Link-O-Rama: Pudge's uphill climb to 3,000 hits

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* Ivan Rodriguez is “on a mission” to get 3,000 hits,
but the odds are against him. He’s hitting a career-low .249 and still
needs 342 hits, so given his production over the past three seasons
Rodriguez likely needs to play in at least another 350-375 games even
if he avoids any further decline.

In other words, he’ll likely have to keep playing through the age of
40 while somehow convincing teams to give him starting jobs for 2010,
2011, and 2012. All of which is why there are zero catchers in the
3,000-hit club and Rodriguez is already the position’s all-time leader with “only” 2,658.

* Ozzie Guillen explained yesterday
that, unlike Lou Piniella, he’s never tried marijuana. “I never did
because I’m so crazy [that if] I might do that, I might be in jail
already,” Guillen said. “A lot of people think I’m on the stuff.”

* Bronson Arroyo is considering offseason wrist surgery
in order “to resume his recreational passion of playing the guitar.”
Meanwhile, there’s speculation that Eddie Van Halen may go under the
knife to improve his curveball.

* With impending free agent Adrian Beltre set to undergo shoulder
surgery that could knock him out for the season, Dave Cameron of U.S.S.
Mariner looks back at his ultimately underappreciated time in Seattle.

* Individual win-loss records are often so misleading that they become
meaningless, but Shairon Martis is 5-3 this season while the rest of
the Nationals are 17-48. So naturally he was dumped from the rotation and sent back to the minors yesterday.

* When on-field celebrations go wrong.

Red Sox prospect involved in serious auto accident

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Via WEEI.com comes a report that Red Sox minor league pitcher Kevin Steen was critically injured in a car crash on Wednesday night near Fort Myers.

The driver of the other car involved in the accident was killed. Steen is in the hospital in critical condition. It appears as though the other driver veered off the road, overcorrected and then crossed the center line, crashing into Steen’s SUV.

Steen, 20, is a starting pitcher. He was a ninth round pick of the Red Sox in 2014 out of Oak Ridge High School in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. He’s played three seasons in the Sox season and was about to begin his fourth.

Noah Syndergaard scratched with a “tired arm”

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Mets manager Terry Collins says that he has scratched Noah Syndergaard, who was supposed to start this afternoon’s game against the Braves. In his place will go Matt Harvey.

Syndergaard, Collins says, has “tired arm.” But also says he has some discomfort in his right biceps. He will have an MRI, but Syndergaard says it’s not serious and that he could pitch as soon as Sunday. Collins says this is an abundance-of-caution type thing, saying “we can’t take a chance on this guy.” Which is true.

The Mets ace is 1-1 with a 1.73 ERA and 30 strikeouts in 26 innings. He has walked no one this year. Not a soul.