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Tag:Alex Rodriguez
Posted on: June 26, 2010 2:05 am
Edited on: June 26, 2010 2:12 am
 

Joe Torre, Alex Rodriguez: The Sounds of Silence

LOS ANGELES -- The weekend's theme appears pretty well set after the Joe Torre-Alex Rodriguez Cold War continued on its icy path following the Yankees' 2-1 series-opening victory here Friday night.

Torre said he was "relieved" that the pre-game meet-and-greet with several of his Yankees friends was finished and that now he can move on to concentrating on baseball.

Except, he said before the game that he intended to shake A-Rod's hand as well during batting practice. And the two never got close enough to each other for that to happen.

And while he didn't seek A-Rod, the Yankees slugger was noticeably conspicuous in his failure to greet Torre as well.

"I don't look at that as disrespect," Torre said late Friday night. "I don't know what to say. I certainly don't want to dump on Alex that it was disrespect. He was over there stretching and I was talking to people. If we had come close enough. ..."

As far as Torre is concerned, he doesn't think there are any issues to solve with A-Rod.

"I'll say hello to him," Torre said. "I don't know what to iron out. I don't feel there's anything that keeps us from acknowledging each other.

"I'm comfortable with how my feelings are. If he chooses not to talk to me, it doesn't mean I'm not going to like him. I was around him a few years and I thought we got along well."

Down the hall and across the lobby, in the other clubhouse, Rodriguez downplayed what has had all the appearances of a tiff since Torre dropped him to eighth in the lineup in Game 4 of the 2006 playoffs against Detroit and then portrayed him in an unflattering light in Torre's 2009 book, The Yankee Years.

"I'm sure we'll get the opportunity to talk," Rodriguez said. "We're going to be here for three days. There's no rush.

"If he wants to talk, I'm more than willing."

Rodriguez pointed out that he wasn't around Torre as long as core players like Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera, Jorge Posada and Andy Pettitte, but noted he learned several things during his time with Torre nonetheless.

"He was a good teacher of hitting," Rodriguez said. "One thing I use to this day, anytime I was struggling he'd say, 'I'm telling you the same thing I told Dale Murphy: Hit the ball into the right-field seats,'" Rodriguez said. "To this day, I can still hear his voice."

Posted on: April 23, 2010 9:35 pm
 

More A-Rod being A-Rod

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- What's the big deal with this Alex Rodriguez-Dallas Braden dustup?

Why, I thought A-Rod was quite restrained while crossing the mound and stepping on the pitching rubber while returning to first base on Thursday.

It's not as if he planted the Yankees' flag atop the mound or anything.

Seriously, after talking with several baseball people about the incident Friday, here's the big deal: Common sense and respect for an opponent should preclude someone from using the mound as a shortcut. Pure and simple.

Nobody I spoke with Friday brushed it off as A-Rod being wronged. His closest defender, of course, was Yankees manager Joe Girardi, who called the whole thing "boys being boys."

To review: With one out in the sixth inning, Rodriguez went from first to third on what turned out to be a foul fly ball. Instead of retracing his steps back to first, he cut across the mound.

"Everybody has a point of view," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said before Friday night's series opener here against the Angels. "That's the beauty of our country. That's the beauty of the human mind.

"I don't think Alex was doing anything malicious."

Braden started the controversy when he hollered at Rodriguez on the field during the game, but really ignited it afterward.

"He should probably take a note from his captain [Derek Jeter] over there and realize you don't cross the pitcher's mound in between an inning or during the game," Braden told reporters. "I was just dumbfounded that he would let that slip his mind, being someone of such status."

Said Girardi on Friday: "As far as what Dallas said, I'm concerned with how my player reacts. I'm not concerned with other players."

I talked to several people in the game about the incident on Friday, none of whom were eager to step into the latest A-Rod controversy. The consensus: Rodriguez should have avoided the mound. Or, failing that, he should have simply cut across the very back part of the dirt, or the very front part.

Just as the plate is the hitter's piece of real estate, one player told me, the mound is the pitcher's.

"I wouldn't like a pitcher running through the batter's box and messing up my dirt if he was coming back from behind the plate," the player said.

The only person I spoke with who was prepared to defend A-Rod first wanted to know where Braden was at the moment. If Braden was not on the mound, the person said, then it is no big deal. But if Braden was standing on the rubber or in the vicinity of it at the time, then it's confrontation time.

Answer to that last question: Braden was returning to the mound himself, and was a step or two onto the third-base side of the mound when A-Rod jogged directly in front of him, easily brushing within a couple of steps of him.

You can see the video for yourself here.

My take: It's not as if A-Rod committed a felony. But it's another in his long list of stupid and uncecessary moments.

Posted on: November 5, 2009 12:00 am
 

Yankees win 27th World Series


NEW YORK -- The World Series takes personal checks. Credit and debit cards, too.

Score one for the Yankees, and their bankers. Hideki Matsui as World Series MVP? Maybe. The three home runs were clutch, and the World Series record-tying six RBIs in Game 6 were smashing.

But the chief bean counter who sat behind the desk last winter and approved the expenditure of nearly $425 million to hoist CC Sabathia, Mark Teixeira and A.J. Burnett aboard the U.S.S. Yankee? Now there's a true Yankee.

In the end, Team Steinbrenner delivered a 7-3 gold-plated, Game 6 World Series clincher for the ages, knocking the stuffing out of these Phillies and Pedro Martinez at every turn. On a 48-degree evening Wednesday, they won their 27th World Series title and, finally, climbed out of the muck of their long and torturous drought.

"Pinstripes are bigger than baseball," Teixeira said while The Champs were in Philadelphia the other day.

Consider that a modern update of the old Joe DiMaggio line, "It's great to be young and a Yankee."

"When you play for an organization like this, you humble yourself," Tex continued.

Or you wear a lot of rings.

Andy Pettitte won the clincher on short rest, Joe Girardi proved he can fill (at least partially) Joe Torre's World Series-winning manager's office and Alex Rodriguez no longer is a postseason klutz.

The Yankees are kings of the baseball world. They are Pedro's daddies, and Sugar Daddies. The Bronx Bombers ride again.

The Commissioner's Trophy again will wake up in the city that never sleeps.

Posted on: November 1, 2009 12:46 am
 

Yanks grab World Series lead with 8-5 Game 3 win

PHILADELPHIA -- Alex Rodriguez, who until now could only get himself into a World Series by opting out of his contract in the middle of a game in the 2007 Boston-Colorado series, blasted a two-run homer, the first Fall Classic hit of his career in just his third World Series game.

The rest of the Yankees took it from there in a 8-5 Halloween pummeling of Cole Hamels and the Phillies in Game 3, and now things get scary for the Phillies.

It was an important win for the Yankees, and an especially damaging blow for the Phillies, because the pitching matchup in Game 4 heavily favors the Yankees.

This isn't to say that CC Sabathia is invincible, but he's been rock solid, even on three days' rest. The Phillies will hand the ball to Joe Blanton who, as a World Series starter, makes a pretty good long reliever. In three postseason appearances this year (one start), his ERA is 4.66.

It also was a disheartening loss for the Phillies because they grabbed a 3-0 lead and were threatening to bludgeon a shaky Andy Pettitte further in the second inning. They sent eight men to the plate, Pettitte walked two and he fell behind nearly everyone. The lefty was able to locate his cutter only sporadically, throwing first-pitch strikes to only two of eight Phillies in the inning.

Philadelphia's problem was, Hamels, the Brotherly Love city's darling during last year's World Series run, completely fell apart after zipping through the first 11 Yankee hitters without allowing a hit.

After that run, he lasted only 10 more hitters before the Yankees chased him. During that ugly span, he allowed A-Rod's homer, two walks, two doubles and two singles. He was like a short-order cook taking orders.

The whole while, Rodriguez's penchant for plopping himself smack in the middle of whatever's going on was on full display. He homered off of a Fox television camera in the top of the fourth to cut the Phillies' lead to 3-2, historic because it became the first homer in World Series history to be reviewed by instant replay.

Initially, it was ruled a double. But replays clearly showed it was out, and the symmetry was especially nice, too: A-Rod was involved in the first ever instant replay scenario after baseball instituted it in 2008, when another of his fly balls was ruled a homer. That was in Tampa Bay.

In the Never a Dull Moment With A-Rod Dept., however, he turned right around and booted a ground ball to start the bottom of the eighth, giving the Phillies an opening which they could not take against Pettitte. The left-hander settled down and restored order, retiring 12 of the next 14 hitters he faced as the Yankees' offense thundered to life.

Nick Swisher?

He led off the fifth with a double and came around to score. He homered in the sixth, and talk about relishing it. His trip around the bases clocked in at just under the rain delay that pushed the start of Game 3 back an hour and 20 minutes.

Johnny Damon?

Two-run double in the fifth.

Jorge Posada?

RBI single in the seventh.

And with Sabathia on deck for Game 4, the Yankees are in terrific shape.

Posted on: October 29, 2009 2:26 am
 

Teixeira's southward journey continues

NEW YORK -- Alex Rodriguez might not be the poster child for a guy who should be giving out postseason advice, but he's been smoking hot this October and, well, what the heck.

So, his advice to slumping teammate Mark Teixeira: Hang with 'em.

Teixeira was hitting just .205 (8 for 39) this postseason heading into Game 1 of the World Series. Then he was badly overmatched by Philadelphia starter Cliff Lee, going 0-for-4 with two strikeouts and a couple of ground balls.

So now he's moving toward Game 2 of the first World Series of his life batting a cool .186 (8 for 43) for the postseason.

"I think Tex is going to be fine," A-Rod said. "You take tonight out of it. With the exception of Jeter, I don't think we had anybody with many good swings tonight."

 

Posted on: October 28, 2009 11:30 pm
 

Phillies, Lee mow down Yanks in Game 1

NEW YORK -- First World Series dance for the new joint in the Bronx, the House That Jeter Built, or Steinbrenner Built, or whatever the construction company was, and a guy from Philadelphia played the part of Babe Ruth.

With Chase Utley jacking two bases-empty home runs against CC Sabathia on a rain soaked evening that fell just a wee bit short of YES Network specs, the Yankees produced a 6-1 clunker that surely made the deserted old stadium across 161st St. shudder on its deathbed.

A Yankees team that scored more runs than any team in the majors this year failed to land a single significant blow against Philadelphia ace Cliff Lee until the game was well out of hand.

He whiffed 10, including seven in the first four innings. Throwing a cut fastball that bore in hard on right-handed hitters all evening, Lee fanned Mark Teixeira and Alex Rodriguez twice each in each man's first two plate appearances.

Lee was a one-man highlight show, catching Robinson Cano's bouncer up the middle behind his back on his follow-through to lead off the eighth. After throwing Cano out at first, Lee grinned.

A-Rod went 0-for-4 with three whiffs, and didn't get the ball out of the infield in his other at-bat against Lee (a ground ball to third). Were all those postseason accolades premature? Will our man A-Rod rise back up again and make Rudy Giuliani and Kate Hudson proud?

He'd better. Because the Yankees now are caught up in a Cliff-hanger like they haven't seen in quite some time in 2009. They assumed first place in the AL East for good by July. They cruised through September after beginning the month with a 6 1/2-game lead in the East.

They swept Minnesota in the Division Series and swiped a 2-0 lead against the Angels in the AL Championship Series.

But one game into the World Series, against the defending world champions and a club Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins declared would beat them in five games, the Yankees officially now are knee-deep in their sternest test yet.

It's only one game, and the Yankees are deep and expensive, so it's not anywhere near catastrophic yet.

But given their surprisingly thin rotation and inordinate dependence on CC Sabathia, the situation is serious. In what likely will remain a three-man rotation, any time Sabathia doesn't win, it dangerously shifts the pressure elsewhere.

A.J. Burnett, you're up next against the fabled, often fabulous Pedro Martinez.

Whaddaya got?

 

 

Posted on: June 16, 2009 11:45 pm
 

Cork wasn't alone in Sosa's 2003 diet

So Sammy Sosa tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs in 2003, according to the latest leak from Billboard's Hot 104 -- the anonymous list of players testing positive for PEDs during '03 that, in February, turned up Alex Rodriguez.

So maybe he was simply using the PED's "for batting practice -- just to put on a show for the fans. ... I like to make people happy and I do that in batting practice."

No, wait. That was what Sammy said in June, '03, after being caught using a corked bat during a Cubs-Tampa Bay game in what has turned out to be one of the most memorable moments Interleague Play has given us.

As years go, 2003 seems to be a particularly bad (and guilty) one for the man whose 66 home runs in 1998 never looked so small.

No telling what else will be uncovered about Sammy's Summer of '03. But I hope I'm on some deserted island when it happens, because the garbage just keeps rolling in with the tide where I'm at now.

Say it ain't So(sa)!

Truthfully, this falls into the "dog bites man" category of surprises. The summer of 1998 now looks like a failed romance with a girl so far out of your league that you feel stupid every time you look back. Mark McGwire doesn't want to talk about the past. And Sammy Sosa, with Monday's New York Times report, now is doomed by it.

Just another day at the ballpark.

A-Rod, Sosa ... drip, drip, drip.

Only 102 names left to be leaked.

 

Posted on: May 17, 2009 8:05 pm
 

Reds' Votto, Volquez to be examined

Cincinnati arrived in San Diego tied for first place in the NL Central on Friday partly because their 13 road wins were more than anybody else in the majors. The Reds left San Diego stuck on 13 road wins.

It was the first time all season Dusty Baker's surprisingly competitive club lost three in a row, but what's more of a concern as they head into Monday's off day before opening a nine-game homestand Tuesday against Philadelphia is the health of slugger Joey Votto and starter Edinson Volquez.

Both will be examined on Monday in Cincinnati.

 Volquez left Saturday's 16-inning marathon in the sixth inning with back spasms. He came up stiff the other day, according to Baker, when he missed a step at home.

"Old guys go one step at a time," Baker said. "Young guys skip steps, and he skipped one and landed funny."

 The travails of Votto, who left Saturday night's game with dizziness, are more mysterious.

Votto now has missed six starts since May 7 with the flu and left two other games with dizziness. Votto, who did not play Sunday, just shook his head and expressed frustration at an illness that nobody seems quite able to diagnose or cure.

"You don't know whether to be concerned about it because you don't know what it is," Baker said. "You're concerned about it. You just don't know how concerned to be.

"Something has to be wrong for this guy to not play, or to come out of the lineup. This guy's a gamer, big-time."

Votto has five homers, 27 RBI and a .470 on-base percentage this season, and it's probably no coincidence that when the Reds finally dropped a third consecutive game for the first time this season, it came with Votto watching from the bench.

"He's our big man in the middle," Baker said. "Right now, we're hoping he's OK and we get him back."

Likes: Cubs outfielder Milton Bradley to Chris Jenkins in the San Diego Union-Tribune last week: "I don't really play the game. I feel it." ... Glad to see Cincinnati winning -- at least, until this weekend. That is one terrific baseball town, and it would be fun to see it come back to life during a stretch run. ...  Cal Ripken Jr. wanting answers from Alex Rodriguez on the steroids stuff. ... Baskin-Robbins ice cream cakes for birthdays.

Dislikes:
Jim Joyce is a good umpire, but Saturday's 16-inning marathon between the Reds and Padres was not his finest moment. Reds reliever David Weathers was badly squeezed. Had a few of those pitches been called strikes, as they should have been, the game would have ended in nine innings. Then, in the 12th and 13th innings, suddenly Joyce was calling everything strike -- including several pitches way more out of the zone than Weathers'. ... Finally finished Selena Roberts' A-Rod: The Many Lives of Alex Rodriguez. The highlight was her breaking the story that A-Rod was a user last February. The rest? This book will be on the $4 shelves by Christmas.

Rock 'N' Roll Lyric of the Day:

"So the great affair is over
"But whoever would have guessed
"It would leave us all so vacant
"And so deeply unimpressed
"It’s like our visit to the moon or to that other star
"I guess you go for nothing if you really want to go that far"

--Leonard Cohen, "Death of a Ladies' Man

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