From the Fresno Bee comes word that burglars recently broke into Matt Garza’s Fresno County, California home and stole his 2008 American League championship ring which he earned while pitching with the Rays. The robbery happened at some point between January 26 and this morning.
The ring, which is engraved with Garza’s name and has several white diamonds and one yellow diamond, is valued at $30,000.
Garza was named the ALCS MVP in 2008 after going 2-0 with a 1.38 ERA with a 14/6 K/BB ratio over 13 innings against the Red Sox. The Rays went on to lose to the Phillies in the World Series in five games.
Garza and his current team, the Cubs, have an arbitration hearing scheduled for this Friday. The 28-year-old right-hander requested $12.5 million and was offered $7.95 million from the Cubs when arbitration figures were exchanged earlier this month. Despite the sizable gap between the two sides, Phil Rogers of the Chicago Tribune reported earlier this evening that the Cubs are still hopeful of reaching a settlement prior to a hearing.
Alex Rodriguez’s post-retirement renaissance continues apace. After starring as a studio host for Fox’s playoff coverage over the past couple of years, A-Rod is about to be named to, arguably, televised baseball’s top job: color commentary in ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball booth.
Michael McCarthy of The Sporting News is hearing that ESPN is going to give the gig, vacated by Aaron Boone by virtue of his hiring by the Yankees, to Rodriguez. There he’ll join Jessica Mendoza and whoever they get to replace play-by-play man Dan Shulman, who chose to step back from the Sunday night job following last season. This, by the way, marks the second time A-Rod has taken over Aaron Boone’s job given that he replaced Boone at third base for the Yankees in 2004.
The twist: A-Rod is likely to keep his Fox postseason job too. While some broadcasters work for multiple networks, it’s pretty rare for Fox to allow its talents to work for competitors like that. Apparently they believe keeping A-Rod — who five years ago was one of the most despised figures in baseball — is worth it. What a difference a few years makes.
In other news, Alex Rodriguez is likely to be shunned mightily by the current crop of BBWAA voters when he hits the Hall of Fame ballot in a couple of years. At the rate he’s going, though, their successors will put him in Cooperstown via the Ford Frick Award sometime in the 2040s.