Some of the best A-Rod hate you'll read in a while

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Some people — myself included on occasion — toss out lazy Alex Rodriguez criticism. Others — like FOX’s Tracy Ringolsby — aren’t content dabbling in idle hate. They work extra hard at it, finding reasons to attack him which have eluded everyone else. For example, after rehashing the 2007 opt-out controversy, Ringolsby shows us just how awful A-Rod can be:

And that wasn’t the first time A-Rod put his own needs ahead of an
organization. Tom Hicks, the man who is attempting to sell the Texas Rangers, was able to cover the Rangers’ share of Rodriguez’s 10-year, $242
million deal signed before the 2001 season, despite Hicks’ bankruptcy
problems.

It’s the working stiffs with the Rangers, the ones
who had their future caught up in a Hicks-created retirement plan, who
are left with nothing to show for their efforts. Not that it
would matter to Rodriguez. He lives in his own little world, and he is
oblivious to anyone else.

Got that? It was A-Rod’s fault that Tom Hicks paid him too much, and it was A-Rod’s fault that — years after he left the team — Hicks leveraged himself beyond all bounds of responsibility, leading to its current financial crisis.

How dare A-Rod not attend Rangers board meetings these past several years, demanding that Tom Hicks pay his employees!  How dare he not realize — when he signed his contract over nine years ago — that doing so would screw up the Rangers 2010 sale!

Typical selfish ballplayer. God, I hate A-Rod. Don’t you?

Adrian Beltre cleared for extended spring training

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Adrian Beltre has been on the disabled list all year because of nagging right calf strain, but he’s about to take a big step toward getting back to action.

Beltre has been cleared to begin playing in extended spring training games. He’ll commence them tomorrow at the Rangers facility in Surprise, Arizona. After three games the team’s doctors will reevaluate him. If things go well, he’ll likely be sent off for a full minor league rehab assignment.

Joey Gallo has filled in for Beltre all season, bringing a lot of power but not much else to the table. While Beltre is 38, his all-around game would be welcomed back on the field and his leadership would be welcomed back in the Rangers clubhouse. On a personal note, Beltre is only 58 hits shy of 3,000 for his career.

Barring a setback, he’ll be back with the big club in early June and will hit the milestone eventually.

Michael Bourn opts out of his minor league deal with the Orioles

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Outfielder Michael Bourn was traded by the Diamondbacks to the Orioles late last season and hit a solid .283/.358/.435 in 55 plate appearances with them through the end of the season. While that’s not enough to outweigh the miserable season he had in Arizona, it was enough to get the O’s to give him a look in spring training with a minor league deal. They signed him to one in late February.

Then, a couple of days later, Bourn broke his finger while playing catch with a football. Unable to play, the O’s cut him. In early April, once Bourn healed, the O’s signed him again. He played 11 games for their Triple-A affiliate and went 9-for-41 with ten walks in 51 plate appearances. While that makes for a decent OBP, his lack of any sort of pop or good contact suggests that if someone throws him strikes, he can’t do much with the ball.

As such, the O’s had not called him up to Baltimore. And as a result of that, Bourn exercised his opt-out rights and became a free agent.

Someone may take a look at him given that his batting eye seems to be intact and given that, in an admittedly small sample size, he still performed last season. But if he does get a look, it’ll likely be back at the minor league level.