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.

Adrian Beltre leaves Game 1 of ALDS with back injury

Adrian Beltre
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Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre, who’s been playing through an assortment of injuries for much of the season, left Game 1 of the ALDS in the third inning after tweaking his back on an RBI single.

Beltre grimaced in pain during the follow-through of his swing and could barely make it down the first base line. He remained in the game, but looked even worse trying to go to second base on Prince Fielder‘s ground out and was removed after the half-inning. He exited the field in tears.

Beltre is one of the best all-around third basemen in MLB history and even at age 36 had a fantastic season, hitting .287 with 18 homers and a .788 OPS in 143 games. That includes hitting .318 with 11 homers and an .884 OPS in the second half.

His pain threshold has been extremely high over the years, but based on how bad Beltre looked before exiting the game it’s hard to imagine him being available for a while. Texas has the option of removing him from the ALDS roster and adding another player, but doing so would make Beltre ineligible to return for the ALCS.

Hanser Alberto replaced Beltre and the Rangers are short on infield depth, making it an especially tough loss. According to the team, Beltre first hurt his back sliding into second base in the first inning and then worsened it with his third-inning swing.

Cardinals playoff roster: Wainwright and Molina in, Adams and Choate out

Adam Wainwright

St. Louis announced its roster for the NLDS and the biggest news is the inclusion of Adam Wainwright as a reliever.

Expected to miss the entire season following a torn Achilles’ tendon in April, he instead returned to make three relief appearances in the final week of the season and now may be counted on to get some key late-inning outs against the Cubs.

Right-hander Steve Cishek and left-hander Randy Choate are not on the NLDS roster, losing their bullpen spots to Tyler Lyons and Carlos Villanueva. Outfielders Jon Jay and Tommy Pham both made the roster, which had been a topic of much debate in Cardinals nation.

First baseman Mark Reynolds made the roster, but first baseman Matt Adams did not despite returning from the disabled list for some late-season action. And of course catcher Yadier Molina is on the roster and will give it a go playing through a sprained left thumb that’s sidelined him since September 20.

John Lackey will start Game 1, followed in the rotation by Jaime Garcia in Game 2, Michael Wacha in Game 3, and Lance Lynn in Game 4.

ALDS, Game 1: Rangers vs. Blue Jays lineups

Toronto Blue Jays' starting pitcher David Price works against the Baltimore Orioles during first inning of a baseball game in Toronto, Saturday, Sept. 5, 2015. (Darren Calabrese/The Canadian Press via AP) MANDATORY CREDIT

Here are the Rangers and Blue Jays lineups for Game 1 of the ALDS in Toronto:

CF Delino DeShields
RF Shin-Soo Choo
3B Adrian Beltre
DH Prince Fielder
1B Mike Napoli
LF Josh Hamilton
SS Elvis Andrus
2B Rougned Odor
C Robinson Chirinos

SP Yovani Gallardo

With left-hander David Price on the mound for Toronto the Rangers are going with Mike Napoli at first base over Mitch Moreland. Beyond that it’s a pretty standard lineup for Texas, or at least standard for what manager Jeff Banister used down the stretch once Josh Hamilton was healthy enough to play left field.

LF Ben Revere
3B Josh Donaldson
RF Jose Bautista
DH Edwin Encarnacion
SS Troy Tulowitzki
1B Justin Smoak
C Russell Martin
2B Ryan Goins
CF Kevin Pillar

SP David Price

After returning from the disabled list for the final weekend of the regular season Troy Tulowitzki is in the lineup and batting fifth. That allows Ryan Goins to play second base in place of the injured Devon Travis. Justin Smoak gets the nod over Chris Colabello at first base against a right-hander.