For baseball fans, like Duke Jackson, spring training is an exciting time for baseball junkies to examine their team and predict their fortunes for the coming season. For the “Worldwide Leader in Sports,” it’s a time for round-the-clock Yankees and Red Sox coverage, squeezing every ounce of news value out of predictable, innocuous, and even, laughable concepts. Thus, in addition to hearing about how Derek Jeter’s ego is bruised for getting $51 million last offseason to keep turning in declining production, we are also treated to the annual pastime of examining Alex Rodriguez’ personality veneer.

Oh, but, dear reader, you are in for a treat this season! Alex Rodriguez, 35, is ready to unleash his true personality upon the baseball world. Why, he’s relaxed, he’s funny, he’s engaging, and…he’s basically a Dominican Tom Cruise. Oh, and he’s not at all upset about the Super Bowl image of him and his brother eating at the Super Bowl.

Feed me popcorn while I watch the show, ESPN:

Rodriguez made light of his Super Bowl appearance in which he was shown on TV being fed popcorn by his girlfriend, actress Cameron Diaz. Rodriguez said that a report that he went “ballistic” at Fox for showing him was false.

“That was pretty humorous,” Rodriguez said. “Absolutely not, but five or six years ago I probably would have come out with some bogus statement.”

This confirms it. Rodriguez has definitely changed. Of course, in an industry of increasingly image-conscious media personalities, Rodriguez is king. This guy will do absolutely anything to steer the perception people have of him. He’s basically the Wizard of Oz in pinstripes.

Five Holiday Gift Items for the Ultimate Sports Fan

Did you miss out on Black Friday because you had to spend time with your family?  Busy day back at work keep you away from Cyber Monday?  Still in that food coma you entered into after that fourth helping of stuffing Thursday night around 2am?  Well, I’m here to rouse you from your slumber and let you know Thanksgiving is over and the real holiday season has begun.  With Hanukkah just days away and Christmas right around the corner, it’s time to do what Americans do best: buy stuff.

Well, here at the Deuce, we do the hard work so you don’t have to.  Here are five items every sports fan should have on their holiday list: Read the rest of this entry

Congratulations to the Texas Rangers on making their first World Series appearance. As an Orioles fan, it’s great to know that two expansion teams and a bankrupt team have made it there since they last did. I digress.

There was some kind of justice in the fact that A-Rod went down looking for the last out of the ALCS. He’s going to have a much more confused look the next time he makes out with his reflection in the mirror.

The Rangers’ dominant series win also was a great way to send Yankees fans home knowing Joe Girardi managed an XXL Chalupa switch better than Game 6. Baseball couldn’t say goodbye to a “classier” set of fans. What are we talking about? Where do we start?

How about homophobic songs in the bleachers?

It’s like Boston minus the racism. The Yankees promised to put a stop to it but it’s suspect they didn’t do anything about it until they were called out. Only if they policed bigotry as much as they crack down on anyone moving during the 7th inning stretch.

Let’s go to Game 2 of the ALCS when Yankees fans started pelting the Rangers bullpen with trash since their team was down 8-0 and playing like garbage. Video via Big League Stew and Crossing Broad.

Not enough proof for you? How about a Yankees fan trying to throw beer on Cal Ripken Jr. before Game 4. He somehow avoided the shower. He hasn’t moved that fast since the mid to late 80s. He probably called Peter Angelos and said he can still play over Manny Alexander. Unfortunately there’s no video of David Wells trying to save the spilt beer.

Manager “Uncle” Ron Washington deserves credit for outmanaging Girardi and getting the most out of his journeyman pitchers and Cliff Lee. It was a decisive win to close out the series despite the umpire’s best efforts to save the game for the Yankees in the 5th inning with an awful call that Joe West would have saluted.

Celebrate how you want, Uncle Ron. You still have a World Series to play but for a day, do yours.

If it’s good enough for God, it’s good enough for you. Hell what the people say.

Last night Cliff Lee won the game for the Texas Rangers, silencing the Yankee’s bats to the tune of a 13 K shutout for the Rangers’ 8-0 victory.  I don’t feel too bad for the Yankees organization though, while the team isn’t currently winning on the field, they are winning at the cash register. The Yankees have come across one of the greatest merchandising schemes ever…selling dirt from the old Yankee Stadium.

No, we’re not just talking about the dirt around the base paths, I’m talking dirt dug up from the outfield, infield, batting box and up to two feet down before the stadium was demolished. We all know no Yankee ever set foot on that dirt if it was two feet down, but apparently dirt collectors don’t give a damn. In total, they dug up three tons of dirt. Egad.

What have they done with the dirt do you ask?  Well half of it has been used for over $10 million in collectible items such as:

* Key chains that go for $20 each.

* Posters commemorating the nine championships the team won in their former home. They sell for $150 each.

* Special player posters whose price depends on the player. Derek Jeter is the most expensive at $80

* Player plaques showing Yankee stars’ stats and biggest moments. They sell for $50 to $60

* Crystal paperweights engraved with milestone dates.

* Team-signed balls with an order of dirt on the side, selling for $60.

I mean its cool that they will sell it along with signed balls but a $20 key chain??  Look at that poster, would you pay $30 for that?  The Yankees have actually made dirt a valuable commodity…and they have THREE TONS OF IT.  Well, actually they sold off 1 1/2 tons, but they have actually saved up the other half of it in barrels for future use (sales).

I’d love to know exactly how much dirt is in these items to figure out the exact value of the dirt. Silver is a little over $24 an ounce, I’d bet this dirt is near that in value. Just think about that. Dirt that is as valuable as silver. Hold on, I just threw up in my mouth a little. Ok, I’m good.

Like fine wine, this dirt will only get better and more valuable with age.  Get your dirt while you can. In the meantime, it looks as if the Yankees will have a little bit more money to throw around free agency than they would’ve normally had.

So don’t feel too bad for their loss last night, they can afford to go out and buy Lee next year and have him do to someone else what he did to them…partially thanks to Yankee dirt.

So many great stories going on in sports right now, it’s hard to try to focus on just one to blather on about.  So, like that ADD-college kid who has unlimited scripts for Adderall but decides he’d rather be a scatterbrained mess and sell them for enough cash to buy a 4runner, let’s whirl through Duke’s braindroppings: Read the rest of this entry