(Blogathon ’16) Andrew Mearns: The 2015 All Out-of-Position Team

This guest-post is part of the 2016 Baseball Continuum Blogathon For Charity, benefiting the Roswell Park Alliance Foundation. The Roswell Park Alliance Foundation is the charitable arm of Roswell Park Cancer Institute and funds raised will be “put to immediate use to increase the pace from research trials into improved clinical care, to ensure state-of-the-art facilities, and to help improve the quality of life for patients and their families.” Please donate through the Blogathon’s GoFundMe page. Also, please note that the opinions and statements of the writer are not necessarily those of the Baseball Continuum or it’s webmaster.

Joe DiMaggio was petrified.

This was a sensation he had almost never experienced on a baseball field in his life. On July 3, 1950, after 1,550 major league games and a Hall of Fame resume already on the ledger, DiMaggio jogged onto the field at Griffith Stadium in Washington, D.C, but instead of heading to his customary position in center, he stopped at first base. It was the first time DiMaggio had ever played anywhere other than the outfield in his storied career.

DiMaggio was only there because manager Casey Stengel was desperate. Incumbent first baseman Tommy Henrich’s career ended due to injury in 1950, and Stengel didn’t think replacement Joe Collins hit well enough to man the position. So through owner Dan Topping, Stengel had asked DiMaggio if he would try first base for a game.

It was a press frenzy—the iconic “Yankee Clipper” at first and not in center? Photos had to be taken, and the results weren’t pretty. As recalled in Jerome Charyn’s Joe DiMaggio: The Last Vigil, although DiMaggio did not make any errors, he stumbled a couple times, was nervous the whole game, and drenched his uniform in sweat. The immensely proud Yankee was furious at Stengel for not coming to him directly about the idea and that he made him look bad. It was indeed the only game of DiMaggio’s career spent away from the outfield.

Nonetheless, it probably would have been an amusing sight for modern baseball fans. A player appearing out of position is one of the more entertaining aspects of the game. Perhaps that’s because it seems to humanize these great athletes. For the past two years, I wrote guest posts at Baseball Prospectus that revealed each season’s “All Out-of-Position Team.” It’s always fun putting this together, and I’m happy to do so this year for Baseball Continuum’s 2016 Blogathon for Charity.

As one might guess, this is a lineup of nine players at nine positions where they absolutely do not belong. Yet for one reason or another, each ended up there at one point in 2015. Kneel and tremor before this fierce defense.

Pitcher: Jonny Gomes

The 13-year veteran Gomes had an up-and-down season that led to his second World Series ring even though he didn’t make the Royals’ playoff roster. Unfortunately, most of his intrigue came from off-the-field entertainment, such as accidentally helicoptering his daughter into a child running at him or having his status as a good luck charm turn into an “Effectively Wild” podcast meme.

Before he joined Kansas City though, he was on a dismal Atlanta Braves team that was sinking like an anchor. Through June 21st, they were actually .500 at 35-35. Then they went 32-60 the rest of the way. The absolute nadir was a three-game series against the Yankees from August 28th through the 30th. This was the middle of a 12-game losing streak, and in that sweep, the Yankees outscored them 38-11.

Atlanta’s bullpen was getting destroyed in the first game, and manager Fredi Gonzalez decided to take pity on his relievers by asking Gomes if he could pitch one of the innings. Give credit to Gomes—he was a team player on a club going nowhere. He took the lump. Chris Young was the first hitter to face him, and he quickly gave Gomes a scare:

 

The ball jumps off the bat a lot faster from sixty feet, six inches away rather than in the outfield. That pitch ended up in the seats, the Yankees crushed two more doubles, and another run scored. Mercifully, the inning ended on a strikeout. Yes, pitcher Jonny Gomes got a strikeout. Pay no attention to the fact that it was Yankees reliever Bryan Mitchell taking his first MLB at-bat.

Catcher: Wilin Rosario

Everyone who caught at least a portion of an inning in 2015 was a legitimate catcher at one point. So instead, we will pay our final respects to Rosario’s career behind the plate.

Rosario was once an exciting Rockies prospect, particularly when he hit 28 homers and finished fourth in the 2012 NL Rookie of the Year voting. Defense was always a question for him though, and by BP metrics, he struggled with framing and blocking pitches. The most damage was done on passed balls; he led the NL for three years in a row from 2012-14. In 307 games, he had 42 passed balls. Only one other catcher in all of baseball even had more than 30—Josh Thole, knuckleballer R.A. Dickey’s personal catcher.

Despite his offensive potential, Colorado could no longer bear watching Rosario fumble around. They moved him to first base in 2015; the switch coincided with an offensive malaise that led to a demotion to Triple-A. He eventually returned and spent just two games at catcher, both meaningless September starts. Nothing bad in particular happened in either of them, but it was clear that Rosario was no longer a major league catcher.

Earlier in January, Rosario signed a deal with the Hanwha Eagles of the Korean Baseball Organization. The word is that he will continue to fight the good fight and try to keep catching there. Even with only two games caught in 2015, he remains the MLB leaders in passed balls since 2012.

First base: Alex Rodriguez

Like him or not, A-Rod has to be considered among the greatest infielders in baseball history. He spent 1,272 games at shortstop, where he was not only a tremendous hitter but also among baseball’s defensive elite. When he moved to third base upon the Yankees’ trade for him in 2004, it obviously wasn’t because Derek Jeter was the superior defender. While A-Rod had never played third base in his life beforehand, he worked hard and became an excellent defender there as well until his hips began to fail him.

A player on the left side moving down the defensive spectrum to first base is far from unprecedented. Ernie Banks spent over half his career at first, and George Brett made just 14 starts at third in his final seven seasons. So when the Yankees suggested in spring training that A-Rod would get some reps at first base, it wasn’t stunning. He looked shaky in camp, but they gave him a shot anyway on April 11th against the Red Sox.

Boy, was it awkward.

Um, Alex…

That’s not how you…

a-rod

Well… okay then. Unsurprisingly, A-Rod made just one emergency appearance at first for the remainder of the season. “DH-Rod” worked out pretty well, but first base was just bizarre.

Second base: Carlos Gomez

Few centerfielders in baseball cover the position like Gomez, who has both the defensive skill and flair of Willie Mays out there. In 12 years of professional baseball though, he had never played the infield. Why should he?

Well, the early 2015 Brewers made it happen. Skipper Ron Roenicke was not long for the campaign, dismissed after a 7-18 start that included a game when his superstar had to play second base. They were about to lose their fourth straight to begin the season. Roenicke had already used infielders Luis Jimenez and Hector Gomez to pinch-hit for pitchers when second baseman Scooter Gennett lost his temper on a called strike three to end the eighth and was ejected by home plate umpire Mike Estabrook.

With no infielders left, Roenicke was forced to choose between Carlos Gomez and Ryan Braun to cover second (Braun would have also been a good pick for the All Out-of-Position Team had he been selected). Roenicke let Gomez do it since he occasionally took ground balls in the infield during practice for fun. He never got a chance to field anything during his one inning, but it was quite a sight to see a Gold Glove-caliber outfielder stuck in the infield.

Third base: Albert Pujols

albert

For the second consecutive year, an aged Pujols somehow made an appearance at third base, and accordingly, he must appear on the All Out-of-Position team again. As noted last year, Pujols won his 2001 NL Rookie of the Year award playing most of his games at third; Mark McGwire was still active for the Cardinals. He spent a little time there again in 2002, but in the past 13 years, it’s pretty much been only in an emergency.

The Angels/Royals game on August 13th was weird enough anyway. Iron man catcher Sal Perez actually got a day off. The steady Garrett Richards was outpitched by Jeremy Guthrie, who carried an unsightly 5.84 ERA into action. The overpowering Wade Davis shockingly gave up two runs in the eighth, allowing the Angels to get back into the game with a 5-3 deficit. They went on to score four in the ninth against ailing closer Greg Holland. It was the first time in 114 games that Davis had allowed a multi-run inning.

Then, of course, there was Pujols at third. During the rally off Holland, Angels manager Mike Scioscia gambled by pinch-hitting the powerful C.J. Cron for shortstop Taylor Featherston. It paid off, as Cron launched the game-tying two-run double. Scioscia took another risk by pinch-running Shane Victorino for Cron, and he scored the go-ahead run on Kole Calhoun’s two-run double. Armed with a 7-5 lead but a short bench thanks to both the moves and normal shortstop Erick Aybar’s tight lower back, Scioscia went full ¯\_(ツ)_/¯.

Victorino went to right field. Calhoun shifted from right to first base. Third baseman Conor Gillaspie moved to second for the first time in his eight-year professional career, forcing Johnny Giavotella to play shortstop for the first time in his eight-year professional career. Pujols took over at third. It worked out for Scioscia, as closer Huston Street kept the ball from going to any of the numerous inexperienced players, and the Angels won, 7-6.

That makes two straight years of Scioscia ending up victorious in a game with Pujols at third. What a time to be alive.

Shortstop: Brandon Phillips

brandon

Whenever Phillips chooses to retire from this game, his legacy will be intrinsically tied to defensive excellence at second base. There are nigh-countless highlight reels of his amazing work there, and he’s been doing it for a decade now, no easy feat.

That’s what makes it so jarring to see Phillips at shortstop, much like it was when Robinson Cano appeared there in 2013. All but six of his 1,582 career games have been spent at second, and he had not appeared there even in an emergency role since July 25, 2007. It was almost eight years to the day on July 19th of this year when Phillips reemerged at the position he called home when he was a mere Montreal Expos prospect.

Like Scioscia, Reds manager Bryan Price did not have much of a bench at that point in the game. It was the 11th inning, and Price had already used 19 players. In a failed 10th inning rally where Aroldis Chapman was due up, Price pinch-hit the last position player on his roster, Tucker Barnhart. Clearly unwilling to make the 2015 All Out-of-Position team even more entertaining with a pitcher in the field (shortstop Raisel Iglesias, anyone?), Price replaced Chapman on the mound with Pedro Villareal, put Barnhart in right, and made a series of moves that ended up with Phillips at shortstop. The Indians assembled a game-winning rally, but Phillips’ defense played no role in it.

Left field: Hanley Ramirez

There was a lot to write about with the circumstances that led to the other people on this team ending up at their positions. This was ludicrous though—the Red Sox tried to use the defensively inept Ramirez in left field at Fenway Park all season long. This was their plan. It should surprise no one that he is preparing for 2017 at first base.

So since Shakespeare once said “Brevity is the soul of wit,” this entry simply needs the outstanding tweet video by Joon Lee:

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Center field: Joey Gallo

Most of the players on the All Out-of-Position team are old veterans who wind up at odd places in the field. That’s the nature of the beast—the hypothetical of David Ortiz in center field is just far more amusing than, say, Francisco Lindor out there. Sure, Lindor would be out of position, but he’s young and athletic enough that it makes some sense in a pinch.

The idea of rookie masher Joey Gallo playing center field, however, seemed completely absurd. In fact, when Baseball America writer Josh Norris heard that Gallo played a 2014 instructional league game in center field, he thought it was “more as a goof than anything.” After all, Gallo was a third baseman and occasional left fielder, and he still needed considerable defensive work.

When Rangers manager Jeff Banister said that he was going to start Gallo in center field on June 27th in Toronto, Adam J. Morris of Lone Star Ball succinctly summed up baseball Twitter’s reaction:

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Although Gallo had never played center in a professional game, Banister had mentioned a week prior that he was shagging fly balls there “just in case.” Baseball Twitter was bemused then, but casual talk became reality.

Look at the big guy go. Gallo only played five innings in center before Banister subbed Leonys Martin for Ryan Rua in the sixth, putting Martin in center and bumping Gallo to left. If Gallo goes on to become one of the great power hitters of his generation as some suspect, then this detour to center will be something to remember.

Right field: John Jaso

jaso

A catcher his entire career, the 32-year-old Jaso is still primarily associated with that position. Unfortunately, his exile from catching was the result of too many concussions behind the plate. So when the Rays brought him back to Tampa this year, he was to be a DH only.

There were eight games though when Jaso had to appear in the outfield, and since he was originally a catcher, it was a strange sight. He actually started seven games in left, but his appearance in right field was a unique occasion. Jaso pinch-hit for Brandon Guyer in a game on August 17th and came up with a single that jumped the Rays’ lead to 6-2.

Rays skipper Kevin Cash didn’t want to lose Jaso’s bat since it was only the sixth inning at the time, so during the home half, Jaso moved to Guyer’s spot in right field. Since being drafted by Tampa Bay in 2003, he had never played there. It was a strange situation, and the look on Jaso’s face says it all. He received no chances and departed for a defensive replacement in the eighth.

So behold this team:

diamond

Remarkable. Yet still probably a better defense than the 2013 Astros.

Andrew Mearns has been a writer and editor for the SB Nation Yankees blog Pinstripe Alley since 2012. He hosts the site’s podcast and has also had work published by Baseball Prospectus, Sports on Earth, and BP Bronx. He aspires to keep his writer value higher than Andy Stankiewicz’s player value. You’ll most often find him tweeting nonsense @pinstripealley or @MearnsPSA.

This guest-post has been part of the 2016 Baseball Continuum Blogathon For Charity, benefiting the Roswell Park Alliance Foundation. The Roswell Park Alliance Foundation is the charitable arm of Roswell Park Cancer Institute and funds raised will be “put to immediate use to increase the pace from research trials into improved clinical care, to ensure state-of-the-art facilities, and to help improve the quality of life for patients and their families.” Please donate through the Blogathon’s GoFundMe page. Also, please note that the opinions and statements of the writer were not necessarily those of the Baseball Continuum or it’s webmaster.

 

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(Blogathon ’16) Stacey Gotsulias: Sonnet 13

This guest-post is part of the 2016 Baseball Continuum Blogathon For Charity, benefiting the Roswell Park Alliance Foundation. The Roswell Park Alliance Foundation is the charitable arm of Roswell Park Cancer Institute and funds raised will be “put to immediate use to increase the pace from research trials into improved clinical care, to ensure state-of-the-art facilities, and to help improve the quality of life for patients and their families.” Please donate through the Blogathon’s GoFundMe page. Also, please note that the opinions and statements of the writer are not necessarily those of the Baseball Continuum or it’s webmaster.

With my heartfelt apologies to Elizabeth Barrett Browning and her fans…

“Sonnet 13”

How do I love A-Rod? Let me count the ways.
I love A-Rod to the beauty of his swing and length of his home runs and pace of his trot around the bases
Even when I’m not at the Stadium or watching on TV
My feelings are big as Doug Eddings’ strike zone.
I love A-Rod during every single day game and at night, even if he goes 0-6 with four strikeouts
I love A-Rod freely, as others boo him vociferously
I love A-Rod purely, as others write vigorously, articles of his demise
I love A-Rod with the passion most have for their spouses or children
In my older, more wise age, and with the same faith as my 10 year old self.
I love A-Rod with a love I didn’t even know I had
With my lost family, friends and lovers. I love A-Rod with every breath,
every smile, every cry for his entire career even after his eventual retirement
I shall but love A-Rod better after baseball, when he’s broadcasting alongside Joe Buck on Fox.


Stacey Gotsulias is a freelance sportswriter whose work has appeared both online and in print. She currently writes for It’s About The Money, which is the Yankees’ blog on ESPN’s SweetSpot Network and for The Hardball Times.

This guest-post has been part of the 2016 Baseball Continuum Blogathon For Charity, benefiting the Roswell Park Alliance Foundation. The Roswell Park Alliance Foundation is the charitable arm of Roswell Park Cancer Institute and funds raised will be “put to immediate use to increase the pace from research trials into improved clinical care, to ensure state-of-the-art facilities, and to help improve the quality of life for patients and their families.” Please donate through the Blogathon’s GoFundMe page. Also, please note that the opinions and statements of the writer were not necessarily those of the Baseball Continuum or it’s webmaster.

30 Teams, 30 Posts (2015): Alex Rodriguez’s arrival at Yankees camp, in the minds of some people (SATIRE)

In 30 Teams, 30 Posts, I write a post about every MLB team in some way in the lead-up to the beginning of the 2015 season. Today, I talk about Alex Rodriguez and the Yankees by showing you an alternate world where Alex Rodriguez’s arrival at Yankee camp was as horrific as some people thought it would be or make it out to be:

We all feared this day would come. We told ourselves it was just a bad dream, a prophecy that would never be fulfilled.

But, alas, that bleak day happened. Alex Rodriguez, baseball’s greatest monster, arrived at Yankee Spring Training on Monday, coming days early by way of an ominous Zeppelin of Doom, powered by the tears of orphans and the death-cries of starved kittens.

After all, that is what Alex Rodriguez is all about. Himself. Some would move with the flow, be one with the team. But not Alex Rodriguez. Everything about him is looking out for number one. And yet, he is one of the ones who he has failed, right alongside his family, his team, his sport, America, and, indeed, all of mankind.

And, yet, he doesn’t even seem to know what, exactly, he has done wrong. Not today, not yesterday, not ever.

“Some of the mistakes.”

“Would not elaborate on what they were.”

Oh, and he said that while drinking the blood of a hapless victim. But that’s now important: he wouldn’t elaborate.

How could you not elaborate, Alex? Perhaps it is because of all of them. After all, your many crimes may include some of the following:

  • Lying
  • Getting caught with steroids
  • Using steroids in the first place
  • Kidnapping a young damsel and tying her to train tracks
  • Assassinating Archduke Franz Ferdinand and indirectly starting World War One
  • The ending of Man of Steel
  • Misplacing Thurman Thomas’ helmet in Super Bowl XXVI
  • Slapping at Bronson Arroyo’s glove
  • Tricking Howie Clark
  • Global Warming
  • Selling the rights to the X-Men and Fantastic Four to FOX Studios, thus depriving the world of seeing The Hulk fight The Thing and Wolverine hanging out with Captain America during WWII.
  • The Union’s defeat at Bull Run
  • The throwing of the 1919 World Series
  • The Lego Movie not being nominated for Best Animated Feature
  • The demise of MVP Baseball
  • Ken Griffey Jr.’s injuries
  • The episode of Lost about Jack’s tattoo
  • The disappearance of Flight 19
  • Centaurs

That’s a lot of potential things you could have possibly done, and the fact that most of them you had nothing to do with has nothing to do with that, A-Rod. You are a disgrace, a fraud, and a poo-poo head. Please go away.

In reality, of course, nothing interesting happened and amazingly nobody went quite this over-the-top with their blistering hot-take thinkpieces. Although we did get this picture of  journalists trying to catch a peek of his workout from a distance:

Alex Rodriguez is not a popular guy

So, we all know Alex Rodriguez isn’t very popular in the MLB office, but how unpopular he was amongst his fellow players hasn’t been very clear until now. Oh, there had been “sources” about how disgusted they were, and some players have outright talked about their feelings on A-Rod. But now, Jeff Passan and Tim Brown have written an article over at YAHOO! in which they reveal that other players are so sick of Rodriguez that they would have him kicked out of the union completely.

This is unprecedented. While he can’t be kicked out of the union due to legal matters, this is, to the best of my knowledge, the first time something like this has actually been bandied about at all. Even the replacement players like Kevin Millar, Shane Spencer and Brendan Donnelly were merely cut out from the MLBPA’s marketing deals (making them, for example, not available in video games), not kicked out of the union.

Of course, this won’t end with Rodriguez getting kicked out of the union, and he’s not being cut from any marketing deals either, but it does show something: while the union itself may have said it wasn’t happy with suspension of Rodriguez, the union members seem to wish the union could just leave him out to dry.

The Alex Rodriguez Suspension/NFL Prediction Awkward Combination Post

Okay, so, I was going to make my picks for the NFL playoffs this weekend, but then Alex Rodriguez finally received his steroid suspension from the arbitrator, a one-year ban, which is lower than the 211-game ban MLB had originally given him but still the longest suspension in the history of MLB’s drug program.

So, here are my thoughts on that:

  • Not many people win in this. MLB and Bud Selig have now been shown to have overreached with the 211-game suspension, and also will get bad publicity even as the Hall of Fame vote stuff just starts to settle (on the bright side, Alex Rodriguez won’t see a MLB field in 2014). Rodriguez, of course, misses the entire next season. The MLBPA, although many of it’s members would probably be fine with letting A-Rod burn, has been dealt a defeat, with one of their members being suspended despite a lack of a positive test.
  • Interestingly, the only people who really benefit (besides lawyers) are the New York Yankees themselves. Without having to pay A-Rod next year, they have more money to possibly use in the Masahiro Tanaka sweepstakes.
  • This isn’t over. It’s unlikely the federal courts are going to side with Rodriguez, but it still will keep this story in the public eye. And even after the suspension, Rodriguez will likely try to make a comeback in 2015… wherever he plays. It’s hard to see the Yankees wanting him back.
  • Oh, and guess what? Due to a loophole, Alex Rodriguez will be able to come to spring training. Yankees’ position players must be in camp by February 19! Boy, oh boy!

And now, my thoughts on this weekend’s  NFL playoff games:

  • I’m not going to go against the Seahawks at home, where the stadium has, in the past, caused small earthquakes and gotten to dangerously high levels of noise.
  • I will, however, go against the Patriots and go with the Colts. Maybe it’s the team of destiny the Colts gave last week, or maybe that’s just me.
  • I’m going with the 49ers over the Panthers. After going through Lambeau, Charlotte is probably a cakewalk.
  • I’m going with the Broncos over the Chargers. They just are the better team.

Okay, so, let’s see how well it all turns out to be!

Biogenesis Day Live-Blog

It’s (maybe) Biogenesis Day! So, I’ll be doing a running live-blog of thoughts, news, and pitiful attempts to be funny. Well, mostly. I might miss an hour or two due to an appointment. So, go below the jump for it, I’ll be adding more and more as the day goes on.

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Every way (well, 25 ways) the A-Rod madness might end (HUMOR after awhile)

Oh boy. The whole saga over Alex Rodriguez keeps getting weirder and weirder. With each passing day, he seems to be finding some new doctor, tweeting out something, making some sort of appearance on radio or TV, or coming under some sort of further Biogenesis news.

So, how does it end? I have come up with EVERY POSSIBLE OUTCOME, and listed them below:

  1. Alex Rodriguez does early August rehab and is back with the Yankees sometime that month before getting suspended in some way by the end of the year. Because, really, at this point, there is no way he is avoiding getting suspended.
  2. Alex Rodriguez goes through rehab, but then is suspended for going over the Yankees’ head with getting a second opinion, so he doesn’t actually start until late August. THEN he gets suspended by MLB.
  3. Alex Rodriguez uses various legal tricks and appeals to play but then is suspended in the off-season.
  4. Alex Rodriguez is suspended by MLB before he can actually play in the majors this season.
  5. Alex Rodriguez suffers another injury set-back and doesn’t play.
  6. Alex Rodriguez just up and retires to avoid all of the Biogenesis and injury stuff.
  7. Alex Rodriguez cuts a deal with MLB about this whole Biogenesis stuff, is out the rest of the season and probably next year too, but then tries to make a comeback in 2015.
  8. Alex Rodriguez fights the Biogenesis investigation, loses, and is either suspended for a very long time or is just upright banned.
  9. Various variations of 1 through 8.
  10. (From this point on, it’s humor) It is revealed that the Alex Rodriguez everyone has been watching since he went to the Rangers is actually a magically-hidden centaur doppelganger and that the real Alex Rodriguez has been in a cryogenic chamber somewhere near Seattle since 2000.
  11. Brian Cashman, finally having reached his breaking point with all of this nonsense, challenges A-Rod to a duel to the death.
  12. Alex Rodriguez is seen with somebody like Lindsay Lohan or Amanda Bynes or something, causing Deadspin and TMZ to collide, forming a black hole that sucks up the entire internet.
  13. Alex Rodriguez begins to go under the alias of “Carlos Danger”.
  14. Alex Rodriguez, hoping to show just how fine and game ready he is, does a workout in his driveway in front of assembled media.
  15. Alex Rodriguez announces that his home planet needs him, leaves, and is never heard from again.
  16. Alex Rodriguez tries to sneak onto the field of a Yankees game by trying to go incognito as Dandy, the Yankees’ short-lived mascot.
  17. It turns out that “Biogenesis” was the name of his sleigh.
  18. It is revealed that Alex Rodriguez’s entire career has taken place inside of a snowglobe and the imagination of an autistic child.
  19. Goes to Taiwan, where people will still pack the stadium just to see him.
  20. Alex Rodriguez goes and buys some Shwarma.
  21. Alex Rodriguez moves to Vegas and spends the rest of his days signing memorabilia.
  22. Sits in his room for rest of his days eating ice cream and watching Ice Station Zebra. Hey, it worked for Howard Hughes.
  23. He not only makes it back, but he hits a dramatic walkoff home run that hits the light standards and causes them to explode.
  24. Due to a quirk in the CBA, is suspended but is able to continue playing in the minor leagues, where he tutors young prospects or something.
  25. Alex Rodriguez wakes up from his nap, turns and sees Ken Griffey Jr. in the locker next to him, and says “You won’t believe the dream I just had.”

Here we go again….

Well, I wouldn’t say this came out of nowhere, but I don’t think I was expecting to see this today. You?

Worry: Will U of Miami grads simply be assumed to be guilty?

One thing that noticed- and worries me- in the recent wave of PED news is that many of the players have a big connection: The University of Miami.

Ryan Braun played for the University of Miami.

Yasmani Grandal played for the University of Miami.

Danny Valencia played for the University of Miami.

Cesar Carrillo, a minor leaguer who has been connected to BioGenesis, went to the University of Miami.

Alex Rodriguez has been a major financial donor to the University of Miami baseball program- their park even bears his name.

Jimmy Goins, named in the Biogenesis reports, is the strength and conditioning coach for the University of Miami.

I’m hardly the first to notice this, look at what Tim Brown and Jeff Passan wrote at Yahoo!:

The early portion of MLB’s investigation has focused on the web of connections to the University of Miami, where Braun attended college. Carrillo, a pitcher in the Detroit Tigers organization, was Braun’s road roommate for three years. Jimmy Goins, a strength-and-conditioning coach at the school and alleged client of Bosch’s, worked with Braun during his three years at Miami. Goins has denied a connection to Bosch.

And this leads to my concern: Will others consider former Hurricanes players to be guilty until proven innocent? Will a new star who comes to the majors, having played at “The U”, have whispers behind their back?

Because that would not be healthy for the sport. There still needs to be evidence, one cannot just assume that because player X went to college Y he must be on PEDs. And we must never forget that.

Humor: WHERE IN THE WORLD IS ALEX RODRIGUEZ?

The Yankees have seemingly sent Alex Rodriguez into hiding, to keep him away from reporters and paparazzi.

Not going to stop me.
I know EXACTLY where Alex Rodriguez is. He’s somewhere here:

Yes, Alex Rodriguez is somewhere on Planet Earth. Oh, sure, it is not impossible, given his great wealth, that he has fled to Mars, Alpha Centauri or Altair IV, but there is no evidence he has done so, as we would have been able to see his Warp Signature, or something (any Star Trek fans out there, feel free to correct me).

So, where on Earth is Alex Rodriguez? Has he donned a red hat and coat? Or is he going the red-and-white shirt route?

Nobody knows.

That said, let’s face it, this is Alex Rodriguez. He lives in Florida (especially Miami) but reportedly has houses or apartments in the New York Metropolitan Area and near Los Angeles. So, uh… start there.

So, yeah, not specific, but there you go.