HBT Weekend Wrapup

  • Things like the A-Rod and Torre drama is the reason why, instead of watching the Yankees-Dodgers game last night, I watched “L.A. Confidential” for the 45th time instead. Have you a valediction, boyo?
  • Brandon Phillips was arrested for reckless driving. I’m not one to rake muck or anything, but in Ohio reckless driving that involves speed alone — as Phillips’ apparently did — is quite often a ticketing offense, not an arresting offense. Usually the cops only take you in for it if they suspect booze or if you caused an accident or if there is some other reason to suspect that you pose a danger to anyone.  None of that appears to be the case with Phillips.  Things that make you go hmmm.
  • Jason Heyward has a sore thumb, which probably explains the express train to blah he’s been on the past few weeks. You got the gig, kid, don’t be a hero. Take some time off.
  • The ump in the Tigers-Braves game admitted he blew the strike call that ended Friday’s game.  Second sighting of the “I kicked that call” construction this year. I had never heard that before Joyce said it, and here it is again. Since then I’ve been using it around the house (i.e. “I kicked the s— out of that omelet this morning,” etc.) I bet I’m not alone.

Buster Olney ends each of his daily columns by saying “and today will be better than yesterday.” I admire his optimism, but I’m gonna level with you: each of you reading these words are one day closer to your death today than than you were yesterday. All your loved ones and pets and stuff too.  Sorry to be a downer like that, but if I can be honest with you on that score, you know I ain’t bull s——- you on the baseball stuff.  In other news, Buster Olney gets invited to a lot more parties than I do.

Now let’s go out there and avoid kicking the s— out of this week!

David Ortiz and Kris Bryant win 2016 Hank Aaron Awards

CLEVELAND, OH - OCTOBER 26:  (L-R) Kris Bryant #17 of the Chicago Cubs, Major League Baseball Hall of Famer 2016 Hank Aaron, Commissioner of Baseball Rob Manfred and David Ortiz #34 of the Boston Red Sox pose during the Hank Aaron Award ceremony prior to Game Two of the 2016 World Series between the Chicago Cubs and the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field on October 26, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio.  (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
Jason Miller/Getty Images
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Major League Baseball announced on Wednesday that former Red Sox DH David Ortiz and Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant won the 2016 Hank Aaron Award in their respective leagues.

Ortiz, 40, flourished in his final season, batting .315/.401/.620 with 38 home runs and 127 RBI in 626 plate appearances during the regular season. His .620 slugging percentage, 1.021 OPS, and 48 doubles led the majors while his 127 RBI led the American League. Ortiz also won the Hank Aaron Award back in 2005.

Bryant, 24, is the likely winner of the National League Most Valuable Player Award as well. He hit .292/.385/.554 with 39 home runs and 102 RBI over 699 plate appearances. He also led the league by scoring 121 runs. Bryant is the first Cub to win the Hank Aaron Award since Aramis Ramirez in 2008.

Last year’s winners in the AL and NL, respectively, were Josh Donaldson and Bryce Harper.

Alex Rodriguez is taking his analyst role quite seriously

NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 12: Alex Rodriguez #13 of the New York Yankees answers question in a press conference after the game against the Tampa Bay Rays at Yankee Stadium on August 12, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)
Drew Hallowell/Getty Images

If you’ve happened to catch any of the coverage of the 2016 postseason on Fox and FS1, you’ve heard former Yankees DH Alex Rodriguez as part of an analyst panel with host Kevin Burkhardt and former major leaguers Pete Rose and Frank Thomas. Rodriguez has drawn rave reviews not just for passing a rather low bar we set for former athletes-turned-commentators, but because he’s adding real insight drawn both from his playing days and from doing research.

Indeed, Rodriguez is taking his new job as an analyst quite seriously, Newsday’s Neil Best reports. Bardia Shah-Rais, the VP of production for Fox, said of Rodriguez, “This is not a hobby for him. It’s not a parachute in. He’s invested. If we have a noon meeting, he’s there at 11:30 a.m. He’s emailing story ideas in the morning. He wants research. He’s almost all-in to the point where it’s annoying.”

Rose also praised Rodriguez, saying, “You’ve never been around a guy who prepares more than Alex does. Alex does his homework. He knows the game. He understands players. He’s into the deal . . . Frank does a great job in preparation, too. I’m the only one that don’t prepare as much as these two guys. I don’t know if that’s because I can’t write or what it is. But these guys do their homework and they ask questions and they ask the right questions and then you put that in with our experience, all the things we’ve been through and how good we get along with each other, that’s why it shows up on the TV.”

Rodriguez, who hasn’t officially retired despite not having played since the Yankees released him in mid-August, wouldn’t commit to more TV work beyond this year’s postseason.