• A-Rod’s Yappy Lappy Round Third

    Posted by on May 31st, 2007 · Comments (28)

    From the Sun Media -

    [Alex] Rodriguez….sparked a brouhaha in the ninth inning last night at the Rogers Centre when he apparently yelled “mine!” as Blue Jays third baseman Howie Clark settled under a Jorge Posada pop fly with two out.

    Thinking he was being called off by Toronto shortstop John McDonald, Clark let the routine fly fall behind him, allowing Hideki Matsui to score from second. Jason Giambi then singled up the middle to score Rodriguez and Posada, killing any chance the Jays had for a rally in the bottom of the inning.

    ….

    After the play, McDonald showered Rodriguez with some choice adjectives, while Toronto manager John Gibbons came out to ask the umpires for a ruling, thinking that the deception was a break of the interference rules, as well as bad sportsmanship.

    Turns out it wasn’t, but Gibbons was still not impressed.

    “I thought it was a bush-league play,” he said. “One thing you know about the Yankees. There’s a lot of pride there, a lot of class. But that’s not Yankee pride (and) that surprised me.”

    I figured that I should ring in on this with the official WasWatching.com take on A-Rod’s actions last night.

    In times like these, to make the call, I like to reverse the situation – and see how I would feel if this play happened to the Yankees, instead of a Yankee making the play. How would I feel if a member of the Red Sox or Mets pulled this stunt against a Yankees infielder?

    The answer to that for me is quick and simple. I would scream (no pun intended) that it’s a bush league play and that the player deserves to have a pitch stuck in his ribs the next time he steps into a batter’s box against “our” team.

    Therefore, to be fair, I have to say that A-Rod’s actions last night were bush league and he should expect to get drilled for it the next time the Yankees face the Jays.

    That said, I will tack on that this move by Alex last night, albeit bush league, was also a brilliant play on his part. Why?

    Today, without this play happening in the game last night, everyone would be talking about Rodriguez’ off the field activities. Call that total population “X.” Now, instead of “X” focusing on that, it’s “X” minus “Y” – where “Y” is the number of people who will be discussing the latest chapter in A-Rod’s bush league base running adventures.

    If you’re Alex Rodriguez, you probably would prefer to be asked about “What did you shout at Clark?” as opposed to “Is it true that you’re known as the king of the strip clubs?”

    Granted, he’s still going to be asked the latter today. But, now, it’s not just that. With his yappy base running, A-Rod has given the media something else to talk about today – just when it’s when he probably needs it the most.

    Comments on A-Rod’s Yappy Lappy Round Third

    1. Jen
      May 31st, 2007 | 10:13 am

      I have to disagree with you Steve. If the roles were reversed I’d be pissed off that a Yankee fell for one of the oldest tricks in the book. How do we know that opposing players don’t try this stunt all the time and they’re just unsuccessful?

    2. rbj
      May 31st, 2007 | 10:24 am

      I’m with Jen. If A-Rod fell for this, I’d be pissed at him. Of course, there are times when the ball is his and he doesn’t back off even when Jeter calls him off.

      And I seriously doubt Alex was thinking about the off-field extra-cirricular activites while the play was unfolding. More like “what can I do to help my team win right now.” That attitude has been sorely lacking of late.

    3. James
      May 31st, 2007 | 10:26 am

      I’m with Jen. Same thing happens to the Yanks last night and I’m embarassed. Meanwhile, the rest of baseball is laughing at A-Rod.

      As for that other story, who’s to say he and his wife don’t have an “arrangement”? They wouldn’t be the first couple to do so and I personally know it can be a fine way to deal with distance. And you know what, if they do or don’t – it’s really none of our business.

    4. May 31st, 2007 | 10:30 am

      ~~~How do we know that opposing players don’t try this stunt all the time and they’re just unsuccessful?~~~

      Did you see Torre’s reaction in the post-game? Did you see Damon’s reaction? That was telling – and it confirmed that certain things, like this, are not expected/done, at the big league level.

      Little league? High school? Sure. Not in the bigs, today. Maybe in the 1910′s…but it’s a different game today.

    5. rbj
      May 31st, 2007 | 10:37 am

      Actually Steve, as per Jen, it is illegal in high school:
      http://www.cheatersguidetobaseball.com/2007/05/03/the-trick-rainbow-play/#comments

      Not so in the majors.

    6. James
      May 31st, 2007 | 10:43 am

      Steve -

      So you’re saying the same thing happens to A-Rod in the exact same situation, and you’re mad at the runner? Not the least bit embarassed at A-Rod stupidity?

      Or you don’t think folks would be laughing at A-Rod right now?

    7. May 31st, 2007 | 10:51 am

      ~~~So you’re saying the same thing happens to A-Rod in the exact same situation, and you’re mad at the runner? Not the least bit embarassed at A-Rod stupidity?~~~

      Does it have to be one over the other? Can’t I be mad at the runner and embarrassed for the fielder?

    8. Jen
      May 31st, 2007 | 10:52 am

      Actually, in High School (not sure about Little League) verbal interference isn’t legal. I didn’t see Damon’s reaction, but I read that he smirked, which to me would suggest that he had no problem with it.

      Personally I don’t care about Torre’s reaction. This is a guy who wouldn’t bunt against Schilling and his bum ankle in Game 6 because it “wouldn’t be the right thing to do”.

      Fielders constantly deke runners. Cano does it all the time. Players on the bench yell at catchers trying to catch fly balls near their dug outs. Why is this different?

    9. James
      May 31st, 2007 | 10:58 am

      No you could mad at both, Steve. But your post is all about A-Rod. And I have a feeling if it had been the other way around you still would have placed the blame squarely on him – like “How could he fall for THAT!”

    10. May 31st, 2007 | 11:02 am

      Ah, when you assume….

    11. May 31st, 2007 | 11:05 am

      ~~~ I didn’t see Damon’s reaction, but I read that he smirked, which to me would suggest that he had no problem with it.~~~

      He did. But, it was more of a “I’m not going to touch that with a ten foot pole” look – which I take to mean he was not OK with it.

    12. #15
      May 31st, 2007 | 11:07 am

      I think the 3rd basemen was just pissed that he looked like an idiot. Is this worse than stealing signs, or giving the appeareance that you are trying to steal signs? Spreading a false rumor that a pitcher is tipping his pitches? Asking an umpire to inspect a pitcher for doctoring a ball even when you don’t think he is, or in reverse, a pitcher pretending to doctor the ball when he’s not? A catcher stepping on a bat (with his cleats) was just used to hit a homerum? An infielder faking that he caught a groundball when the ball was lined to the outfield? A catcher pounding his glove to let the batter know where he’s set up, only to shift at the last second? Pretending to lose a fly ball in the roof at Minni? Gamesmenship like this goes on at all different levels and has since the game started. A-Rod just got caught on tape. As to whether or not he’ll get drilled, that’s the other part of the game that’s gone on for ever (unless you’re Mike Mussina since joining the Yankees). Assuming it’s not in A-Rod’s ear, he simply should drop his bat and take his free pass.

    13. James
      May 31st, 2007 | 11:10 am

      Not for nothing, and assuming is problematic, but your post IS all about A-Rod. The rook also deserves “credit” and Gibbons should get off his high horse.

      Wanna fight?

    14. baileywalk
      May 31st, 2007 | 11:18 am

      One thing no one is talking about is that A-Rod got a clutch hit to tack on an extra run. The Jays didn’t even get a base runner on in the bottom of the ninth, so it’s not like that play at third changed the game.

      This is only controversial because it’s A-Rod. In his last year with the Marlins, Mike Lowell played the “hidden ball” trick TWICE (acts like he gives the ball back to pitcher, hangs on to it, and then tags out the runner when he moves off the base). And you know what? ESPN celebrated the hell out of it. How is this any different?

      Ballplayers try to fool each other all the time. If this wasn’t A-Rod, and it wasn’t the Yankees, there’s no way it would be such a big deal.

    15. May 31st, 2007 | 11:32 am

      ~~~If this wasn’t A-Rod, and it wasn’t the Yankees, there’s no way it would be such a big deal.~~~

      That’s an interesting point.

    16. May 31st, 2007 | 11:39 am

      ~~~Not for nothing, and assuming is problematic, but your post IS all about A-Rod. ~~~

      Well, it is a blog about the Yankees…

    17. RICH
      May 31st, 2007 | 12:58 pm

      You’re claiming he did this to get the other pressures on him diverted?

      Interesting take. I think it’s ridiculous but an interesting take.

      If you think that’s the case I think you’re putting too much thought into this.

    18. Don
      May 31st, 2007 | 2:21 pm

      Amazing how many Yankee fans would seemingly sell their soul to defend Alex.

      Johnny Damon thought the ‘play’ was illegal. Meaning it never happens.

      It was bush-league. No Yankee player defended the action.

      The guy it happened to said, in all his years in organized ball, first time a player did this.

      The hidden ball trick, Gene ‘Stick’ Michael was expert at this (and used it successfully any number of times as a Yankee), is not in the same category. Not even close.

    19. baileywalk
      May 31st, 2007 | 3:05 pm

      The hidden ball trick, Gene ‘Stick’ Michael was expert at this (and used it successfully any number of times as a Yankee), is not in the same category. Not even close.
      ———

      Just out of curiosity: why is it different?

    20. RICH
      May 31st, 2007 | 3:42 pm

      Don,

      Let me know what plays you think (other than this one since you’ve said so) are bush league and what plays aren’t.

    21. Raf
      May 31st, 2007 | 3:45 pm

      Just out of curiosity: why is it different?
      ========
      It was executed by a player he likes ;)

      Anyway, I really don’t see what the big deal is. IIRC the umpire didn’t call Rodriguez out for interference.

      As for it “never happening in organized ball” I’d suggest McDonald attend a few games in the city. Happens more often than you think.

      It was a deke, plain and simple. Not much different than cutting in front of a fielder when he’s trying to field a ground ball.

    22. Raf
      May 31st, 2007 | 4:24 pm

      As for memories…

      On July 10, 1977, Seattle’s Stan Thomas threw at Mike Cubbage without hitting him once. Upset that Cubbage had stolen his girlfriend five years earlier while they were in the minor leagues together, Stanton was fined on the spot by Manager Darrell Johnson.

      Weird (:

    23. Don
      May 31st, 2007 | 4:43 pm

      As no Yankee players defended the stupidity of what Alex did, it seems to make it self-explanatory. The manager did not defend it. If it were a commom play in baseball, why was there such anger over it? Because it isn’t part of the game. It was a cheap play.

      And as I posted, some of you ‘fans’ would say or do anything to defend Alex.

    24. baileywalk
      May 31st, 2007 | 5:22 pm

      Don, you said the hidden ball trick and what Alex did weren’t in the same category. I want to specifically know why. So if people generally accept something as part of baseball, it’s okay?

      In both instances, the player is deceiving someone — in one case, that he gave the ball back to the pitcher, and in the other that a teammate called for the ball.

      I have no problem that you think Alex was wrong. I just don’t understand why one play is allowed and the other is cheap.

    25. Raf
      May 31st, 2007 | 6:02 pm

      If it were a commom play in baseball, why was there such anger over it?
      ============================
      There was anger because a player was made to look stupid. Just like when Joey Cora drag bunted in the 1995 playoffs. The Yanks argued to save face, but the fact of the matter was they were caught napping.

      No Yankee player defended his action, neither called him out either.

      It was a deke. The Jays tried to get an interference call, but were unsuccessful.

      FWIW, it’s only bad sportsmanship when you lose; when you win, it’s gamesmanship.

    26. Raf
      May 31st, 2007 | 6:13 pm

      “Whatever to the Jays. You can blame ARod for trying a little league play, or you can blame Clark for falling for a little league play.” Vockins, Bronx Banter

    27. snowball003
      May 31st, 2007 | 10:18 pm

      I didn’t see the game, so all the news of this play I’m getting is from here and from the articles on yankees.com. I don’t know that it’s such a bad thing. I’m agreeing with Jen, I think. I thought about if I’d be pissed at someone on a team playing against the Yankees–and I think I realized I’d be more pissed at whatever Yankee fell for it. Fans yell “I got it” all the time. Everyone yells all the time. Do what you get paid for and catch the ball.

    28. June 2nd, 2007 | 8:36 am

      Well, now Torre agrees that it was a bad move by A-Rod:

      http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=2890628

      Torre said he spoke with Rodriguez after the game.

      “It’s probably something he shouldn’t have done,” Torre said. “I don’t sense he’s going to do it again.”

      Torre didn’t explicitly tell Rodriguez not to do it, and Rodriguez didn’t say he wouldn’t, according to the manager, but it was clear to Torre there will be no repeat. A-Rod wasn’t available to reporters before the game.

      “When you know somebody, you sort of have a conversation and it’s what you get out of it,” Torre said. “I think he was probably uncomfortable with” the reaction.

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