Tag:Alex Rodriguez
Posted on: June 9, 2011 10:20 am
Edited on: June 9, 2011 11:32 am
 

Pepper: Reyes a fit for BoSox; Guillen draft saga


What is the reason behind so many near no-hitters recently? Will the Red Sox improve to 6-0 this season at Yankee Stadium? Matt Snyder joins Lauren Shehadi with the answers.

By Evan Brunell


REYES TO RED SOX? Red Sox outfielder Mike Cameron calls Jed Lowrie "solid" and Marco Scutaro "pretty good" -- "but the talent [Reyes] possesses is very intriguing," he says.

Cameron, who was teammates with Reyes a few seasons ago and still keeps in touch, believes the shortstop could be a major part of a Boston squad looking to win the World Series.

"It's a different animal here [with the Red Sox]," Cameron said. "In Boston, there's one team there and the primary focus is nothing else but [a freaking] title. [But] I think they would love him because of the way he plays. Just the energy, man."

Reyes is an impending free agent, and with Lowrie, Scutaro and top prospect Jose Iglesias in the fold, it's difficult to imagine the Red Sox striking for Reyes. However, if the money and inclination is there, it's tough to deny that Reyes would provide an immediate boon to Boston. (New York Post)

One question, though: is investing in Reyes really a good idea? Vince Gennaro, a baseball economics author, says it would be foolhardy for the Mets -- or any other team for that matter -- to invest big dollars in a player having a career year.

"The odds that this is the new Jose Reyes and that he's going to have a five-year run that even remotely resembles this are minuscule," Gennaro said. "But that's not where the [New York] fan base is going to come from. They're going to look at this as one more sign, if he gets dealt, of a lack of commitment by ownership." (Wall Street Journal)

DRAFT RESULTS: Which teams had the best drafts of the just-concluded MLB draft? Those in the know tap the Diamondbacks, Blue Jays, Rays, Padres and Red Sox. (MLB.com)

PAY UP: Dodgers team owner Frank McCourt continues to scratch and claw to keep his team, and will be able to make June 15 payroll. That will allow him to still have the team during a court hearing on June 22 wto determine if ex-wife Jamie McCourt has a legal right to block the TV deal that would solve McCourt's financial problems. (USA Today)

OZZIE'S BEEF
: Ozzie Guillen doesn't have much patience for actor Sean Penn, who is fighting against U.S. perceptions that Venezuela's Hugo Chavez is a dictator. The incredulous Guillen responded to an editorial Penn wrote recently and invited him to live in Venezuela for a year and see if his mind changes as to whether Chavez is good for the country or not. (Big League Stew)

ONEY'S BEEF: Ozzie's son, Oney, takes after his father in not being afraid to pop off. The ex-White Sox employee sarcastically tweeted that it was no surprise the White Sox drafted a black player with their first-round pick -- hinting at racial undertones of GM Kenny Williams. He later denied the claims, but it's tough to believe him especially when fellow brother Ozney went undrafted. (Chicago Sun-Times)

OZNEY'S PLIGHT: So Ozney probably won't ever play in the White Sox system if he ever enters professional baseball. Williams skated through the minefield of addressing the issue by saying he will not sign Ozney as an undrafted free agent because of the potential for distractions. In addition, Williams adds, there were no personal motivations not to draft Ozney because the White Sox can't afford to let personal issues get in the way of drafting players. (Chicago Tribune)

LOVE THE GLOVE: Remember how attached you were to your baseball glove as a kid? Well, baseball players haven't really changed. Torii Hunter inidcates he is especially fond of his gloves in a wide-ranging article dedicated to the love players show for their gloves. Hunter currently calls his glove Coco and formerly called his glove Sheila, Vanity, Susan and Delicious. He rarely lets his gloves out of sight.  "Every once in a while during batting practice, while I'm hitting, I'll turn around and look at my glove and say, 'Are you OK?' " Hunter says. "It's very personal. That glove was something that got me to the big leagues. I make a living with it." (Los Angeles Times)

NO BLOCKBUSTER: Don't expect the Phillies to make a major move at the trade deadline, GM Ruben Amaro says. Part of that is because of the quality of the club, but a bigger part has to do with the minimal dollars the Phillies have before they hit the luxury tax threshold. Skipper Charlie Manuel wants a bat, but if he gets one, it will be a complementary one. (CSN Philly)

IMPENDING PROMOTION? Lots of players are receiving the call to the majors now that the Super 2 deadline is firmly done with. But don't bet on Cubs' center fielder Brett Jackson arriving anytime soon, who is slumping after suffering a finger injury. (MLB.com)

TWO-FACED: Ohh, A-Rod... you just don't stop giving everyone ammunition, do you? Rodriguez signed on to be spokesperson for coconut water company Vita Coco despite investing copious amounts of money with rival Zico. "It's a hell of a lot more money than I ever invested in the company," confused Zico CEO Mark Rampolla said. (CNBC)

EASING IN: Brandon Lyon is returning to the Astros, but it will take him some time to reclaim the closer's role. (Houston Chronicle)

PAJAMA PARTY: The Rays had a pajama party Wednesday night as they prepared to leave Los Angeles. Click through for great pictures of the team. (St. Petersburg Times -- link 1, link 2, link 3)

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Posted on: June 7, 2011 3:54 pm
Edited on: June 7, 2011 4:05 pm
 

Yankees, AL East dominate AL All-Star voting

Yankees

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Who says that old East Coast bias is limited to the media? Fan voting -- in the American League -- is leaning heavily east, as well.

The latest American League All-Star voting totals have AL East players winning at nine of the 10 positions fans can vote for, with the Yankees taking up the entire infield. The lone outsider is the Rangers' Josh Hamilton, who is third in voting for three outfield spots, behind the Blue Jays' Jose Bautista and New York's Curtis Granderson.

Yankees Russell Martin, Mark Teixeira, Robinson Cano, Alex Rodriguez and Derek Jeter occupy the top spots around the horn.

David Ortiz has overtaken Texas' Michael Young as the leading vote-getter at designated hitter.

Complete results are available at MLB.com.

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Posted on: June 7, 2011 3:53 pm
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Posted on: June 7, 2011 3:52 pm
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Posted on: June 3, 2011 1:40 pm
Edited on: June 3, 2011 1:42 pm
 

A-Rod splits with Diaz

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Cameron DiazHow is Alex Rodriguez supposed to eat popcorn now?

The Yankees third baseman reportedly dumped the movie star, several sites have reported.

"[Diaz is] hurt and betrayed, because she tried so hard to please him," a source told fitperez.com. "She went overboard."

DIaz and Rodriguez started dating last year and she was often seen at Yankee Stadium and at Legends Field in Tampa in spring training. The two were also famously seen at the Super Bowl, with Diaz feeding him popcorn.

During last year's American League Championship Series, a man obsessed with Diaz ran onto the field at Yankee Stadium, apparently attempting to get to Rodriguez.

Rodriguez has dated Kate Hudson and Madonna since divorcing his wife, Cynthia Rodriguez.

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Posted on: June 2, 2011 10:09 am
Edited on: June 2, 2011 1:58 pm
 

MLB investigates A-Rod's cousin, finds no issue

By Matt Snyder

The cousin who Alex Rodriguez said was his accomplice to using PEDs back in 2003 has been spotted at the Yankees team hotel on a recent road trip, according to the New York Daily News. In turn, Major League Baseball is investigating what kind of access, if any, has been granted to Yuri Sucart -- the cousin in question. (ESPN New York)

During spring training of 2009, Rodriguez discussed with reporters his drug use back in 2003, and said that he had a cousin who would travel to the Dominican Republic and get access to performance-enhancing drugs and bring them back for Rodriguez's use. Though the name was never used, that cousin was later revealed to be Sucart. Since then, Sucart has been banned by the Yankees from having contact with the team and MLB has forbidden him from gaining access to restricted areas.

Thus, when Sucart was spotted at a hotel in San Francisco where the Yankees stayed during their series against the Oakland A's -- in addition to the Daily News report that Sucart has been a "constant presence" on the road for the Yankees since last season -- a red flag was raised.

Sucart is not, however -- and could not be -- banned from maintaining a relationship with his cousin or seeing him in any public place (such as a hotel).

I wouldn't call this a witch hunt just yet, but it's hard to get worked up about a player hanging out with his cousin -- especially since pretty much everyone involved in the initial situation said Sucart was only doing what A-Rod asked him to. If Sucart is being granted access to the locker room, that needs to stop, but if he's just visiting with his cousin, I'd say there's nothing to see here. Any suggestion that Sucart is going to somehow harm Rodriguez would be suggesting that A-Rod had no idea in the first place what drugs he was doing in 2003 -- which is obviously ridiculous.

UPDATE: ESPN.com is reporting that Major League Baseball has resolved the issue and found nothing wrong. Just as I suspected, it was much ado about nothing.

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Category: MLB
Posted on: June 1, 2011 3:45 pm
Edited on: June 1, 2011 4:03 pm
 

AL All-Star balloting update: Bautista tops all



By Matt Snyder


Tuesday, Major League Baseball unveiled the first update on the All-Star balloting for the National League, so Wednesday we found out the American League update. Needless to say, non-Yankees fans won't be happy, but we'll get to that in a second. The big story is that the fans nailed the top overall vote-getter (that goes for both leagues). Jose Bautista of the Blue Jays leads the majors in runs, home runs, on-base percentage, slugging percentage, OPS, OPS-plus and total bases. You can add top vote-getter to the list for now, because he's gathered 1,261,659 votes. If this holds, he'd become the first Blue Jays player ever to receive the most votes and the first to start the game since Carlos Delgado in 2003.

As things stand now, here are the would-be AL starters: Russell Martin, Mark Teixeira, Robinson Cano, Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, Curtis Granderson -- yes, those are actually the leaders in votes; I didn't accidentally start listing the Yankees' starters -- Jose Bautista, Josh Hamilton and Michael Young (DH).

So, yeah. Six Yankees starters if this was the final version. Here are some observations:

- Asdrubal Cabrera trails Jeter by about 260,000 votes at short. I guess I'm not shocked for several reasons. First of all, the voting began pretty early in the season and Cabrera was a relative unknown when it started. Secondly, you have Jeter and the whole chase for 3,000 hits thing going on. Third, it's the Yankees. If this is a lifetime achievement thing, OK, but if we're looking at just 2011, it's egregious. Cabrera's been the big offensive force for the most surprising team in baseball -- one that has the best record in the AL.

- Teixeira's having a big power year and him starting the game wouldn't be completely undeserved, but I'd rather go with Adrian Gonzalez or Miguel Cabrera there. If you have a problem with Cabrera's off-field issues in the spring, well, vote for Gonzalez or Tex.

- Third could shape up to be a real good battle between A-Rod, Adrian Beltre and Kevin Youkilis -- who were all probably helped by the injury to Evan Longoria.

- Martin is the correct selection behind the plate. Oh, and Joe Mauer's second in voting (tsk, tsk).

- Granderson certainly deserves to start and Cano probably does as well. So Yankees haters need to lay off these guys.

- The outfield voting isn't awesome, that's for sure. Hamilton has been hurt most of the season and sits third. Matt Joyce isn't even in the top 15, nor are Carlos Quentin, Adam Jones, Michael Brantley or Alex Gordon. But Ichiro Suzuki, Nelson Cruz and Carl Crawford are all in contention.

View the full voting results by clicking here.

There are obviously a lot more issues, but it's the initial ballot release and many of the votes were cast when it was released without having a good grasp of how the 2011 season would turn out. Fortunately, there's still time to support your guys and rectify any problems you might have. Voting doesn't end until the end of June.

Click here to cast an online ballot.

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Posted on: June 1, 2011 9:52 am
Edited on: June 1, 2011 10:14 am
 

Pepper: Harper staying in Hagerstown?


By Matt Snyder

BASEBALL TODAY: Will Ubaldo Jimenez get his first win and help bring the Rockies out of their most recent slide? NESN.com's Tony Lee joins CBSSports.com's Lauren Shehadi to talk about that and much more. Click on the video above to watch.

STAYING PUT: This season's MLB draft is less than a week away, and last year's No. 1 overall selection is terrorizing Class-A pitching. Bryce Harper -- who is still only 18 -- is hitting .331 with 11 homers, 36 RBI, 14 doubles, 34 runs and a 1.009 OPS through 50 games. He's even stolen 10 bases. Obviously, with this in mind, there's been lots of talk about when Harper will be promoted to Double-A. Davey Johnson, Nationals senior advisor to the general manager, isn't ready for Harper to make that jump just yet, however. "I see him being there probably, for sure, through the half season," Johnson said. "I am not a big believer in moving guys during the season. Let them put the numbers up so they have an idea of what they are probably required to do every year. Sometimes, when you divide up the season, especially a younger guy, then you try too much to try impress the next group of guys and sometimes that can lead to problems." Kudos to the Nats for staying patient with the youngster, even if it might be tempting to move him along quickly. Still, you have to wonder if Harper gets really hot again -- he has cooled in the past few weeks -- will he just get bored? It feels like you need to challenge a guy without rushing him. (MASNsports.com)

UNFAIR HOT SEAT: Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times defends Ozzie Guillen, who is coming under fire more and more in Chicago for team underperfomance and also for some of his "tirades." Cowley actually compares Guillen to Mike Scioscia of the Angels, saying:
What does a World Series ring won more than five years ago and a career .500-plus record as a manager get you these days?

Well, it gets you a contract extension that runs through 2018 — basically a lifetime scholarship. It earns you the right to be in charge of player-personnel and coaching decisions. And it affords you a payroll that has been over $100 million seven of the last eight years.

At least it does outside of Chicago.

Right, Mike Scioscia?
That's a pretty good point. I don't believe Guillen should be on the hot seat one bit. If management wanted him to shut up, it would have fired him long ago. Plus, a lot of what he says is twisted and misconstrued. Between the lines, I have no idea how you can blame Guillen for the underperfomances of the bullpen (in the early season) and people like Adam Dunn and Alex Rios.

'OVERRATED?' SO WHAT: When Alex Rodriguez and Joba Chamberlain were told they were voted the two most overrated players in baseball by their peers, they weren't exactly bothered. A-Rod: "So the Yankees are popular? That's good. I've been on this list many, many times and I'm sure I'll be there again next summer." Chamberlain: "I don't care. My bills are paid and I still have a job." Another interesting note is Derek Jeter, who checked in at third. He said he wasn't asked to fill out one of those anonymous surverys, but would decline to fill one out if asked. Kind of makes you wonder the sample of players chosen. (NY Times Bats blog)

VELOCITY DOWN FOR MARMOL: Maybe it was tougher to notice when Cubs closer Carlos Marmol entered Tuesday night with a 1.17 ERA and 30 strikeouts in 23 innings, but after his terrifying outing against the Astros -- probably the worst of his career, actually -- Harry Pavlidis of The Hardball Times points out that Marmol's velocity has been in decline for quite some time. That's probably why he's fallen in love with throwing his wicked slider. Check out this chart. I'll cop to noticing this earlier in the season and discounting it to myself that the weather was still cold --  meaning maybe he couldn't get as loose. I'll also cop to being a Cubs fan and probably trying really hard to convince myself the dip in velocity was meaningless. So the question: Is Marmol injured, overworked or just losing strength? Oh, while we're here ...

CALM CARLOS: Sure, Carlos Zambrano broke a bat over his leg after striking out at the plate Tuesday night, but after Marmol blew the save and wasted a stellar effort from Zambrano on the hill, the once-fiery hurler consoled his teammate: "It happens to Mariano Rivera. It happens to Joe Nathan. It happens to the best of the best. I told him, just keep your head up, tomorrow's another day." (Chicago Sun-Times)

MUST-SEE GIF: Check out -- via Fangraphs.com -- Adrian Gonzalez saving his teammates and coaches from possibly getting struck with a line drive. The man can certainly handle the stick.

TOUGH LUCK LOSER? Look at the line for Jeremy Guthrie and you'll see a complete game with zero earned runs in which he took the loss. He even tweeted that very line, saying, "Accomplished something difficult tonight. Pitched a complete game allowing 0 ER & lost." Of course, if you watched the game or look at the play-by-play, you'll see the loss was actually Guthrie's fault. He made an error that allowed the eighth inning to continue before giving up a single and then a three-run home run by Justin Smoak. I will defend Guthrie a bit here, though. He's got a 3.24 ERA this season, yet sports a 2-7 record now. On his career, he's actually been a quality starting pitcher but had awful luck with wins and losses (40-55, 4.08). He's probably just sick of the stat, as well he should be. There are much better ways to measure pitching performance.

A CALL TO THE Mets: Gary Carter should have his number retired with the Mets, says Mike Vaccaro of the New York Post. I'd be fine with the move, especially in light of Carter's health woes, but I think the call-out of the Wilpon family and all of Mets management for not "doing the right thing" for the past 22 years is a bit much. Maybe it's just a convenient time to pile on Mets' management and curry favor with fans, but Carter only had two really good seasons for the Mets. Both were top-10 MVP finishes and one was the 1986 World Series championship season, but the bulk of his Hall of Fame resume was built in Montreal. That said, again, I'm completely fine with the movement. Really, anything that helps Carter and his family find some happiness right now is a bonus.

AWESOME PROPOSAL: Most of the time, ballpark proposals are a bit lame. Not this time, not even close. Check it out and make sure to watch the whole thing. (Hat-tip to Big League Stew)



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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