S-Mart (wherever THAT is)-----The host Boom Sticks and their injury-ravaged pitching staff were pounded, outscored 34-20 in an agonizing tripleheader sweep by the visiting Arizona D-Backs despite getting homers in each of the three games by star 3B Alex Rodriguez, leading to a meltdown by the highest-paid (but often-derided) superstar in all of BARB.

After 27 innings that began at 9:45 in the morning, continued through often-blistering heat, and concluded at 10:47 PM PST, the increasingly-isolated ‘A-Rod’ could no longer contain himself. "Everywhere I go, there just isn’t enough," Rodriguez complained. "I play short, I play third, I do whatever the team wants. I’ll hit third, I’ll hit fifth. I’ll steal a base, I’ll make a play, I’ll hit one out. You guys see what I do, every day. But it’s never enough. I can’t do this by myself."

Indeed. Rodriguez hit a homer off each of Arizona’s starters: Cole Hamels, Jered Weaver, Brandon Webb, helping to knock out two of them (Hamels and Webb). But in each case, the Boom Sticks could not hold on. Derrick Turnbow (3-2, 6.17) picked up an 11-9 win in relief in the opener when Delmon Young singled to a key a four-run eighth; Jered Weaver (4-12, 3.62) went seven strong innings for a 9-2 win in the middle game; Anthony Reyes (4-3, 5.86) got a 14-9 win in the triple bill despite coughing up three runs in his sole inning of work (ugh!) when Ivan Rodriguez drove in his fourth run of the game.

Rodriguez has been around the block a few times, and it seems as if the burden of his huge contract makes it difficult for the team that has him to build a lineup around him. A-Rod hit 99 HR and 239 RBI for Brooklyn in 2003-2004, but after an MVP award (2004)and a world title, the Moabs moved him rather than pay his huge salary. He played for Brooklyn’s arch-rival, the Worcester Eliminators, in 2005, hitting .269 with 32 HR and 100 RBI—his ‘worst’ year ever, and the Elims let him go in the off-season. Arizona picked him up in 2006, and had him playing all over the diamond, and Rodriguez responded with his best year for average yet in BARB, punching .323 with 35 HR and 97 RBI as a shortstop. But, still, at the end of the day....that salary.....owch!

Fast forward to the present, and Rodriguez (again back at 3B) toils at short for the lowly Boom Sticks, and it has been a long season. Hitting below .235 at the All-Star Break, Rodriguez has picked it up of late, hitting .354 with 14 HR and 42 ribbies since then to raise his season totals to a respectable (but hardly world-beating) .275 with 21 HR, 75 RBI—including his present streak of homering in four straight games. Why the long face, then, chum?

"It’s simple," said A-Rod, "I’m the straw that stirs the drink, but there’s nothing in the glass with me. I want out. It’s as simple as that. But I can’t get out. They got a no-trade on me, Franchise Five. Well, I’m going to play for a new contract, I’m going to give it my best. But this club? They can’t seem to do anything to improve, and I want to get back to a World Series before I retire. Again, I say, I can’t do it all myself. I’m requesting a trade----to anyone but Arizona, that is."

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