Saturday, April 18, 2015


A-Rod has returned to baseball and has brought his drama with him. It's always different with him. He says what other people think but wouldn't dare say. He does what other people wouldn't ever do. But when he gets on the field, well, that's when it's most surprising.
In 2009, especially in the post season, he hit like the pitchers were throwing underhand, as opposed to slumping so badly in a later series that Joe Torre had him batting 8th. This spring, I told Annie-O that I believed there was an excellent chance that A-Rod would discover that he just didn't have it and he would retire. That at best, he would end up being a hanger-on, occasionally being the DH and pinch-hitting a lot. Now he looks like not only the A-Rod of old, but the A-Rod of old on a hot streak. He's hitting fast balls up and in, sliders away and change-ups down. But, let's not get ahead of ourselves. It's only 10 games into the season and this could all come crashing down, but still, hitting .280 with 20 homers and 90 RBIs doesn't look all that farfetched any more.
He's 50 hits away from 3000 and needs just 20 RBIs to reach 2000. The only others to reach 2000 RBIs were Babe Ruth and Henry Aaron - oh, and Cap Anson, but he retired in 1897. The Yanks have no intention of honoring any of these milestones, including those career homerun bonuses they're supposed to pay. It will be interesting to see if the fans force that on the club.

## Apparently, having attended the Joe "I know everything" West school of umpiring, Jordan Baker, in his 2nd year of umpiring, can read minds and over-react with the best of them. Yesterday, he ejected pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez of the Orioles for hitting Pablo Sandoval  with a pitch in the shoulder, in retaliation, in Baker's mind, for Sandoval's hard slide into 2nd a couple of innings before. No warning, no dugout-emptying free-for-all, just Baker's mind-reading act. "It looked as if, to Jordan, that the Orioles took exception to his hard slide," crew chief Jerry Meals said to a pool reporter."   It appears that the only one upset was Jordan Baker. Joe West must be so proud.

## A few weeks ago, the cry in Chicago was "Bring rookie Kris Bryant into the majors." The rookie 3rd baseman was the star of spring training  for the Cubs, but GM Theo Epstein said he was going to start the season in Triple A instead of in the majors because, "He needs more seasoning." This set off a firestorm of protests, mostly from Bryant's agent, the irrepressible Scott Boras, who needs no help with firestorms. But down to the minors went Bryant, effectively delaying Boras' next big payday by one year, because this was all about money. Having spent the requisite 12 days in the minors so the Cubs could control him for that extra year, Bryant was called up to the Cubs yesterday. In his first game, Bryant grounded out and struck out 3 times. I suppose we will now hear Boras say the Cubs were rushing him.

## Masahiro Tanaka pitches tonight against Tampa Bay. Tanaka's had two sub-par outings this year so far and he sounds as if he's preparing fans for another one. He said he's "..continuing to build arm strength."  That's not what Yankee fans want to hear.

## Britt McHenry has been suspended from her job at ESPN for one week for berating a female towing company employee when a video of the event was released by LiveLeak. When will these people learn: EVERYONE has a cellphone with video capabilities and they are EVERYWHERE. Bo Raissman of the NY Daily News has decided that it's also a sexist issue. This is an interesting twist:

"Troy Polamalu leaps head & shoulders into retirement."  --
"The Yankees and Red Sox played a 19-inning game. It went on so long, New York fans could barely raise their middle fingers."  -- Alan Ray
"Jameis Winston said “Perception is reality, but perceptions can be false." Anyone else have the perception that Winston skipped logic classes?"  -- RJ Currie
"The San Antonio Spurs are playing so well down the stretch, the NBA may end up classifying Ensure as a PED."  -- Janice Hough
"Dallas Seavey won his second Iditarod in a row. Correction: Dogs belonging to some guy named Dallas Seavey won their second Iditarod in a row while he yelled "Mush!"  -- Brad Dickson
"A golfer suffered puncture wounds to his right calf after a crocodile twice bit him at the Palmer Sea Reef Golf Course in Port Douglas, Australia. The duffer is laying up in a hospital bed. The croc was cited for not replacing his divots."  -- Dwight Perry
"For the first time in years, the San Jose Sharks failed to make the playoffs. Some teams would call that disappointing; the Sharks call it a time-saver."  -- RJ Currie
"There is an added impetus to ban bear hunters in New Hampshire from using chocolate as bait, since the traps caught three depressed women going through a breakup."  Conan O'Brian
"The San Francisco Giants haven’t won at home since they started tearing down Candlestick Park. Time for an exorcism? Or something?"  -- Janice Hough
"While trying to catch a foul ball at a Cardinals-Mets game, a fan spilled beer all over himself. It’s only April, and I'm pretty sure we've already found my "Play of the Year."  -- Brad Dickson
" Are these the same ESPN baseball shot-callers who gave us Joe Morgan, who weekly shared his total recall of things that never happened?"  -- Phil Mushnick
"My favorite part of the postgame press conferences during the NCAA basketball tournament when we get to ask questions to “student-athletes” who are passing through college like it’s the drive-thru at Wendy’s"  -- Mike Lupica



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