Link-O-Rama: A-Rod notches 2,500 career hit

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* Last night Alex Rodriguez delivered his 2,500th career hit, which is remarkable given that this is his age-33 season. The only players in baseball history with more hits than Rodriguez through the age of 33 are Ty Cobb, Rogers Hornsby, Hank Aaron, Robin Yount, Mel Ott, and Jimmie Foxx. And he can pass Foxx and Ott with a strong September.
Since rejoining the lineup on May 8 following hip surgery Rodriguez ranks among the AL’s top five in homers, RBIs, walks, and on-base percentage. Oh, and overall this season the Yankees are 66-32 (.673) when Rodriguez starts and 19-16 (.542) when he doesn’t. Meanwhile, the media in New York can’t seem to decide whether to hype Mark Teixeira or Derek Jeter as the person to steal the MVP from Joe Mauer.
* David Biderman of the Wall Street Journal studied every team’s play-by-play announcer to determine who talks the most and found that the chattiest guy (Dan McLaughlin of the Cardinals) said twice as many words per minute as the least-chattiest guy (Duane Kuiper of the Giants). Actually, Vin Scully said by far the most words per minute, but a) he’s the only play-by-play guy who works without a partner/analyst, and b) he’s Vin Scully.
* Jarrod Saltalmacchia returned from the disabled list yesterday, but still expects to undergo surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome once the season ends and may be limited to bench duties down the stretch.
* Grady Sizemore is also talking about surgery and may opt to have his injured elbow operated on before the season ends. “I see both sides,” Sizemore said. “Every player wants to be out there and finish the season. But I understand the logic behind the conversation. They want to put me in a position to where I’m strong for next year.”

Diamondbacks name Dan Haren as pitching strategist

PHOENIX - APRIL 05:  Starting pitcher Dan Haren #15 of the Arizona Diamondbacks pitches against the San Diego Padres during the Opening Day major league baseball game at Chase Field on April 5, 2010 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Diamondbacks defeated the Padres 6-3.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
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The Diamondbacks announced on Tuesday afternoon that former major leaguer Dan Haren has been named the organization’s new pitching strategist. The role will include working with the front office, the major league coaching staff, and the analytics department.

Haren, 36, ended his 13-year playing career after the 2015 season. He finished with a 153-131 record and a 3.75 ERA across 2,419 2/3 innings.

Since retiring, Haren has been one of the more enjoyable players to follow on Twitter. He promised to teach his disciples how to tweet as part of his new responsibilities.

Pablo Sandoval is in the best shape of his life

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For a guy who won a World Series MVP Award and has been to a couple of All-Star Games, it’s amazing how many stories have been written about Pablo Sandoval‘s off-the-field exploits compared to his on-the-field exploits. Specifically, stories about his conditioning. Or lack of conditioning. Of him getting into shape, falling out of shape and getting back into shape again. It’s been this way since he emerged as an everyday player in 2009.

And it continues anew:

There is no claim here that Sandoval is, in fact, in The Best Shape of His Life. However, longtime BSOHL fans know that the claim is not about the magic words being used. The idea is that, in the offseason, players with something to prove will routinely make an effort to create the impression that they are a new man. Often it is from claiming that one is in The Best Shape of His Life. Often it comes from surrogates talking about how many pounds of fat one has lost or pounds of pure muscle one has added. Sometimes — as here — it comes in the form of showing post-workout photos.

Whatever the purpose of the photo, Sandoval is certainly looking good compared to where he was last spring:

FORT MYERS, - MARCH 14: Pablo Sandoval #48 of the Boston Red Sox makes the throw to first on the ground ball from Jason Rogers (not in photo) of the Pittsburgh Pirates during the fourth inning of the Spring Training Game on March 14, 2016 at Jet Blue Park at Fenway South, Florida. The Pirates defeated the Red Sox 3-1. (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)

Or at the end of the 2015 season:

BOSTON, MA - AUGUST 31: Pablo Sandoval #48 of the Boston Red Sox warms up prior to the first inning against the New York Yankees at Fenway Park on August 31, 2015 in Boston, Massachusetts. The Red Sox won the game 4-3. (Photo by Darren McCollester/Getty Images)

Even if this is part of a plan to get Sandoval some good press heading into the 2017 season, I’m happy to see that he appears to be recovered from shoulder surgery and appears to be taking good care of himself and is thinking about his baseball futrue.

Either way, expect the Panda Weight Watch to continue at Red Sox spring training come February.