When Alex Rodriguez agreed to move to 3rd base, he knew he might get hit with some baseballs - they do call it the hot corner after all. Little did he know, he would get hit with a thrown ball. Last night, in an exhibition game against the Red Sox, A-Rod was hit with a ball that was - follow the bouncing ball here - thrown by outfielder Hideki Matsui, ricocheted off the right ankle of a sliding Brian Daubach, and smacked him in the left cheek. Hearts within "evil empire" skipped a beat, but Rodriguez was diagnosed with a bruised cheekbone. A-Rod said this won't affect his plans to travel to Japan for the Yankees opening series against the Devil Rays (check out Kristen's suggestions for what the Yankees should do on the long plane ride to Japan).
In a multi-part series, the Daily News delves into everything
Pay-Rod A-Rod. The first article covers Rodriguez's life before and outside of the Majors. From his birth in Washington Heights, to the sports he played in high school, to the generosity he exhibits off the field. The article mentions how Rodriguez is aware of the microscope he is now under and how he is more wary and self-protective. Other than that, it's a big A-Rod love fest!
The second article discusses A-Rod's place in baseball history. Rodriguez is already compared to baseball greats Ruth, Mays, Mantle, Gehrig, DiMaggio, and Aaron. The Daily News contends that the only legend that A-Rod can be compared with is Willie Mays, who is often considered the best player in baseball by old-timers. At 28, Rodriguez seems poised to become the best player in baseball history. He has all the tools: he hits for power, 40+ homers in 6 straight seasons; he hits for average, .308 career average, good for 11th best among active players; he has a 4.43 range factor, less than Ozzie Smith's career average of 5.03 but greater than Derek Jeter's 4.00 range factor; his career fielding percentage is .977, Smith's is .978; he has speed, with a 40-40 season in 1998. With all these tools, can Alex Rodriguez succeed on a bigger stage and at a new position?
The third, and final, article on A-Rod examines the business side of the signing. Just signing A-Rod has increased ticket sales, with a record-setting attendance record a possibility. Last year, the Yankees had a franchise record 3.4 million people attend their games, but with Rodriguez, 3.8-4 million is a possibility (all that for a team that hasn't won the World Series since 2000). The attendance alone would result in $18-23 million more in revenue. In addition to that, A-Rod on the Yankees affects all of baseball. From the TV contracts, to advertising, to revenue sharing, every team is impacted financially, including the Red Sox. Maybe A-Rod's nickname really should be Pay-Rod.
Not to be outdone, MLB.com also has a Q & A session with A-Rod.
Some facts about Alex Rodriguez from the Daily News and MLB.com:
Born: July 27, 1975, New York, N.Y.
2004 Yankee salary: $16 million
Status: Married wife Cynthia on Nov. 2, 2002 in Dallas
Favorite N.Y. restaurant: Nello's
Favorite baseball team growing up: Mets
Favorite movie: Wall Street
Favorite baseball player: Cal Ripken Jr.
Favorite non-baseball movie: Wall Street
Five CDs for road trips: Frank Sinatra, Puffy, Mase, Jay-Z and Madonna
Best player you have ever played with: Ken Griffey Jr. He was electric. It was like watching Michelangelo in the outfield.
Favorite ballpark to play in: Yankee Stadium and Fenway Park