Posts Tagged ‘Alex Rodriquez’

Alex Rodriquez (A-Rod) played in his 2784th career game last night as the New York Yankees defeated the Tampa Bay Rays 6-3. Now an August 12th game normally wouldn’t get this much attention, but it was A-Rod’s last one with the Yankees. After 12 seasons in Yankees pinstripes the team was parting ways with A-Rod. He was to be released right after last nights game and would then sign a one year deal with the team to be a Special Advisor. There was one year left on Rodriquez’s player contract and I guess the Yankees figured they might as well do something with him since they where paying him anyway. A-Rod went 1 for 4 in the game. He hit a double and he drove in a run. It ended up being a bit of an odd week leading up to A-Rod’s last game. At first Yankees manager Joe Girardi said A-Rod could play as much as he wanted. It was a three-game series against the Boston Red Sox and then last nights game, but when the games against the Red Sox came up there was no A-Rod in the line up. As the manager Girardi has complete control over the line up card and I have no issues with him not wanting to play A-Rod. The issue I ended up having was when he used the lame excuse of he was trying to put the best line up on the field for the team t win. Now A-Rod was having a bad year hitting right around .200, but your best line up to win with had Mark Teixera and Aaron Hicks in it. Both of these players are hitting under .200. What’s the real reason Girardi kept A-Rod out of the line up; who knows, but I’m not buying the best line up to win deal. I know I’m floating into Dan the Man territory here, but what if Yankees management wanted to keep A-Rod on the bench and out of the line up. I know that might seem weird, but the Yankees are going to pay A-Rod $21 million next season to pretty much do nothing. He was just 4 home runs away from the 700 home run mark and his contract has “Marketing Bonuses” in it for home run milestones. Is there a chance that Yankees upper management just didn’t want to give A-Rod anymore more because I’m sure there was a bonus waiting for him at 700 career home runs. Rodriquez had also asked Girardi to play 3rd base in his final game and was told no. Girardi did allow A-Rod t start the 9th inning at 3rd base before he was removed so he could get one final ovation from the home crowd.

Rodriquez has the numbers that a Hall of Fame career should have. He’s a career .295 hitter and has 3115 career hits. I mentioned the 696 home runs, but you might not remember that back in 1998 A-Rod stole 46 bases and has 329 career steals. He is a three time MVP (2003, 2005 and 2007) and finished 2nd in the voting twice (1996 and 2002) and 3rd in the voting once (2000). He is a 14 time All-Star and two time Gold Glove winner and won the AL batting title in 1996. A-Rod exceeded his rookie limits on 1995, but if he hadn’t, with the year he had in 1996 he would’ve won Rookie of the Year easily. He led the league in hits once, doubles once, runs scored 5 times, RBI’s twice and home runs 5 times. It’s easily a Hall of Fame career and then as your looking at his player card  you notice that there are no stats for the 2014 season. As we all know A-Rod was suspended that season for his use of performance enhancing drugs. So as you look back at what is statistically a great career you have t wonder when the PED use started. His numbers where great right out of the gate. In 1966 he hit .358 with 54 doubles, 36 home runs and 123 RBI’s. Those are great numbers for a 20 year old in his first full major league season, but was he clean? There have been unsubstantiated rumors that A-Rod was using PED’s all the way back to high school. Unless the voters change the way they’ve handled the Hall of Fame voting since PED’s have become an issue it looks like A-Rod will be on the outside looking in.

The NFL pre-season kicked off this week and already fans are out of control. In the Chicago area where I live fans where already on the ledge because the Chicago Bears lost their pre-season opener 22-0 to the defending Super Bowl champion Denver Broncos. Did I mention that it was the first game of pre-season. These people need to take a deep breath and relax. There are still 3 more pre-season games on the Bears schedule before they open the season for real on Sunday September 11th on the road against the Houston Texans. I understand that a fan wants his team to look good, but if they don’t the game you just went nuts about doesn’t mean anything. In Week 1 of the pre-season sometimes the most important thing is to get through the game healthy. Also let’s be fair here; if you had the Bears going to and or winning the Super Bowl this season you have another set of issues that need to be looked at. I fully understand that football is king when it comes to the 4 major sports, but if you’re giving up on your favorite team after Week 1 of the pre-season because they lost you might want to look for a new sport. With the way the NFL is now and the rules about hitting in practice tackling is so bad that even in Week 1 and Week 2 of the regular season some teams are still acting, looking or even playing like it’s still the pre-season. Again simple take a step back, take a deep breath and relax.

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NASCAR

Last weekend the NASCAR series was at the Talladega Superspeedway for the Geico 500. Now there are plenty of people out there who watch NASCAR just for the accidents.If you happen to be one of those people this race did not disappoint you. Only 21 out of the 40 cars that started finished on the lead lap. Some of the top drivers got themselves caught up in accidents and in the cases of Kasey Kahne and Dale Earnhardt Jr. they got caught up in two accidents. If you haven’t seen the video yet you should look for the one where Earnhardt Jr, is involved in his second accident of the race. As he’s driving his steering wheel comes off in his hands and he has to grab the connecting rod to try and steer the car. This second accident took Earhardt Jr. out of the race and he ended up finishing 40th. Now Talladega races can get wild as they are restrictor plate races and the cars run together in big group at or around 200 miles per hour.So that normally means when one car starts to crash they take quite a few cars with them. It can also work out to your advantage if you’re in the right place at the right time when these accidents take place. Brad Keslowski ended up in the best plat at Talladega as he led 46 laps and won the race. Kyle Busch cane home 2nd with Austin Dillon in 3rd, Jamie McMurray in 4th and  Chase Elliott who started the race on the pole came home 5th. Tony Stewart was credited with a 6th place finish, but got out of the car at the first caution and Ty Dillon spent most of the race in the car. According to NASCAR rules the driver that starts the race gets credit for where it finishes. Stewart just returned from a back injury and his doctor advise him to get out of the car and allow Dillon to substitute. Dillon did qualify the car and it was set up for him. Stewart ended up running about 50 laps before giving way to Dillon. Matt Kenseth’s run of bad luck continued. He led 39 laps and look to have a car that could contend, but he got caught up in an accident with Danica Patrick and had to settle for a 23rd place finish. On the Sunday Sports Time Radio podcast Chris Olmstead gave us his 3 drivers to look for in victory lane. He did take Earnhardt Jr, but being that it was a restrictor plate race just about everyone would’ve pick him. He did netter with his other two drivers as Kyle Busch came home 2nd for him and his other choice was Chase Elliott who finished 5th. The Sprint Cup series heads to Kansas Speedway for the Go Bowling 400 on Saturday night.

NFL

I thought this was a bit of an odd story. The National Football Leagu has warned it’s players that if they’re traveling to China or Mexico they have to be careful about any meat they might eat. Any meat produced in China or Mexico may potentially contains Clenbuterol, which is banned under the league’s performance enhancing substance policy.  The independent administrator of the NFL’s drug testing program sent out a memo to players warning them of this possibility. Clenbuterol is a muscle-building and weight-loss stimulant. Oddly the NFL has scheduled a Monday Night Football game in Mexico City on November 21st. The Oakland raiders will take on the Houston Texans in that game. The Raiders also hosted a fan fest as part of the NFL draft this past Saturday in Mexico City. Last season Houston’s left tackle Duane Brown tested positive for Clenbuterol after he took a trip to Mexico on the Texans bye week and ate Mexican beef. After a month long process, Brown was finally cleared in April, sources said, allowing him to avoid what would have been a 10 game suspension. Hopefully NFL players take notice and don;t have t go though the same situation as Brown did. Now this just isn’t an issue that the NFL is dealing with. In 2011, five players on Mexico’s national soccer team tested positive for Clenbuterol, and the country’s federation ruled the positive tests were caused by contaminated meat. Then again at the 2011 Under-17 World Cup held in Mexico, FIFA found a majority of all players tested had traces of Clenbuterol in their system. Mexican cattle ranchers are banned from using Clenbuterol as a growth enhancer, but reports suggest that it is still used widely.

MLB

What if anything will the New York Yankees do. General Manager Brian Cashman mentioned yesterday in the New York papers that things had to change with this team, but what. After last nights 4-1 loss to the Baltimore Orioles the Yankees are 8-16 and in last place in the American League East. Now it is still very early in the season, but the Yankees find themselves 6 1/2 games out of 1st place. Now of course you can always make a change at manager, but is this really Joe Girardi’s fault. I’m sure you’ve heard the term; you can’t fire the players; so Girardi may end up being the fall guy for the Yankees. Maybe the Yankees record has more to do with the fact that only Masahiro Tanaka has an ERA under 3.00 at 2.87 in the starting rotation. The other starters C.C. Sabathia (5.06), Nathan Eovaldi (5.46), Luis Severino (6.31) and Michael Pineda (6.33) round out the Yankees rotation. Also no Yankees starting pitcher has more than 1 win. While the bullpen will get some help soon as Aroldis Chapman will be returning from suspension. Of course the back end of the Yankees bullpen has been good. Delin Betances has appeared in 12 games covering 11 2/3rd innings. He has 5 holds, 24 strikeouts, a WHIP of 0.94 and an ERA of 3.09. Andrew Miller has been handling closer duties while Chapman is out. Miller has appeared in 10 games pitching 10 innings. He has 5 saves, 16 strikeouts, a WHIP of 0.40 and an ERA of 0.00; so he hasn’t given up an earned run. Stat wise the hitting looks to be pretty solid. Chase Headley does appear to be struggling hitting just .147. Alex Rodriquez (A-Rod) isn’t hitting for a high average (.194), but does lead the team in home runs with 5 and is tied for the team lead in RBI’s with Starlin Castro at 12. Of course A-Rod strained a hamstring last night running out a ground ball and looks like he’ll end up on the disabled list. Now the Yankees are an older team with a lot of high salary guys coming to the end of their contracts. Can you fix this team? or do you just hope they come around as the weather warms up.

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2/11/15

The big story right now is that the little league team from Jackie Robinson West out of  Chicago used players from outside their boundaries and were stripped of their U.S. Little League World Series championship. I spent about 10 years coaching Little League baseball in the town I grew up in and while I didn’t coach at this level I can tell you first hand that this happens all of the time. I coached at what was called at the time the Senior league level which is players 13 to 15 years old. The level this is happened at is called the Major league level which has players from 10 to 12 years old. Now not only did I coach in my time in Little League, but I was also Vice President of the league and had to be acting President on a few occasions when needed. Does it make it right that they did this, no it doesn’t, but the kids themselves probably didn’t have much to do with this. I’m sure if you played Little League there was a kid you knew who used his Aunt’s address so he could play with his friends. When I was in elementary school my parents used the neighbors address so I could go to the school closest to our house. With every Little League World Series game on television now coaches are going to do whatever they can to win. Remember Danny Almonte; he was the pitcher who turned out to be 14 or 15 years old when he pitched in the Little League World Series. That turned out to be his father’s idea. There has always been an issue with either Japan or Korea and the ages of their players. I’m sure this has happened before and the team or teams just got away with it, but you wonder if the reason this is happening is because this team won. It’s too bad for the kids, but I’m sure some of them knew where certain players lived and that they should’ve been on different teams. I’m not sure if there’s a way to fix this now that it’s a featured television event, but remember that its Little League and it’s suppose to be for the kids.

So Alex Rodriquez had a meeting with the New York Yankees to apologize for his disastrous 2013 effort to escape a Biogenesis doping ban, even as team brass told Rodriguez that they did not intend to pay him the millions in marketing bonuses for any home run milestones he might reach in the future. As pitchers and catchers are getting ready to report you have to wonder where does Rodriquez fit in the Yankees plans for the 2015 season. Chase Headley was resigned in the off-season and will play 3rd base. If he’s healthy you have to figure Mark Teixeira will be at 1st base. There’s also the fact that Rodriquez has never played 1st base.  Chris Young finished the season strong for the Yankees and Garrett Jones was signed in the off-season; so even the Designated Hitter role is crowded. The meeting took place at Yankee Stadium and it’s being reported that it lasted about 90 minutes. Rodriquez  did not say whether he would challenge the Yankees on the bonuses, according to the person present. The execs told him they do not consider any records he might set as milestones and will not pay them, and that he was free to challenge them, according to the source. It will be interesting to see what kind of media circus follows Rodriquez around at spring training. On a side note Rodriquez will be the first player I nominate in our fantasy auction draft this season just to see how high the bidding might go.

A hamstring injury will sideline Milwaukee Brewers catcher Jonathan Lucroy for 4-6 weeks. The Brewers did not specify how Lucroy was hurt. Lucroy should be able to play by the time the Brewers open the regular season on April 6 against the Rockies at Miller Park. But he will miss the bulk of Spring Training, and those lost at-bats could be troublesome.  The Brewers have a quality backup catcher in defensive-minded Martin Maldonado, who signed a two-year contract last month. The other catcher on the 40-man roster is Juan Centeno, who briefly appeared in the big leagues with the New York Mets in 2013 and 2014.  Brewers pitchers and catchers are expected to report to camp on February  20th. The first full-squad workout is scheduled to be held on February 26th.

On the podcast today (Wednesday) we have Tim Kelly from Section215.com scheduled to talk some Philadelphia sports and I’m wondering how he feels about the Philadelphia Flyers playoff chances. The Flyers are one of the hottest teams in the NHL, picking up points in seven straight games after a 2-1 overtime loss to the Montreal Canadiens on Tuesday gave them a 5-0-2 record since January  20th, when they beat the rival Pittsburgh Penguins 3-2 at home. The Flyers are eight points behind the Boston Bruins for the second Eastern Conference wild-card spot. For the second season in a row the Flyers got off to a poor start. Last season they were 4-10-1 after 15 games and went 38-20-9 the rest of the way to reach the playoffs. This season the Flyers were 8-13-3 after 24 games but have gone 15-9-6 since to keep their slim playoff hopes alive. Having overcome a poor start last season gives the Flyers belief they can do it again, but this is most definitely doing things the hard way. The Flyers announced starting goaltender Steve Mason would be out 2-3 weeks with a lower-body injury. I did see a report yesterday (Tuesday) that Mason will have knee surgery. That was hardly the type of news you want to hear in the middle of a late-season push toward the playoffs, especially considering the difficulties backup Ray Emery has had this season. Emery entered the game against Montreal with a 9-9-1 record, a 3.34 goals-against average and .886 save percentage. But Emery made 39 saves against the Canadiens, withstanding a bombardment over the second half of the game to get his team into overtime and earn the Flyers a point in the standings, one that could have easily been lost were it not for his stellar play.

The national basketball Association is heading towards its All-Star break and I saw that one of the All-Star game activities this season is a fashion show. Yes, you read that right a fashion show. Apparently there will be three different looks per player. At least I think it’s the players who are modeling, but I don’t know for sure. I understand that the dunk contest got boring and not everyone likes three point shooting or skills competition, but a fashion show really. I also believe I heard that LeBron James is a producer or something to that effect on this. All I know is this is one All-Star event I have zero interest in.

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