"We have a young and talented team one we expect to be in playoff contention for several more years," said Rangers team president Nolan Ryan. "And the Yankees are a perennial playoff team that we will likely face again. So it makes sense to keep Alex Rodriguez on our side."
Rodriguez broke through last year with a great postseason performance as the Yankees won the World Series, but Ryan is happy to see he remembers who is paying his salary.
"People criticize Alex a lot," said Ryan. "But this series he has showed he is a man of honor and integrity. For the amount of money we're paying him, it's only right that he's doing absolutely nothing to help the Yankees beat us. He's a good man."
Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez showed up today for the first day of baseball since the All-Star break sporting a snappy new outfit he admitted he hoped would catch the eye of the rest of the players on the team.
"Hey, we haven't seen each other in a while and I wanted to make a good impression and show them that I became even more stylish and sophisticated over the break," he said. "I think it worked. I think they realized there's a new Alex."
But Rodriguez wasn't the only Yankees player to report with a new look. Derek Jeter had an expensive new outfit, Jorge Posada showed up with a brand new bat bag and Nick Swisher was sporting a new haircut. Closer Mariano Rivera looked the most different, however, taking on a goth look.
"So much happened to me over the All-Star break," said Rivera. "Like, you don't even know. I don't even know if I'm going to stay in baseball. I might quit and focus on my music."
Yankees manager Joe Girardi says the Yankees are no different than any other baseball team.
"They're very insecure, yet at the same time incredibly egotistical," said Girardi. "I'd say their maturity is around that of a 10th grade boy."
Yankees reliever Joba Chamberlain showed up in a dirty, wrinkled shirt and clearly hadn't showered in several days. He had to be sent home to change.
"Poor kid comes from a terrible background," said Girardi. "And he doesn't have any money. But there are standards we expect everyone on the team to meet. Basic hygiene."
After an 0-for-4 game at the plate against the Mets on Sunday, star Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez saw his career batting average dip to .165 during games your friend Steve is watching.
“I think it’s .165. Might be a little less. It’s at least something sucky like that,” says Steve. “You know, I don’t know why people talk about A-Rod being so great. He never does dick when I see him play.”
In addition to possibly hitting around .165 in the 15 or so Yankees games Steve has seen on the YES Network or in-person over the past few years, Rodriguez only has four, maybe five home runs.
"Yeah, he’s hit a few,” says Steve. “But that’s in close to 100 plate appearances. And to my recollection, not a single one of them meant anything. They were all pointless home runs that came with a big lead or the Yankees trailing by a bunch.”
Steve admits seeing Rodriguez hit pretty well in the playoffs last year.
“But the games I saw, their pitchers grooved it right down the middle of the plate,” says Steve. “I could have hit those pitches out. My grandmother could have hit them out. A-Rod putting that one over the fence was just the exception that proves the rule, you know? I’ll start giving him some credit when he hits a walk-off at every game I see. For $25 million a year, he should be doing that. At the very least.”
Despite A-Rod’s peculiar struggles while your friend Steve is watching, Steve says he isn’t giving up on the Yankees.
“A-Rod is just lucky that Derek Jeter is hitting, like, .875 when I watch him,” says Steve. “That dude is money.”
There are two things we have learned so far in the World Series:
2) The Phillies have no idea how to pitch to this half-man, half-beast.
Rodriguez's 10 plate appearances in the last two games both Yankee wins have resulted in the following: HBP, home run, line out, HBP, walk, HBP, fly out, fly out, strike-out, game-winning double.
Clearly the Phillies need help. Lucky for them I know baseball. And I also know centaurs. So here are my:
Keys to Pitching to CentauRod
1. Exploit his massive strike zone. The strike zone in baseball is from the batter's knees up to the letters across the front of his jersey. On a centaur, that's about six to seven feet. Even a mythical being can't protect an area that big at the plate.
2. Distract him. In Greek mythology, centaurs are depicted as wild creatures enslaved to their unbridled passions. CentauRod is no different. The Phillies and their fans must distract him at the plate with athletic she-males, feed bags full of steroids, and mirrors.
3. Refer to the rule book. This may seem like a cheap way to win, but you're not the team putting a centaur in the lineup. First off, there has to be some sort of uniform violation with CentauRod. Second, weapons such as a bow-and-arrow are not allowed on the field during play. And, third, there's no way CentauRod is keeping all four of his legs in the batter's box. It's impossible.
4. Destroy his confidence in the field. If you can mess CentauRod up on the field, he'll lose some confidence at the plate. That's why the Phillies need to bunt down the third base line at him over and over and over. It's really hard for centaurs to bend down with their horse knees to pick up the ball. Of course, CentauRod may just pick the ball up with a spear. But then you just go back to the rule book violation.
5. If you're going to hit him, hit him in the right place. CentauRod has been hit with pitches three times in the last two games. That's not a problem. The problem is that the Phillies keep hitting him in the upper body. They need to hit him in the legs. Leg injuries are often fatal for horses. Centaurs are no different. A hard fastball just above the hoof should result in CentauRod getting slaughtered like Barbaro. Then who are the Yankees going to be stuck playing at third Jerry Hairston, Jr.? Ha! He's no centaur. He's a nymph. Advantage: Phillies.
Following an Alex Rodriguez home run in the bottom of the 11th inning on an 0-2 count that tied the game, Game 2 of the ALCS between the Yankees and Angels was halted so Rodriguez could be honored in a special ceremony at home plate for achieving the status of "true Yankee."
"This is the biggest honor any player in baseball can ever hope to achieve," said a tearful Rodriguez, as he was informed of his new designation at a home plate ceremony by commissioner Bud Selig. Existing "true Yankees" lined up to shake Rodriguez's hand, while members of the Angels stood off to the side and respectfully applauded, some taking pictures.
Rodriguez's blast was his third game-tying home run in the seventh inning or later this postseason. The accomplishment was enough to earn the status of "true Yankee," including all the rights and privileges according a true Yankee. Rodriguez will now have dinner and drinks comped within the New York metropolitan area for the rest of his life, passersby will stop referring to him as a "choker," "douchebag," or "overpaid, lipstick-wearing queer," the New York Post will cease publishing mocking headlines, and he will carry himself with a general sense of awesomeness.
Many Yankees greats were on hand or the ceremony, including Hall of Famers, as well as extremely true Yankees like Scott Brosius and Paul O'Neill.
"To have my name uttered in the same sentence as someone like Scott Brosius," said Rodriguez after the game, "well it's pretty special. This is the kind of thing you dream about as a baseball player."
Yankee captain Derek Jeter said he is glad to welcome another member to the true Yankee club.
"Being a true Yankee isn't about stats, it's about some sort of indefinable criteria dreamt up by our fans and the media," he said. "And Alex has finally fully met those requirements, whatever they might be."
Rodriguez says he will not take the responsibility lightly.
"To whom much is given, much is expected," he said. "The great and true Yankee Luis Sojo taught me that."
Despite being in a happy relationship with actress Kate Hudson, Yankees star Alex Rodriguez admits he struggles not to fantasize about Hudson's 54-year-old mother, actress Goldie Hawn, who Rodriguez calls "more my type physically."
Rodriguez says he finds Hawn to be "as delectable as Madonna, only more aged to perfection." Yet he says he has a good thing going with Hudson and doesn't want his lust for her mother to get in the way of that.
"Kate is only 30. Her breasts are still perky. Her ass hasn't dropped yet. She doesn't have a paunch around her waist. No gray hair. No plastic surgery yet. No smell of medicine," said Rodriguez. "But I can't hold that against here. Someday she'll have all that and hopefully more."
And it's that mind towards the future that Rodriguez wants to maintain.
"I want to find a life partner," he said. "So I need to stop being attracted to people who will die 20 years before me."
Hudson says she is willing to be patient.
"Every girl wants her boyfriend or husband to like her mother," said Hudson. "Not to the point that he wants to sleep with her and gets handsy and has an erection every time he's near her. But Alex will work through that. And as I tell him: 'Hey, I'm not getting any younger.'"
In time, Rodriguez hopes to stop calling out 'I'm going for the Goldie!' during lovemaking and says he will no longer ask Hudson to go without makeup or get massive amounts of collagen injected into her face.
"A strong relationship is about compromise," he said, "and if that means I can't hook up with Goldie Hawn, I'll have to deal with that."
Still, though, Rodriguez says he has a lot of time to daydream when the Yankees aren't playing.
"So maybe I go over to her house for Thanksgiving," says Rodriguez, "and something is undercooked that only Kate eats, so she gets food-poisoning and goes to bed. And then Kurt Russell has a film shoot, so it's just me and Goldie awake. And we get to talking and I ask her to show me her new lips, and she says 'Which ones?' And then one thing leads to another and before you know it, I have sex with a near-elderly actress. How awesome would that be?"
Alex Rodriguez crushed a grand slam home run into the upper deck last night before a capacity crowd at Yankee Stadium, but later that inning his feat was quickly upstaged when teammate Derek Jeter hit baseball's first-ever five-run homer.
Jeter's blast flew clean out of the stadium and hit the facing of a highrise several block away. On impact the ball hit a downspout, breaking it open and freeing an adorable puppy that had been trapped inside.
"It's tough playing on the same team as Derek sometimes," said a noticeably disappointed Rodriguez. "He always manages to grab the spotlight. That's okay, though. Part of me just wants to win."
Jeter's blast also came in the bottom of the sixth inning during a little-known Yankees charity sponsorship that donates $1 million to youth organizations should a Yankees player be the second to hit a four (or more) run home run in the sixth inning.
"I'm going to eat tonight because of Derek Jeter," said one homeless child. "Derek Jeter saved my life."
But Jeter, ever the team player, was sure to credit Rodriguez.
"If he hadn't hit that four-run homer first, my five-run homer wouldn't have meant anything for charity," said the Yankee captain. "It still would have been unbelievably awesome, just not as unbelievably awesome."
Both Yankees stars received standing ovations from the crowd for their home runs, but Jeter's compelled all of the fans in handicapped seating to stand and applaud, as well.
"Derek Jeter gave me the use of my arms and legs," cried one fan who has been paralyzed since birth. "He is a wonderful man and, more important, a true Yankee!"
Rodriguez says he is just happy to have done his part to get the win and knows there are more important things in life than fan adoration.
"I'm just enjoying life and enjoying my relationship with my beautiful girlfriend, Kate Hudson," Rodriguez said, holding Hudson's hand as Jeter motorboated Minka Kelly a few steps behind him.