Friday, April 23, 2010

Morning: Oh, A-Rod, You Divisive Figure

It's going to be a quick one this morning, but there will be more later, plus a special announcement!

Let's get right to the 5 Yankee Points, 4/23

1. Triple Play!!

With no outs in the bottom of the 6th, and men on first and second, Kurt Suzuki ripped a Sabathia offering to third base. A-Rod fielded on the backhand, did a sort of open spin/jump-throw move to touch the bag and whip it to second, where Sweet Robbie was waiting to make a slick turn. Nick Johnson stretched, and the ball hit the leather a step ahead of Suzukie for the 5-4-3 triple play.

Awesome. Hank Aaron once said that the triple is the most exciting play in baseball, but in my mind nothing can touch the triple play. Everything has to be set up perfectly, and the execution must be flawless. Even then, it's extremely difficult to make it work, especially when trying to do it the old-fashioned way, on a ground ball. The unassisted triple play is extremely rare, but it's more like a miracle of circumstance. The ground ball triple play, on the other hand, is a thing of beauty.

You can watch the video and read more here. The last time the Yanks made it happen was 1968, when Johnny Roseboro of the Twins hit into a triple play that involved Yankee fielders Bobby Cox and Mickey Mantle. Somewhere in America, Roseboro can finally die in peace.*

*He actually died in 2002.

A-Rod, you are my hero.

2. A-Rod, You're a Disgrace!!

Oh, this is fantastic. In the top of the 6th, only minutes before his triple play, A-Rod violated some unwritten rule by walking across the pitcher's mound on his way back to first base. He had been running from first when Cano lashed a foul ball, and in the prcoess of going back, he took a little detour to trek across Dallas Braden's turf and touch the rubber. I had never heard of this secret code, and

This could only happen to A-Rod. Braden, who apparently is not the world's coolest customer, started screaming at him. But A-Rod was oblivious, and only noticed the yelling when Braden resumed as the inning ended. Some of the excerpts from the Times article I linked above are awesome.

“I don’t go over there and run laps at third base,” Braden said afterward. “I don’t spit over there. I stay away. You guys ever see anybody run across the mound like that? He ran across the pitcher’s mound. Foot on my rubber.”

“He just told me to get off his mound,” Rodriguez said. “That was a little surprising. I’ve never quite heard that. Especially from a guy that has a handful of wins in his career.”

When told of Rodriguez’s reaction, Braden, a 26-year-old left-hander who is 17-21 across four seasons but 3-0 this year, said: “I don’t have a handful of wins. I only have three. Do the math, A-Rod.”

“They’re an extremely classy organization with guys who always tend to do the right thing every time,” Braden said of the Yankees. “It’s kind of disheartening to see that not show through or be reflected by somebody of his status.”

“He should maybe watch his captain a little more often,” Braden said in reference to Rodriguez’s teammate, Derek Jeter.

Good lord, right? I bolded my favorite line. I might use this to heckle A-Rod the first time I hit a Yankee game this year. "Do the math, A-Rod!" That should confuse him.

The whole thing is hysterical to me, both because A-Rod is exactly the type of person who would do something like that by accident, and because Braden is exactly the kind of person he would do it; a reactionary type who would turn the story from nothing into a huge deal. And oh man, I just read the New York Post version, and Braden's onslaught was even worse than I thought:

Braden, who improved to 3-0, launched into Rodriguez when asked if the Yankees slugger apologized to him.

"What do you think?" the lefty said. "The guy was tasting himself too much to apologize. I have a lot of respect for what he has done in the game, but I am disappointed to see the other side."

"I am not a speck on his radar and that is fine, but I know I was out there and he will know not to do that again because there will be repercussions if it happens again."

"Tasting himself too much?" What the fuck is that? Looks like my heckling routine has another line. "Do the math, A-Rod! And stop tasting yourself too much!"

We need to start following Dallas Braden around just for the stellar quotes. And the threats. And oh wow, just one more from ESPN, then I promise I'm done:

"I was just trying to convey to him that I was still out there, that ball's in my hand and that's my pitcher's mound. If he wants to run across the pitcher's mound, tell him to go do laps in the bullpen," he said.

Braden yelled over his right shoulder as he stepped across the third-base line and Rodriguez hollered back. The two kept screaming at each other until A's manager Bob Geren went out and walked Braden off the field.

Braden threw his glove against a wall in the Oakland dugout and kicked a stack of cups.

Chill the fuck out, Dallas! Here was the Daily News' back page, which I enjoyed:

3. The Complete Game Loss

CC Sabathia pulled off this increasingly rare feat last night, going a full 8 innings (no last ups for Oakland in the 9th) and allowing 4 earned runs for the loss. The fat man gave up an uncharacteristic 6 walks, and the big bash was Suzuki's 3-run homer in the first.

Okay, that's it for now. Today's 5 Yankee Points are actually 3, but the Braden stuff should count for a couple more. See you later on.

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