Sunday, April 22, 2007

Sunday Night Baseball: APRIL 22, 2022

Dateline: New York, NY

Alex Rodriguez, elected just this year to the Baseball Hall of Fame, responded to harsh criticism here in the Big Apple, and to the outpouring of celebration in the state of Florida, at the announcement that Rodriguez would, in fact, enter enshrinement as a Tampa Bay Devil Ray.

Rodriguez, in a press release issued yesterday, chose to ignore hateful comments of fans and media in the town where he rose to national prominence more than two decades ago with the New York Yankees.

Instead, he thanked the fans of western Florida.

"You always embraced me, accepted me," he said of the loyal fan base that averaged 16,000 per game during his six year stay in Tampa. "You never cared how I did in big games. For you, meaningless games in April were just as important to you as the post-season.

"No one [here] ever put pressure on me to perform. 2nd, 3rd, 4th place, it was all the same to you, and I'm grateful."

When asked about never appearing in a playoff or World Series with the team that paid him $37 million a year over the final five years of his career, Rodriguez responded saying, "It was the accepting attitude of [Devil Rays] fans that probably prolonged my career, allowing me to earn another $100 million. I owe them everything."

Later this year, Rodriguez will take part in a special old-timers' day in Tampa, to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the D-Rays miracle 2nd place finish behind the Boston Red Sox in 2012. A team of former Tampa Bay players, including Rodriguez, will take on a team made up of other former big leaguers who never won a World Series.

Rodriguez is best remembered for breaking Barry Bonds' all-time record for home runs in a career, shattering the old mark of 761, clubbing 833 in a career that spanned 20 seasons.

In Los Angeles, Dodgers' Vice President of Community Relations, Nomar Garciaparra, when asked for a reaction to the Rodriguez situation, told, "I'm happy for him." When pressed further, the former Dodger and Red Sox all-star elaborated.

"Well, at least I won a World Series."

In the six years since Garciaparra became eligible for induction to Cooperstown, he has fallen short of the necessary 75 percent vote from Major League Baseball sportswriters each year. The Dodger executive was the First Baseman on the 2007 Dodgers championship club.

On a related note, Barry Bonds said yesterday that his testicular cancer remains in remission. Bonds credited experimental treatments he received from a clinic just outside the southern U.S./Mexico free border town of Tecate. Bonds sought treatment there for what was originally termed a "sports-related" illness.

In January of this year, Bonds, along with acting Baseball Commissioner Billy Crystal, created the Office of Latent Disabilities to deal with the swelling numbers of former Major Leaguers who have developed health problems in the years after retirement from the sport.

In 2009, Bonds was first diagnosed with subdural, meta-non-carcinoma, now known to be prevalent in users of various synthetic growth hormones, with symptoms typically manifesting in the form of enormous cranial growth.

Coincidentally, the sale of Bonds former team, the San Francisco Giants, is expected to be ratified by Baseball's owners this coming Friday. The sale, to Mexican multi- billionaire Carlos Slim is expected to precede the move of the Giants to Mexico City before the start of the 2023 season.

A slight change in the name of the team to "Los Gigantes de Ciudad de Mexico" are still unconfirmed.

When asked to comment on the team's move, Bonds said, "I never answered any of your f...... questions before, so why should I answer any of your f...... question now?"

Bonds, when asked about the drop in the percentage of African-American players to 1.8%, the lowest since Jackie Robinson played for the Brooklyn Dodgers, said, "Jackie who?". Baseball just celebrated the 75th anniversary of Jackie Robinson's first game in the Major Leagues, breaking the color barrier.

Bonds spokesman Ed Attanasio was unavailable for comment.

Finally, National Public Radio President Ariel Vardi announced late Friday that NPR has secured the broadcast rights to all Los Gigantes de Ciudad de Mexico games beginning in 2023, and running through the 2050 season.

Carlos Slim signed the agreement in a meeting of The 100 Families, outside Mexico City, yesterday.

Slim's civic renewal program, "Traiga mi hogar de la gente" ("Bring my people home") has helped raise the minimum wage in Mexico to $12.49/hr U.S. Slim believes the Mexican economy will support a Major League team.

"The minimum wage in Mexico is three dollars higher than that of the U.S., so you tell me?"

Note: None of what you've just read is true, purports to be true, is intended to be taken as true, or will come true in this or any other lifetime, dimension or universe. All legal actions against Bill Friday,, or Nomar Garciaparra, the Los Angeles Dodgers, Ed Attanasio, NPR, all persons living, dead or undead, or anyone else in all creation are groundless insofar as, if you sue, you will prove you have no sense of humor.

Copyright © 2007 Bill Friday