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Nice guy.  Have some blogs.  Do baseball research.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Pitchers hitting is an oxymoron. Designated FIELDER is the answer, along with re-entry and roster of 30.

Oxymorona figure of speech by which a locution produces an incongruous,seemingly self-contradictory effect, as in “cruel kindness” or “to make haste slowly.”. 

By Edward Simpson from London, England via Wikimedia Commons
Don't ask why but last night I was watching some of the Mets game against the Marlins.  I guess I wanted to see Giancarlo Stanton.  I actually had the sound on when the announcers were reading twitter messages, presumably from Met fans, expressing their anguish over the possibility of the designated hitter (DH) rule coming to their National League.  That's been a hot topic for some reason because a National pitcher, Cardinal Adam Wainwright, injured himself badly a couple of days ago when he started to run out of the batter's box.  The Met announcers amused themselves mocking the inept batting of Met pitcher Bartolo Colon.

Oxymoron certainly contains the two syllables to describe DH advocates.

Merger: AL and NL merged years ago. How come no one noticed? Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Read all about it!  It's NOT a league!  Wake the heck up!

From the original 2006 Radical Baseball document posted here in 2008:

http://radicalbaseball.blogspot.com/2008/02/radical-baseball.html

5. Designated Fielders and the Six-Player Batting Order.

There should be designated fielders, not a designated hitter. Everybody fields but a team has the option to have up to three players only play the field and not bat. Six batters in a lineup. That’s the minimum there could be without a batter coming up with himself on base. They’d get 1,000 plate appearances a season, comparable to the number of batters faced by a starting pitcher. This would improve both offense and defense. It addresses those sappy complaints of National League fans without having to watch the dreaded bottom of the order. Who wants to watch the bottom of the order? No one, except people who are actually interested in sacrifice bunting and all the brain power involved in making that decision. Oh, and the double switch. Take me out to the ball game so I can see a double switch in person. Complaining about batters not knowing how to bunt is like complaining about American soldiers not knowing how to load a musket. Who cares? Bombs away. Batter up, not bunter up.

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There, that was easy.  I'm guessing baseball fans won't embrace the six batter thing all at once, so I'd settle for eight batters and one DF as a start.  Combine that with re-entry within the confines of the batting order and now you've got the possibility of real decisions to be made during a game, not the kiddie stuff that's passed for thinking all this time.

Allow players to re-enter games. Sunday, March 23, 2014

The basic reasons to oppose are based on people being too dumb and lazy to consider any change.  Generally, the initial impulses are:

1. Invoke accusations of blasphemy.

2. State that there is no practical way that it could work.

3. Insist that it will slow down the game...

Somebody is reading this and having conniptions imagining perpetual changing of batter and pitcher into eternity with no resolution.  Back and forth with no pitch being thrown.  Enough already.  We'll devise implementation rules.  The main point is to allow players to return, not dwell on how and/or why this should not be done.

Baseball fans delude themselves into imagining that baseball is special because it is so primitive that the extreme limitations cause the very few moves to be so much more compelling.  Grow the heck up.  It's just dumb.

Baseball managers make almost no significant decisions in the first half of a game.  The only one possible is to remove the starting pitcher and the manager does that only under extreme duress.  He might as well send the starting lineup to the plate umpire by e-mail and show up in the fifth inning.

About half the players do not play in most baseball games...

Allow players to re-enter games.  Once that concept is accepted, then we can work on how to implement.

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Oh, and a thirty player roster with 25 active for a game would make all this even better and smooth over any concerns of the players. It is probably also cost effective because the marginal extra five players might help prevent injury due to overuse of the better and higher paid players.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Pace of play warning month was not enforced. Now what?

Am I the only one who is even more aggravated by dead time between pitches now that reform is supposedly being implemented?

Manfred, the A-Rod Slayer, on pace of play changes: evolutionary, rather than radical. Thursday, April 2, 2015

Don't be fooled by the total length of games decreasing.  The issue is the PACE of play when the players are supposed to be playing. Play is the key syllable.

Daniel Murphy of the Mets actually pauses to adjust his batting gloves between each pitch.  Who else does that anymore?  Pretty much every batter places one foot out of the batter's box after each pitch.

After the first couple of the exhibition games I did not notice any meaningful attempt by batters to adjust to the changes and stop jerking around.  The first month of the regular season was supposed to be a grace period during which umpires would warn batters of violations of new speed up rules.  Has anyone noticed any umpire warn any batter?  I have not. May 1 batters are supposed to be fined for delays.  Who decides?  The same lame umpires who are now aiding and abetting the slow down?

And batters are predictably sliding back into their bad habits.  They are even starting to turn their backs on home plate and walk away between pitches.  That's something that started about four years ago and had become increasingly prevalent and is the one reform this season that showed noticeable improvement and now even that nonsense is showing up again.

With one exception dealt with below, batters never bother to ask for time out.  Umpires never call time out.  Never.  The one foot out of the box is, as I had predicted, an implied time out, which the pitchers mindlessly never challenge.  Would it kill a pitcher to throw one right down the middle as soon as the batter steps out with one foot?  It should be a strike.  What's the plate umpire going to do, call a quick pitch?  The ump never called time out after the batter had been set, so how is it a quick pitch?  If the batter dropped his guard, that's his fault.  Protect yourself at all times.  That's the basic rule in boxing and in football.

What's with the deal of a batter actually asking for time as the pitcher is starting his delivery and the plate umpire sprinting out of position and waving like crazy that time is out?  What the heck is that?  Why do that?  Is it some lame attempt to protect the batter in case he is incapacitated?  If something blew into the batter's eye, too bad.  In football a cornerback may not ask for time out after a play has started because a gust of wind blew something into his eye.  Good luck with that.

Play does not stop for equipment replacement when a lineman's shoulder pads pop a strap.  The lineman plays on or leaves for repair and is replaced.  Oh, I forgot.  Baseball is too primitive to permit re-entry.  Instead everyone stands around like doofuses.

Once that batter is set, unless he leaves the box to legitimately run out a batted ball, he must remain in the box or be called out.  You step out, you're out, even if you step with only one foot.  Pretty simple, basic and fair.  Come on.  Dead time between pitches is killing baseball.  Even after Dr. Death, Allan Huber "Bud" Selig, has past from the national pastime that's past its time.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Steinbrenner Kids and Mad Dog out of step on Rodriguez catching Mays.

Public opinion, at least among Yankee fans, clearly supports A-Rod.

Hoping for a Milestone From Alex Rodriguez, Yankees Fans Settle for a Win
By ZACH SCHONBRUN APRIL 27, 2015 The New York Times


Fans flocked to Yankee Stadium on Monday to see a milestone for Alex Rodriguez...

Rodriguez’s compelling pursuit of career home run No. 660 will endure for at least one more game...

“The reality is it’s 660 home runs,” Joe Girardi said. “I don’t know what you’ll say, but when you look in the record books, his name is going to be there.” ...


Brian McCann said he would be excited for him.

“It’s a big number,” McCann said. “It’s a treat to watch him day in and day out. Watching him hit off a tee is exciting.”
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When Alex Rodriguez passes Willie Mays in home runs ... Friday, April 24, 2015

Steinbrenner Kids: add tacky to dumb and lazy: trying to void A-Rod's bonus.  Tuesday, January 27, 2015

To A-Rod or Not to A-Rod. That is the question. Thursday, November 6, 2014

So the question is just how stupid are the Steinbrenner Kids? ...

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How stupid indeed.  Even the YES Network, which their late father George started a decade ago and which the Kids sold after his death, is promoting Alex Rodriguez hitting career home run 660 to tie Willie Mays.

Yesterday on the MLB Network Chris Russo, self proclaimed Mad Dog, went into a tirade about this.  Screaming and repeating, Russo claimed that no one other than some Yankee fans would care about Rodriguez passing Mays, Babe Ruth, Hank Aaron or Barry Bonds.  Mad Dog insists that even if Rodriguez somehow hits 109 home runs in the three years left on his Yankee contract and sets a new record that no one will or should care.  Now that's mad.  It should be noted that Russo loves the Giants and Mays and he hates the Yankees.  During his many years on New York WFAN talk radio Russo persistently bashed the local team and reveled in taunting Yankee fans personally.

Russo even screamed against my idea of Rodriguez reaching an agreement that his home run bonus money go to charity.  Please note the date:

A-Rod, just donate the bonus money to charity. Call out Levine and the Steinbrenner Kids. Thursday, January 29, 2015

Alex Rodriguez should call their bluff.  Offer to donate the bonus money to a charity agreed to by both parties.  Make them look like the fools they are.
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Which brings us back to the Steinbrenner Kids.  What the heck?  Why denigrate your product and brand?  When Rodriguez batted with the bases loaded in last night's game the fans at the game and those of us watching on TV were really pulling for Rodriguez to crush one and make his Mays matcher special.  Rodriguez failed but when he does tie Mays Yankee fans will want a curtain call, with Rodriguez taking a second bow from the dugout.

There is some extra emphasis for old Yankee fans like me.  In many posts here I have lauded Willie Mays, including insisting that Mays was clearly better than Aaron.  I've largely overcome the youthful animosity that caused Mickey Mantle fans to take an unyielding side on the question of who was better, Mantle or Mays.  This was born of their both becoming great in New York 1954-1957.  I do not recall those seasons but inherited the fan rivalry.  I now can more fully appreciate the greatness of Mays.  However, there is still some jealousy and friction and Rodriguez is a Yankee, the greatest since Mantle, who will vanquish the great Giant Mays, even if there is an asterisk.

Taunting contributes to violence between teams and should be banned.

The objective should be the best behavior, not descending to the worst.  There should be zero tolerance to taunting.

Bud Selig: worst commissioner of all time in any sport? Friday, September 27, 2013

Vigilantism is alive and well under Selig.  The NFL commissioner takes strong action against vigilantism and other unfair acts of violence.  The NFL commissioner tried to protect the players from themselves and punishes bad conduct on the field, such as taunting.  Selig is oblivious.  The NFL has a drug policy but does not dwell on it.  Selig is obsessed with his.  We all assume that NFL players use performance enhancing drugs (PED).  Selig abetted by the simpleton media applies a different standard to home run hitters, who made lots of money for Selig and his fellow owners.

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I oppose both hot dogging and vigilante violence. Tuesday, April 22, 2014

The recent confrontation between Milwaukee and Pittsburgh precipitated by the Pittsburgh pitcher mouthing off unnecessarily resulted in dysfunctional commissioner Allan Huber "Bud" Selig suspending five players but not the one who initiated the brawl.

More and more I hear media types advocating for more hot dogging, particularly for Latin players, as if that is an integral part of their cultures.  Even if it is, they are playing in our culture where I'd like to delude myself that hot dogging is anathema...

Baseball players should behave properly:

Don't hot dog.

Don't dog it.

Don't show off.

Don't taunt.

The Major Baseball League (MBL) should enforce behavior rules.  Individual players should not try to impose violent vigilante justice for violations of unwritten protocols.

This stuff should finally be written down and not left to the imagination.  It's about time.

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Unsportsmanlike Conduct: Taunting. It's time for rules in baseball, too. Thursday, July 31, 2014

Preening jackasses is what I've called some National Football League (NFL) players for several seasons.  Among the three top professional team sports leagues in the USA, football probably has the worst behavior, both on and off the field.  Baseball has been the best with basketball's NBA (National Basketball Association) somewhere in between.  However, the Major Baseball League (MBL), as I like to call it, is fast descending, abetted by limited criticism and far too much encouragement and approval from the main stream media, which seems to be searching for relevance.

Ironically, it's the NFL that has explicit rules against taunting ...

About 28% of MBL players are from countries other than the USA.  Each has its own culture and protocols.  For decades USA players have played in Japan, where conduct is much more restrained than here.  Those USA players generally conformed to the Japanese code of conduct.  Unfortunately, the main stream media seems to think it's somehow enlightened for more unrestrained forms of conduct to be absorbed in the USA rather than those guest players conforming to the USA conduct.  This has exacerbated a general break down in basic forms of proper sportsmanlike conduct.

Taunting has become prevalent in the MBL and it's increasing.  One fundamental problem is that baseball has by far the most uneven relationship between opposing players: pitcher-batter.  The pitcher has the ball and as such has become the on field arbiter of behavior...

That imbalance is probably a big part of why batters now seek some small level of revenge by standing at home plate and posing after hitting a home run and trying to taunt the pitcher further by slowly trotting around the bases in the unique victory lap that a home run affords like nothing in football or basketball, where even a break away score can theoretically be thwarted.  The home run victory lap may not be interrupted, not even by the catcher Brian McCann.

The pitcher, of course, remembers this and drills a batter in retaliation sooner or later.  And on it goes.

I really like the enthusiasm that's prevalent in all three sports.  But I only like it in the context of sportsmanship and awareness of the sensibilities of opponents.  Rubbing it in is never good. 

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Monday, April 27, 2015

Crime and punishment trivialized.

Joe Garagiola must be proud of his son, junior. Garagiola senior was a major league catcher and later major league funny man who got noticed from his annual appearance on the Jack Paar program during which he cracked up the baseball ignorant Paar.
Baseball player and television personality Joe Garagiola (left) watches 1976 election returns with US President Gerald Ford (right). November 2, 1976 By White House staff photo [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Garagiola junior announced the disciplinary action by the Major Baseball League (MBL) in one of the three series in the previous seven days in which players engaged in violent and unethical behavior. It's pretty funny. Here is the official announcement in its entirety.

Discipline for Royals-White Sox incident
Press Release  April 25, 2015


Seven players have received discipline for their roles in the on-field incident in the bottom of the seventh inning of Thursday's game between the Kansas City Royals and the Chicago White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field in Chicago, Major League Baseball announced today. Joe Garagiola, Jr., MLB's Senior Vice President of Standards & On-Field Operations, made the announcement.


The following players have been disciplined for their actions leading up to and/or during the incident:
· Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura has received a seven-game suspension;
· Royals pitcher Edinson Volquez has received a five-game suspension;
· Royals outfielder Lorenzo Cain has received a two-game suspension;
· Royals pitcher Kelvin Herrera has received a two-game suspension;
· White Sox pitcher Chris Sale has received a five-game suspension;
· White Sox pitcher Jeff Samardzija has received a five-game suspension.


All six players also received an undisclosed fine in addition to a suspension. In addition, White Sox catcher Tyler Flowers has received an undisclosed fine.


Unless appealed, all suspensions are scheduled to be effective on Sunday, when the Clubs are to continue their series in Chicago. If any player elects to appeal, then his suspension will be held in abeyance until the process is complete.

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What roles?  What behavior was considered unacceptable?  We learned last night during the game on ESPN that Chris Sale had tried to gain entry to the Royals clubhouse to continue the violence.

Herrera is the guy who threw a 100 mph pitch behind an Oakland batter just a few days before.

And what about that Oakland - Kansas City series and the one between Baltimore and Toronto?  It was difficult enough to find the above press release buried in mlb.com.  Didn't Herrera get suspended from that?  Where is the complete statement?  Why must we rely on incomplete reports by non-league people?

And where was commissioner Manfred the A-Rod Slayer?  Probably being open minded about all manner of junk.  Maybe he should stand in the batter's box and let Herrera fire one at him.  Then see how he reacts.  And that goes double for all the media clowns who even implicitly approve of pitchers intentionally throwing at batters, often under such euphemisms as "pitching inside", "making him uncomfortable", "protecting their teammates", blah, blah, blah.

Manfred, the A-Rod Slayer, the barbarians are at the gates! Saturday, April 25, 2015

Within five days this week there have been major violent confrontations with three pairs of teams, two of which involved the Kansas City Royals...

Rob Manfred, the commissioner who considers everything, consider this: your league is devolving into the National Hockey League (NHL).  Wake the heck up and show some leadership before someone (player, fan, umpire, ...) is seriously hurt...

Commissioner Manfred, the A-Rod Slayer, where are you?  The barbarians are inside the gates.

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Saturday, April 25, 2015

Manfred, the A-Rod Slayer, the barbarians are at the gates!

Kansas City?  Kansas City is the problem location for the Major Baseball League (MBL)?  Or should it be called the Major Barbarian League?  Why does Kansas City even have a franchise?  I mean really.  That was a Yankee minor league place for decades.  And now Kansas City is the leading culprit in this current round of baseball barbarism?

Within five days this week there have been major violent confrontations with three pairs of teams, two of which involved the Kansas City Royals.

Barbarity should be banned. Wednesday, April 22, 2015

How did we get to this point?  How does any reasonable person in 2015 think that this makes sense? Am I the only one who has had enough?  Why do we tolerate this?

Intentionally hitting batters should be banned and pitchers who violate this should be suspended without pay for increasingly long periods and banned forever if they persist.  The players association should support it.

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Conduct unbecoming: HBP, gambling, PED. Thursday, April 23, 2015

Hit by Pitch (HBP), gambling, performance enhancing drug (PED) use.  Where are the priorities?

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Rob Manfred, the commissioner who considers everything, consider this: your league is devolving into the National Hockey League (NHL).  Wake the heck up and show some leadership before someone (player, fan, umpire, ...) is seriously hurt.  What is hurt already is whatever is left of our delusion of the integrity of baseball.  The American national pastime has always had a dark side.

The Dark Night Batman imagery applied to New York Met pitcher Matt Harvey as some kind of avenging angel has taken hold and Harvey may be one Yankee game (today's?) away from becoming the next thug to cause trouble.  Harvey flagrantly hit all time Phillies second baseman Chase Utley with a pitch in the fifth inning on April 14 in New York.  Why?  Utley had homered off Harvey in the first inning and singled in a run in the third.  In the fifth, there were two outs, the tieing run on second and the Met coaches wanted to take the bat out of Utley's hands.  So Harvey took matters into his own annoyed hands and drilled Utley.  Harvey couldn't retire Utley fair and square so Harvey fired a fastball and intentionally hit Chase Utley, who chose not to fight back.  Harvey then defiantly stood in front of the mound practically daring Utley to a fight while the umpires did nothing.  Sound familiar, Met fans?  Several years ago Yankee thug pitcher Roger Clemens hit Met catcher Mike Piazza in the head because Clemens could not retire Piazza fair and square.  Met fans were appalled and so was this Yankee fan.
Photo of Roger Clemens
Met fans cheered Harvey's act of cowardice and wore even more Batman stuff to Harvey's next start April 19 against Miami, also in New York.  Today Harvey pitches in New York yet again but this time in Yankee Stadium.  Last night the Yankees broke the Mets 11 game winning streak.  What kind of mood will Harvey be in today?  Does Harvey have any reason to think that his tough guy act will be inhibited by the rules or the umpires?

Commissioner Manfred, the A-Rod Slayer, where are you?  The barbarians are inside the gates.

Friday, April 24, 2015

When Alex Rodriguez passes Willie Mays in home runs ...

It may happen this weekend at Yankee Stadium against the Mets.  If so, Yankee fans will undoubtedly stand and cheer.  A lot.  Especially if it helps to drive the Mets back into oblivion.


Rk Player HR From To Age G PA AB R H 2B 3B RBI BB IBB SO HBP SH SF GDP SB CS BA OBP SLG OPS Pos Tm
1 Barry Bonds 762 1986 2007 21-42 2986 12606 9847 2227 2935 601 77 1996 2558 688 1539 106 4 91 165 514 141 .298 .444 .607 1.051 *78H/D9 PIT-SFG
2 Hank Aaron 755 1954 1976 20-42 3298 13941 12364 2174 3771 624 98 2297 1402 293 1383 32 21 121 328 240 73 .305 .374 .555 .928 *9783DH/45 MLN-ATL-MIL
3 Babe Ruth 714 1914 1935 19-40 2504 10622 8399 2174 2873 506 136 2214 2062 1330 43 113 2 123 117 .342 .474 .690 1.164 971/H83 BOS-NYY-BSN
4 Willie Mays 660 1951 1973 20-42 2992 12496 10881 2062 3283 523 140 1903 1464 192 1526 44 13 91 251 338 103 .302 .384 .557 .941 *8H/39675 NYG-SFG-NYM
5 Alex Rodriguez 658 1994 2015 18-39 2583 11406 9867 1930 2952 522 30 1980 1253 92 2092 169 16 101 240 322 76 .299 .384 .558 .942 65D/H3 SEA-TEX-NYY
6 Ken Griffey 630 1989 2010 19-40 2671 11304 9801 1662 2781 524 38 1836 1312 246 1779 81 8 102 199 184 69 .284 .370 .538 .907 *89DH/73 SEA-CHW-CIN
7 Jim Thome 612 1991 2012 20-41 2543 10313 8422 1583 2328 451 26 1699 1747 173 2548 69 1 74 165 19 20 .276 .402 .554 .956 3D5H CLE-PHI-CHW-LAD-MIN-BAL
8 Sammy Sosa 609 1989 2007 20-38 2354 9896 8813 1475 2408 379 45 1667 929 154 2306 59 17 78 202 234 107 .273 .344 .534 .878 *98D/H7 TEX-CHW-CHC-BAL
9 Frank Robinson 586 1956 1976 20-40 2808 11742 10006 1829 2943 528 72 1812 1420 218 1532 198 17 102 270 204 77 .294 .389 .537 .926 97D3H8/5 CIN-BAL-LAD-CAL-CLE
10 Mark McGwire 583 1986 2001 22-37 1874 7660 6187 1167 1626 252 6 1414 1317 150 1596 75 3 78 147 12 8 .263 .394 .588 .982 *3/HD59 OAK-STL
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 4/24/2015.

Mays had 1,000 plus more at bats than Rodriguez has now.  Rodriguez hit a 477 foot homer this season, so he still has the power.

But the Yankee owners have a beef with A-Rod over this specific issue, passing all time greats in career home runs.

A-Rod, just donate the bonus money to charity. Call out Levine and the Steinbrenner Kids. Thursday, January 29, 2015

Steinbrenner Kids: add tacky to dumb and lazy: trying to void A-Rod's bonus.  Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Is this driven by family hanger on Randy Levine, club president of the New York Yankees?  ...

Motive: petty vindictiveness and self loathing that they gave A-Rod a new contract that they now regret.

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The Yankees are now a ship of fools.  Yankee fans will deliver that message when they support A-Rod as he achieves historic milestones in home runs and other totals, including 3,000 hits and 2,000 RBI, both of which he is now likely to reach this season.  In fact I think even opposing fans will cheer if A-Rod does these things on the road.

What fools denigrate their own brand and product?  Who devalues their biggest star?

Alex Rodriguez’s Quest Is Going, Going ... Unobserved
By BILLY WITZ APRIL 22, 2015 New York Times


DETROIT — The Yankees seem to have never met a moment they could not monetize...

Rodriguez, whose surprisingly successful return from a yearlong doping suspension has been the dominating story line of the Yankees’ young season, is nearing fourth place on baseball’s career home run list ... leaving him two home runs behind Willie Mays’s 660...

Not only are the Yankees declining to celebrate Rodriguez’s impending achievement, though, they are all but ignoring it.


Yankees officials refused to explain their handling of the situation, but it is widely understood in baseball that they are tiptoeing around a potential legal showdown with Rodriguez over a series of $6 million bonuses they do not want to pay him because of his use of performance-enhancing drugs...

If Rodriguez reaches 660 at Yankee Stadium — the team is returning home for six games, beginning Friday against the Mets — it could be particularly awkward...

How Yankees management will handle it is even less certain. Will there be an announcement on the scoreboard? Will the game be stopped to acknowledge Rodriguez’s achievement? Or will the moment pass as if it never happened? If the Yankees, caught between paying homage to their brand and the bottom line, fail to strike the proper tone, not to worry: With Rodriguez now 48 hits from 3,000 for his career, they may soon get another chance.

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The ship of fools is sinking.  Yankee TV ratings have plummeted down to a near tie with the Mets.  See my previous post.