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A-Rod 600th Home Run Means Little

Raise your hand if you care that New York Yankees star Alex Rodriguez is on the verge of hitting his 600th career home run? Yeah, me neither. Yes, there are only six other players who are ahead of him on the all-time home run list, but I still think it’s pretty meaningless to care about this “achievement.”

I never really liked A-Rod to begin with. But I did respect him. I respected him because he was a great athlete who was one of the true players we had left. However, when he admitted that he had taken steroids even after repeatedly saying he hadn’t, that’s when all that respect went down the drain. It was a complete disgrace to the game of baseball and I think that if anyone opens their mouth and says how amazing A-Rod’s 600th homer is I will punch them. Honoring this “achievement” is insulting to the greats who got to this mark in their career with pure talent. I’m sorry, but I won’t insult Hank Aaron, Babe Ruth or Willie Mays by saying this is something to get excited about.

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A-Rod Angers Dallas Braden by Running Across Pitching Mound

A player on the field ripping A-Rod’s etiquette while running the bases? Where have I seen that story before? A’s pitcher Dallas Braden, who went six innings of two-run ball to beat the Yankees Thursday, made more noise for getting angry with Alex Rodriguez than he did by pitching well. Instead of explaining everything, why don’t you watch the Alex Rodriguez/Dallas Braden pitching mound video and see for yourself what happened:

Was it a careless move by A-Rod and poor form? Yes. Would he have done it in the ALCS with Josh Beckett on the hill? Probably not. This move shows that A-Rod’s attitude is casual only 15 games into the season and that he doesn’t give a crap about Dallas Braden or the A’s. Did Braden overreact with all his yelling? Probably, but as any pitcher will tell you, his mound is his mound and no base runner should ever disrespect it by running across it the way A-Rod did. I probably would have said something to A-Rod about it but I don’t know if I would have carried it as far as Braden did. Bottom line, A-Rod was in the wrong and Braden overreacted, but it wasn’t a gross mistake by Rodriguez. He should know better, however.

Sources:
A’s P rips A-Rod’s ‘etiquette’ [AP/FOX Sports]

The Sports Adulterers Hall of Fame

With Tiger Woods returning to competitive golf this week despite the recent revelations of his extramarital affairs, it got me thinking about other notorious spouse cheaters in sports. If we were to turn our backs on all the athletes who have cheated on their wives, who would we have left? If we were to shun every athlete who has ever done anything distasteful, then our Hall of Fames would be practically empty. Moreover, it’s amazing that some of the finest athletes in their sports dominated despite drama-filled lives. Today, let’s take a walk through The Sports Adulterers Hall of Fame and remember that what an athlete does in their personal life doesn’t necessarily impact their game.

Tiger Woods: He has returned to the golf world despite all the drama surrounding him and his family. Tiger was scrutinized for his multiple “indiscretions” and rumors swirled that he had even impregnated one of his mistresses a couple of times. Tiger has won 71 PGA Tour events, and 14 Majors to which he is second only to Jack Nicklaus. But beyond his honors and trophies, Tiger’s brilliance resulted in an explosion in popularity of the game which itsel has been an amazing achievement.

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FOX’s TV Camera Extends Onto Field, Causes Controversy on A-Rod Home Run

Whether it’s been BCS games or baseball playoffs, we’ve often complained about FOX TV overproducing sporting events. Not to say that I or many others don’t have short attention spans, but it seems to me that along with showing you sports, FOX’s goal is to give you A.D.D. if you don’t already have it. This sentiment goes hand-in-hand with my often used mantra that less is more. Maybe FOX has finally learned that lesson given what happened in Game 3 of the World Series on Saturday night.

alex-rodriguez-home-run-camera

The Phillies were up 3-0 early and cruising until the controversy in the 4th. After a Johnny Damon flyout and a walk to Teixeira, A-Rod sliced a ball down the right field line, just inside the foul pole. In a Jeffrey Maier moment, the ball hit a FOX TV camera that was poking out over the fence (you can see it in the image above). The umpires later ruled the ball was on its way out so they awarded Alex Rodriguez with a two-run home run to make it 3-2 Phillies. The TV camera and the subsequent ruling seemed to have cost the Phillies a run. Even if the ball were heading out, there’s no reason why a camera should be sticking out over the fence onto the field. Sure it’s a million-to-one shot, but it happened, and FOX looks bad because of it. Maybe they realize now that it’s not about how many cameras you have (and at the least, to make sure they’re not interfering with the play), but about not screwing up the action. That home run by A-Rod snapped his slump and sparked the Yankees offense. They can thank FOX and the umpires for it.

UPDATE: The hit was ruled a home run because the ground rules had been agreed upon prior to the game and they said if a ball hit a camera it would be a homer.

Where Stats Lie: A-Rod/Reggie Jackson Playoff Comparison

There’s this ridiculous stat comparison circulating which pits A-Rod’s numbers against Reggie Jackson for the playoffs. Here are the raw numbers brought to us by Jockbeat through each player’s first 42 postseason games:

    Player A: 42 games, 151 at-bats, 40 hits, 7 homers, 19 rbi, .265 batting
    Player B: 42 games, 158 at-bats, 46 hits, 9 homers, 25 rbi, .291 batting

Naturally the better numbers belong to A-Rod and it’s supposed to make you doubt everything you ever knew about baseball considering Reggie Jackson’s reputation as Mr. October. But all those numbers serve to prove is how deceiving statistics can be. Here are the real numbers: in the past three postseasons (prior to this year), A-Rod hit .159 (7-for-44) with NO home runs and only 1 RBI. All three years the Yankees lost in the first round. Any coincidence that the playoff series he finally hits in they swept the Twins?

Now Mr. October earned his nickname by hitting .400 (22-for-55) with 8 home runs and 17 RBIs in 15 World Series games for the Yankees. Throw all those stats above out the window because what I just presented is all you need to know. Let A-Rod hit several home runs in the World Series (and in the ALCS) and then we can talk about comparing the two. Until then, A-Rod will have to settle for his current Dave Winfield nickname of Mr. May.

Rick Sutcliffe: A-Rod and Teixeira Stealing Signs and Helping Each Other?

One of the allegations against Alex Rodriguez to come out in the paparazzi-style book about him was that he would tip pitches to opponents late in games in hopes that they would return the favor. This was said to occur only in blowouts as a way to boost statistics. Well it appears as if A-Rod’s tipping ways are still in effect, just now he’s doing it to help his teammates. In a rare instance where a color analyst actually provided some excellent insight into a game, ESPN analyst Rick Sutcliffe may have picked up on something quite interesting during the Rangers/Yankees Wednesday night game.

Sutcliffe claims that in the first inning Alex Rodriguez used a verbal sign to indicate pitch location for Mark Teixeira while A-Rod was in the on-deck circle. Rangers catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia gave his pitcher the sign early and set up inside before his pitcher began his windup. According to Sutcliffe, that gave A-Rod plenty of time to whistle to Teixeira, indicating that the catcher was setting up inside. Teixeira wound up turning on the pitch and launching it above the bleachers in left field, a pretty brilliant blast to be sure. When they got into the dugout after each player’s at-bat, the two sluggers appeared to flash the “O.K.” sign at each other as a way of saying “nice job, that worked perfectly.”

Now if you want to say that they weren’t setting each other up with help, you would argue that they were flashing the O.K. sign as a way to signify that the pitcher threw him a circle changeup (the circle changeup is held with an O.K. sign as a grip). Believe me, Tex didn’t bash a changeup so I’m not buying that one. Sutcliffe showed a whistling sound when they replayed the highlight and he was dead certain that A-Rod and Tex were in cahoots. If that’s the case, is that crossing the line or them just taking advantage of circumstance? I know opposing teams frown upon stealing signs like that, but it seems to me like Tex and A-Rod are doing a good job helping each other out. It also really would support the assertions in the book too. Besides, I have to admit, I’ve had third base coaches tip pitches or location to me using verbal cues when I played, so I won’t say this is playing dirty. I’m not sure how other teams will see it other than to say they’ll be more careful next time if they’re smart. Check out video of the Teixeira 2-run home run below:

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Roger Clemens and Alex Rodriguez Formed the Yankees’ Man Boobs Tandem

So we had the story that Alex Rodriguez has been using roids since high school. A-Rod was also suspected of steroid use while he was a member of the Yankees (no surprise to me). Corroborating that story was Alex’s reputation for having “bitch tits” or “man boobs” caused by the anabolic steroids. Well apparently A-Rod wasn’t the only Yankee with a moob problem:

According to “American Icon,” a book by the Daily News sports investigative team that will be released on May 12, Roger Clemens also sprouted breasts as a result of anabolic steroid use.

“The medical term was gynecomastia, but around the clubhouse they called them “b—- t—” or “man boobs” – and heaven help the player who sprouted them in the middle of his career and then took his shirt off in the locker room,” the Daily News reporters wrote in “American Icon.”

I think my whole excuse for this post is to show the A-Rod on David Letterman video which is where Jose Canseco says you really see them. OK, so here it is:

Yup, I definitely saw it there. Now we know where the nickname comes from.