Bob Klapisch has the second-day reaction from the Yankees about all of the weirdness surrounding A-Rod. While yesterday the New York media was being fed some nonsensical conspiracy theory about A-Rod wanting to rush back (or not rush back, depending on which tabloid you read) in order to take a disabled list retirement — which would gain him absolutely nothing — today it’s just head-scratching:
Let’s face it, in terms of entertainment value, all the Yankees have is the Alex Rodriguez-front office war – a real doozy, at that. Club officials have nothing but contempt for A-Rod, a sentiment that goes both ways. But they’re also stumped by the slugger’s recent behavior and public comments, which one insider characterized as “bizarre.”
See, that makes more sense. Because, yes, A-Rod’s tweets are bizarre if he really hasn’t been cleared to play. And the Yankees are right to think that their third baseman is a weird dude. The evidence for that is ample. But this is too much:
Whether this is all a ploy by Rodriguez to position himself for retirement is anyone’s guess; there’s no shortage of theories as to whether A-Rod will be healthy enough to play again in 2013.
I still don’t see how this is a “ploy.” For it to be a ploy there has to be some advantage realized. And no one has, as of yet, explained to me what A-Rod would gain by “positioning himself for retirement” given that (a) actual retirement means he gets no money; and (b) a disabled list “retirement” would get him exactly the same money coming back to play would, whether he is suspended or not.
With a fourth-inning solo home run off of Phillies starter Jake Thompson, Mets outfielder Curtis Granderson reached the 30-homer plateau for the fourth time in his 13-year career. It’s a moment worth celebrating, only there’s one problem: he has just 56 RBI on the season.
There are many reasons for the low RBI total. 24 of Granderson’s 30 homers have come with the bases empty. He came into Sunday’s action hitting just .140 in 124 plate appearances with runners in scoring position and .197 with runners on base. He has hit leadoff for most of the season, meaning he’s had the Mets’ pitchers hitting “ahead” of him in the No. 9 slot as well as the Mets’ catchers typically hitting eighth. Mets catchers, collectively, have a .296 on-base percentage, the second-worst mark in the National League.
Since the end of August, Granderson has hit cleanup with Jose Reyes, Asdrubal Cabrera, and Yoenis Cespedes hitting in front of him. That change hasn’t been for naught, as he has 17 RBI in 21 games since.
Still, Granderson is on pace for the fewest RBI in a 30-homer season. Rob Deer and Felix Mantilla are tied for the record with 64 RBI. Deer (32 HR) accomplished the feat in 1992 with the Tigers and Mantilla (30 HR) in 1964 with the Red Sox. Only eight players have had 70 or fewer homers in a 30-homer season. Evan Gattis is currently sitting on 30 homers with 68 RBI.
Following the announcement of the 24-year-old’s death, Major League Baseball observed a moment of silence for José Fernández before each of today’s games. While this afternoon’s Marlins-Braves game was cancelled out of respect for the organization, Miami painted Fernández’s jersey number on the mound in honor of their former pitcher.
Other teams, like the Mets, Mariners, and Dodgers, chose to honor Fernández by hanging his No. 16 jersey in their dugout:
Bob Nightengale of USA Today Sports reports that David Ortiz‘s pregame retirement ceremony at Tropicana Field was canceled at the player’s request:
The Astros and Diamondbacks each displayed a personal tribute to Fernández, writing the number 16 on their caps and etching his number and initials in the bullpen:
Rest in peace, Fernández.