Monday, July 8, 2013

Let us now praise famous men: The Daily News salutes the minor league pitcher who hit A-Rod on the hip

Where do I start?

Seriously. Where do I start? How about the headline?

So there you have it. The Daily News, in search of a story, sets three reporters - probably with $20 handshakes - upon the family of the obscure minor league pitcher who plunked A-Rod the other day, so they can impress the world with their opinions about what a bum he is.

Journalism. Where do I start?

Well, you've got an aging former star returning from an unprecedented set of surgeries on both hips, with the Daily News' home team truly in need of him, and -  and last I checked, people in this country were supposed to be innocent until proven guilty - but that never applied to tabloids, did it? So the Daily News celebrates the pitcher who plunked A-Rod on the hip.

Can you imagine the outrage tomorrow if a Toledo Mud Hen pitcher breaks Jeter's ankle with a fastball? Will the Daily News find the pitcher's granny, so she can justify it? That's what they did today.

Cody Scarpetta, 24, a right-handed pitcher for the Brevard County, Fla., Manatees, said he lost control when he popped the Yankees star on his surgically repaired labrum. His 80-year-old grandmother, Marilyn Meyers, of Rockford, Ill., didn’t seem apologetic. “I think he thinks he’s kind of a hotshot. I don’t care for his personality,” Meyers said of A-Rod. “He just thinks he’s better than the other boys.”

WTF? Is this homespun color? Opposition media? No, it's the Yankee home team paper! And if A-Rod returns and hits, the Daily News will happily put him on the cover in a manger scene with the American flag. They'll praise him in the Daily News Fifth and give away towels - filled with corporate logos - to wave on his behalf.

This is what the kid's dad said:

While Scarpetta’s father, Dan, said his son wouldn’t throw at A-Rod on purpose, he didn’t hold back his opinion about the player’s history with performance-enhancing drugs. “I think where there’s smoke there’s fire,” said Dan Scarpetta, a former minor-league pitcher. “He’s admitted that he’s used in the past. So obviously we know he has in the past.”

 I'm thinking interns. I'm thinking holiday schedules. And I'm thinking, Yeesh.

People say, "Why are you defending A-Rod?" Yeesh, this isn't about defending A-Rod. This is baseline decency. Should we just throw out every moral judgement when the subject becomes Alex Rodriguez? Can we justify anything?

There's no need for a correction. The Daily News simply owes him an apology. Or as Cashman would say, shut the f---k up.


KD said...

many people hold negative opinions of A-Rod, including me. But I want him to be healthy and successful. He's a Yankee, damn it, and we need him at 3rd! I do hope a pitcher on A-Rod's team follows the CODE. Their "star" deserves to be plunked.

Swinging Kei said...

I hope they send out the crew when she falls and breaks her hip.

SanJoseKid said...

This Scarpetta guy doesn't have to bat, right, because it is an American League minor league club? He says he didn't hit A-Rod on purpose. Fine. But when A-Rod's minor league club plays this team again, there absolutely must be payback. If you cannot plunk Scarpetta in the batter's box, then you spike him hard, up the ankle, when he is covering the bag on a groundball to the first baseman. Or, if he throws tight, the batter charges the mound and gets in some dirty punches. But you absolutely have to mete out punishment to this rodent. As for Granny? Hah. Send Jimmy the Weasel and the Knockaround Guys over to her house to take her out for a little Jimmy Hoffa lasagna. Grandma would look lovely buried under concrete. Alive. Somwbody from Illinois ought to know better.

SanJoseKid said...

Good to note that Scarpetta's manager pulled him after hitting Pay-Rod. Curve ball or no curve ball, Scarpetta had better learn to throw inside with gtreater accuracy. Anyway, the Manatees' manager knows Pay-Rod and had this to say:

"Talk to Joe Ayrault, Brevard County's manager, who came to the mound to get Scarpetta after that errant curveball. Ayrault, 41, had crossed paths before with Rodriguez, who will turn 38 later this month.

Ayrault was a coach in the Rangers organization during A-Rod's final years in Texas. He recalled being in the room when Rodriguez talked to several hitting coaches about his approach, sharing ideas and techniques that Ayrault still teaches today.

"He's a big leaguer. You see that. It's a Hall of Famer," Ayrault said. "You tell the guys, 'That guy was the best in the game when he was rolling.'"

The two occasionally chatted during Saturday's game, Ayrault in the third-base coach's box while Rodriguez played defense. Ayrault said he mostly told Rodriguez he was happy to see him back on the field. But when A-Rod came out for the bottom of the fifth, the Manatees' skipper saw a chance to crack a joke.

"I ran over to [Rodriguez], I said, 'See how I roll? Somebody hits a Major League rehab guy, I take him out of the game,'" Ayrault said. "He was laughing about that." "

Mike said...

I'm going on record and saying that I hope Alex Rodriguez comes back healthy, puts on a hitting and fielding exhibition the likes of which have never happened before, and carries this team on his back to not a wild-card appearance but the division crown. I hope he continues into October, making game-saving stops at third and getting key base hits. I hope he is the WS MVP. I hope he's the ALCS MVP. I hope he's the ALDS MVP. I hope he does so well getting the team into the playoffs that he's the regular-season MVP.

Mostly I hope that last one. That would be perfect; it'd give Alex Rodriguez a chance to say to the wonderful Daily News staff something along the lines of, "You people sure are quick to forget that I won two of these IN THIS TOWN before!"

This probably sounds like I am an A-Rod fan, but I assure you I was one of the last people on earth who wanted to see him in pinstripes. To me he was a very talented guy who never won anything; my memories of him in Seattle and Texas are of him walking back to the dugout with that over-the-shoulder look after yet another strikeout in a key situation...the soundtrack to which would be Alex saying a bunch of stupid things. He said plenty of them; when you can include Derek Jeter and Boeing Corp. amongst your ramblings, you're good at saying stupid things.

So why do I defend the guy and wish him well?

I'll admit it: A-Rod won me over when he got into it with Varitek years ago, calling him an asshole several times. Varitek, that assumedly plucky, gritty, bad-ass Boston catcher with the C on his chest, yammered something back at our third baseman. But he never removed his least not physically.

I've kinda liked A-Rod ever since then; probably more a rueful respect. But that's a hell of a lot more than I thought of the guy before then.

Anyway, I hope he makes it back...failing that, maybe the Daily News can hire Ol' Al to do the fifth-inning discussion. His answers to The Master and Tonto's questions couldn't possibly be more boringly obvious than the crap that rules the roost there now.

Beyond that I'll just say that I hope Scarpetta Senior gets a daytime talk show. He seems to have a knack for it; given his penchant for melding heuristics with assorted other foolishness I think he might make a go of it.

Get well soon, Alex!