Thursday, October 18, 2012

Imagine Alex Rodriguez playing for the Red Sox

If Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez has played his last game with the New York Yankees as some baseball experts suggest, I can’t help thinking of a John Lennon song that stressed a positive and hopeful outlook on life.
Imagine if A-Rod became a member of the Boston Red Sox. It’s easy if you try.
Surely, in normal circumstances, the Yankees would likely never trade a player of A-Rod’s caliber to anyone in their own division, much less the Red Sox.
But these are not normal circumstances or normal times for that matter. If baseball experts are on the money when they say the Yankees organization these days is stressing the bottom line, the Red Sox could have a shot at A-Rod.
Reports everywhere are telling us that Rodriguez has $114 million left on his contract. Experts say if the Yankees traded A-Rod the Yankees would likely have to eat $100 million of that contract.
If the Yankees’ brass is truly focused on the bottom line, you would think a team that would be willing to pay a portion of that $100 million would have a better shot at getting A-Rod than someone who didn’t eat a portion of that salary.
Imagine if the Red Sox made a push to get A-Rod and offered to pay a portion of that $100 million.
You may say I’m a dreamer.
But if any team could afford to pay a portion of that $100 million, it’s the Red Sox, especially after they got rid of so many high-priced players this season. According to Internet reports, in August the Red Sox saved about $60 million in guaranteed money from their 2013 payroll by trading first baseman Adrian Gonzalez and outfielder Carl Crawford, along with pitcher Josh Beckett and reserve infielder Nick Punto, to the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Imagine how a move like getting A-Rod could begin moving the Red Sox Nation in a positive direction, initiating the baby steps to get past this tough, frustrating 2012 season in Boston.
You may say I’m a dreamer.
Yes, A-Rod has been struggling. Yes, he has looked terrible. But when it comes to writing my fantasy sports columns and Betting the NFL columns, I have always been a handicapper whose analysis always includes looking outside the box.
Here are some A-Rod career stats at Fenway Park from In his career at Fenway Park, A-Rod has played in 229 games, had 870 at bats, batted .283, hit 52 home runs and has 145 RBIs. Not bad.
Baseball experts are saying that a change of scenery could do Rodriguez some good.
Imagine if he played 81 games a season at Fenway Park. It’s easy if you try.
Imagine A-Rod's routine fly balls bouncing off the Green Wall. Imagine A-Rod pop ups to the opposite way curving around the Pesky pole.
And there is some history with A-Rod and the Red Sox.
Rodriguez  made his major league debut with the Seattle Mariners as the starting shortstop on July 8, 1994, in Boston at 18 years old. A-Rod’s first Major League hit was a single off pitcher Sergio Valdez on July 9, 1994 at Fenway Park.
When A-Rod played for Texas, anyone who follows baseball knows that after the 2003 season the Rangers tried to trade Rodriguez. The Rangers actually agreed to a trade with the Red Sox but the Major League Baseball Players Association vetoed the deal because it called for a voluntary reduction in salary by Rodriguez.
Enter the Yankees who actively pursued A-Rod and got him in a trade with the Rangers in February of 2004.
Imagine the Red Sox adding a player who has 647 home runs, 1950 RBIs and 2,901 hits for his career.
Now here’s the out-of-the-box scenario.
Imagine A-Rod as a Red Sox player. Imagine how motivated this guy would be in every at bat when facing the Yankees. Imagine how motivated he would be overall to prove to the Yankees they made a mistake in giving up on him.
A-Rod surely loves being on a big stage and the stage wouldn’t get any bigger than Rodriguez facing the New York Yankees in a Red Sox uniform.
You may say I’m a dreamer.
Imagine A-Rod in Boston.
I can.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Betting The NFL: Underdogs ruled on Sunday

On Sunday I wrote about underdogs dominating the NFL 2012 season in my weekly Betting the NFL column. On the plus side two of the three underdog plays I highlighted and urged readers to play, Dallas and Green Bay, covered against the spread. Indianapolis did not show up at the Jets.
Underdog Dallas had 3.5 points at Baltimore and the Cowboys covered (Ravens won 31-29). Green Bay was an underdog and had 3.5 points at Houston. The Packers buried the Texans 42-24.
The one underdog play I highlighted that inexplicably did not hit was Indianapolis, getting 3.5 points at the Jets. The struggling Jets woke up, held rookie quarterback Andrew Luck in check, and went on to beat the Colts in a 35-9 rout. Go figure.
On the down side, I did not follow what I wrote and failed to focus on underdogs with my other picks.
What ultimately happened is an underdog rout ATS. You can see how I fared overall on Sunday by checking out my column at this link - . It has certainly been a challenge handicapping the NFL this season.
Underdogs were 9-3 ATS on Sunday. Six underdogs actually won on the field (Seattle, Detroit, Cleveland, Buffalo, Giants, Green Bay). Home underdogs went 2-0 both ATS and straight up.
Overall for the season underdogs are 54-33 ATS and home underdogs are 20-11 ATS.