Curtis Granderson gets to ride with the cool kids

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Remember when you were a freshman in high school and you bummed a ride off the cool, older kid who already had his license and a car? No? Well trust me, it’s a defining moment, one that can bring instant credibility to your high school existence. Unless of course, the driver is this guy.

Derek Jeter, obviously, is not that guy. On the contrary, he’s just about the coolest guy on the planet. So you can imagine the excitement Curtis Granderson felt riding around in the back of Jeter’s Mercedes on Monday as the players returned to Tampa after a game in Brandenton.

Alex Rodriguez rode shotgun, and somehow Randy Winn also managed to find a spot. I can only assume Winn was a stow-away, sneaking into the back seat while Jeter and A-Rod fought off the autograph hounds. Once they discovered him, it was too late.

Take it away, New York Times:

“At first glance, you sit there and go, ‘Man, you know, do I call home and tell my friends who I got a ride with?’ ” Granderson said.

In the end, he didn’t. Granderson was too busy trying to navigate. Apparently, the G.P.S. in Jeter’s Mercedes was showing a different route back to Tampa from the system in Granderson’s iPhone.

Granderson did have one freshman moment, however, when he asked Jeter what all the switches and buttons in the back seat were for. Jeter’s response? “I don’t know, I’m never back there.”

Uh oh, kid. Back to the bus you go.

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Henderson Alvarez signs with Tigres de Quintana Roo

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Free agent right-hander Henderson Alvarez signed a deal with the Tigres de Quintana Roo of the Mexican Baseball League earlier this week, FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Friday. The righty wasn’t necessarily too fringey a player to hack it in the big leagues, but there were no MLB takers in attendance during his showcase in Venezuela last month and he clearly felt it best to try his luck elsewhere.

The 27-year-old’s last major league gig came with the Phillies, for whom he delivered a 4.30 ERA, 6.8 BB/9 and 3.7 SO/9 over 14 2/3 innings in 2017. While he’s not too far removed from his first and only All-Star bid in 2014, he was besieged by shoulder issues in 2015 and 2016 and underwent season-ending surgeries as a result.

That added injury risk, coupled with the fact that he hasn’t pitched more than 22 innings in a single season since 2014, may have been too much for major league teams to take on this spring. Assuming he steers clear of further injuries, however, a return to the majors may not be entirely out of the question in years to come.