MLB insider talks Dbacks fading playoff hopes, A-Rod circus

Each week throughout the season Brad Cesmat is joined by ESPN baseball insider and Valley resident Pedro Gomez who shares his unique local and national perspective on the Arizona Diamondbacks, the National League West and the biggest headlines in Major League Baseball.

Below are some exerts from their most recent discussion.

What’s it like to be a teammate of Alex Rodriguez? There are players [in New York] that have played October baseball with him. They gravitate towards him. They welcomed him back. Alex Rodriguez is not a polarizing figure inside the Yankee clubhouse. He is outside, no doubt about that. Inside he’s generally a well-liked teammate. He’s not somebody that’s, ‘oh God, this guy’s here.’ Rodriguez talks to everybody. There’s some that say that he’s a very insecure person so he will talk to almost anybody.”

What sort of reception are you expecting for Rodriguez when he returns to Yankee Stadium Friday night? “Alex tends to get booed no matter where he is, even in New York. Let’s not forget last year in October he was not producing and Joe Girardi had to bench him. When he came up to the plate he got booed. Yankee fans can be hard on their own guys if they’re not producing…there’s a lot [of people] who don’t want anything to do with somebody’s who’s taken performance enhancing drugs. I expect it to be like 50/50.”

Were you surprised A-Rod signed autographs before taking the field for the first time this season Monday night in Chicago?  “No, that’s what guys do when they get in trouble. They seek refuge with the fans because they know that, honestly, the fans are going to want an autograph. Even though his name may be tarnished he’s still Alex Rodriguez. He has still hit close to 660 home runs.”

Are the Diamondbacks done in the NL West? “It certainly appears like the ship has struck ground and it’s going to be very difficult to catch the Dodgers at this point. The biggest reason, we talk about it all the time, is starting pitching. It just doesn’t seem they can match the starting pitching of the Dodgers.”

To hear the entire interview click here.