It’s been funny watching the New York media trying to make something out of this A-Rod poker story. They staked him out during his rehab workouts down in Tampa yesterday. They were told beforehand by Yankees officials that A-Rod wouldn’t answer questions about poker, and that if they asked, he’d leave. They asked, he left. Headline from the Post: “A-Rod folds.” Never change, New York Post. Never, ever change.
Thing is, there really isn’t anything new to be taken from this story. There are competing allegations about whether or not he was at a poker game and Major League Baseball’s vow to investigate, and that’s it. Oh, and then there’s this little thing from the Post story:
Rodriguez also reportedly has played poker with tennis star Pete Sampras.
Which was immediately denied by Rodriguez’s PR people. But really, is that a salacious allegation? Is there a more milquetoast celebrity/athlete than Pete Sampras? Heck, if I were making a list of athletes I’d let watch my kids for a weekend, Sampras would probably be in the top three. Maybe the top two now that Harmon Killebrew has died. I’d worry more about him OD’ing on milk and cookies than anything else.
But if that’s where we are, what’s next? “Rodriguez has reportedly played Crazy Eights with the guy who played Ralphie in ‘A Christmas Story'”? “Rodriguez has reportedly played Uno with Kirk Cameron”? “Rodriguez has reportedly played ‘Sorry’ with that Zachary Johnson kid from down the block, and none of the moms really like him”?
I know everyone wants there to be another A-Rod scandal because there isn’t anything much more fun than that, but really, this is all so weak.
The Miami Herald reports that the Marlins and Martin Prado have agreed to a three-year, $40 million contracy extension.
Prado has been highly effective for Miami, hitting .297/.350/.405 over two seasons The Marlins were eager to keep him and many teams were no doubt interested in trying to sign him this winter as he stood pretty darn tall on a pretty weak free agent market. He may very well have done better than the $40 million he’s getting, but a qualifying offer could’ve made the free agency process a bit more drawn out one than he would’ve preferred. And, of course, he seems very happy in Miami, as evidenced by his increasing role as a team leader with the Marlins.
For his career Prado has hit .293/.342/.423 over 11 seasons. He’ll now be locked up through his age-35 campaign.
The Cardinals got shellacked 15-2 by the Reds, one of baseball’s worst teams, last night. In so doing they fell a half game behind the Giants for the second Wild Card.
Rick Hummel of the St. Louis Post Dispatch wrote about last night’s game. What struck him was the reaction from the crowd at Busch Stadium:
And the fans, in a rare moment of pique, let the Cardinals hear about it, first booing and then erupting in a Bronx cheer when the final out of a seven-run fourth was recorded. They booed a little more later on and then many of them beat the traffic, with some of them at least leaving with a Grateful Dead T-shirt, a special theme night promotion . . . The paid crowd to witness the carnage was 34,942, snapping a string of 240 straight crowds here of over 40,000, dating to Sept. 24, 2013. Matheny said he noticed the reaction of the crowd and appeared to find little fault with it.
It’s been such a weird season for the Cardinals. Maybe the weirdest part of all has been how terrible they’ve been at home, with a record of 33-42. They have six more games at home, and they no longer control their own playoff destiny.
Is this booing and leaving a one-time thing, or will we see a lot more of it between now and Sunday?