 2014. There’s a lot of speculation about what will happen in subsequent years – does he stage a comeback in 2015 at age 39, do the Yankees cut him loose and eat the remainder of his contract, does another team take a chance on him, etc. – but for the immediate future the Yankees are without their third baseman.

I wasn’t surprised the suspension was upheld, though cut down to 162 games. And I wasn’t surprised that A-Rod and his legal team intend to fight it or even that he’s pledged to show up at spring training next month no matter what anybody says. But here’s the thing about that. If he respects his teammates as much as he claims, if he respects his manager as much as he claims, if he respects the game as much as he claims, why show up in Tampa and create a circus? Why make Girardi answer daily questions about him when there’s a season to kick off? What’s he going to do on the bench: be a mentor, a cheerleader, a signer of autographs? Someone on Twitter suggested he should buy season tickets at Yankee Stadium and sit right behind the dugout if he wants in so badly. But at this point, the best thing he could do for his teammates and for the sport is to focus on fighting the fight, if that’s his choice, and staying in shape.

And speaking of those teammates, they really do need a good third baseman. I don’t have faith in Nunez over the course of the season and the other guys Cashman has picked up are utility players and don’t have much in the offensive department. But at least there’s some closure and the Yanks know for sure that there’s a need.

Mostly, I feel sad about all this. Alex Rodriguez started his baseball life as a young man with everything to gain. So much talent. So much promise. So much desire. Squandered.

And then there’s MLB. They don’t exactly come out looking clean either.

Yesterday wasn’t a good day for either side, if you ask me.

P.S.  Programming note. “60 Minutes” will have a segment with Scott Pelley interviewing the infamous Bosch, who will, apparently, provide “evidence.” I’ll be switching back and forth between this and the much more fun Golden Globes.

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Practically Flat Lining Their Way Out

Tuesday, September 24th, 2013

Screen+Shot+2012-11-30+at+5.29.11+PM

I was hoping Kuroda and the Yankees would pull themselves together for these last few games, just for the hell of it, but they’re going out with a whimper, apparently. Ugh. A shutout. And bad pitching on top of it.

I’m trying to decide which team I’ll root for in the playoffs, if I even bother to watch. I’ll probably throw my support to my local Dodgers, since Donnie Baseball is the manager and most of my friends here are Dodgers fans, although I think their little swimming escapade in Arizona was pretty bush. My sentimental favorite is the Pirates because, well, nobody expected them to get in. I just don’t know how far they’ll go. There’s no one in the AL I’m willing to root for.

I’m also looking ahead to A-Rod’s war with MLB, especially after today’s NYT article about the world series of legal teams going at it. No telling what the result of that will be, but the headlines are sure to be juicy.

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Breaking Records

Friday, September 20th, 2013

Genrig Dimaggio

I’d be a hypocrite if I said I wasn’t happy about A-Rod’s grand slam tonight. It gave the Yankees a win in the series opener against the Giants and kept them from a very long winter – temporarily.

But I’d also be lying if I said I wasn’t conflicted about the grand slam moving him ahead of true Yankees legends. His record is tainted. We don’t know when he was using what banned substances or how they did or didn’t contribute to his ability to bang out homers. I’m sure Randy Levine isn’t thrilled to have to write those bonus checks for each of his milestones.

But he’s playing hurt and hasn’t been hitting (or running), and it must have been pure upper body strength that sent tonight’s big homer out of the Stadium.

CC, too, hung in there. I didn’t see the whole game, but I could tell he was grinding even against the weak-hitting Giants.

I was impressed by Nunez’s defense at third (yes, I’m actually praising Eduardo Scissorhands). Clearly, he’s capable and has a good arm. He just needs to….I don’t know……be more consistent?

Pettitte’s retirement announcement was a bittersweet reminder that it really is the end of an era. I keep wondering where our next starting pitchers will come from, but that’s a discussion for another time.

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Bad Body Language

Tuesday, September 17th, 2013

This pic was from a loss to the Tigers in the postseason, but it typifies the helplessness and haplessness of the Yankees right now. How frustrating it must have been to get a great outing from Pettitte (another great outing, by the way) against a last place division rival and not be able to score any runs – especially when the scoreboard screamed, “Take advantage of the teams that lost tonight!”

Sad, but inevitable. Soriano, who has provided such an offensive spark, told the beat writers that he can’t generate any power because of his thumb and if it weren’t September he wouldn’t be playing. Ditto A-Rod, who seems not to have any body parts that don’t hurt. And on and on it goes.

I was taking my afternoon walk at the beginning of the game and listening to John and Suzyn on my At Bat app. In the top of the first, A-Rod hit one deep and Sterling went into his home run call, only to say, “Oh. Sorry. It was caught.” Made me furious. What an egregious mistake to give fans hope early on. He’s been doing that all year but this time it really got to me.

Maybe it’s all getting to me. It’s definitely getting to the Yankees, judging by that body language.

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Yanks Win, But Three More Men Down

Tuesday, September 10th, 2013

upside down

It was a stirring come-from-behind win in Game 2 of this crucial series against the Orioles, and I wish I could write about that instead of the fact that:

  • Austin Romine got hit in the helmet, looked dazed and confused and was said by Girardi to “probably have a concussion.”
  • Ivan Nova, arguably our best pitcher, was pulled early after complaining of tightening triceps, something that’s bothered him for awhile.
  • A-Rod, the game’s hitting star, left the game with tightening in his left hamstring.

Great, right? Such a shame because we actually crept closer to the Rays for the second Wild Card spot tonight.

Mo was brilliant getting the save after pitching in both the eighth and ninth – again. With so many other relievers hurt or unavailable or ineffective, it’s ironic that he’s the last one standing. Sounds like we’ll have Robertson back tomorrow though.

Still, thanks to clutch hitting and good (except for one inning) starting pitching in this one, the fat lady hasn’t sung and it isn’t quite over for the boys. If only they were all healthy. Sigh.

 

 

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Mad Joe: My Hero

Sunday, August 18th, 2013

madjoe

The Yankees beat the Red Sox 9-6 tonight to take the series, but the big story, of course, was Ryan Dempster’s plunking (after a few tries) of A-Rod in the first inning, the ump issuing a warning to both teams without ejecting Dempster and Joe’s fury and subsequent tossing. Is there a person on the planet, other than John Farrell, who thought that was fair? By the end of the game, four Yankees would get hit by pitches versus zero Sox. I would have hated to see CC retaliate and be forced to leave the game, despite his erratic performance, and ultimately the payback came in the form of A-Rod’s homer, Gardner’s triple and the “W.” Still, just another weird chapter in the rivalry. What Dempster did by anointing himself sheriff was to create Yankees solidarity behind A-Rod and fire up the enemy. Not a good move.

Girardi was still mad in his press conference. “You don’t take the law into your own hands. You’re gonna skip the judicial system? That’s ‘My Cousin Vinny.'” I guess Joe’s a movie fan.

It was all crazy, but then drama is what this season is now about.

Not insignificant was the injury to Nunez. How bad is his hamstring strain? Who knows, but it can’t be positive. Cano seemed to be okay after getting hit in the foot, but we’ll see.

If Dave Robertson is our closer in the future, I’ll have to take meds for high blood pressure. He does keep things interesting.

CC? I’ve given up wondering what’s wrong with him. I’ve gotten used to watching with my hands over my eyes when he pitches.

Very glad there’s a day off now. This one took a lot out of me.

Programming note: Joe Tacopina will be on the “Today” show tomorrow morning. Now that should be entertaining.

 

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Ugly – And I’m Not Just Talking About The Game

Saturday, August 17th, 2013
Photo: Mariela Lombard/Daily News

Photo: Mariela Lombard/Daily News

Lawyer Joe Pacopina has always been a sleazy character, but now that he’s defending A-Rod he’s proving just how sleazy. This story in the NY Times in which he hurls some pretty ballsy accusations against the Yankees, Randy Levine in particular, and at MLB, Bug Selig in particular, is mind boggling. How does A-Rod have the gall to step on the field and actually play for the team he’s accusing of every underhanded trick in the book? How does he dispatch his attack dog to speak to the media on his behalf and then look his teammates and manager in the eyes? Do I think the Yankees are capable of playing hardball? You bet. Tacopina invokes George Steinbrenner’s name in the article as if George didn’t hire Howard Spira to ruin Dave Winfield. But to say Levine forced A-Rod to play in the postseason last year knowing he had a torn labrum, just so he’d “look finished as a ballplayer?”

As for the game at Fenway today, it was ugly too. With Kuroda on the mound, the Yankees should have beaten the Red Sox, despite how well Lackey has been pitching, and I was thrilled not to have been blacked out by FOX for a change. Instead, the Yanks frittered away the opportunity with errors and limp bats (and some questionable calls). They looked helpless – a far cry from the team that’s been hot lately.

Tomorrow night takes on even more importance now. I sure hope CC is up to the challenge.

 

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A Happy Ending, At Least

Friday, August 9th, 2013
Photo: REUTERS/Ray Stubblebine

Photo: REUTERS/Ray Stubblebine

No, there was no pie tonight, but Gardner did put the Yankees out of their 10th inning misery with his walk off single against the Tigers. He also bailed out Mo, who blew his second save in a row. I missed most of the game, but I didn’t miss Mo’s meltdown and I wish I did. Is he giving us a taste of what life will be like without him or simply showing his human fallibility?

I was surprised when I tuned in that we had three actual runs and were ahead in the game. Aren’t the Tigers supposed to be invincible? Guess not. Nova turned in yet another deserved-to-win performance, even though he navigated out of trouble almost every inning. That’s good news. But the offense was mostly its usual anemic self. A-Rod and Soriano were probably a combined 0-for-100, or so it must have seemed.

What to make of the cheers for A-Rod? My assumption is that fans were reacting to all the media reports that there would be booing and felt a backlash, even wanted to be protective or supportive of Alex, as if he’s been a victim of the big bad baseball commissioner. Whatever. If he continues to strike out in important situations, those cheers will turn to boos soon enough – PEDs or no PEDs.

 

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Rodmaggedon

Monday, August 5th, 2013

arod presser

He’s appealing his suspension. He’s suing MLB and anybody else who’s done him wrong. Lalalalalalala. Bottom line is the Yankees got creamed by the lowly White Sox and looked pathetic doing it, and the juicer couldn’t juice up the moribund offense. Pettitte seems fried and I wouldn’t be surprised if he admitted he’s got nothing left. Sad way to go out. Jeter, of course, is back on the DL.

For a little humor, Mark Feinsand of the Daily News tweeted out Donald Trump’s reaction to A-Rod’s suspension. As usual, Trump made the question all about himself:

Fox News’ Greta Van Susteren asked Donald Trump what he thought of A-Rod’s suspension. He said, “I think it’s great. Look, he’s been taking this stuff all of his life. When he stopped taking it he became a lousy baseball player, or certainly just less than average. I think it’s great … and it sets an example, and he’s not very popular in new York, nobody likes him.

He lives in my building, Derek Jeter likewise. Many of the Yankees and many of the players lived in my buildings, and I can tell you the ones that people like and the ones that the people don’t like. If I say to the doorman what do you think of Derek, ‘We love Derek.’ If I say what do you think of A-Rod, it’s like ‘forget it.’

So look, he deserves what he gets. He’s been doing this for a long time and frankly I don’t understand the Yankees. The Yankees should have stopped paying him two years ago because obviously on the contract what he signed was not what they were bargaining for. So I don’t understand why the Yankees kept paying him, but maybe they’re very generous, who knows.”

Right, Donald. It’s all the Yankees’ fault.

By the way, I was really impressed with Girardi in his pre-game press conference. It couldn’t have been easy to answer all the A-Rod questions, but his comments about not being a person whose role is to judge others goes to his decency. Kudos, Joe.

 

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I’m With Jeter: “This season has been a nightmare”

Sunday, August 4th, 2013
Photo: Christopher Hanewinckel/USA TODAY Sports

Photo: Christopher Hanewinckel/USA TODAY Sports

The Captain called it when he spoke to the media after being diagnosed with yet another muscle strain, this time in his calf, and most likely going back on the DL. I can’t imagine what his level of frustration must be. He just wants to play and yet his body keeps letting him down. So awful.

Speaking of awful, that’s what Hughes was today in what could have been his audition for the Padres. After all, his old buddy Ian Kennedy is now a Padre and Hughes is a California boy and Petco is supposed to be a pitcher’s park. Still, he couldn’t get hitters out and was gonzo before I blinked.

The lack of offense isn’t worth talking about at this point. It is what it is.

So after dropping the series to a team they should have creamed, the Yankees head to Chicago to face the circus that will be A-Rod. I’m exhausted contemplating all the media waiting for Mr. Biogenesis to say, “No comment. I just want to help my teammates.” Someone on Twitter said it’s kind of sad that Mo and his farewell tour are the only things worth savoring this season, and I have to agree. I wish we could fast-forward to next year.

 

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