Pressure on A-Rod will only get worse as season gets closer
AP Photo/Jeff Roberson
BEING ALEX RODRIGUEZ
By Steve Phillips, ESPNThere are a lot of people who think Alex Rodriguez will be largely unaffected by what's gone on this offseason. They say that he no longer cares what other people think. I don't believe that's the case. Despite his claims that he feels a burden has been lifted and now he can just go out and play, I think the burden has grown exponentially and he will be under pressure this year like never before.
BEST OF THE BLOGSEach day ESPN.com's contributors offer a wide array of thoughts and analysis in their blogs. Today, Jayson Stark tells the story of how Team USA plans to atone for its failures in the last WBC: CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Three years ago, they had no idea what they were in for. They had no idea how ready the rest of the world was. They had no idea how not ready they were themselves. And worst of all, the world-famous members of Team USA had absolutely no idea the World Baseball Classic was about to turn into their own little international embarrassment. "We thought we'd crush everybody," Todd Jones, a member of Team USA's star-studded 2006 bullpen, recalled Monday. "So we were all concerned about playing time." Oops. Not for long, they weren't. They had no idea they could fall eight runs behind Canada by the sixth inning. They had no idea they could get shut down by a bunch of tricky Korean pitchers they'd never heard of. They had no idea that Oliver Perez and seven Mexican relievers could possibly outduel Roger Clemens and oust them in the second round. But it all happened, in very real life. And the men who were a part of Team USA's 2006 WBC nightmare think they know exactly why it happened. Three years ago, said Davey Johnson, a coach on the 2006 edition but the manager this time around, "it was kinda like glitz and glamour -- but not a lot of preparation." For the rest of this entry from Jayson Stark's blog, click here.
BBTN ON THE AIR: TUESDAY
|3:30 p.m. ET
|Host: Steve Berthiaume
BBTN MINUTE: A-ROD CIRCUS OFF TO WBC
BASEBALL TONIGHT MAILBAG
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WORKING OUT WITH JUSTIN MORNEAU
ESPN researcher Mark Simon digs deep, looking for the night's best baseball numbers.Tonight, the focus falls on baseball's RBI leaders over the past three seasons:
|Most RBIs, past three seasons|
MONDAY'S BEST AND WORST
|• It's a long time coming, but Ken Griffey Jr. will again play with the Seattle Mariners. Griffey's knee, on which he had arthroscopic surgery in October, held up just fine during a simulated game Monday, and he is ready to go Wednesday against the Australian national team.||WORST|
|• If it seems as if someone else pulls out of the World Baseball Classic every few seconds, well, that's because someone pulls out of the World Baseball Classic every few seconds. Add Joe Nathan and B.J. Ryan to the list. Albert Pujols, meanwhile, will compete in the WBC, just not against the Dominican Republic.|
SPRING TRAINING CAMP CONFIDENTIAL
NUMBERS TO KNOW
|The Cabrera comparison|
|BB pct. of PA||6.9||7.2||9.9|
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