Leave A-Rod alone for cryin' out loud

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You can tell just how hard it was for the media to go with that “A-Rod: clutch God” line of thinking they’ve been forced to adopt this year, because after just two bad games, they’re back into their old groove. First it was Joe Buck last night who, according to one reader, was “single handedly on a mission to resurrect the A-Rod is a choker in the post season movement.” This morning it’s the Daily News who says Rodriguez “suddenly looks as terrible at the plate as he did in far too many previous Octobers.”

Here’s an idea: give the dude the benefit of the doubt and allow for the fact that this is a World Series that, so far, has been marked by dominant starting pitching, even by the losing pitchers.  If A-Rod strikes out with the bases loaded in the last at bat of the deciding game, fine, go crazy. In the meantime, hasn’t he earned a little bit of breathing room on this subject?

Blue Jays, Josh Donaldson to table extension talks

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Sportsnet’s Ben Nicholson-Smith reports that the Blue Jays and third baseman Josh Donaldson are tabling extension talks as the two sides weren’t able to build any momentum towards agreement on a new contract.

Donaldson said, “We’re not quite there. That, to me, right now is not the major focus and I’m turning the page.” He added, “I want to play this season and really focus on winning games because, ultimately, our goal is to win a World Series and I don’t want to hinder that at all.” Donaldson also said he expects to hit free agency.

The 32-year-old avoided arbitration with the Blue Jays last month, agreeing on a $23 million salary for the 2018 season. He’s a free agent at season’s end. Last year, the three-time All-Star hit .270/.385/.559 with 33 home runs, 78 RBI, and 65 runs scored in 496 plate appearances. Donaldson missed six weeks in the first half with a calf injury, but was able to return and post terrific numbers, so his health — at least that aspect of it — shouldn’t be a concern going into spring training.

If Donaldson does reach free agency, he’ll join a star-studded group that will likely also include Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, Charlie Blackmon, and A.J. Pollock.