A-Rod bowed out last night in a sea of emotion, mostly from A-Rod himself. In a rare attempt to show that he's actually human, Mgr Joe Girardi sent A-Rod out to play third in the 9th inning of a 6-3 Yankee win. What a nice gesture, I thought, until Girardi removed him after one out. Okay, so maybe he wanted to pull A-Rod before something embarrassing happened, but the way Betances was pitching, the odds were small. In fact Dellin struck out the side. But A-Rod did get one final ovation before he began the embracing of every single teammate, coach, trainer and maybe hot dog vendor in the stadium.
Goodbye A-Rod, I will miss you.
Wait, this isn't right
** The pre-season analysts decided that the Mets were the favorites to win the NL East while the Yankees would be fighting to stay out of the cellar in AL East. A look at today's standings show the Yanks at three games over .500 while the Mets are one game under and 101/2 games back in third place.
** The Yankee broadcasters seem to use the same descriptions all the time. "Gardner is flying around third." "Hicks is unleashing that gun." "Teixeira is chugging into third (or second or home)." Always 'chugging.' Well last night, Tex stole 2nd base and stole it by such a margin, the catcher never even threw to 2nd. I think 'chugging' can be retired now.
** The St. Louis Cardinals, perennial winners of the NL Central, are mired in 2nd place, 14 games out of first. They're chasing the Chicago Cubs, currently on an 11-game winning streak.
** The US Women's soccer team was eliminated from the tournament by Sweden in the preliminary round. They aren't going down without a fight, though. US goalie Hope Solo called the Swedish team "cowards," because they played a defensive game, which underclassed teams will do to keep from being blown out. Solo should just keep her mouth shut.
** Mets manager Terry Collins issued a tirade Thursday night after the team had been swept three straight by the lowly Diamond backs. He said, "There has to be a passion to come and play, and if they didn't start acting like professionals, I will find players who would. This starts tomorrow. And I'm going to tell them that." The Mets promptly went out and lost to the lowly Padres.
** Move over Bobby Bonilla. Not to be outdone, the Cincinnati Reds will be paying Ken Griffey, Jr., $3.5 million a year for nine more years. For the record, Ken Griffey, Sr. never made more than $1.1 million in a season.
Notes from the Rio Olympics
** Why it necessary to say "Rio" Olympics? Is there one going on somewhere else in the world?
** I enjoy Women"s gymnastics because of the beauty and fearlessness of the participants. At least these ladies look like real women, unlike years ago when the 12 & 13 year old girls were competing. They didn't even look like females. They looked like refugees from a POW camp. Silver medal winner Aly Raisman is actually 22 years old.
How do these girls hold it together when they fall or fail badly when competing? I give them all a lot of credit.
** I still don't understand this. Why do the ladies in the "Women's Porno-Beach Volleyball" have to wear those skimpy costumes (I refuse to call them uniforms)? Look at what the men wear. Shorts to their knees and full t-shirts while the women wear sports bras and barely-there shorts designed by Victoria's Secret. The women don't like it either. One former medalist says the biggest problem is, "You get sand where there shouldn't be sand."
The Track & Field competitors aren't much better. Skimpy tops and bikini shorts on most of them. Some of them are wearing a much larger pair of shorts and, lo & behold, they run just as fast.
** I'm not crazy about all these 'Up Close & Personal' stories that accompany NBC's coverage of the Olympic Games (yes, the ones in Rio). I understand that it's their attempt to develop a relationship between the competitors and the audience so we will participate in the emotion of the event. I root for the US athletes, I don't need to know how his grandmother felt watching him compete. I know a lot of viewers - probably mostly women - like it, but I don't. I just want to see the competition. Sorry, but that's how I feel.
You can take him out of the Majors, but...
...he's still Yasiel Puig. Sent down to the minors after 31/2 years with the Dodgers, Yasiel continued to be the fun-loving guy he always has been . His first day in Oklahoma City and after a loss, he posted a video of himself and teammates partying. Puig claims he was just "...getting to know his teammates." I don't know what he found out other than what they like to drink.
***THEY SAID IT***
"#SFGiants manager #BruceBochy was out of the hospital and back on the bench today. Unfortunately the Giants offense is back on life support." -- Janice Hough
"Isn’t it time to put names on Yanks jerseys? This would be for the benefit of fans AND team mates." -- Tony Chong
"Forbes described the movie Suicide Squad as middling, filled with poor choices and one of DC’s biggest summer letdowns. No wait — that’s Bryce Harper." -- RJ Currie
"“N.Y. Post lays off 36 employees after cutting its A-Rod Pun Headline Department." -- SportsPickle.com
"Nike’s Olympic ad campaign from a few years ago came to mind. It declared, “You don’t win silver, you lose gold.” The worst thing to happen to sports while I have been on this job remains Nike." -- Phil Mushnick
"Do not adjust your TV set, that is the actual color of Ryan Lochte's hair." -- Brad Dickson