A-Rod is a gutless punk, no. 8261

May 23rd, 2007 → 9:17 am @

In the eighth inning of last night’s Julian Tavarez-led 7-3 win over fast-fading Mike Mussina and the Yankees, New York launched a mini rally against Hideki Okajima. With the bases loaded and one out, Jorge Posada hit a grounder to third. A-Rod, running from first, slid directly into the bag; at the last minute he seemed to realize that, since baseball is a team sport, he was supposed to try to break up an inning-ending double play. So what did he do? In his trademark, peculiarly feminine style of being aggressive, he flailed out his elbow. And hit Dustin Pedroia in the crotch.

I haven’t played baseball since Little League, but even I know the correct way to break up a DP is to slide to the left of the bag in an attempt to take out the second baseman’s (or the SS’s) legs while he’s making a throw; as long as you can reach the bag with your right arm and you’re more or less in the basepath, this is totally kosher. It’s not kosher to flail around like a beached mackerel and elbow someone in the cup.

A-Rod’s chicken-shit play was, weirdly, lauded by Paul O’Neill and John Flaherty, two of the Yankees’ TV commentators; since I’ve avoided watching too many games on YES, I’d forgotten just how bad the two of them are. Michael Kay, to his credit, more or less called out A-Rod…or at least agreed that Dustin had a grievance. In the end, obviously, it didn’t matter. Pedroia was fine, and only casualty was Darkman’s scoreless-inning streak. But it served as yet one more reminder — as if anyone needs one — as to why Slappy McBlue Lips is such an easy guy to hate: He actually deserves it.

EDIT: After I put this up, I came across this article in today’s Daily News in which Pedroia is quoted about the incident: “He went in late and kind of threw an elbow. A little cheap, but no big deal….He’s the one who slid in like that. Some people play like that and some people slide in, good, clean slide. I think he probably got a little carried away. It happens.” Pedroia then made clear that at least he knew the correct way to get down and dirty: “I have to turn two against the Yankees 19 times a year. I know now that when he’s coming in, my arm slot gets dropped to the floor. That’s it. No big deal.” I really do love that little guy…

Post Categories: A-Rod & Dustin Pedroia & Red Sox & Yankees

Don’t let old acquaintances be forgot

January 4th, 2007 → 11:51 am @

I have a soft spot for Red Sox second basemen. There’s Jerry Remy, of course (I refuse, on principle, to call him Rem Dawg), the power-hitting second baseman I grew up with and perhaps the smartest baseball broadcaster in the game. I spent much of the ’03 playoffs screaming “Toddie Wahker” in a remarkably obnoxious Boston accent…which likely would have resulted in a beating had Walker not morphed into the second coming of Babe Ruth. Mark Bellhorn — he of the shaggy hair and bedroom eyes — was another favorite, and I’m glad he got an SI cover out of the ’04 playoffs; he should rightly have been the WS MVP. And even though Mark Loretta was incredibly overrated — give a guy an All-Star berth and all of a sudden there are folks who think he actually is an All-Star caliber player — I liked him, too.

It looks like he’ll be manning second for Houston. Now I can’t wait for DP to turn into ’07’s sleeper hero.

Post Categories: Dustin Pedroia & Mark Loretta

For fans of DP

September 5th, 2006 → 9:01 am @

53 at bats, 9 hits, 2 HRs, .170 BA, .200 OBP
Manny Ramirez’s stats as a September call-up with the Cleveland Indians in 1993

39 at bats, 4 hits, .103 BA, .125 OPB
Dustin Pedroia’s stats (so far) as a late-season replacement with the 2006 Boston Red Sox

(Thanks to The New York Times‘s Sunday “On Baseball” column by (gulp) Murray Chass for pointing out the Sept. stats. The relevant stats box isn’t re-printed online.)

Post Categories: Dustin Pedroia & Manny Ramirez