Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
April 6, 2007
BASEBALL: Blame-Rod and the Rays

The Yankees lose their first game of the season, and as day follows night, A-Rod's picture appears on the back page of the Daily News and the NY Post. Note that two games into the season, A-Rod has singled, stolen second and scored the winning run in the late innings of a tie game only once.

Meanwhile, Elijah Dukes - initially thought to be up just to spot the Devil Rays outfield until Rocco Baldelli healed - homered again, which will undoubtedly increase the pressure and temptation to keep Tampa's second stud outfield prospect in the majors along with Delmon Young and the fully-matured-to-stardom Carl Crawford. Baldelli is too good to go the Wally Pipp route, but this creates an interesting dilemma for Tampa on two levels. First, do you turn Baldelli into a DH? He's a solid glove man but with his health record that may be a necessity. Second, what about Jonny Gomes, who despite last season's injury-marred disaster has as much power and patience as anyone in the Tampa lineup? Do you try to turn Gomes or Baldelli into a first baseman to replace Ty Wigginton, who is a useful sub but not enough of a hittter to hold an everyday job at first? Probably the best bet would be to keep Gomes as the everyday DH for now and hope you can trade him, or maybe deal Baldelli for a serious first baseman.

(Amusing note: having Ben Zobrist on my fantasy team, I was stunned to see he stole two bases yesterday with Andy Pettitte on the mound, but I checked the play-by-play and sure enough one was a steal of third and the other was immediately after Pettitte left the game).

Posted by Baseball Crank at 9:13 AM | Baseball 2007 | Comments (9) | TrackBack (0)
Comments

At first Yankee fans never forgave DiMaggio for being Ruth; then Mickey for not being DiMaggio; then Maris for not being great; then Murcer for not being Mickey; then Winfield for not being Reggie; now it's ARod's turn.

As a Met fan, if the Yankees played North Korea, it's a push. But it really is hard to root against many of the current Yanks. Jeter, Bernie and Rivera are just too admirable to hate. But the fans are the lowest of the low. As history shows, they are simply being consistent scum.

Posted by: Daryl Rosenblatt at April 6, 2007 10:32 AM

Hard to disagree with Daryl. Reminds me of something Bill Veeck said about Yankee fans. More or less, they were uniformly chicken-hearted and were never secure without at least a ten run lead going into the eighth inning.

The treatment of Roger Maris was beyond contemptible. When I think about how we here in NorCal put up with Barry Bonds and still get up and cheer whenever he does something positive, or even closer to home, the support Kings' fans in Sacramento provide to a not good team, Yankees fans pretty much wilt in comparison. Disloyal, whining frontrunners.

I'm not too bitter am I?

Posted by: NRA Life Member at April 6, 2007 11:57 AM

As a big Yankees fan, I am disgusted with the fans who boo A-Rod and the media for fanning the flames. A-Rod is the best player in a Yankees uniform since Mickey Mantle. He frankly did us a favor in coming her and taking third base. Yankees fans don't deserve A-Rod.

Posted by: Steve at April 6, 2007 12:46 PM

Let me third the sentiments on all levels. Yankee fans don't deserve A-Rod.

Let me be the first Met fan to say I'll take him as soon as he's available. He can play 3rd, and Wright can go the Garvey route taking his good glove and on-field savvy over to 1st (although deep down I'm not sure why he couldn't be as good as Kent at 2nd).

I think we're ok at SS either way.

Posted by: Mike at April 6, 2007 12:46 PM

If you line up all of anyone's faults, they look horrible. Poor A-Rod. Until the guy hits a 7-run homer in the bottom of the 28th to win the World Series, he'll never get the "A-Rod isn't clutch" monkey off his back.

Posted by: Pizza Cutter at April 6, 2007 1:05 PM

LOL!

Posted by: Mike at April 6, 2007 1:36 PM

You gotta admit though that 4 for his last 41 (47? I've lost count) in the playoffs does not look so great, especially when the Yanks are 3-10 in those games. There's nothing wrong with saying that the guy is a bit soft. Great talent, sure but not exactly a monster when the chips are on the line.

Posted by: jim at April 6, 2007 6:38 PM

Crank-I notice how you don't mention that A-Rod came up with bases loaded in what was a 1 run game. Context, pal, context.

Its always funny listening to envious, jealous Mets fans bloviating about frontrunning Yankee fans. I remember the "real fan" attendance of Shea Stadium when they sucked in the early 80s and 90s-ghosttown. I had weekend tickets for the Dan Pasqua/Kevin Maas Yankees of the early 90s-sell out crowds every game-hardly-nice consistent crowds-yeah. You are a numbers guy-compare the attendance from the worst Yankee seasons with the worst Met seasons since say 1986. Bet the frontrunning Yankee fans beat the real Met fans. I remember all the "real fans" in 1988 attacking Davey Johnson after they got slapped silly by the Dodgers. "How could he start Jeffries in the 7th game, he is an idiot!" I also remember the "real baseball" Mets fans spouting off about the Yankess free agent signings and their "buying" championships and then being strangely silent after, the Mets picked up Martinez, Glavine, Wagner, Delgado, Beltran, Lo Duca, Green, Alou-geez what is there only 2 homegrown Mets in the starting lineup?

Do and have the ranks of the Yanks fan base grown with their success -of course-just like every other team that is winning-like the Mets.

Posted by: dch at April 6, 2007 7:01 PM

In defense of Yankee fans, of which I am one, Yankee fans don't really care about gaudy numbers. They want teams who win and players dedicated to winning. That's why Yankee fans loved Tino Martinez, Paul O'Neill, Thurman Munson, and Scott Brosius. Even on the teams that didn't win the World Series, the fans stood by Yankees, like Mattingly, who played hard and worked hard at the game.

Of course, some Yankee fans are too hard on A-Rod. I still remember the Yankees' third base juggernaut of Pat Kelly, Randy Velarde, Mike Blowers, and Torey Lovullo. They were good in the post-season; excellent golfers, all.

Posted by: WD at April 8, 2007 10:12 AM
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