(WE HAVE UPDATES BELOW)
Before heading out to Turner Field to see if the Braves can actually string together consecutive home wins, I thought I’d check in with a quick update from the often fascinating and occasionally warped and pathetic world of Alex Rodriguez. So here goes: So far, no Kate Hudson sightings in Atlanta.
We know that A-Rod says he has been quite “fatigued” of late. We also know he’s kinda stunk. He went from hitting .260 in May (not so great) to .153 (9 for 59) in June (hello, Angel Berroa), entering tonight’s Braves-Yankees game. New York attributes the problems, at least in part, to fatigue and Rodriguez possibly still feeling the effects of off-season hip surgery (which forced him to miss the first 28 games).
The lack of performance-enhancing drugs also could be an issue. But I’m not a doctor. Or a drug-dealer. Or even a mysterious cousin just back from the Dominican Republic.
But here’s another possibility for the weak legs: partying with Hudson. The Palm Beach post reported Saturday that Rodriguez “partied until 2:30 a.m. Saturday in Miami Beach” with Hudson, before the two departed in a limo. The Miami Herald followed today with more details, saying the two were canoodling at the Fontainebleau, and, ahem: “According to our tattle, the duo was, ‘all over each other at Blade where they were sucking face for like an hour without coming up for air.’”
Wow. No air for an hour and he’s still alive. Maybe his conditioning is improving.
Yankees manager Joe Girardi plans to rest A-Rod at least once a week until the All-Star break, and sometimes two days a week when the team has an off day. He expects Rodriguez to be fully rested for the Braves series.
“I think the rest will help him,” Girardi told the New York media. “He’s been through a lot — the physical rehab, playing in games.” And other stuff.
♦ BLOGGING/COMMENTING PLANS: I’ll get back to you later with another pre-game, in-game item or two and also respond to your questions as much as possible — with time permitting, given deadline for my game column. So feel free to weigh in on the Braves or Kate Hudson.
♦ BRAVES FAVORED. HONEST: The Braves (33-36) don’t have nearly as good a record as New York (38-31). But the Yankees have lost eight of their last 12 and have the winless Chien-Ming Wang (0-5, 12.30) pitching tonight against Tommy Hanson (2-0). That probably explains why the Braves are favored. Sports.Odds.com has the Braves listed at -112 and the Yankees at +106. I really don’t feel like explaining the whole odds thing. But just trust me when I say the Braves are slight favorites.
THIS JUST IN: MARK TEIXEIRA MISSES YOU!
Mark Teixeira and his Gordon Gekko-esque agent, Scott Boras, made it very clear even before free agency that the All-Star first baseman was going for high dollar and not a nickel less. Fortunately, the New York Yankees satisfied their needs, blowing every other bidding team out of the water with an eight-year, $180 million contract.
When Teixeira returned to Atlanta Tuesday for the first time since the Braves traded him to the Los Angeles Angels at the deadline, he went on and on about how much he misses being here. But I’m guessing $180 million buys a lot of therapy. Quoth the former Georgia Tech star: “Ever since college I’ve thought of Atlanta as my home. I miss everything about Atlanta. I miss Bobby [Cox]. I miss this place. It’s a great place to play. I miss the fans. I had a great year. I had one of the best years of my life here.” I think that about covers it.
♦ KATE HUDSON UPDATE: I asked Bobby Cox if he thought Rodriguez was struggling because of too many late nights with Hudson. His response: “Who’s Kate Hudson?”
An actress. “Never heard of her.”
She’s Goldie Hawn’s daughter. “Oh, I know her husband, Kurt Russell.” (It turns out Russell is the uncle of former Brave Matt Franco.)
♦ LINEUPS: I think O’Brien already posted this on his XXXL blog, but there’s no surprises in the Braves lineup. For the Yankees, it’s: Gary Jeter-Nick Swisher-Teixeira-Rodriguez-Robinson Cano-Jorge Posada-Melky Cabrera-Brett Gardner-Chien-Ming-Wang.
REST OF UPDATES BELOW IN COMMENTS