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The Dark Knight Rises: The Return of Alex Rodriguez

a-rod-hit-his-first-home-run-of-the-year-and-now-yankees-fans-love-himForget about Matt Harvey. The Real “Dark Knight” of Gotham is Alex Rodriguez.

His story parallels the the last three Christian Bale Batman movies. Seriously think about it…

A-Rod saves the city in 2009 and delivers a world championship. Early on, Batman saves Gotham from the Scarecrow

A-Rod makes a few mistakes for PEDs, becomes the face of the steroid epidemic, and Commissioner Selig tells him to go away for a while. Batman takes the blame for Harvey Dent’s death and Commissioner Gordon tells him to go away for a while.

A-Rod works through his suspension, multiple injuries, and what seems to basically be depression as the Yankees crumble. Batman comes back from multiple injuries and his literal prison of despair to again help fight the injustice that has overtaken Gotham. A-Rod, like Batman in the third and final act, may not be as young as he once was, but he still has something left to prove to a lot of people.

There are more parallels for this story than just A-Rod being Batman.

Derek Jeter is obviously Harvey Dent. The White Knight of Gotham who saved the Yankees from the depths of nothing to bring them back to glory and restore sanity to the city. Alex Rodriguez accepted his suspension not only to sort out his own life, but to also not take away from Jeter’s last season. Jeter (Dent) gets all of the glory while Rodriguez sits in the shadows and waits until the city needs him again. I could totally see Jeter being nice in the spotlight and a total dick outside of Yankee Stadium…you know…kinda…what’s the word I’m looking for here? Oh yeah. Two-Faced.

David Ortiz is Bane. They are both roided out monsters who just mash things…well to be specific, Ortiz mashes baseballs and Bane mashes faces. Gotham hates both of them and they’ve done a lot to take the city down, whether it be by a Red Sox Championship or threatening to nuke the entire city. To be honest I’m not sure which is worse.

Madonna is Catwoman here. The woman that A-Rod has had, and I’m sure he wants again. He’ll end up in a small cafe somewhere with her as Joe Torre looks on knowingly. She may be 100 years old but she sure is still pretty damn flexible.

Yes, Joe Torre is Alfred. He was there for A-Rod during his early battles against the BoSox, and was his handler until he left in 2007. He was the older, wiser man in A-Rod’s life. Sure Torre batted him 8th against Verlander in 2006, but Alfred wasn’t always nice to Batman either. Torre has remained a part of the MLB and A-Rod’s life as the Executive VP of Baseball Operations. I’m not really sure what he does, but then again he may not either.

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Hold my calls...it's naptime

Bud Selig plays he role of Commisoner Gordon here. He knows that steroids and A-Rod make the game better and more profitable, but he has to save face. Commissioner Gordon knows the city is better with Batman but he needs to save face as well. I really hate Selig and really like Gordon so this comparison really hurt to write.

We’ll soon find out if like Batman, A-Rod returns to glory and ends up getting his own statue in monument park. (Every other player seems to get one) Only time will tell if he’s ready to sacrifice himself for his fans, and this city.

If he is, then we can finally say:

Alex Rodriguez is back. The Dark Knight Rises.

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How Bout Them Yanks? Part One

We’ve made it through a month of baseball so far and it’s already felt like a small roller coaster. I’m living and dying with each pitch and it’s not October yet so I’m pretty much screwed. For any Mets fans out there, October is the month where the good teams get to keep playing.

Here are my thoughts on some members of the Yankees roster:

Alfonso Soriano- Can he never play RF again? That would be great thank you. Also if you throw him anything but a breaking ball away you should be sent back to AAA.

John Ryan Murphy- DON’T YOU EVER CALL HIM “JR” AGAIN. Only going by his proper two first names within a name. It’s what people down south like to do I guess.

Hiroki Kuroda- Kuroda is so old, he plays for the Yankees.

Yangervis Solarte- The Venezuelan Roy Hobbs, just minus the power, wonderboy bat, gunshot wound, Robert Duvall following him around, and a secretive past that’s only known by a woman in Chicago. There goes Solarte, the best there ever was for those few days in April.

Derek Jeter- PLEASE DON’T GO I DON’T REMEMBER WHAT BASEBALL WAS LIKE BEFORE YOU I REALLY DON’T WANT BRENDAN RYAN AS OUR STARTING SS. I’LL DO WHATEVER YOU WANT JUST PLEASE DON’T GO YET UNLESS WE TRADE FOR TULOWITSKI THEN YOU CAN GO IT’LL BE FINE.

 

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A-Rod and Randy

Not many sports fans would frequent the pages of NY Mag in order to find the latest news on happenings in the world of the Yankees front office. Many major signings, promotions, demotions, injuries – I think you get the point – go
un-noted by the publication and I don’t think anyone is surprised by that; it’s not really their forte.

However once in a blue moon an event so ridiculous comes to fruition that even those with modest, if not non-existent, ties to sports need to publish “news”. Such is the case with a slew of email exchanges between Yankees President, Randy Levine, and perennial whipping boy and Yankee “slugger” – some childhood nickname I assume – Alex Rodriguez. Most of the exchanges are ego-boosting shots by Randy in order to encourage Alex to “step up” and to let him know how awe-stuck he, Randy Levine, is of the one-time best player in baseball.

Here are a few of my favorites:

May 17, 2011 
Rodriguez hits two home runs, leading the team to a win over Tampa Bay.

Levine: Way to go, welcome back … enjoy start of a roll.
Rodriguez: Yessir!! Our team needs me to hit and lead us.
Levine: U are the man. I told u that for years. U can and will do it.

May 21, 2012
The Yanks are shut out by the Royals.

Levine: My friend, I have always believed that in difficult times there r two ways to go. The easy way, which is to make excuses, be defensive, or blame others and shut it down. The better way is to take the challenge, get mad, get determined, and shut everyone up and perform to greater levels. I believe in u. I believe u will hit those levels. It has been a tough year in injuries, tough losses, underperformance, but we need a leader, that is you. Take the lead, get these guys going, put a chip on your shoulder. When u succeed it will be Yankees lore. There is nothing more powerful than that. I am here to support u. Tell us what u need.
Rodriguez: You are 100% correct. This is no time for blame or excuses. Is time for me to be a leader and rally the troops. I feel if I perform at a high level, put a chip on my shoulder and lead the way, then my mates will follow my lead. Is not how you start, but how you finish. Let’s get it going tonight. Thanks for the support and stay in touch.

September 22, 2012
Rodriguez gets two key hits in a fourteen-inning victory that keeps the Yankees in first place. The chip on the shoulder the two have spoken about has become a nickname: Chip.

Levine: Way to go best win of year. U had walkoff mesa nerves. U stepped up do it tomorrow. Chip. Proud of u.
Rodriguez: Huge win. … Very nervous. Need to win tomorrow. Chip
Levine: That’s what leaders do.

Clearly these excerpts are just bantering between a man who helped to broker the mega deal that the Yankees gave to A-Rod that has been, and will continue to be, the most debated and controversial contract in baseball history.

Between the simple pat on the back emails and the consistent pep-talks where he calls A-Rod the leader – we all know how much A-Rod wanted that to be true despite the challenges of getting over on a New York crowd that is in love with Jeter and Mariano – Levine makes some off-mark comments about Robinson Cano and steroids that probably don’t bode to well considering A-Rods long history with P.E.D.s

July 30, 2012
Rodriguez is out with an injury, having fractured his hand five days earlier when hit by a pitch. Levine makes a reference to performance-enhancing drugs that he later refers to as a “bad joke.”

Levine: How r u feeing since u left Robby [Cano] under 200, he needs some steroids fast!

August 21, 2012
With A-Rod still out, Levine again makes a possibly comic drug reference.

Levine: Hey, what’s up with Robby. This guy must not be using the liquid. U didn’t tell me what did Chris and Steve say your ETA is. Don’t rush it unless u r right. We need you. Nova looks like he may need a breather. What do u see.

Of course it could be some kind of weird inside joke that A-Rod desperately wanted to be a part of, but it’s probably something much more serious than that, especially given A-Rod’s ties to the Biogenesis mishaps and being accused as a ringleader for former Yankee players who tested positive.

Levine has been known to say some pretty dumb things and these is no different. Just weeks ago when Cano signed with the Mariners he slammed the former 2b and then went on to make remarks about signing Mike Trout which then, of course, sparked an investigation by the MLB into what those comments actually made. With the giant black eye A-Rod has put on the game of baseball I’m sure these emails won’t do him any favors during the current arbitration hearings on the suspension that was handed down to him. Maybe Randy should think about what he puts in writing before just spewing off poison that really at the end of the day doesn’t do anything for anyone.

Read the full write up here on NYMag.com.

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Choo Choo

The Yankees have done it again, pitching a wildly obnoxious contract to a player that they already signed in Ellsbury. Don’t get me wrong I like the upside of Shin-Soo Choo, but I’m not excited about the $140 million the Yanks were ready to toss at him when he is a 31-year old player that they would only get the last three years of his peak out of him. I’m happy they are willing to spend – not really, but fuck it…for the sake of argument – they are positioning themselves to be a team that wants to catapult themselves to the top of the AL East standings, a formidable division that did, in fact, feature the World Series champs of 2013. And they really have made some interesting moves that will help them make their way to one of the top offenses in the MLB.

It’s great to have a strong, dangerous lineup to trot out every game with, almost, every position hosting a player that could be an all-star. I’m excited at the prospect of every at-bat being a home run, with every pitch a stolen base and every game a victory. This Yankee lineup has the potential to win over 100 games and I truly believe that.

The only issue is that if you’re going to score 10 runs a game, you can’t give up 11. WHERE THE FUCK IS THE ROTATION HELP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Holy shit these guys want to throw money at long term contracts and for only hitters but now they don’t want to try and spend money to get pitchers. I would’ve even taken fucking Scott Feldman! Really though, the Yankees worked last year with 2 1/2 pitchers. The only consistent one was Kuroda, who, despite an incredible start, fell apart at the end of the year. CC was a complete mess – side note: I think he will have a bounce back year – and the rest of the rotation could barely hang on, although Pettitte was a very serviceable pitcher, he wasn’t the answer to the ultimate question of “where is the pitching on this team?”

So please, Yankees, please keep throwing money away on bats that are getting older. Please make sure you fill the seats with marquee names. Please don’t worry about the wins because we certainly don’t need them. And, finally, please make sure not to deal Gardner now so that we are stuck dealing him in the middle of the season so we can end up with Edison Volquez.

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Ellsburied?

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You know when a “bro” walks into a bar and is wearing a new Affliction shirt and everyone goes to him and is like “woah. That tribal is amazing!!!!” and he starts to smile and shit, and when I say shit I mean he shits his pants because he has the mental capacity of a small child with diarrhea, that’s kind of what I feel like signing Ellsbury is like. A quick jab to the mouth of the Red Sox who just won a World Series, a permanent black eye to the club who loved Ellsbury and his passion for the game, in other words, this is Johnny Damon all over again.
Not many people can argue Johnny’s performance when he was with the Yankees, he infused some much needed fun into the club house and pretty much performed at the level we expected a mid-level outfielder with the throwing capability of a cat smacking a ball on the ground to perform at. My feeling is that we are getting the same thing with Jacoby Ellsbury, a 30 year old – HOLY SHIT THIS GUY LOOKS YOUNG – outfielder with speed, power (read: moderate) and range that will make him a gold glover in a much more friendly Yankee Stadium center field. His consistent play with the Red Sox proves that he is a great player who got the money he definitely didn’t deserve, but we are talking about the Yankees who paid an aging catcher about 75 million more than he should’ve got.
The future of the Yankees is bright, as long as you consider bright to be the light at the end of the proverbial tunnel we all see when we die of old age at a nursing home. Some interesting free agent signings show the Yankees are dead-set on spending much more money than they should to attract talent that may not necessarily be needed.  Kelly Johnson is an interesting signing especially considering he is replacing a player who barely produces anything at 2b, Jayson Nix.
Losing Cano is going to hurt, that is for sure, and hopefully he goes the way of Jesus Montero and completely falls apart playing for a ball club that inexplicably has more money than the Astros and A’s combined. Truth be told the signings of Ellsbury and McCann are interesting ones that can help the Yankees sustain the inevitable collapse coming in 4 years. Both are strong willed players who have all-star potential while also being able to stay on the DL for long stretches of time, so that’s awesome, especially given the current state where 4 major players were sidelined for most of the 2013 campaign.
Ellsbury and McCann are the Band-Aid the Yankees don’t need right now, a couple of bad years while bolstering their much depleted farm system is really what they needed, but what do I know I’m writing for a website dedicated to Hank Steinbrenner, who may not actually be related to the family. It’s going to be an interesting year for the Yankees and I’m looking forward to “Bald Vinny” sucking Ellsbury’s Jacoby – a new word for dick – when he trots out to center field during roll-call and is immediately taken out of the game after two pitches when he goes to stretch his leg and his hamstring snaps.
-Rob

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Hank’s Off-season Wish List

We all know who the average Yankee fan wants to sign: Everyone

We all know who Brian Cashman and Hal Steinbrenner want to sign: Anyone who keeps them under 189 million dollars

That’s fine and dandy, but in order for the Yankees to get number 28 and restore the universe to order there’s only one man who’s opinion really matters:

Hank Steinbrenner

Hank has had a muzzle put on him since 2009, when he declared that the “National League had better get with the program” after Chien-Ming Wang got hurt running the bases…so he obviously knows what he’s talking about. Here’s a list of potential Yankee Targets and what Hank thinks about them

Robinson Cano– 300 million? Money is no object. Hell, lets make it a cool 400 million.

Jacoby Ellsbury– Red Sox Nation is a bunch of bullshit. He can take his scruffy little pre-pubescent beard somewhere else. he’s no Johnny Damon

Brian McCann– Warrior. We’ll need him to yell at opposing batters after CC gets taken deep

Shin-Soo Choo– HA! Like that’s even a real person. Nobody is stupid enough to believe that name. You’ll have to do better to outsmart me..I’m a Steinbrenner. We don’t believe in laughter. Not unless you play winning baseball. Then laughing is allowed.

Carlos Beltran– Guy is a winner. He is a 5 tool player. A game-changer. One of the best in the business. I base all of my opinions off of ten year old scouting reports.

Masahiro Tanaka– he’s not related to that fat toad Hideki Irabu right? What about that sunglasses wearing punk Kei Igawa? Ok good. I’ve got plenty of yen to spend. Drawers full of yen. Just no sunglasses allowed on the mound.

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Thanks for the Memories Mo

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Thursday night I had the privilege of seeing the career of the great Mariano Rivera come to a close. I say privileged because Rivera is truly one of baseball’s great people. I was trying to write an article on how it was moving,  epic, or amazing, but honestly words cannot even come close to describing the feeling I had seeing him go.

I’ve been watching baseball as long as I can remember. My first MLB memory is coming out of the tunnel and seeing the green grass of Yankee Stadium as a 6 year old kid. The first full season I can somewhat remember is 1995, which was Mariano’s first season; point being, I’ve grown up watching Mariano.

Yankee fans my age have been spoiled rotten. We’ve had a baseball-less October two times since 1994, seen five World Series wins, seven pennants, and countless AL East Division Titles. The Yankee way of considering a season to be a unsuccessful one if there’s no parade down the Canyon of Heroes is ingrained in our baseball DNA, and Rivera is a part of all of that.

There was a brief moment in his final game, when Mo took mound again to warm up before the ninth inning, where the crowd died down to a hushed tone. It was as if 50,000 people all had the same thought of “this is the last time Mariano will ever be on this mound.” It was the saddest feeling I’ve ever felt watching a baseball game. Even the feeling of seeing my last game in the old Yankee Stadium (I loved that place) pales in comparison to Mariano’s night.

Lucky. Honored. Privileged. All words I can use to describe watching Rivera work his craft for his entire career. We will never see another player like him.

NY Daily News

I’m not going to try to sum up his career in a sentence, a paragraph, or even a novel. It can’t be done.

All I can say is:

Thanks for the memories Mo.

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