Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim v New York Yankees

Guess which Yankees infielder is the new GQ cover boy

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I knew it! The guy is on his best behavior for a while, making us think that he’s all about dedicating himself to baseball in an effort to justify that out-sized contract, but really it’s all about the spotlight for him. Him and his actress girlfriend and the cover of fashion magazines, with the subheadline “the swinging years.”

Just so typical. I mean, that Alex Rodriguez is so full of — wait, what?  You mean it’s not A-Rod on the cover of GQ? It’s Jeter? And he’s talking about how he’s gone out of the way to keep his private life private as opposed to getting is splashed all over the tabloids? Oh, well. This is embarrassing …

“Don’t get me wrong, it’s not like I didn’t go out and have fun. But there’s been a lot of players that come to New York and get caught up in the lifestyle, and before you know it, they’re sent away to another team because it affected their performance. My number one priority was on the field. I’ve had fun. It’s not like I’ve never gone out; I’ve done a lot of things. But I’ve always kept sight of my number one priority.”

Sigh. Even in a big glossy magazine feature he comes off as a boy scout. And that’s pretty hard to do.  I’m convinced at this point that if you put subconscious-reading electrodes directly on his cerebrum and fed him a steady diet of seared scallops in a truth serum-infused reduction for months on end and you’d still get nothing better than “I just try to be prepared out there,” references to “Mr. Steinbrenner” and rebop about how playing for the Yankees is a great honor.  Really, his professionalism and polish are practically sickening at this point. At least for those of us who require a steady dose of human frailty to make us feel better about the fact that we more or less topped out during our junior year of high school.

But I hold out hope. I’ve always maintained that if we ever get a really juicy Derek Jeter story, it won’t come via a Derek Jeter interview. It will come via interviews with Derek Jeter’s doormen, personal assistants, maids, butlers, valets, neighbors, and pharmacists over the past 15 years.  And if anyone has the email address of any of those people, by all means, please submit it to be via the “Send Tip/Feedback” button in the upper right-hand corner of this page.

Angel Pagan body-slammed a fan on the field

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - SEPTEMBER 13: Angel Pagan #16 of the San Francisco Giants argues with umpire Jerry Meals #41 after a called third strike during the first inning against the San Diego Padres at AT&T Park on September 13, 2016 in San Francisco, California.  (Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images)
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Don’t interrupt Angel Pagan in the middle of a wild card race. Better yet, don’t interrupt him at all.

A fan learned that the hard way during Friday’s Giants-Dodgers game. In the fourth inning, a group of fans ran onto the field with white flowers in their hands, presumably to hand to Giants players. According to eyewitness accounts, one player was reprimanded by San Francisco starter Madison Bumgarner, while Buster Posey fended off another.

Angel Pagan, however, took more extreme and inventive measures.

On-field security started closing in on the fan as he approached Pagan, but didn’t appear to pick up the pace until the outfielder dropped him on the field.

Vin Scully, who was wrapping up the third-to-last game of his career, provided play-by-play of the incident.

A couple of kids, trying to steal a moment, slow down the game, running on the field and just taking a big moment on the big stage. They’ve got one of them in right field, and the other one is nailed down by Pagan in left field. And the crowd loved that! They went up to do something with Angel Pagan, but [Pagan] grabbed him and slammed him to the ground, and they’re taking him off the field. […] Doesn’t that bring you back to the ’60s, and the flower children? Oh what, you don’t remember the ’60s? Okay.

The next time you want to send a message to a player, maybe try a tweet (throw in a flower emoji or two if you feel so inclined). Just don’t make a showy display of affection in the middle of a game. It’s bound to go badly, at least where Angel Pagan is concerned.

The Rangers have home-field advantage through postseason

ARLINGTON, TX - SEPTEMBER 30:  Yu Darvish #11 of the Texas Rangers throws against the Tampa Bay Rays in the first inning at Globe Life Park in Arlington on September 30, 2016 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
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Thanks to Yu Darvish, the Rangers will enter the postseason as the No. 1 seed in the American League.

Darvish was outstanding on Friday night, pegging the Rays with a 3-1 loss on three hits, a run, and 12 strikeouts over six innings. It was the crown jewel of performances for the right-hander, who is carrying a 3.53 ERA and 2.3 fWARP in his first season since undergoing Tommy John surgery in 2015.

The Rangers, who have gone 1-5 on days when they’ve offered Darvish fewer than four runs of support, eked out a two-run lead against Tampa Bay starter Matt Andriese. Adrian Beltre roped an RBI single in the first inning, followed by a pair of solo shots from Carlos Beltran and Rougned Odor in the third and sixth innings.

With the win, the Rangers clinched home-field advantage through the World Series, thanks to a 4-2 win in the All-Star Game back in July. Getting to the World Series will present another challenge entirely, though Darvish figures to stay in the mix with Cole Hamels as the Rangers build toward the Division Series on Thursday. If they advance against the wild card winner in the ALDS, they’ll face either the Indians or the Red Sox in the Championship Series.