Joel Sherman: A-Rod was robbed!

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Via my buddy Jay at Fack Youk! comes a link to a wonderfully awful column from Jay Sherman at the New York Post. His beef: A-Rod, and not Jeter, should have won SI’s Sportsman of the Year Award:

What’s next for Jeter? An Oscar? An Emmy? The Nobel Peace Prize? This is not to dump on Jeter, again a great champion while — as always
— representing the Yankees and himself with dignity. But that is
familiar for him. So, once more, why now? This feels like lifetime
achievement . . . Rodriguez should win this award. He embodies where sports are now. He
is the intersection of illegal performance enhancers, advancements in
sports medicine, celebrity and on-field genius.

I just love how the New York tabloid media spends five years dumping on A-Rod for everything under the sun and then, just when he stops giving them fuel with which to burn him, they decide to turn him into some redemption story, the relative lack of fatal flaws now standing as a justification for him being honored.

Here’s a mental exercise to consider: if SI had given A-Rod the Sportsman of the Year Award, can you feature Sherman writing a “good call by SI!” column? I sure can’t, and that renders today’s piece nothing more than disingenuous garbage.

Jon Gray will start Opening Day for the Rockies

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Manager Bud Black has tabbed Jon Gray to start on Opening Day for the Rockies. That will be Monday, April 3 in Milwaukee against the Brewers in an afternoon contest.

Gray, 25, is starting Opening Day for the first time in his career. He’ll be the sixth different Rockies pitcher to start Opening Day in as many years.

The Rockies and Gray had a bit of a scare on Friday as he left his spring training start with discomfort in his left foot, but everything came up clean in an MRI. He pitched again on Wednesday with no issue.

Last season, Gray went 10-10 with a 4.61 ERA and a 185/59 K/BB ratio in 168 innings. A consensus top prospect entering each of the previous three seasons, Gray surprisingly put up better numbers at Coors Field — the most hitter-friendly park in baseball — than away.

Blake Treinen named Nationals closer

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Today Washington Nationals manager Dusty Baker named Blake Treinen as his closer. Treinen has saved exactly one big league game.

There wasn’t necessarily an obvious choice, however. Last year Washington had Mark Melancon, but with him gone and GM Mike Rizzo’s failure to land a high-profile closer in the offseason, it became a contest between Treinen Shawn Kelley and Koda Glover.

Treinen posted a 2.28 ERA with 31 walks and 63 Ks in 67 innings in 2016. His big improvement last year came against lefties, who had tattooed him in the past. He pitched well this spring as well, but that doesn’t necessarily mean anything.

The Nats are our favorites to win the NL East, but we do have some questions about the pen. Blake Treinen will take the first crack at answering them.