A-Rod Takes It Like A Man
The media swarmed all over Alex Rodriguez like flies on a garbage barge when he reported to camp this week. Like a man he sat there looking like he had a severe case of bowel distress during what must have been an agonizing news conference. But give him credit. He never denied it, nor did he run away from it. He met the press so as to not become a distraction in the bedlam that is the Yankee training camp. He should be commended for his actions, and because of this I want to forgive him. But I must maintain a hard line on those who cheated – no entry into the HOF. Rodriguez must now join Mark McGwire, Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Sammy Sosa and Rafael Palmiero as hall-worthy players who must stand on the outside looking in like the rest of us.
Even though Alcides Escobar has not played above AA, all reports indicate that he is ready now to take over at shortstop. His range is superior and his bat will only get better. Even though JJ Hardy will balk if moved, his range is not as expansive as Escobar’s but still excellent enough to play either third or short. Come along May or June when Ken Macha tires of Rickey Weeks’ ineptness and discovers why Mike Lamb was released by the Astros, the move will be made and that will only benefit the Brewers.
Anderson Goes East…
Garret Anderson will take his class act from Anaheim to Atlanta after signing a contract with the Braves who have looked all off season to bolster left field. Even though his best days are behind him, Anderson can still be productive in a limited role.
And Junior Goes Home
How perfect it is to have Ken Griffey, Jr finish his career in Seattle, scene of his greatest fetes and still a fan favorite. It will be interesting to see how Ichiro responds now that he will have to stand back and let Junior in the spotlight. There’s no doubt that the Mariners’ fans will favor Griffey over Suzuki and Dan Wakamatsu will have to anticipate a rift between the two when Ichiro starts to sulk.
Hudson Finds a Home
Like Bobby Abreu, one wonders why it took so long to sign Orlando Hudson. The Dodgers stole him this weekend where he will join Rafael Furcal as an excellent double play combination and a force at the top of the order. In seven seasons, Hudson’s career average is .282. He was named to the NL All-Star team in 2007. He rarely strikes out, has great plate discipline and has never made more than 13 errors in a season. And for that he has to nearly beg someone to sign him. Meanwhile Brewers fans will have to witness another year of Rickey Weeks throwing balls away, striking out with RISP and generally doing little to justify management’s puzzling commitment.
While Beimel Still Looks
Someone please explain to me why no one has yet to sign Joe Beimel. Last year for the Dodgers, Beimel went 5-1 with a 2.02 ERA in 71 games. I’d like to hear a sane and logical explanation why they let him go in the first place. He’s only 31 and is left handed, an attractive commodity in the bullpen. Right now the Dodgers have lefties Carmen Cali, Scott Elbert, Victor Garate, Hung-Chih Kuo, Brent Leach, Greg Miller, Stephen Randoph, Eric Stults and Erick Threets in camp. A cast of retreads, never wases and probably never will-bes. None has ever distinguished themselves. Beimel has had arm troubles in the past, missing most of 2004-2005. But there have been no reports that he has problems again.