FOX Sports Exclusive
Daily Buzz: Who has A-Rod's back?
More specifically, A-Rod is working to get back in a groove in Reading, Pa., where the Thunder will wrap up a three-game set with the Reading Phillies Wednesday afternoon.
A big league player — even a big league star — making a few rehab starts in the minors isn’t exactly out of the ordinary. But the buzz surrounding A-Rod’s comeback has as much or more to do with who’s looking out for him while he’s in town as it does with how he’s performing.
Enter Gene Snitsky, a 6-foot-8, 300-pound former WWE wrestler who was hired by the Reading Phillies to be one member of Rodriguez’s five-man security detail while he’s in Reading.
The motley crew also includes an athletic director, a principal, a teacher and a Harley-Davidson dealer, and for three days now, they’ve been assigned the role of A-Rod’s shadow. So far, the task hasn't been quite as challenging as Snitsky expected.
"On a scale of 1 to 10, I’d say maybe a 7.5," Snitsky told NJ.com when asked to rate the reception Rodriguez has received. "It’s not quite as bad as I expected, to be honest with you. I expected it to be a lot worse."
2013 ALL-STAR GAME VIDEO
- Rosenthal & Morosi: Mo's big night
- ASG on FOX: Rivera wins MVP
- ASG on FOX: Rivera on final ASG
- ASG on FOX: Hunter helps out Rivera
- Emotional Leyland on Rivera
- Bochy talks loss, Rivera's final ASG
- Harvey on ASG start, Cano injury
- Robinson Cano leaves game early
- Erin Andrews talks to David Wright
- Tom Seaver tosses out first pitch
- Kevin James shows off baseball 'talent'
And truth be told, that’s probably for the best, because that’s an awfully ragtag group to be looking after such a valuable commodity.
Now, I’m not saying I’m about to run onto the field and throw sunflower seeds at A-Rod or stick a gum bubble to the top of his hat, but it’s a little surprising the Phils went with such a B-list group to take care of such an A-list star. (Then again, though, this is just Double-A.)
It’s not that they’re not capable guys or that they haven’t gotten the job done, but I can’t imagine Rodriguez put his stamp of approval on Principal Belding, Coach Bieste, Mr. Feeny and a no-name pro wrestler to watch his back. Especially when history says it would only take one kitchen sink to the dome to earn a clear path to the highest-paid man in baseball.
A-Rod, himself, seems more like a Mr. Perfect, Ted DiBiase and Irwin R. Schyster kind of guy, but for my money — or his money, rather — I'd have gone with Mick Foley, Sabu, New Jack, Sandman, Raven and the Dudley Boyz. Now that's a security detail worth paying for.
Now, for some links:
• How is prison life working out for incarcerated former New England Patriots star Aaron Hernandez?
• The Houston Texans are playing a 'homecoming' game against the Patriots this season.
• New details on Johnny Manziel's hard partying at the Manning Camp.
• Phil Mickelson hit a shot backward to go forward during an Open Championship practice round:
• Kenny Powers — err, Danny McBride — gets owned by a pair of roller skates during a taping of 'Eastbound and Down', pays visit to ER as a result.
• Senseless violence claims a high school football player in New Jersey.
• One day after retiring as a player, Blake Geoffrion got a job on the scouting staff of the Columbus Blue Jackets.
• Kevin Durant is in Taiwan, where he seems to be having... fun?:
It's crackin in Taiwan, but I'm gettin a massage and this lady put this Hot ass oil on my back sooo I'm about to fart.. #GetBack— Kevin Durant (@KDTrey5) July 16, 2013
• In other pro wrestling news, a judge ordered the arrest of Nature Boy Ric Flair for contempt of court related to unpaid spousal support . . .
• . . . just as his ex-wife turned herself into police on charges of making a harassing phone call.
• Florida Gators defensive lineman Dominique Easley could use a history lesson:
Not a joke: Dominique Easley was asked a question about Bear Bryant & didn't recognize the name. He asked if it was some kind of cartoon.— Jason Lieser (@PBPjasonlieser) July 16, 2013
• Paul Pierce created an Instagram account and posted more than 40 photos thanking Boston for his time with the Celtics.
• Jeff Teague was on the Harry Potter ride at Universal Studios when he found out he'd be staying with the Atlanta Hawks.
• This is about as bad as a soccer play gets:
• Go ahead and read this SB Nation profile of Seth Jones, who may be the NHL's first African-American superstar.
• Washington football player gets one-day jail sentence.
• America's best milkshake is in Philadelphia — a perfect pair with a cheesesteak when you're in town for a game.
• There was a time when the Tigers manager went by “Jimbo” Leyland:
Ok last one. I'm sure Mary Burkhart never imagined this would hit twitter pic.twitter.com/gGs6uocS— Patrick Leyland (@pleyland1013) November 25, 2012
• New York Jets rookie Geno Smith on fellow quarterback Mark Sanchez: "Me and Mark are cool."
• Ron Zook is working at a bank in Florida.
• This guy set the Guinness World Record for the world’s fastest drummer:
• Was Tim Tebow worried about Aaron Hernandez two years ago?
• How many consecutive pitches can a baseball fan watch?
• Victor Cruz just signed a six-year, $45 million contract, but doesn't think he got what he deserved.
• “OK, Tyler, we want you to really let our fans know how excited you are to be here”:
More Stories From Sam Gardner