Craig Calcaterra

alex rodriguez head

Suzyn Waldman on A-Rod: “I find him impossible to dislike”

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Yankees radio broadcaster Suzyn Waldman spoke to Bob Raissman of the Daily News about Alex Rodriguez. Your mileage may vary on her baseball analysis, but she nails the A-Rod analysis pretty spot-on:

“I find him impossible to dislike,” Waldman, the Yankees radio analyst, told me during a telephone conversation. “I’m not defending him. I think what he did was stupid more than anything else. I know he’s lied. He’s made every wrong decision. He says things and does things and you just want to say ‘Why?’ I also know you can’t go wrong for dumping on Alex. This is what its become. What’s he supposed to do?”

What’s he supposed to do? Don’t you read the papers, Suzyn? Exile to the Yukon is his only option. — Wait, what’s that? Oh, sorry. I’ve just been told that he can’t do that either, as he’d be all alone there, “making it all about him.”  So no, I have no idea what he should do either.

Jayson Werth on jail: “It’s not something that was fun. It’s not a destination you would choose.”

Jayson Werth
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Jayson Werth recently served some time in the pokey for reckless driving (they’re serious about that in Northern Virginia). He spoke with Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post about his experience:

“It’s a time in my life that I’m glad it’s behind me . . . I’ve learned my lesson. I don’t recommend the experience I had to anyone, really. It’s not something that was fun. It’s not a destination you would choose.”

It is a destination, however, which has caused Werth to want to focus more on being a good citizen. He tells Kilgore, “I don’t want to be looked at as some renegade in the community . . . I live here.” And he has made good on that, substantially ramping up his charitable work both before and after he served his five days in jail. And no, there was no ulterior motive there. It was after he was sentenced. He seems to really want to do some good.

That’s admirable, as is his vow to be more respectful of the laws. But, at the same time, one wonders if he actually understands how dangerous it is to drive 105 m.p.h. on an urban freeway:

“On some level, in our society, people want you to be sorry — say sorry and apologize — that sort of thing,” Werth said. “I would think that I’m sorry if I let anybody down. But I don’t feel like I put anybody in danger.”

The baseball media just spent two days picking apart Alex Rodriguez’s apology. Any of those folks want to take a crack at this one? Anyone?

Oh well. Good for Werth for doing his time and trying to turn it into a good. And good for Kilgore for getting what is truly an interesting story out of it. A good read. Go check it out.

I may need a disguise when I visit Giants camp this spring training

Bruce Bochy
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source: Getty Images
Bruce Bochy

I’m going to Arizona for spring training the second week of March. I think I may need a bodyguard if I go to Giants camp in Scottsdale, though. All of these tweets are from last night:

For the record, here is the handsome manager list again. I feel like, after all of this, Bochy should move up the list next year based on his sense of humor alone. A good sense of humor is extremely attractive.

Get well soon, Boch. Not that you need to be at 100% strength to pound my scrawny butt into goo if you choose too and like I deserve, but still.

Mike Scioscia says he’s leaning toward batting Mike Trout second

Mike Trout
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Mike Trout

The old school book was that you want your second hitter to be a bat control guy. Someone who can hit the ball the other way or bunt when need be.

The new school book is that your second hitter should probably be your best hitter. Your absolute best. That’s because, statistically speaking, he comes up in just as many high-leverage situations as your three hitter or cleanup guy, but gets more overall at bats. Not a ton of teams are doing that yet, but a couple are. And now Mike Scioscia is thinking of doing that too:

I wonder if Scioscia’s view on this is because of that new school thinking — and the clear realization that Mike Trout is his best hitter — or if it’s for some other reason. Such as, say, his desire to see Trout to cut down on strikeouts and the belief that forcing him to hit the ball the other way or (gasp!) bunt once in a while may do that.

Old Mike Scioscia Old School jokes aside, the guy has done a much better job in recent years adapting to who his personnel is and not asking them to do things they’re not comfortable doing, so I highly doubt he’s going to turn the reigning MVP into a bunter. But it will be interesting to see if Trout’s power stroke is curtailed in any way if he does bat second. Or — if Angels fans are lucky — some sweet spot is reached where the power stays big but the strikeouts go down regardless.

Danny Espinosa’s mustache is in The Best Shape — no, not really. It’s hideous.

Espinosa_Danny
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I’m not sure when it became a thing to say all mustaches were cool, but that’s sort of where we are now. But it’s just a lie told to you by Big Mustache. They’re not all cool. Some are. Most aren’t. Especially those which are trying too damn hard.

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Danny Espinsoa:

 

Fitting that this is Espinosa. Because I’m really not impressed.