As if on cue, a writer flies off the handle over the A-Rod/Galea thing

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Reading the papers this morning I was surprised to see that neither Lupica nor any of the Post guys really brought the crazy in regards to this Alex Rodriguez/Dr. Galea thing. Oh, Lupica tried to muster some outrage, but his heart just wasn’t in it. I was almost prepared to give up and write a post about how unexpectedly level-headed everyone was being, but then I stumbled upon Ian O’Connor’s column in the Bergen Record:

But no, realistically, this isn’t about someone else. It’s about Alex
Rodriguez. It’s about a once-in-a-generation ballplayer who cheated the
game, cheated the fans and cheated himself, and who now is discovering
that even a World Series ring and ticker-tape parade can’t absolve him
of his not-so-venial steroid sins . . . Rodriguez also is waiting for a break in the storm clouds that never
will come. A-Rod’s waiting for the day when he’s completely liberated
from his admitted past as a chemically altered fraud. He shouldn’t hold his breath . . .

. . . It’s quite possible Rodriguez will tell the feds he never received
performance-enhancing drugs from Galea or anyone else, and this
flare-up will go away. At least until the next  flare-up. It’s
also possible Rodriguez will tell investigators a different tale, one
that could earn him a minimum 50-game suspension . . . It sounds unlikely, but when it’s A-Rod, worst-case scenarios are always in play.

And the prose gets even more purple after that if you can believe it.  All as a result of A-Rod being asked to answer a few questions about something he says doesn’t even involve him and which the Commissioner of Baseball and everyone else has said is a non-issue as far as baseball is concerned.

Of course O’Conner was probably pretty proud of that “cheated the
game, cheated the fans and cheated himself” line when he wrote it last year and it would have been a shame to have left it in unused macro purgatory for much longer.

Mike Matheny tried to have his own son picked off at first base

PHOENIX, AZ - AUGUST 26: Manager Mike Matheny #26 of the St Louis Cardinals looks on from the dugout during the first inning of a MLB game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field on August 26, 2015 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Cardinals defeated the Diamondbacks 3-1. (Photo by Ralph Freso/Getty Images)
Ralph Freso/Getty Images
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Cardinals manager Mike Matheny has a son, Tate, who was selected by the Red Sox in the fourth round of the 2015 draft out of Missouri State University. Tate, an outfielder, spent the 2015 season with Low-A Lowell and last year played at Single-A Greenville.

Now in spring camp with the Red Sox, Tate is trying to continue his ascent through the minor league system. On Monday afternoon in a game against his father’s Cardinals, Tate pinch-ran after Xander Bogaerts singled to center field to lead off the bottom of the fifth inning. Mike wasn’t about to let his son catch any breaks. Via Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:

That’s right: Mike tried to have his own son picked off at first base. That’s just cold, man.

Tate was erased shortly thereafter when Mookie Betts grounded into a 6-4-3 double play. Tate got his first at-bat in the seventh and struck out.

Do we really need metal detectors at spring training facilities?

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Craig Calcaterra
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MESA, AZ — Over the past couple of seasons we’ve, more or less, gotten used to the sight of metal detectors at major league ballparks. And the sight of long lines outside of them, requiring us to get to the park a bit earlier or else risk missing some of the early inning action.

Like so much else over the past fifteen and a half years, we’re given assurances by people in charge that it’s for “security,” and we alter our lives and habits accordingly. This despite the fact that security experts have argued that it’s a mostly useless and empty exercise in security theater. More broadly, they’ve correctly noted that it’s a cynical and defeatist solution in search of a problem. But hey, welcome to 21st Century America.

And welcome metal detectors to spring training:

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Beginning this year, Major League Baseball is mandating that all spring training facilities use some form of metal detection, be it walkthrough detectors like the ones shown here at the Giants’ park in Scottsdale or wands like the one being used on the nice old lady above at the Cubs facility in Mesa.

I asked Major League Baseball why they are requiring them in Florida and Arizona. They said that the program was not implemented in response to any specific incident or threat at a baseball game, but are “precautionary measures.” They say that metal detection “has not posed significant inconvenience or taken away from the ballpark experience” since being required at big league parks in 2015 and believe it will work the same way at the spring training parks.They caution fans, however, that, as the program gets underway, they should allow for more time for entry.

And that certainly makes sense:

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I took this photo a few minutes after the home plate gate opened at Sloan Park yesterday afternoon. As I noted this morning, the Cubs sell out every game in their 15,000-seat park. That’s a lot of wanding and, as a result, it could lead to a lot of waiting.

But the crowds here all seemed to get through the line pretty quickly. Perhaps because the wanding is not exactly a time-consuming affair:

Not every security guard was as, well, efficient as this guy. But hardly anyone walking through the gate was given a particularly thorough go-over. I saw several hundred people go through the procedure soon after the gates opened and most of them weren’t scanned bellow the level of their hip pockets. I went back a little closer to game time when most people were already in the park and the lines were shorter. The procedure was a bit more deliberate then, though not dramatically so. This is all new for the security people too — spring training just started — and it’s fair to say that they are trying hard to balance the needs of their new precautionary measures against the need to keep the lines moving and the fans happy.

On this day at least it seemed that fan happiness was winning. I spoke with several fans after they got through the gates and none of them offered much in the way of complaint about being wanded. The clear consensus: it’s just what we do now. We have metal detectors and cameras at schools and places of work and security procedures have been ratcheted up dramatically across the board. That we now have them at ballparks is not surprising to anyone, really. It’s just not a thing anyone thinks to question.

And so they don’t.