Mets ace R.A. Dickey offers some very good insight into Alex Rodriguez as a teammate in his excellent book, Wherever I Wind Up: My Quest for Truth, Authenticity and the Perfect Knuckleball.
Dickey and A-Rod were teammates in Texas in 2001 and 2003, and it was in '03 when Dickey, then struggling to get a foothold in the majors, tossed his first major-league shutout. It was a 6-0 decision at Detroit's Comerica Park on Aug. 20.
This anecdote from that day is buried way deep in Dickey's book, on pages 300 and 301. He does not make a big deal about it. But it couldn't be any more revealing:
"I was pitching for the Rangers and Alex Rodriguez was the shortstop When A-Rod came up to congratulate me afterward, he said, You have me to thank for that.
"What do you mean? I asked.
"I called every pitch from shortstop, A-Rod said, explaining that he relayed signs to our catcher that day, Einar Diaz.
"Well, thank you, I told ARod.
"The next time out, I gave up six hits and six earned runs in a 9-2 loss to the Royals.
"I asked A-Rod after the game if I had him to thank for that too.
"No, I didn't call the pitches tonight, he said."
Likes: Maury Wills in Anaheim to work with Dodgers shortstop Dee Gordon on bunting over the weekend. When you've got a legend like that to call in from the bullpen to work with a kid, you are a very rich organization. ... Kevin Youkilis is a class act and a true pro. The White Sox are getting a guy who should be able to help some on the field, and he'll fit into that clubhouse great with Paul Konerko, Adam Dunn and, yes, A.J. Pierzynski. ... Charley Steiner and Rick Monday, the Dodgers' radio guys. ... Terry Francona on ESPN's Sunday Night Baseball. ... The Eric Clapton and Steve Winwood live DVD from Madison Square Garden. Man, can those guys play -- still. ... Finally caught up with the Drive-By Truckers: The Dirty South, Live at the 40 Watt concert DVD. Good stuff. ... Looking forward to HBO's The Newsroom, but wow, the reviews have been tough. ... Love that the Associated Press Sports Editors have renamed their 5K run at their annual summer meeting after Craig Stanke, our beloved editor who passed away unexpectedly in May. Thanks, APSE. ... Love XM/Sirius radio. Sat outside and listened to Jimmy Buffett's concert from Boston on Saturday night. Very cool. ... Spirito's Italian Restaurant in Carlsbad, Calif. Fantastic. ... T-shirt I recently saw reading, "It's OK to like Nick Lowe." Darn right it is.
Dislikes: My heart goes out to Tigers pitcher Max Scherzer, whose brother committed suicide last week.
Rock 'n' Roll Lyric of the Day:
"We learned in Sunday school
"Who made the sun shine through
"I know who made the moonshine, too
"Back where I come from
"Blue eyes on a Saturday night
"Tan legs in the broad daylight
"TV's, they were black and white
"Back where I come from"
-- Mac MacAnally, Back Where I Come From