Alex Rodriguez has been a Yankee longer than you think

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Some guys can play with a team for a few years and I have a hard time picturing them in any other uniform. Carlos Beltran springs to mind. He joined the Mets in 2005 and right now his time in Kansas City seems like it was decades ago. Other guys can play someplace for around the same amount of time and I still think of them as the property of another club. A-Rod is one of those guys. In my mind he still wears a Mariners or Rangers jersey.

Which is crazy, because as Joel Sherman noted yesterday, A-Rod has been a Yankee longer than you realize:

He has played more than 1,000 games with the Yankees already (1,027), ranking him 41st all-time. That might not read impressive, but he is about to get in the left lane and go zooming up that chart. If he plays just 140 games this season — his eighth with the Yankees — Rodriguez is going to pass Lou Piniella, Joe Pepitone, Tino Martinez, Hal Chase, Charlie Keller, Clete Boyer, Moose Skowron, Tony Kubek and Tom Tresh and rank 32nd all-time. If he plays another 140 games in 2012, Rodriguez would move by Dave Winfield, Red Rolfe, Roger Peckinpaugh, Horace Clarke, Paul O’Neill, Bobby Murcer, Tommy Henrich and Bob Meusel into 24th place.

Another 140 after that puts him in the top 20 and, well, you can see where this is going.

Where it’s going is that A-Rod will one day be in the inner-circle of all-time Yankees as far as games played in pinstripes (or Yankees road grays) goes. Mantle, Ruth, Gehrig, Berra territory. Or at least someplace close to it depending on how durable he is during the course of his contract.

I guess it’s not a time thing for me (yes, I acknowledge that headline doesn’t make a ton of sense). Just a time-space perception, because intellectually speaking I know that A-Rod has been with the Yankees since 2004.  I just have a hard time getting my brain around it.

Angel Hernandez ejects Asdrubal Cabrera from a spring training game

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You don’t see many ejections in spring training games. The stakes are virtually non-existent, so it’s not like a player is likely to blow up at a bad call or something. That’s especially true now, as we enter spring training’s final week. Everyone wants to get through it uninjured and without fuss. And it’s getting hot in Florida in Arizona too. No one’s got time for that.

Yesterday Asdrubal Cabrera and Angel Hernandez did, though. Cabrera was batting in a road game against the Nats. He asked for time to step out of the box. Hernandez didn’t give it to him. This annoyed Cabrera who, after hitting a single, jawed at Hernandez as he ran out of the box and then pointed at him once he reached first base. Hernandez ran him.

Cabrera didn’t quickly leave the field. He took a slow, slow walk to the outfield and left via the gate in right, which is where visiting players tend to enter and leave spring parks. Watch:

 

Here’s what Cabrera told reporters after the game:

“‘C’mon, man, you’re better than that,’ ” Cabrera said, recalling what he yelled at Hernandez. “And he threw me out.”

Eh. I have no love for Angel Hernandez, but “you’re better than that” is a weak sauce insult. For one thing, maybe the person isn’t better than that? For another, it’s functionally equivalent to “you know better,” which is a thing a parent says to a kid. It’s fine when your dad says it, but Cabrera isn’t Hernandez’s dad and thus saying so carries with it an implicit belittling intent. It’s an ad hominem, which violates the usual ump-player understanding in which you can say a call was b.s. but don’t say the ump is a jerk personally.

More generally, it’s just cowardly. It’s designed not to deal with the substance of the beef. “You are a fine person all of the time, kind sir, but in this instance you are not up to par.” Well, why? Say so or shut up and quit being passive-aggressive.

Again: Hernandez is generally horrible. He’s not better than that, actually. But Cabrera deserved to get run, if for no other reason, than his insult was lame.

Report: Jung-Ho Kang not granted a visa to enter the United States

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This could be a problem for the Pirates.

Ballwriter Sung Min Kim tweets that, according to a Korean report, which you can read here if you know Korean, Pirates infielder Jung-Ho Kang has been denied a visa to enter the United States. The report just broke this morning and has yet to hit the English language press.

He adds that the report suggests that Kang, who was just convicted of a third DUI in Korea, may have a DUI conviction in a third country, though that part is unconfirmed. It’s also unclear whether that, or the mere fact of his conviction in Korea, has held up his visa.

Either way, Kang has yet to see a day of camp and will almost certainly not be ready to start the season for the Pirates, even if he gets his visa today. It sounds, however, like this could be a more drawn out process. We’ll stay tuned.