Jul 25, 2013, 8:18 AM EST
I was once told a story about Alex Rodriguez, the specific details of which, unfortunately, I cannot share. It was told to me by a person who was party to the events which took place and had absolutely no reason to lie. I have 100% confidence that the story told to me was true.
The upshot was that Rodriguez engaged in Profoundly Aberrant Behavior X immediately after being told that Profoundly Aberrant Behavior X was something he TOTALLY should not do. No one was harmed, it was nothing that would cause a scandal if it came to light in the media. It was just a matter of “Don’t do that,” followed directly by A-Rod doing that and it made everyone involved want to smack their damn heads.
When asked what in the heck he was thinking, A-Rod simply and honestly said that he thought it was OK to engage in Profoundly Aberrant Behavior X. He was genuinely surprised that what he did created any problems at all. He had no malice, actually. It wasn’t plotted. To the extent he had any agenda it was a half-formed “I’ll show them” kind of thing that your eight year-old son might do If there was part of him that thought he was getting away with something.
I have an eight year-old son who does that kind of stuff a lot. Sometimes he actually tries to get away with things — truly plots out his behavior — but his deviousness and malevolence are just not particularly well-formed and his eight year-old brain is just not all that great at thinking more than a step or two ahead yet. It doesn’t mean he’s dumb. It doesn’t mean he’s bad. He just doesn’t operate on a level most people do when strategic thinking is called for.
I sort of feel like that’s where we are with Alex Rodriguez.
I have no idea what, exactly, A-Rod was trying to accomplish by sending Dr. Michael Gross out on that little media tour yesterday. It appears as though it was his effort to fire shots at a Yankees team he perceives to be working against his interests somehow. I can understand the impulse. He probably has a bit of a siege mentality at this point, and for good reason. People are comparing him to mass-murderers for cryin’ out loud, and the league in which he plays is trying to end his career before he wants it to end.
But the facts of his quad injury and rehab are such that trotting out Dr. Gross was gonna get messy no matter what. According to the Yankees, A-Rod did say his quad was hurting. According to the CBA there are right ways and wrong ways to get competing medical opinions. Even if Rodriguez is, on the facts, totally on the side of the angels here — if he can play and wants to and the Yankees are just dithering for P.R./political/Biogenesis reasons, there was no clear path to P.R. victory here for Rodriguez and he probably would have been better off not even sending Dr. Gross on Mike Francesa’s show yesterday. But based on what we can know about A-Rod from a distance, one gets the impression that that sort of thing just doesn’t register with him.
Or maybe I’m way off, I don’t know. Engaging in armchair psychoanalysis like this is even harder than diagnosing a quad strain via an MRI and a phone call.
But I do know this much: Dr. Gross had no idea what he was getting into when he went on his mini media tour yesterday. After saying that he agreed to look at A-Rod’s MRI and that he didn’t take any payment for it, he said this to ESPN New York:
“I did it because I thought it would be fun,” Gross said. “I thought it would be interesting to be on this side of stuff. It was a lot of fun until the last half hour.”
I almost feel sorry for him. But really kids: if Alex Rodriguez asks you to go out and say things on his behalf, by all means, wear a freakin’ flak jacket. They’re firing live bullets out there. And A-Rod probably didn’t plan the operation like Wellington planned Waterloo.
Dec 19, 2013, 6:18 PM EST
Former Pirates right-hander Daniel McCutchen announced via his Twitter account this afternoon that he has signed a contract with the Rangers. It’s presumably of the minor league variety. McCutchen hasn’t appeared in the majors since August 21, 2012. The 31-year-old spent this past season in the Orioles’ minor league system, posting a 3.43 ERA and…
Dec 19, 2013, 4:30 PM EST
Today at ESPN Jim Caple takes a stab at listing the top 10 baseball songs of all time. He has “Centerfield” by John Fogerty at number one. I feel like picking the best baseball song is a fools’ errand if, for no other reason, than everyone has different musical tastes so who’s to say what…
Dec 19, 2013, 3:02 PM EST
One day after trading Danny Valencia for outfielder David Lough the Orioles have added some more outfield depth, with Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun reporting that they’ve agreed to a minor-league deal with Xavier Paul. Paul has bounced around a lot without getting a ton of extended chances, hitting .254 with 12 homers and…
Dec 19, 2013, 2:47 PM EST
Dave Cameron of Fangraphs has a great post up that looks at the historical standards for the Hall of Fame and notes that Hall of Fame voters are being way, way, way harder on the current crop of candidates than their predecessors ever were on past candidates. Specifically: typically, between 1% and 2% of major…
Dec 19, 2013, 2:14 PM EST
Two offseasons ago Tsuyoshi Wada left Japan to sign a two-year, $8 million deal with Baltimore, but he underwent Tommy John elbow surgery before ever throwing a pitch for the Orioles. He hit the free agent market again after having a $5 million team option declined and now Wada has agreed to a minor-league deal…
Dec 19, 2013, 1:49 PM EST
Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune reports that Chicago Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro has had $3.6 million seized from his bank accounts as the result of a legal dispute with a baseball school in the Dominican Republic. The upshot: the baseball school claims that Castro’s father agreed to give the school a percentage of Castro’s…
Legendary Pictures’ Thomas Tull — the Producer of “42″ — named to the Hall of Fame Board of Directors
Dec 19, 2013, 12:58 PM EST
Thomas Tull, the chairman and CEO of Legendary Entertainment — which has produced countless movies including Pacific Rim, The Dark Knight, The Hangover movies, Watchmen, 300, Inception, Clash of the Titans, Man of Steel and The Town – has been elected to the Board of Directors for the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, it was announced today. Of…
Dec 19, 2013, 12:32 PM EST
Corey Brown was designated for assignment by the Nationals last week and today they traded the 27-year-old outfielder to the A’s for cash considerations. Or traded him back to the A’s, since Brown was drafted 59th overall by Oakland in 2007 and then traded to Washington in the Josh Willingham deal in December of 2010.…
Dec 19, 2013, 12:05 PM EST
Jon Morosi reports that the White Sox are near an agreement with free agent reliever Scott Downs. Rosenthal says it’s a one-year deal for $4 million, with a vesting option that could make it two-years, $8 million. Downs, most recently with Atlanta, is coming off a season in which he posted a 2.49 ERA and…
Dec 19, 2013, 11:47 AM EST
Nelson Cruz is still a free agent and still talking to the Rangers about potentially re-signing, but both Cruz and general manager Jon Daniels have made a reunion sound highly unlikely. Here’s what Cruz told Jeff Wilson of the Forth Worth Star Telegram: It’s been tough, but I understand it’s part of the process. Hopefully,…
Dec 19, 2013, 11:31 AM EST
John Jaha, Jamie Navarro, Chris Bosio and 55 others finally get their due! The Brewers announced Thursday the creation of a team Wall of Honor at Miller Park in 2014 as a way of honoring players who carved niches in franchise lore during their playing days and time as staff members in Milwaukee. The Wall…
Dec 19, 2013, 10:52 AM EST
Diamondbacks pitcher Brandon McCarthy spoke with Fox’s Jimmy Traina and told him that protective headgear for pitchers is likely going to be available in 2014. It won’t be mandatory — McCarthy and most other pitchers are opposed to that at the moment — but the fact that there will be an approved and available piece…
Dec 19, 2013, 10:30 AM EST
Major League Baseball sought to depose Alex Rodriguez‘s cousin Yuri Sucart in the lawsuit it filed against Biogenesis and lots of other folks. That is, the lawsuit which gave Major League Baseball the handle with which to turn Anthony Bosch and others as it pursued Rodriguez, Ryan Braun and other ballplayers. Over the summer Sucart filed a writ…
Dec 19, 2013, 10:15 AM EST
Greg Reynolds, who was the second overall pick in a stacked 2006 draft, has signed with the Seibu Lions in Japan after posting a 7.01 ERA in the majors. Even at the time of the draft many people questioned why the Rockies went with Reynolds, whose upside was considered modest coming out of Stanford. Evan…
Dec 19, 2013, 9:10 AM EST
Juan Gonzalez made something like $90 million in salary alone during his baseball career, so maybe he’s doing this to simply clear out the clutter. But whatever the motivation, you can now get your hands on some hot, hot Juan Gonzalez memorabilia. Up for auction? His 1996 MVP award. His 1996 and 2001 Silver Slugger…
Dec 19, 2013, 8:40 AM EST
There are a couple of reports this morning that Chien-Ming Wang has signed a minor league deal with the Cincinnati Reds with a spring training invitation. We last saw Wang getting shellacked in a July game for the Toronto Blue Jays, in which he couldn’t escape the second inning after allowing six runs on eight hits…
Dec 19, 2013, 7:06 AM EST
Big news from Japan this morning. The New York Times passes along reports from Japan that the Rakuten Golden Eagles will not post Masahiro Tanaka. Rather, as reported last night, they are going to offer him a contract in the neighborhood of $8 million and force him to stay in Japan. This would be way…
Dec 18, 2013, 11:26 PM EST
From Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune: The Cubs signed free agent left-hander Jonathan Sanchez to a minor league deal, according to a source. The deal is said to include incentives if he makes the major league roster. There was a report earlier this week that Sanchez was drawing free agent interest from seven or…
Dec 18, 2013, 10:14 PM EST
Chris Cotillo of MLB Daily Dish reports that free agent Luke Scott has agreed to a contract with the SK Wyverns of the Korean Baseball Organization. The financial details have not been disclosed, but it’s probably safe to assume that the deal comes with a hefty salary given that the KBO doesn’t often attract legitimate…
Dec 18, 2013, 8:51 PM EST
NPB Tracker’s Patrick Newman translated the report from Sports Hochi in Japan … Looks like Rakuten is not giving up on Tanaka. Hochi says they are going to offer him an $8m salary. http://t.co/PJRk1Cqa0U — Patrick Newman (@npbtracker) December 19, 2013 It would be the highest single-season salary ever given out to a Nippon Professional…