Last week Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz came to the defense of Alex Rodriguez in the wake of the Ryan Dempster plunking on Sunday Night Baseball. If an ESPN confidential player poll is to be believed, Ortiz isn’t alone in the pro-Rodriguez camp. ESPN the Magazine interviewed 36 current MLB pitchers anoymously and asked them if they wanted to bean A-Rod?
Their answer: 100 percent no.
When asked point-blank “Do you want to bean Alex Rodriguez?” not a single player answered yes. In a followup question about risking an ejection to make a statement, only one pitcher said hitting A-Rod would be worth getting tossed. In fact, several went out of their way to condemn Dempster. “That was just bush-league baseball,” said one veteran star.
About a month after the Biogenesis case came to a head, it’s safe to say baseball and Bud Selig swung and missed on A-Rod. For all the saber rattling about suspending Rodriguez for life, all they ended up doing was giving him 211 games, which he is appealing and in the process help the Yankees make a run at the Wild Card.
Rodriguez homered again last night to give him 651 for his career. He’s now only nine behind Willie Mays for fourth-place all-time.
On top of that, the public sentiment seems — somehow — to be swinging in A-Rod’s favor as he was singled out by baseball and attacked venomously in the press by his own team.
Well done, Bud. Well done.