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Tag:Alex Rodriguez
Posted on: April 24, 2011 10:50 pm
 

At 44, Vizquel not close to retirement

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Omar VizquelWhite Sox utility man Omar Vizquel turned 44 on Sunday, but says he doesn't see the end of his career coming anytime soon.

"As long as the body is OK, and [I'm] performing and doing what I ask it to do," Vizquel told the Chicago Tribune's Mark Gonzales when asked if he could be celebrating more birthdays on the field. "Right now there's no reason I can't. I am going to keep trying to play. I don't need to be on a table getting massages, or [in] a Jacuzzi or need a personal trainer with me on the road trips. I feel like I can still do the same things I've been doing for all these years."

With an 0-for-3 day on Sunsday, Vizquel's average dipped to .308. But that's not too bad for a 44-year-old. He started at second base on Sunday, the third time he's started there this season. He's also started games at shortstop and third base. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, only Bobby Wallace of the Cardinals has played shortstop past his 44th birthday -- and that was 93 years ago.

"[Vizuqel] saved our [rears] last year, big-time, and continues to do it," White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said. "I need to put him out there because we need a break and he shows up to perform the way he does. That's not an easy thing to do."

Last season, in his first with Chicago, Vizquel hit .276/.341/.391. This season he's hitting .308/.357/.346.

Vizquel has 2,807 career hits but may need to play again at least next season to reach 3,000. He had 95 hits last season with the White Sox, but only 106 combined in 2008 and 2009. If he plays into 2013, he'd have a realistic shot at 3,000, which would guarantee him a spot in the Hall of Fame.

With 11 Gold Gloves at the game's most important defensive position, Vizquel is among the best to ever play as a defensive player, but is often overlooked because of the offensive shortstops of his time, such as Derek Jeter, Cal Ripken Jr. and Alex Rodriguez

Only Ozzie Smith had more Gold Gloves at shortstop (13) -- and only Smith, Greg Maddux (18), Jim Kaat (16), Ivan Rodriguez (13), Brooks Robinson (16), Roberto Clemente (12) and Willie Mays (12) have won more Gold Gloves overall.

Vizquel's offensive numbers are better than Smith's, but Smith was more popular and seen as perhaps the greatest defensive player off all-time, not just shortstop. Vizquel has always been respected, but still viewed as inferior to Smith defensively and other shortstops offensively. Smith tops Vizquel in WAR, 64.6 to 43.3, according to Baseball-Reference.com.

If Vizquel doesn't get to 3,000 hits, he'll be an interesting case. If he does, he's a slam-dunk.

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Posted on: April 20, 2011 10:27 am
 

Pepper: Greinke progressing

Zack Greinke
By C. Trent Rosecrans

Great news for the Brewers -- with the Reds' loss and Brewers' win on Tuesday, the Brewers are tied for first place in the National League Central. And Zack Greinke is on his way back.

Greinke threw three scoreless innings at Class A Brevard County on Tuesday night. Greinke retired nine of the 10 batters he faced, struck out four and threw 35 pitches. He allowed a single hit, to Tampa's Mitch Abeita, who singled with one out int he third. Greinke struck out the next two batters he faced.

According to the Brewers, Greinke said he "felt great" and threw 91-94 mph with his fastball.

Greinke's next start is expected to be Sunday for Triple-A Nashville. The Brewers want him to make at least three starts in the minor leagues, so he'd return May 4 against the Braves at Turner Field.

And hey, with the Brewers in contention, Greinke may decide to try this year, so that's nice. [MLB.com]

BASEBALL TODAY -- NESN.com's Tony Lee joins Lauren Shehadi to talk Red Sox as Boston is still looking for its first road win following Tuesday's loss in Oakland (as predicted on yesterday's Baseball Today by some wise, handsome baseball writer).

MESSAGE SENT -- Tim Hudson didn't mean to throw at Dodgers rookie Jerry Sands on Monday -- he was just throwing at his body. [Atlanta Journal-Constitution]

A-ROD RETURNING -- Alex Rodriguez is expected back in the Yankees' lineup tonight. He hasn't played since leaving Saturday's game with lower-back and oblique stiffness. [New York Post]

SO YOU'RE SAYING THERE'S A CHANCE -- If the Nationals win both games of their doubleheader today and the Phillies and Marlins both lose, Washington will lead the NL East. [Washington Post]

MISSING MARTINEZ -- The Tigers won't move the hobbled Magglio Ordonez to designated hitter full-time with Victor Martinez on the disabled list. Alex Aliva will catch most of the games with Martinez out, but Omir Santos, called up Tuesday, will catch some, including today. [Detroit Free Press]

UPTON HISTORY -- A cool look at the history of Upton brothers rumors -- and there's been a lot for the pair from Chesapeake, Va, the latest that the Nationals are now scouting B.J. Upton (he's the one with the Rays). [MLBTradeRumors.com]

Mets PLATOON -- The Mets will platoon Daniel Murphy and Justin Turner at second base. [New York Times]

STAND BY YOUR MAN -- Dodgers manager Don Mattingly has issued a vote of confidence in his closer, Jonathan Broxton. Broxton has a 6.14 ERA, but has converted all five of his save opportunities this season. [MLB.com]

SIZEMORE'S SCHEDULE -- The Indians will be watching Grady Sizemore carefully in his return. He won't play more than two games in a row during his first week back and that could be the plan for a while. [Akron Beacon Journal]

BRADEN TO SEE SPECIALIST -- A's left-hander Dallas Braden will see Dr. Lewis Yocum in Los Angeles on Wednesday for another opinion on his stiff left shoulder. Right-hander Tyson Ross will take Braden's spot in the rotation, starting Friday in Seattle. [MLB.com]

MOYER'S PLAN -- Philadelphia's Jamie Moyer, 48, will start his throwing work on May 1. Moyer had Tommy John surgery on Dec. 1. [Philly.com]

KINGLY DRAW? -- Do more people come to see Felix Hernandez pitch? The Seattle Times' Larry Stone breaks down the numbers and the result is -- a few. [Seattle Times]

DODGER VICE CHAIRMAN -- I think Frank McCourt is awesome and should be emperor of the universe.

Hey, we all want a good, cushy job. Writing positive things about mcCourt worked for Steve Soboroff. The Los Angels developer was hired by the Dodgers as their vice chairman and will be charged with "leading the efforts to improve the fan experience at the stadium, strengthening ties to the region's community and philanthropic organizations, and expanding conservation and sustainability programs at Dodger Stadium."

To me it sounds like you've just got to go to a ton of baseball games, complain about the lines at the bathroom, go to some parties and drink some beers and wine -- and when you're done, make sure you throw the cans and bottles into the recycling bin. And all he had to do was write a letter to the Los Angeles Times saying the Dodgers' owner is super-duper. So, yeah, Frank McCourt, over here! I think you're awesome and doing a bang-up job.

YANKEE THEFT -- A woman is accusing the Yankees of stealing their famous top-hat logo from her late uncle in 1936. [New York Post]

BYE BYE PING -- Are the new college bat rules helping or hurting scouting? [FanGraphs]

GARBAGE ON, OFF THE FIELD -- The Mariners gave away compost as a promotion -- luckily for players, it was given away after the game. [MetsGrrl]

YOUK! -- The Kevin Youkilis Photoshop contest. [Big League Stew]

ANGELIC WEDDING -- If you find a woman who will let you have your wedding at a baseball stadium? Well, that means you are a lucky, lucky man. Congrats, Matt Griffin. [Orange County Register]

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Posted on: April 16, 2011 4:24 pm
Edited on: April 16, 2011 7:41 pm
 

A-Rod leaves game with stiff back, oblique

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Alex RodriguezUPDATE: Alex Rodriguez said he felt tight before the game, but it got worse during the game. He's hopeful to play tomorrow, but manager Joe Girardi said if there's any soreness, A-Rod would sit. (Via Anthony McCarron of the New York Daily News on Twitter.)

----------

Alex Rodriguez left Saturday's game with the Rangers in the seventh inning of the team's 5-2 victory over the Rangers with lower back and oblique stiffness.

The team said there was no plan for further tests.

Rodriguez was 0 for 2 with a walk against lefty Derek Holland before he was replaced by Eric Chavez, but is still hitting .385 with four homers and a 1.321 OPS. Chavez struck out in his only plate appearance in the game.

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Posted on: April 10, 2011 7:22 pm
Edited on: April 10, 2011 10:00 pm
 

A-Rod scratched with flu, Chavez gets start

By Matt Snyder

Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez has the flu and was removed from the starting lineup for Sunday night's game against the Red Sox. (Ken Davidoff via Twitter ) Eric Chavez got the start at the hot corner in A-Rod's absence.

Rodriguez has stormed out of the gate in 2011, swinging a hot bat from the get-go. He's hitting .321 with three home runs and a 1.155 OPS through eight games.

Chavez, 33, was once one of the better third basemen in the league, but bad injury woes nearly ended his career. He hasn't played more than 90 games since 2006. He did play well in the spring and catch on with the Yankees as a backup and has swung the bat well in his limited regular-season action (3-6 with two doubles).

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Posted on: March 26, 2011 10:50 pm
 

3 up, 3 down for 3/26: Marlins on a roll

Wes Helms
By C. Trent Rosecrans

3 UP

Florida Marlins -- It seemed like something of a joke a week-and-a-half ago when Florida owner Jeffrey Loria blew up at his team over their spring training play. At the time, the Marlins were 5-13 and losers of nine straight. Since then, they've gone 7-1-1, including Saturday's 6-5 victory over the Cardinals with a walk-off single from Wes Helms (above). Sure, the wins don't count, but even in the spring, it's better to win than to lose -- and also to keep the boss happy.

Alex Rodriguez, Yankees -- Rodriguez hit his sixth homer of the spring on Saturday and fifth int he last eight games. A-Rod has had a sweltering spring, hitting .422/.469/.978. 

Justin Verlander, Tigers -- It doesn't count, but the Tigers' ace just wrapped up a pretty damn impressive spring. In six starts he went 3-0 with a 0.96 ERA. He struck out 23, walked three in 28 innings, while giving up 21 hits and three runs. He finished it on Saturday, allowing five hits and a run in seven innings against the Phillies.

3 DOWN

Ryan Franklin, Cardinals -- It's the position Franklin is paid to succeed in -- the Cardinals go into the ninth inning with a 5-3 lead and three outs to go for the win. Greg Dobbs led off the bottom of the ninth for the Marlins before Franklin recorded two outs. Jeff Domiguez doubled to make it 5-4, then Jorge Padilla followed with another double to tie the game and then Helms singled in Padilla to give Florida a 6-5 victory.

Braves defense -- Atlanta had five errors in Saturday's 8-2 loss to the Mets. Right fielder Wilkin Ramirez had two errors, while Brooks Conrad, Jonny Venters and Joe Mather each had one. The Braves have 32 errors in 31 games this spring. The Braves had 126 errors last season, one fewer than the Nationals and Pirates in the bottom spot for that stat in the National League.

Aroldis Chapman, Reds -- The Reds fireballer didn't record an out in his outing against the World Champions. After back-to-back singles, a wild pitch allowed the first run to score, then he hit Mark DeRosa. After that Charlie Culberson singled and Andres Torres doubled. In all, Chapman gave up four hits and five runs, with converted infielder Jerry Gil allowing his inherited runners to score, while giving up a run of his own.

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Posted on: March 6, 2011 4:07 pm
Edited on: March 6, 2011 9:38 pm
 

Diaz cheers on A-Rod

By C. Trent Rosecrans

It's still a mystery why Alex Rodriguez gets picked on for having a movie star girlfriend, but hey, you gotta give the people what they want.

Guess who showed up to today's game in Kissimmee:

Cameron Diaz

Cameron Diaz is either cheering for A-Rod's fifth-inning homer off of Jeff Fulchino, or she's just excited to see the popcorn guy.

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Posted on: March 5, 2011 7:28 pm
Edited on: March 5, 2011 7:38 pm
 

Getting to know the Yankees

By Matt Snyder

TEAM MVP

You could create an argument for Mark Teixeira, Robinson Cano or Mariano Rivera. Die-hard fans of the Bronx Bombers might want to make the argument for their beloved Derek Jeter. You could even face the taunts of the general public and say Alex Rodriguez. But with the still-developing Phil Hughes, the ever-fickle A.J. Burnett and two -- yet to be named -- mediocre-at-best pitchers comprising the starting rotation, CC Sabathia is the most important cog on the Yankees this season. In two seasons for the Yanks, the big man has gone 40-15 with a 3.27 ERA and nearly 400 strikeouts, garnering two top-five finishes in Cy Young voting. He's eaten 467 2/3 innings during the regular season and was the workhorse en route to a 2009 World Series championship. Even if everything else goes awry with the staff, the Yankees have a reliable ace every fifth day -- assuming he stays healthy. If he doesn't, God help them.

PLAYER ORACLE - Bath Ruth to Derek Jeter (c'mon, had to be done)

Babe Ruth played with Ben Chapman on the 1930 New York Yankees

Ben Chapman played with Early Wynn on the 1941 Washington Senators

Early Wynn played with Tommy John on the 1963 Cleveland Indians

Tommy John played with Roberto Kelly on the 1988 New York Yankees

Roberto Kelly played with Derek Jeter on the 2000 New York Yankees

POP CULTURE

There is so much to choose from here. You've got "The Pride of the Yankees" to "Damn Yankees" to "The Babe" to "The Scout." And many more. Plus, the Yankees more often than not end up being the antagonistic team in baseball movies ("Major League" and "For Love of the Game" come to mind). And that's only movies. The Yankees have been a pop culture fixture for about a century. In fact, there aren't many -- if any -- teams in pro sports more represented in popular culture.

So it was a tough task to just pick one, but I have a soft spot for "The Babe Ruth Story," which was done decades before John Goodman was suiting up as the Sultan of Swat.

And, of course, there is no more single -- possibly real, but possibly not -- sports story more glorified, repeated and legendary than the "called shot" at Wrigley Field.

So here is the clip -- a cheesefest, mind you -- where the Babe throws back a head of lettuce to the Cubs' heckling dugout, calls his shot, hits a home run and saves a young boy's life. All in the span of two minutes and 45 seconds. Yes, all that. Told you it was a cheesefest.



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Posted on: March 4, 2011 7:21 pm
Edited on: March 4, 2011 9:00 pm
 

3 up, 3 down: Jon Daniels' best, worst moves

DanielsBy Evan Brunell

The Rangers have handed GM Jon Daniels a four-year extension, rewarding the 33-year-old for steering the club to its first-ever AL pennant in 2010. For all of Daniels' talents, however, he's made quite a few missteps along the way. Here's a look back at Daniels' three best and worst moves as Rangers GM...

3 UP

1. The Teix Heist

The reason the Rangers made the World Series is thanks to the trade that sent Mark Teixeira to the Atlanta Braves. Consummated at the trade deadline of 2007, this deal represented the first time Daniels was trading away a major piece of a team and he needed to hit a home run.

He did. By dealing Teix and left-handed reliever Ron Mahay, Daniels hauled in catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia, shortstop Elvis Andrus, pitchers Neftali Feliz, Matt Harrison and Beau Jones. The fact Salty stalled in Texas is concerning, but many viewed the backstop at the time as one of the elite young catchers in the game. Andrus would go on to blossom as Texas' starting shortstop while Feliz won the AL Rookie of the Year Award with 40 saves last season and is currently shifting to the rotation. Harrison is a young lefty who is battling for a rotation spot himself, while Jones is the one non-entity.

This deal will continue to pay dividends over time, as Andrus and Feliz will be in town for years to come while Harrison is valuable depth. Saltalamacchia's career is not yet over as he is slated to start in Boston, and the jury is out on Daniels' return for Salty in three minor leaguers.

2. Game Over

Daniels made another significant trade the day of the 2007 trade deadline when he dealt "Game Over" Eric Gagne and cash to the Red Sox for Kason Gabbard, David Murphy and Engel Beltre.

Gagne was impressive in his first season as an ex-Dodger and after missing the bulk of the 2006 season. He wasn't the lockdown closer of old, but looked as if he could be a quality part of the bullpen. Except as Red Sox fans know, he completely imploded and while he walked away with a World Series trade, he will forever be known as Gag-me in Boston. (For some reason, there are over 11,000 views of a video I took recording Gagne's Red Sox debut.) His saving grace in Boston was as a Type-B free agent, and the Red Sox would later trade the player they drafted with the compensatory pick to Cleveland as part of the Victor Martinez deal.

Meanwhile, David Murphy is one of the more valuable fourth outfielders in the game and would be a starter for many other teams. Beltre has his makeup questions but is developing nicely as Texas' center fielder of the future. Gabbard flamed out, but at the time was a possible back-of-the-rotation starter.

3. Draft Bonanza

A major reason why Daniels has stayed viable as GM of the Rangers is his drafting history. Of course, major credit goes to the people working under him that are in charge of the draft, but Daniels deserves credit for putting these people in those roles as well as having a hand in the drafting and development of these players.

His first draft pick, Kasey Kiker, has yet to develop significantly but is just 22 and does hold some promise. However, his following two have had major league time already: power-hitting Chris Davis who has unfortunately failed time and time again to lock down a starting spot in Texas and Danny Herrera, who is a member of the Reds bullpen currently and was used to get Josh Hamilton. Michael Main was used to get Bengie Molina, while Blake Beavan and Justin Smoak were packaged for Cliff Lee

Tommy Hunter was a viable member of the rotation last season and could have a nice career as a back-of-the-rotation pitcher, while Julio Borbon is prepared to start in center field. Tanner Scheppers ranked No. 77 on CBSSports.com's Top 100 Prospects and  may have ranked higher if he was clearly going to be a starter. The club also came away with an impressive haul in the 2010 draft.

Honorable Mention: One would expect the deal bringing in Josh Hamilton to be one of Daniels' better deals, but it's hard to justify that as one of his best deals simply by virtue of giving up Edinson Volquez. There's no denying Hamilton's talent -- after all, he won the AL MVP award -- but Volquez has turned out pretty well for himself. There's a similar case to be made for the trade that imported Carlos Lee and Nelson Cruz from Milwaukee in exchange for Laynce Nix, Kevin Mench, Francisco Cordero and Juan Cordero, so the honorable mention goes to signing Colby Lewis to a two-year deal prior to the 2010 season. Lewis was an utter failure stateside before heading to Japan and discovering his talent. Daniels didn't hesitate to bring in Lewis, and all he did was become the Rangers' best right-handed starter in the team's run to the AL pennant.

3 DOWN

1. The Young and Heartless

In March of 2007, Daniels signed shortstop Michael Young to a five-year, $80 million extension, a contract that was strange at the time and now has snowballed. Two seasons later, Daniels bumped Young to third base in a contentious move to free up short for Elvis Andrus. Young's bat has continued to be solid, but he remained a defensive liability at third and in a much-publicized spat, is now headed to DH and first base after demanding a trade. However, thanks to Young's contract, it will be difficult to move him.

Daniels certainly shouldn't have signed Young to this deal, but that's not why this ranks as one of his three worst moves as GM. While there's a lot of "he-said, he-said" going on by both sides, the fact remains that Young is not very keen on speaking to Daniels and feels "misled." Whether or not you believe Daniels or Young (or think the true answer is somewhere in-between), Daniels should have done a far better job managing the crisis as this has become a nightmare, both in terms of Young's trade value and in public relations. Heck, it even made a three-year-old kid very upset.

2. A-Gone

It's hard to fault Jon Daniels for trading away Adrian Gonzalez as he needed pitching and had Mark Teixeira at first. But goodness, couldn't he have done better? In his second significant trade of his GM career -- the first was also pretty bad -- Daniels shipped away someone who would become one of the best first-basemen in the game in short order in Gonzalez to the Padres along with Chris Young, who fashioned a nice run for himself in the rotation for San Diego. Terrmel Sledge was a throw-in to get Adam Eaton, Akinori Otsuka and Billy Killian in return.

Eaton was a disaster, making just 13 starts and moving onto the Phillies where he was even worse, while Otsuka became the Rangers' closer but fell to injury in 2007 at age 35 and has not returned to the majors since. Killian is now in independent baseball.

Hey, every GM has trades they regret. It's part of life. But this is one regrettable trade that makes one really cringe looking back on it.

3. A-Rod to Soriano to Nothing

OK, so Daniels wasn't responsible for the initial trade of Alex Rodriguez, but he certainly was responsible for turning Rodriguez's return in Alfonso Soriano into something. Unfortunately, his first major trade was a flop when he shipped Soriano to the Washington Nationals for Brad Wilkerson, Armando Galarraga and Terrmel Sledge. Sledge would be shipped in another terrible deal a month later in the Adrian Gonzalez deal, while Wilkerson couldn't arrest the decline he began in his final season for the Nats in '06. He did not top 350 at-bats in the two seasons he was a Ranger.

While Galarraga was and still is nothing to write home about, he chewed up almost 500 innings for the Tigers after the Rangers essentially gave him away, predominantly as a starter the last three seasons -- and of course, as the architect of the 28-out perfect game. He is now a Diamondback and expected to serve in the back of the rotation. These types of pitchers are far from sexy and you can't blame Daniels for tossing Galarraga in the deal, but it only serves to make this deal look even worse given he got absolutely nothing of value for Soriano, which in turn meant the team got nothing for A-Rod.

In Daniels' defense, he was handicapped by Soriano entering the final year of his deal, but Daniels should have looked for prospects in any deal, not an outfielder on the decline, a pitcher he would give away a couple years later and a bit piece that would go on to become part of Daniels' worst trade to date.

Dishonorable Mention: Not to pile on Daniels, who has turned into a very fine GM, but just like he has plenty of candidates for honorable mention, he has candidates for this category as well. Signing Kevin Millwood to a five-year, $60 million deal was head-scratching at the time and he stumbled badly on December 23, 2006 when he dealt away John Danks, Nick Masset and Jacob Rasner to the White Sox for Brandon McCarthy and David Paisano. Danks and McCarthy were two highly-regarded prospects at the time, but Danks is the one that blossomed, while Masset would go on to bust out himself as an important part of the Reds bullpen.

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com