Big league smarts or bush league stunt?
Fans were buzzing Thursday over whether Alex Rodriguez broke baseball’s unwritten code by making a remark that distracted a Toronto infielder and allowed a ninth-inning popup to fall for a run-scoring single.
Troy Glaus, Toronto’s regular third baseman, said the last time he saw that move was in the baseball comedy “Major League 2.”
“The only reason anyone is talking about the play is because IT WORKED!” actor Charlie Sheen, who portrayed pitcher Rick “Wild Thing” Vaughn in the “Major League” movies, wrote Thursday in an e-mail to The Associated Press. “I’m only upset, that in my 15 years of playing this game, I didn’t think of it.”
Barry Bonds agreed that the Blue Jays shouldn’t get steamed.
“That’s Toronto’s fault. Catch the ball,” he said. “Get over it.”
Chicago White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen also backed Rodriguez.
“I don’t blame him. I would have done it, too,” said Guillen, a three-time All-Star shortstop. “I don’t care what people say. Why not do it? You have to do everything to win games.”
Others thought A-Rod was out of line.
“I don’t know how you can get away with that, unless you’re a Yankee player,” Giants Gold Glove shortstop Omar Vizquel said.
Cleveland manager Eric Wedge said, “I wouldn’t want my player doing it.” St. Louis infielder Aaron Miles called it “out of bounds.”
Whether it’s the status of his friendship with Derek Jeter, his travels with what New York tabloids have labeled a “mystery blonde,” or speculation whether he will opt out of what’s left on his $252 million contract after this season, A-Rod’s actions are dissected daily. That’s perhaps true even more these days with New York languishing in last place in the AL East.
The stumbling Yankees were ahead 7-5 with two outs in the ninth at Toronto on Wednesday night, and Rodriguez was on first base when Jorge Posada popped up. A-Rod ran hard and shouted near third baseman Howie Clark, who was playing his first major league game of the season.
“I just said, ‘Hah!’ That’s it,” Rodriguez said.
Toronto went on to lose 10-5.
That set off a storm, with Toronto claiming A-Rod’s utterance went over the sport’s unwritten ethical line.
“He’s allowed to say I got it. I got it,” said former Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda, who recalled a similar play when he was with Triple-A Montreal in the late 1950s or 1960.
“I was coaching first base in Miami — two outs in the top of the ninth inning. We were losing by one run. We had a guy on second base,” Lasorda recalled. “There was a foul ball. Gene Oliver was going over to catch it. I said, ‘I got it! I got it!’ He pulled back and the ball dropped. He’s screaming at me. And the next pitch a guy hit a home run, and we won the game.”
Blue Jays manager John Gibbons was steaming.
HBT: Robinson Cano homered twice while David Phelps had the longest outing of his career as the Yankees topped the Blue Jays 7-2 this afternoon at Yankee Stadium.
Taking a look at some of the greatest catchers off all time.
The nation grieved for those hurt, killed and affected by the Boston Marathon bombings. After one of the suspects was caught on Friday — following a day-long lockdown and manhunt — sports returned to Boston over the weekend.