It’s OK if you don’t care about A-Rod. If you find him irrelevant and annoying and wish he’d just go the hell away. Not everyone cares, nor should you feel obligated to.
Just do me a favor: if you’re one of those people, please don’t write 1,000 words for a national sports website about A-Rod, claiming you care so little about A-Rod. Because it kind of undermines your point.
Beyond that, I think A-Rod is the “Two and a Half Men” of baseball figures. All of the clever, in-the-know people act like no one watches that show and that it’s irrelevant and stupid and should just go away. If you read their stuff you’d think that “Mad Men” and “Game of Thrones” and “Breaking Bad” are what everyone’s watching. Meanwhile, “Two and Half Men” had bigger ratings than those three things combined.
That’s A-Rod. Well, he is based on what I’ve observed about website metrics and the general amount of attention anything about him gets from the broader sports-reading audience. We can still hate him. We can still make fun of him. We can say that, in objective terms, he’s way less relevant to the game today than whoever the baseball player equivalent of “Mad Men” is.
But it’s a lie to claim that no one cares, because a lot of people do. And pretending that you’re above that when you’re really not wears pretty poorly on a person.
Jaime Garcia has been at the center of trade talks for several days now, but on Friday night, he commanded center stage for an entirely different reason. The Braves’ southpaw went head-to-head with Dodgers’ lefty Alex Wood and mashed his first career grand slam: a two-out, 399-foot blast that cleared the wall in right field and put the Braves up 9-0 in the fifth inning.
The bases-loaded knock was the third career home run for Garcia, whose contributions at the plate have been few and far between over his nine-year track in the major leagues. Not only did the homer mark an impressive career first for the 30-year-old, but it was just the second pitcher grand slam in Braves’ history and the first since 1966.
Garcia looked almost as impressive on the mound during Friday’s series opener, issuing one run, four hits and three strikeouts through his first six innings. The Braves currently lead the Dodgers 12-1 in the top of the seventh inning.
As for whether the slam will affect negotiations between the Braves and Twins? MLB.com’s Mike Petriello put it best:
Athletics’ first baseman Ryon Healy had a scary moment during Friday’s loss to the Mets. Lucas Duda smacked a single to the first base side, where the ball took a high hop and caught Healy in the left temple. He crumpled to the ground after getting struck by the one-hopper, but was eventually able to stand and walk off the field with assistance from a trainer.
Prior to the injury, Healy went 2-for-3 at the plate with an RBI single in the first inning. He was replaced by Yonder Alonso, who finished off the rest of the night’s 7-5 loss with a walk in two plate appearances.
Following the game, manager Bob Melvin told reporters that Healy did not appear to have sustained a concussion as a result of the hit. Healy said he thinks he’ll be good to go for Saturday’s game, though a final decision likely won’t be made until tomorrow.