$0.02: Resent A-Rod? What if you had to pitch to him
I’d imagine by now that some of you savvy sets of eyes have picked up on the fact I’m not crazy about the way Alex Rodriguez goes about his life in the major leagues. The unnecessary clapping celebrations after each and every base hit, the transparent cocksure expressions, the me-first quotes that he can never seem to avoid.But you gotta give it to the former ALCS glove chopper for the way he’s raked the first month of the season. Rodriguez went into Tuesday night with 14 home runs – not only one off the major league record for April, but twice as many as the next best American Leaguer, Texas second baseman Ian Kinsler. A-Rod also leads the majors with 34 RBIs – once again, twice as many as anyone else in the AL – and is hitting .400.
In what has become typical of the Yankees over the past few years, they are struggling to make Grumpy George happy thus far, having just been swept by archrival Boston, limping around at 8-10, a half game out of last place. All of which means A-Rod’s flaming start doesn’t matter quite as much. In fact, you almost expect the New York fans to blame him because his hitting has flourished in spite of the team’s woes. …Like to know how much NFL teams value field position these days? One year after he was suspended by the league then cut by the Broncos, Denver re-signed veteran punter Todd Sauerbrun to a one-year contract worth a whopping (for a 13-year hothead) $1.4 million last week. …True story: A young woman picks up her boyfriend’s Sports Illustrated and begins flipping through the pages. Suddenly she is shaking her finger at a group of men in a photo and she blurts out, “Bad!” The boyfriend looks down at the root of her ire: a feature story headlined, “The team that invented football.” …
The Rockies are in last place in the NL West, and going into Tuesday’s games they were the only team in that division under .500. Don’t expect that to continue; however, aside from a select few hitters – Matt Holliday leads the league in hits (32) and batting average (.400), and Todd Helton is seventh in hitting at .354 – Colorado hasn’t been pitching well enough, plain and simple. To wit: The Rockies put reliever LaTroy Hawkins on the 15-day DL Tuesday (good move; he’s 0-3 with an 8.59 ERA), but in return they activated southpaw Tom Martin, who was crushed out of the ballpark more than once an inning during spring training and who soft-tossed his way to a 7.20 ERA in a recent Triple-A rehab assignment. …The best pitcher in the major leagues thus far? You could make a strong case for 27-year-old Cubs leftie Rich Hill, who was 3-0 with a big-league-best 0.41 ERA entering Tuesday night’s start against the first-place Brewers. Most impressive on a list of stellar stats, Hill had given up only eight hits in 73 at-bats by opposing players, a .110 average. …In parting, it’s a lot of fun, analyzing the NFL Draft until your brain goes on strike, but to put the hype surrounding this year’s No. 1 pick in perspective, let’s consider the last 10 top overall picks.
You’ve got your three bookends in Peyton Manning, Orlando Pace and Carson Palmer. You’ve got your game transformer who never really crests the hill despite perenially threatening to, Michael Vick. You’ve got your rich quarterbacks who reek of potential never-to-be-fulfilled, Alex Smith and Eli Manning. You’ve got your Bluegrass Bust, Tim Couch, and your Sorry Sidearmer, David Carr. Then you’ve got your defensive quotas, Courtney Brown and Mario Williams.Out of all those names, only 30 percent – maybe 40, if you count Vick; and I guarantee every defensive player in the league would say that you should – have actually panned out to be as good as advertised. The moral? Thank golly we have better things to do with our time.Devon O’Neil can be contacted at (970) 668-4633, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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