As unbelievable as it sounds, that’s exactly what happened this past weekend when 18 year old Joe Dunand, the nephew of Alex Rodriguez, went 10-12 in the Horizon National Tournament in Scottsdale, Ariz. Of those ten hits, nine of them were home runs and eight came on his last eight swings.
18 year-old Gulliver Prep star SS & 3B Joe Dunand-“Like Uncle, Like Nephew…”
While confirmation from the National Federation of State High School Associations is still pending, the 6’2″ 195 lb. shortstop and third baseman will, of course, shatter the old record of six straight dingers held by multiple high school players.
Just how amazing a feat is that? Considering that his Uncle A-Rod, even while on PEDs never hit more than five home runs over a four game span, we would say that’s pretty outstanding!
Yankees 3B Alex Rodriguez, currently serving a one-year suspension for his connection with the Biogenisis clinic , never did what his nephew had just accomplished. Photo: AP
“I hope he continues what he was doing out here, but nothing is going to top this. Not even if he is a major-league 15-year All-Star, he won’t be able to top this,” said his coach at Gulliver Prep School located in Miami, Florida. Dunand, ranked 160th among prep prospects, will go on to N.C. State where a scholarship awaits him. After that, assuming that he can sustain his power hitting and fielding, it should not be long before the major leagues come calling.
To begin with there was more to the plunking of Alex Rodriguez by Red Sox pitcher Ryan Dempster than meets the eye (or in ARod’s case meets the elbow…) It has essentially opened up a Pandora’s box if you will. Umpire Brian O’Nora, the 34,000+ fans at Fenway Park, and the millions watching on national television saw Dempster making not one, not two, not three, but four attempts at hitting Rodriguez. O’Nora should have issued a a warning to Dempster long before that fourth pitch was even thrown. But surprisingly he chose not to.
Ryan Dempster’s fourth pitch was the one that started the fracas at Fenway Park on Sunday, August 18, 2013 Photo: ESPN.com
What has happened since the 89 MPH fastball met ARod’s left elbow has become more of a travesty than a tragedy. Even though the beleaguered third baseman had been hit 20 times by Red Sox pitchers in his career prior to Monday night, this one will resonate longer than the previous 20 combined.
There is something fundamentally wrong when the miscall by O’Nora leads to punishments handed down that are clearly in favor of the Red Sox veteran pitcher, Ryan Dempster. His five game suspension won’t cost him a start given Boston’s schedule and the rotation of the starters and the fine levied on Girardi was, amazingly, more than that which was assessed to Dempster. Some claim that the Yankees manager came into contact with the umpire durning his tirade. Watch the video below and let us know where and if you see that happen.
It was the most animated we’ve seen the Yankees manager in quite some time and sent a message to the fans and Rodriguez’ teammates that he had Alex’s back, at least for this night. However, and more importantly, there are six more games between these two hated rivals and one would not be surprised to see some sort of retaliation in the cards.
Yankeees manager Joe Girardi gives umpire Brian O’Nora a piece of his mind in a display of temper we have not been quite accustomed to. Photo: Rueters
Question is, if say Hiroki Kuroda decides to plunk David Ortiz in their next game, should warnings be the order of the night again? Should Kuroda get tossed from the game? And if your answer is yes, then how is that an amicable and fair action on the part of that game’s umpiring crew? Did umpire O’Nora set a precedent with his decision to issue only warnings to both sides on Monday night? Did his total ineptitude open the doors for other pitchers to escape unscathed if this sort of thing is repeated between these two rivals or between any two teams for that matter? After all, Ryan Braun will be back at the plate next season… What would happen if John Lackey tossed a beaner Braun’s way?
Sunday night’s game and Dempster’s actions might have helped the Lackeys and the Scherzers and others who have been outspoken about their feelings towards those who cheat by injecting themselves with PEDs, but it could also have served to unite the borderline Arod haters. Admittedly, he IS their best third baseman at the moment and if he continues to do well, will the fans find themselves in his corner for the sake of the team’s ultimate success? ARod, rest assured, is banking on this to happen.
ARod’s fifth inning solo home run off of Ryan Dempster on Sunday, August 18, 2013 was some vindication for the embattled 3rd baseman. Photograph by: Jared Wickerham (Getty Images)
Meantime, the bad call by umpire Brian O’nora notwithstanding, the saga that is ARod continues. The booing, the jeers, and the signs in the stands will be commonplace for the remainder of the season at ballparks nationwide. The circus as well as the reincarnation of the ‘Bronx Zoo’ of the ’70’s will be with all of baseball until this drama has completely unfolded and reached its just conclusion. The Red Sox and the Yankees are not immuned to controversy and it will probably just be a matter of time before shades of what happened at Fenway Park on Sunday night resurface once again. Bank on it!
When is enough, enough? The Performance Enhancement Drug issue is like a strain of the Flu…it has become impossible to go more than a season without news popping up about another strain. The two are also similar because although there are ways to control them to some degree, there has been no cure to date.
Ryan Braun and Alex Rodriguez are two of those implicated in the Biogenesis scandal who are facing possible suspension. Photo: GettyImages
All the while, “the game” continues to be tarnished while fans become more and more cynical. Any news about a player having an ‘unusally good season’ emotes fears that he is probably “taking something”.
The innocence that baseball once enjoyed has all but vanished. Ball players used to be highly regarded heroes to a generation once upon a time. Over the past two decades they have, instead, turned into businessmen with obscenely inflated contracts, many of which at some point will probably be accused of or punished for ingesting or getting injected with some sort of illegal substance.
So the question continues to be raised again and again…How does MLB attempt to put an end to this travesty that PED’s and its widespread use has created?
There are two ways to cut down and hopefully cut out PED’s from baseball. We’re not saying that they’re unique nor will they fully deter users-to-be from obstaining permanently, however it could (and should) greatly minimize its usuage. It might sound ‘Polyanna-ish’ in its approach, but since nothing else has worked why not implement these two new rules?
1. Automatic exclusion from the Hall of Fame- It’s quite simple really. If taking PED’s are “illegal” then MLB needs to enforce it with the same passion they have when someone is caught gambling on baseball while playing or coaching. Let baseball come down on players with the same verocity and determination that confronted a certain Hall of Famer; Pete Rose.
If you asked 100 fans who they thought should be in the Hall, Rose or A-Rod how many of you would seriously think that the majority would select A-Rod, the Poster Boy for PED’s?
Alex Rodriguez always seems to be in every discussion & scandal evolving around illegal substances.
This rule would do nothing for those players who do not aspire to make the Hall or for those who are not even All-Star material. When I saw that one of the names on the list of players allegedly involved with the Biogenesis scandal was recently sent down catcher Jesus Montero, I found myself scratching my head. Players like that are probably never going to see the Hall of Fame unless they take a vacation to Cooperstown.
2. If you are caught, you face suspension-without pay– The best place to punish someone for breaking the rules of the game is their wallet. If faced with suspension without pay that could make a player be more mindful of the consequences before they take that injection..And I would increase the amount of games that a player can be suspended. Again, simple. First offense? 162 game suspension without pay. Second time offenders? Banned for life.
Too harsh? Well then how is it amicable and fair for Pete Rose to continue on his suspension which is now in its 24th year when he was a first-time offender at the time he was caught gambling on baseball? If gambling on the sport is illegal and the use of PEDs are illegal as well, why should the punishments be different? Pete Rose lied about his offense? Well didn’t Sammy Sosa, Mark McQuire, Rafael Palmeiro, and Roger Clemens lie as well? Enough is enough…
Pete Rose shown here 3 years ago in a pre-game ceremony has now been banished from baseball for almost a quarter century. Photo: associatedpress
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