Oh no! A-Rod snubs Joe Torre


According to Marc Carig of the Newark Star-Ledger, no more than 10 feet separated Alex Rodriguez from Dodgers manager Joe Torre before Friday’s game, however the third baseman kept his back turned as the former Yankees skipper was greeted by some of his former players around the batting cage, including Derek Jeter, Joba Chamberlain, Robinson Cano, Joe Girardi and Jorge Posada. Burn.

“I didn’t see him,” said Rodriguez, who before the game, kept his back
turned away as Torre exchanged hugs and handshakes. “But I’m sure we’ll
get a chance to meet up.”

Many believe that Rodriguez still holds a grudge after Torre batted him eighth during the 2006 playoffs and painted him in a negative light in his book “The Yankee Years,” co-written with Sports Illustrated’s Tom Verducci. Still, Torre isn’t bothered by the alleged “snub.”

“I don’t look at it as disrespect,” Torre said. “I don’t know what to
say but I don’t want to dump on Alex… If we had come close enough, we
certainly would have shaken hands.”

Pressed on the matter, Rodriguez said he intends to greet Torre before the end of the series.

“We’re going to be here for three days,” he said. “There’s no rush. I
don’t really have anything to say. If he wants to talk I’m more than
welcome to talk to him.”

You know that whole matter about tired storylines in nationally-televised games? Well, you might want to stay away from your television this weekend, as FOX will carry Saturday’s game and ESPN will be in Los Angeles on Sunday night.

For those of you interested in the actual game, the Yankees won Friday’s series opener 2-1 thanks to a go-ahead solo home run by Rodriguez in the sixth inning and Mariano Rivera striking out the side in the bottom of the ninth.

The international draft is all about MLB making money and the union selling out non-members

SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO - MARCH 13:  A fan flies the Dominican Republic flag during the game against Cuba during Round 2 of the World Baseball Classic on March 13, 2006 at Hiram Bithorn Stadium in San Juan, Puerto Rico.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
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On Monday we passed along a report that Major League Baseball and the MLBPA are negotiating over an international draft. That report — from ESPN’s Buster Olney — cited competitive balance and the well-being of international free agents as the reasons why they’re pushing for the draft.

We have long doubted those stated motivations and said so again in our post on Monday. But we’re just armchair skeptics when it comes to this. Ben Badler of Baseball America is an expert. Perhaps the foremost expert on international baseball, international signings and the like. Today he writes about a would-be international draft and he tears MLB, the MLBPA and their surrogates in the media to shreds with respect to their talking points.

Of course Badler is a nice guy so “tearing to shreds” is probably putting it too harshly. Maybe it’s better to say that he systematically dismantles the stated rationale for the international draft and makes plan what’s really going on: MLB is looking to save money and the players are looking to sell out non-union members to further their own bargaining position:

Major League Baseball has long wanted an international draft. The driving force behind implementing an international draft is for owners to control their labor costs by paying less money to international amateur players, allowing owners to keep more of that money . . . the players’ association doesn’t care about international amateur players as anything more than a bargaining chip. It’s nothing discriminatory against foreign players, it’s just that the union looks out for players on 40-man rosters. So international players, draft picks in the United States and minor leaguers who make less than $10,000 in annual salary get their rights sold out by the union, which in exchange can negotiate items like a higher major league minimum salary, adjustments to the Super 2 rules or modifying draft pick compensation attached to free agent signings.

Badler then walks through the process of how players are discovered, scouted and signed in Latin America and explains, quite convincingly, how MLB’s international draft and, indeed, its fundamental approach to amateurs in Latin America is lacking.

Read this. Then, every time a U.S.-based writer with MLB sources talks about the international draft, ask whether they know something Ben Badler doesn’t or, alternatively, whether they’re carrying water for either the league or the union.

President Bill Murray speaks about the Cubs from the White House

CHICAGO - APRIL 12:  Celebrity Bill Murray clowns around with Chicago media before the opening day game between the Chicago Cubs and the Pittsburgh Pirates on April 12, 2004 at Wrigley Field in Chicago, Illinois. The Pirates defeated the Cubs 13-2.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
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I don’t know why Bill Murray is in Washington today. I don’t know why he’s at the White House. But I do know that he was there in Chicago Cubs gear, standing at the lectern in the press briefing room, voicing his full confidence in the Cubs prevailing in the NLCS, despite the fact that Clayton Kershaw is going for the Dodgers tomorrow night.

“Too many sticks,” president Murray said of the Cubs lineup. And something about better trees in Illinois.

Four. More. Years.