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Which SS/3B Tandem Is the Best?

Typically the trivia questions they ask at the ballpark are lame. As are the questions they pose on TV while you’re watching a ballgame. Except for in this case. My buddy, frequent commenter here at LBS, and occasional site contributor, Alan Hull, notified me that one of the questions posed during a Dodgers/Marlins game (I think) was the following: which SS/3B tandem would you rather have? The choices were excellent — making the decision about as tough as any. So I will pose it to you, along with another tandem that is somewhat noteworthy for you to choose from (age in parenthesis):

  1. Marlins:
    3B Miguel Cabrera (24) – 348 BA, 8 HR, career OPS .925, 112 career HRs
    SS Hanley Ramirez (23) – 336 BA, 31 runs, 10 SBs, .951 OPS, NL ROY
  2. Yankees:
    3B Alex Rodriguez (31) – 15HR, 39 RBI, 1.212 OPS, 2 MVPs, 40/40, 2 GG
    SS Derek Jeter (32) – 362 BA, 23 runs, ROY, 3 GG, WS MVP, .317 career BA
  3. Mets:
    3B David Wright (24) – 254, 3 SBs, 69 career HRs, .301 career BA
    SS Jose Reyes (23) – 352 BA, 982 OPS, 31 runs, 19 SBs, 3x NL SB king
  4. Atlanta Braves
    3B Chipper Jones (35) – 10 home runs, 23 RBI, 1.042 OPS, 1999 NL MVP
    SS Edgar Renteria (31) – .338 BA, 906 OPS, 5 time All-Star, 2 Gold Gloves

On the surface, you might just say the Yankees without hesitation. That’s not a bad answer, and probably the tandem I’d want for the next 3-5 years. But can you so easily deny the youth of the Marlins and Mets? The Braves was the tandem I added to the discussion because, well, I feel like an argument can be made for them. If it were just for this season, I’d go with the Yankees tandem. If it were to start a franchise, I dunno, tough call between the Mets and Marlins. If you’re talking about the best 3B/SS bargain financially, no question — it’s the Marlins. You pretty much can’t go wrong with any of the three. But how lucky are the Marlins and Mets to have what they do for now, especially at those prices?

Was that A-Rod flirting?

Forgive me if I just don’t hang around Alex Rodriguez enough to know that “sweetheart” is how he commonly refers to females, but I found it a bit strange that he used that term at his book signing yesterday (promoting his newly released children’s book). In the middle of an interview, A-Rod glances away from the reporter to look at a girl. He then returns his attention to the reporter to continue answering the question. That same girl says “Hi Alex,” at which point Rodriguez breaks away from the interview and straight up says, “How you doing sweetheart?” before returning to finish his answer. You can see the video yourself.

Again, forgive me if this a common occurrence for A-Rod, but allow me to make a suggestion. If “sweetheart” is the term Alex Rodriguez uses to address any old female, I suggest he changes it to something less endearing.

The New York Post’s account of the signing wasn’t far off in its description of odd behavior either.

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A-Rod and T.O.

Prior to the AFC Championship game against New England, Boomer Esiason said that “If [Peyton Manning] doesn’t win on Sunday and doesn’t get to the Super Bowl, he might as well buy a house next to A-Rod — Alex Rodriguez — because they’re going to be living in the same neighborhood.” Well, Peyton won that game – and followed it up with a Super Bowl victory – leaving A-Rod in the neighborhood of, well, T.O.?

Thanks to Ben Maller who had shared this story with us yesterday from the New York Daily News, Alex Rodriguez has written an inspirational children’s book about an underdog who makes it.

“Out of the Ballpark” follows a boy – appropriately named Alex – whose baseball team is playing in the playoffs. Alex, who is a second baseman, makes a key error in the game and begins to put extra pressure on himself. Only his play gets worse.

Just what you need Alex, more reason to fuel your critics’ fire. Every time you fail on the field, references will now be made to your book and how you put time into writing that instead of concentrating on practicing in the off-season. Is the amount of children you may be inspiring worth the pressure you are now putting on yourself?

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