Every day from here to there,
funny things are everywhere.
Manny Ramirez exited, stage left (pursued by a bear?), last week, banished for 50 games for testing positive for a banned substance. Naturally, the next day A-Rod makes his 2009 debut and hits the first pitch he sees for a three-run homerun. A-Rod, at this point, is a complete cartoon character and is seen as the ultimate villain in major league baseball today. If he could grow a mustache to twirl, he'd be perfect.
At the same time, given that he is almost universally reviled in the media right now, perhaps that can take some of the pressure off of what must be a simultaneously wonderful and horrifying life. Without worrying about pleasing everybody (because he seemingly can't please anybody), maybe A-Rod finally finds some peace. Sweet, oblivious peace.
Not that it should really matter to the Yankees, mind you. Last year, Rodriguez went through a nasty divorce and ugly tabloid rumors, and still had his best overall season since 2000.
Speaking of steroids and obliviousness, enjoy this clip of John Kruk saying that Manny Ramirez should be kicked off the Dodgers (Krukie goes off about a minute in). Meanwhile, has John Kruk ever addressed the rampant steroid use that was apparently a bedrock of his 1993 Phillies?
Meanwhile, Ramirez's replacement, Juan Pierre, has been making the most of his newfound playing time. Pierre has been a huge disappointment for the Dodgers since signing with them in 2007, and a feather in the cap of bloggers and pundits who chuckled and chided the Dodgers when they saw the 5 year, $45 million price tag he came with. But in the four games since Manny's departure, Pierre has gone 9-for-16, with a couple walks, a couple doubles, a couple stolen bases (though also a couple caught stealing), four runs scored, and four RBI. Yesterday, he scored or drove in 4 of Los Angeles' 5 runs in a 7-5 extra-inning loss to the Giants.
Pierre's hot streak comes at exactly the right time for him and the Dodgers. If Pierre can prove capable over the next fifty games, he and the Dodgers might just be able to sucker a contender with deep pockets to give up something of value for Pierre, especially if they view him as an option in centerfield. The White Sox and Yankees have already demonstrated unhappiness with their CF situation, and Pierre seems like just the kind of mistake they might make, if they're desperate in July.
As hot as Pierre's been, however, Zack Greinke's been hotter. Greinke lost his first game of the year on Saturday, proving that he is human. Indeed, all you have to do to beat Zack Greinke is hold the Royals to zero runs. Then, when he goes eight innings (for his 4th complete game), and gives up a single run (raising his ERA from 0.40 to 0.51), you can still hold your head high, after he retires 21 of the final 23 guys you send up against him. Yikes.
Also, Joe Saunders (who pitched the shutout that beat Greinke), you're pretty awesome with your 5-1 record and 2.66 ERA.
Finally, The Common Man has kept his pinko, leftist politics out of his blog for a while now, after discovering that far more readers were interested in baseball than in the other eclectic collection of topics The Common Man bounced within. So please indulge him for a moment as he expresses some admiration for this country's new President. Barack Obama, is there nothing he can't do?: