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.
MLB.com’s Jenifer Langosch reports that Cardinals’ shortstop Aledmys Diaz has been sporting a new look around Busch Stadium with a pair of “strobe glasses,” technology-enhanced specs designed to help athletes focus on the ball. Like a strobe light, the lenses of these glasses affect a player’s vision by rapidly changing opacity, giving its wearers the illusion that the objects they see are moving more slowly than normal. Once a player adjusts to the new speed of play, they gain a greater sense of control and are able to time their actions with more precision.
Diaz isn’t the first MLB player to utilize the technology, just the first Cardinals’ player to do so. It’s been tested by Bryce Harper, Corey Brown, Tommy Joseph, Austin Hedges and Joe Mauer, among others around the league, and has been used for everything from refining a catcher’s reflexes behind the plate to tweaking a hitter’s ability to track a pitch. Per Langosch, Diaz has been using the glasses to hone in on the ball during pregame drills, increasing both his confidence and response time on the field and improving his defense at short.
The shortstop has been the focus of some concern this season after seeing a sizable dip in his production at the plate, and his five fielding errors, 0.6 UZR and 0.6 fWAR haven’t helped matters, either. He sustained a minor thumb injury during an at-bat on Friday night, and was left off of the Cardinals’ starting lineup on Saturday, though manager Mike Matheny didn’t rule out his ability to pinch-hit during the series. While the strobe glasses are a good start, Diaz will need more than a pair of specs to match the spotlight-worthy performance he turned out during his rookie season in 2016.
Red Sox’ left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez may finally get a chance at cracking the rotation again, assuming all goes well in Double-A Portland first. Rodriguez took the field prior to the club’s afternoon session with the Angels, firing 68 pitches in a simulated game as he prepared for an upcoming rehab assignment in Portland on Thursday.
The 24-year-old southpaw suffered a right knee subluxation during pregame warmups on June 1, and it’s been a slow path to recovery ever since. It’s not the first time Rodriguez has had issues with his right knee — he sustained a similar injury during spring training last year — and this time around, the Red Sox weren’t about to gamble with their starter’s health. Ian Browne of MLB.com reports that Rodriguez was put in a knee brace and underwent exercises designed to help him regain some mobility and stability while he worked back up to full strength on the mound.
He’ll still need to prove he can throw a 75- to 80-pitch outing in Double-A, and barring any significant setbacks, will likely rejoin the Red Sox’ pitching staff when they visit the Rangers next month. In the meantime, the club will continue to cycle starters through the No. 5 spot, which has seen no fewer than three different pitchers since Rodriguez hit the disabled list. The lefty is 4-2 in 10 starts this season after logging a 3.54 ERA, 3.1 BB/9 and career-high 9.6 SO/9 through his first 61 innings.