Aches, pains, newfound love and the WBC

Yanks keeping an eye on Crosby
Fan Confidence Poll: March 16th, 2009

We interrupt the dog days of spring training to bring an installment of “What’s New in the World Baseball Classic?”

The World Baseball Classic is great fun when you’re not watching your own team’s players get injured. While no one has come close to the level of Luis Ayala circa 2006, this year’s World Baseball Classic has seen its fair share of injuries. The Yanks who were once playing in the tournament are no exception.

As we know, sometime on Monday — or Tuesday or Wednesday if the Yanks keep pushing this back by a day — Damaso Marte (throwing shoulder) and Robinson Cano (throwing shoulder) will head into the MRI tube for some post-WBC scans of sore muscles. While the Yanks wouldn’t really miss Marte if he were to go down, losing Cano after losing his fellow Dominican teammate Alex Rodriguez would be a huge blow. Cano, however, played on Sunday and probably isn’t hurt that badly.

Meanwhile, across baseball, other players are feeling it from the Classic. The Marlins’ Alfredo Amezaga, the Braves’ Chipper Jones and the Red Sox’s Dustin Pedroia are among the players who are out of the Classic after hurting themselves during the early rounds. For those wary of the pre-season tournament, these aches and pains are simply fuel for the anti-Classic fire.

In a way, of course, that’s a patently silly side to take. After all, Dustin Pedroia could hurt his ab during a game in Fort Myers just as easily as he could strain it playing for Team USA. While the USA team shows a little less than complete enthusiasm for the tournament, though, I see players on most of these other teams giving their all for their countries. The Dominicans, victims of an upstart and now-eliminated Netherlands team, particularly left it all on the field. At this point early in spring training, the players’ bodies just aren’t prepared for the proverbial 110 percent effort.

But that’s baseball life under Bud the Internationalist. As long as we don’t worry too much about it, the Classic makes for good baseball. The other 162 games, though, are the ones that count.

* * *

Meanwhile, in other Classic news, international tournaments make strange bedfellows. Last week, the Boston Herald reported that Derek Jeter, Dustin Pedroia and Kevin Youkilis are all new best friends following their time on the same team. Jason at IIATMS noted the nausea-inducing backslaps Jeter doled out to his two arch-rivals.

It is, of course, no secret that the fans of the Red Sox and Yankees take this rivalry far more serious than anyone on both teams not named Jason Varitek. It’s still jarring to hear Jeter speak about two key players on the team most likely to battle the Yanks for the top spots in the American League East this summer. Other bloggers aren’t so sure about the purity of these words.

Digging a little deeper into Derek’s recent statements, Jay at Fack Youk wonders if they are implied digs at Alex Rodriguez and other Yankee teammates. Jay notes a recent quote by Jeter about Team USA third baseman David Wright:

The thing with him, I respect the way he handles himself in New York. I think he shows all the right leadership skills – he leads by example and he’s not phony. What you see is what you get from him. It’s not an image he’s trying to portray; I think that’s how he is as a person.

While none of the A-Rod Outrage Clan known as the New York sports media has picked up on it, Jay sees the not-so-subtle digs in A-Rod in this quote. When A-Rod complimented Jose Reyes, it was a national emergency. When Jeter compliments A-Rod’s Mets counterpart in a way far more critical of A-Rod than Alex was of Derek, Jeter is greeted with dead silence.

And that’s life in New York with the World Baseball Classic.

Yanks keeping an eye on Crosby
Fan Confidence Poll: March 16th, 2009
  • http://www.retire21.org Mike R. – Retire 21

    “The thing with him, I respect the way he handles himself in New York. I think he shows all the right leadership skills – he leads by example and he’s not phony. What you see is what you get from him. It’s not an image he’s trying to portray; I think that’s how he is as a person.”

    That was totally a shot at Jeter.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Ben K.

      You’re doing it wrong.

      • http://www.retire21.org Mike R. – Retire 21

        That’s what she said.

        • Joey

          pwned

  • Chris

    I wish we had Jose Reyes and the Mets had Derek Jeter at this point in their careers. But I can’t say the same for Wright and A-rod.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike A.

      Really? Based purely on on-the-field stuff, I think I’d rather have Wright at this point. He’s just sooooo much younger. Factor in contracts and it’s a no brainer.

      • Tom Zig

        Can we trade A-rod and Jeter for Wright and Reyes?

        A-rod is Dominican, that should at least pique Minaya’s interest.

        • jsbrendog

          ,my friend and i have been syaing since we resigned arod “can we trade arod for wright straight up? we’ll even balance out salaries so we pay wright basically arod money and they pay arod wright money. do it cash you are worthless”

  • Rich

    The WBC should be renamed “Selig’s Follies.”

    I agree with Ben about the minimal potential impact if Marte went down, but some jerk on ESPN 1050 this afternoon, who somehow was permitted to pretend that he knows something about baseball, was fatuously claiming that Marte’s loss would be a huge blow to the Yankees, and that he didn’t want to hear about how good Bruney is. At which point, I turned off the radio to prevent any further loss of brain cells.

  • Tom Zig

    Warning shot across the bow of A-rod by Jeter.

  • John

    this is the double-standard world we live in

    • DCR

      I don’t care about Jeter saying this stuff about Pedroia. Youkilis getting buddy buddy with him pisses me off though. It seems as if Youkilis is always starting something when the Yankees play Boston.

  • Infamous

    Arod>>>>>>>>>>>>Jeter

    • Chris C.

      Arod>>>>>>>>>>>>Jeter

      I see. The cheater is better than the Jeter.

  • Memo

    Ben this is an obvious shot at Jeter. I’ve learned from friends you can’t criticize anything and put Jeter’s name in the sentence or its criticizing Jeter.

    I criticized the media about something said about Jeter and the response I got was that it wasn’t Jeter’s fault. Well I wasn’t criticizing Jeter but that’s how far up his butt some people are that they can’t see straight.

    And they are the first ones to call someone else for being some A-Rod “apologist” but I’ve come to learn that those called A-Rod apologists simply have more common sense and less double standards.

    SS for the NYY is another one of the positions where you don’t want to be the man to follow THE MAN.

  • MattG

    If I understand correctly, Rodriguez complimented Reyes on his baseball-playing ability, while Jeter appears to have gone out of his way to talk about those qualities in Wright with which Rodriguez struggles. Qualities, incidentally, that have nothing whatsoever to do with baseball.

    Can that be coincidence? I really don’t see how this can be anything but a backhanded insult of Alex Rodriguez.

    Rodriguez is a troubled, sad, screwed-up head case. Jeter just appears to be a jerk.

    • A.D.

      The one thing is we don’t have the question the reporter posed to get that quote. He also talks about how it is “coming up in NY” essentially as Jeter had to.

      • Memo

        Since when does putting thing in perspective matter? Must only apply to comments “good guys” make.

      • MattG

        Well, I was thinking, maybe if Jeter had already talked to Rodriguez about his “know who you are” philosophy, then the quote would mean something different to me. Maybe Jeter just wants to help Rodriguez figure out who he is, kind of like the NY 3B that everyone loves.

        It is still odd to be talking through the media. A lot of what Jeter does & says really strikes me as ‘selective’ leadership.

  • yankeefan91 Arod fan

    Talking about Jeter look at this guy stalking Him.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ah09Bnqijis

  • steve (different one)

    does everything HAVE to be about Jeter and A-Rod?

    we get it, Jeter misses playing with Paul O’Neill. he found an equally annoying* kindred spirit in Kevin Youkilis. he feels that the one thing that has been missing from the 2004-2008 Yankees is the temper tantrums over every called strike, the white guy anger, and the thrown batting helmets after every out.

    * “annoying” if you were not a Yankee fan. i loved O’Neill, but i could see how non-Yankee fans would see him as a bit of a crybaby douchebag.

  • A.D.

    Cano better be able to play the field. Ransom & Berroa in the same infield is ugly.

    • Joe R

      Berroa in any infield is ugly. Ransom can hold his own fine.

      • Elle

        Srsly, I was at both games this weekend and it seemed like Berroa dropped more balls than he fielded properly.

  • steve (different one)

    speaking of the A-Rod outrage brigade, i noticed how everyone on ESPN was outraged last night when admitted steroids user Brian Roberts rode in on his white horse to save Team USA when Scrappy McMidget strained his oblique!!

    oh wait, he only used them that one time!! of course we accept that at face value. but A-Rod admitting he used for 3 years and describing in detail how he took the PEDs is clearly hiding more!!!

    hey man, forgive and forget. Roberts made a mistake. GO USA!!!!

    • Steve S

      Are you some kind of terrorist? You have now challenged Dustin “I’ve donated my extra hearts to inner city youths” Pedroia and Brian “All American Hero/completely overlooked Mitchell Report Name” Roberts in order to defend A-Traitor. I sense water boarding sometime in your near future.

  • E-ROC

    *Yawn*

  • Jeremy

    If that’s the biggest knock on ARod we see from a Yankee, then there’s nothing to worry about.

    I’m surprised there isn’t more media attention focused on Jeter’s comment. I’m sure a resourceful writer could use it as yet another means to bash ARod.

    • Frank

      Coming soon I’m sure. That’s a great pickup by Jay at Fack Youk and RAB. Veeeery interesting.

      “leadership,” “phony,” “image” Those are such obvious digs at A-Rod I thought that whole quote was from The Onion. It had to be a joke!

  • YankeeScribe

    I thought ARod’s comments about Jose Reyes were taken waaaaay out of context by the NY media but for Jeter to come back with direct knocks against ARod’s character, it shows that HE(Jeter) is not the modest classy act that the NY Media wants him to be. That’s now how the team captain is supposed to carry himself…

  • dexcente

    The easy explanation for what you see as a double standard is this: A Rod is an asshole whom nobody likes. Jeter is a nice guy who gets along well with others. I know that it would be nice if everyone admired and respected people for the right reasons, i.e., for their VORP and wOBA rather than their ability to relate to their fellow human beings, but we don’t live in a perfect world.