McCarver apologizes for the Nazi/Commie reference, is still wrong about the Yankees

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Good for Tim McCarver for realizing that his comparison of the Yankees to Nazi Germany and Stalin’s Soviet Union was a bit much:

McCarver, a close friend of Torre’s, said Monday in an interview from
Florida that his analogies between the Yankees and the Third Reich and
Stalin’s Soviet Union were “inappropriate.”

Bad for McCarver for still beating the Yankees-need-to-do-more-to-honor-Joe-Torre drum:

But he added, “In my opinion, the underlying point here remains true:
Yankees management has erased Joe Torre from their history.” He said, “I
don’t think the Yankees have embraced the image of Joe Torre.”

I think the funniest thing about all of this is that McCarver’s particular choice of words here — “embrace the image” — puts more fascist/Stalinist imagery in my head than airbrushing people out of pictures does. I get this feeling that McCarver won’t be happy unless there are large, teeming crowds holding up giant images of Torre’s head with the words “Our Dear Leader” under it while Torre waves from a balcony in a military uniform, basking in the cult of personality that the Yankees have created for him.

OK, really all McCarver wants the Yankees to do is to retire Torre’s number: “Retiring his number would mean embracing his legacy,” he said.  I don’t suppose this is insane — the Yankees retired Yogi Berra’s number when he was managing the Mets — but it’s not like Berra (a) wrote a tell-all book before then; or (b) only had his legacy as a manager to justify his number being retired. Billy Martin’s number was retired before he was done managing too, but he wasn’t managing anyone else at the time.

Maybe Casey Stengel is the most appropriate example. His number was retired in 1970, after he was done managing but before he kicked the bucket. If that treatment was good enough for him, it’s probably good enough for Torre, no?

Aledmys Diaz is trying to improve his defense with strobe glasses

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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.

Eduardo Rodriguez could rejoin the Red Sox rotation in July

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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.