As the end of the first month of the baseball season approaches, I would like to present the inaugural edition of “Diamond and Cubic Zirconia.”
A diamond is a precious gem; its value is beyond compare. The cubic zirconia, however, is a synthetic imitation of the jewel; it’s similar from the outside, but the value just isn’t there.
Diamond of April: Pat Burrell, Philadelphia Phillies
Not too long ago, I had quite a dislike for Pat Burrell. He did not perform well at the plate and his defense was horrendous.
Oh, how times have changed.
If this were recognition for most appealing nickname, Pat “The Bat” Burrell would have won the prize, but based on his performance in April, he still receives kudos.
Currently, Burrell ranks second in RBI (25), second in HRs (8), second in Slugging Percentage (.721), and third in OPS (1.188) in the Majors.
His clutch hitting has brought the Phillies to victory against the Milwaukee Brewers, Chicago Cubs, and Houston Astros, among others.
Many remember Burrell’s less-than-stellar performances of last season. This month it seems like the man is reborn.
Man or Machine? I say a little bit of both, sprinkled with some sexiness to add flavor to the baseball talent.
Cubic Zirconia of April: Barry Zito, San Francisco Giants
Once upon a time, I adored this man. The killer curveball, a high-leg kick that beckons, and a hot penchant for wearing high socks—it all made me quite smitten—and being named the 2002 Cy Young winner just fueled my infatuation.
All the magic disappeared when the familiar green and gold uniform of the Oakland A’s was replaced with the orange and black from across the Bay Bridge.
The high-leg kick and hot uniform style are still there, but the only thing his pitches kill is my hope for a win that evening.
In April, Zito has gone 0-6 with a 7.53 ERA and only 11 strikeouts. The Giants’ fourth man in the starting rotation, Jonathan Sanchez, recorded 10 in his last outing.
Sweetie, that is just embarrassing.
In Zito’s last start, he allowed six runs in the first inning against the Cincinnati Reds.
Being the first receiver of my “Cubic Zirconia” recognition is not the worse thing to happen to the $126 million man—he has been demoted to the San Francisco bullpen.
Sparkly Icing on April’s Cake: Alex Rodriguez, New York Yankees
It’s quite early and this is one of the only moments that I can look at a Yankee and not cringe—it’s the Oakland A’s fan in me. It’s easy to name A-Rod this month’s “Sparkly Icing on the Cake” with his beautiful brown skin and intense hazel eyes; the man has pretty boy looks that equal his baseball abilities.
It’s even easier to bask in number thirteen’s good looks when they are displayed off the field due to injury.
So here’s to Mr. Rodriguez—thanks for being April’s yummy eye candy.