Quick hits: A-Rod is a centaur and other items of note

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– Poor Alex Rodriguez. The usual (and unusual) suspects are already piling on after his punchless start
to the World Series. From the unusual department, on Friday we learned
that
he supposedly has two paintings depicting himself as a centaur above his bed.



– Orioles international scouting
director John Stockstill met with Cuban left-hander Aroldis Chapman in New York on Friday,
joining a host of teams who have acknowledged interest in the 21-year-old fireballer. Peter Schmuck of the Baltimore Sun, who saw the Orioles balk on Dominican shortstop Miguel Angel Sano, has a hard time believing that the Orioles will “pony up.



– On the heels of Matthew Pouliot’s analysis of Andy Pettitte’s Hall of Fame chances on Friday, Tommy Bennett of Beyond the Boxscore concludes that the veteran left-hander is “slightly above average.”



– Bill Baer of Crashburn Alley previews Saturday’s pitching matchup
between Pettitte and Cole Hamels, reminding us that “Hamels has been
much better than his statistics have shown and Pettitte has been
slightly better.”




– And finally, don’t forget to play “What Yankee Megastar Are You?”

Padres, Mariners join list of teams to extend netting

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The Reds announced earlier that they plan to extend the protective netting at Great American Ball Park in time for Opening Day next season. You can add the Padres and Mariners to what will surely be a growing list.

A young fan was struck in the face by a foul ball at Yankee Stadium on Wednesday, which gave new life to the netting debate. Some fans and media types think Major League Baseball is not doing enough to protect fans. While Major League Baseball has issued guidelines for protective netting, it is ultimately up to the teams to decide just how much netting to use.

Zach Britton receives stem cell injection, likely done for the season

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Orioles closer Zach Britton is likely done for the remainder of the 2017 season after receiving a stem cell injection in his left knee, Peter Schmuck and Jon Meoli of the Baltimore Sun report. Britton has been battling knee problems for most of the season.

The Orioles are still technically in the AL Wild Card race, entering play Thursday 5.5 games behind the Twins for the second Wild Card slot. With only nine games remaining, however, the 73-80 Orioles are likely being realistic about their chances and not taking any unnecessary risks with Britton.

Britton, 29, put up a 2.89 ERA with 15 saves and a 29/18 K/BB ratio in 37 1/3 innings this season. He will be eligible for arbitration for the fourth and final time this offseason.