The best foaming-at-the-mouth anti-A-Rod screed you'll read today

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The Associated Press’ Tim Dahlberg gives us a great big blast of anti-Arod vitriol today, the likes of which we haven’t seen since the spring of 2009.  The occasion: Rodriguez’s imminent topping of the 600 home run mark.  Among the choicest bits (though if you’re into outrage porn, I highly recommend reading the whole thing):

Forgive me, though, if I don’t stand up and cheer. Because we’ve all seen this act before.

A magical mark. A tainted player.

Another entry into the record books we can’t believe.

About the only thing missing is an immense, shaven head and the traveling circus that always seemed to surround it. Say what you will about Barry Bonds, he always made for good entertainment.

Yeah, Dahlberg actually has relatively kind words for Bonds compared to A-Rod based on some notion that A-Rod is actually a worse person for admitting that he took PEDs when confronted about it as opposed to Bonds, for whom Dahlberg says “there was always a shred of deniability about steroids.”

Whatever. Based on what he wrote last year, Dahlberg doesn’t even believe that baseball players deserve basic Constitutional rights, so I’m pretty sure he’d have hate to spew regarding Rodriguez no matter what we learned about the extent or affect of his PED use.  Really, we could get a notarized statement from God Almighty that PEDs gave A-Rod a definite number of extra home runs over the years and Dahlberg would still dismiss his entire career as a fraud.

But we can dismiss Dahlberg’s take just as easily. The whole screed sounds like something warmed over from two years ago when steroid outrage wasn’t yet tired and cliched.  Most fans — and writers — have moved on since then. No, that doesn’t mean we’ve forgotten or even forgiven — nor should we — but most sensible people have moved past the idea that they’ve had their childhood memories stolen from them simply because an athlete took some drugs.

Sadly, some people still feel like they’ve been utterly betrayed.  What a small and sad world they must live in.

Mike Piazza, Ken Griffey, Jr. inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame

COOPERSTOWN, NY - JULY 24:  Mike Piazza (L) and Ken Griffey Jr. pose with thier plaques at Clark Sports Center after the Baseball Hall of Fame induction ceremony on July 24, 2016 in Cooperstown, New York.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images
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As Craig previewed on Friday, catcher Mike Piazza and outfielder Ken Griffey, Jr. were inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame on Sunday. The Hall’s official Twitter account tweeted photos of each player’s plaque.

Junior, of course, should’ve been depicted with a backwards baseball cap in his plaque. He did put his cap on backwards during his speech.

Craig covered the analysis angle on Friday, so I’ll share my personal perspective.

As someone who grew up watching Piazza and Griffey, it’s cool to see them inducted into the Hall of Fame. As I’m not yet in my 30’s, I only recently got used to seeing my childhood favorites getting inducted into Cooperstown. Looking at the list, Barry Larkin was probably the first player inducted whose career I completely remember following. Since then, this time every July has made me feel pretty old, even if that’s not actually the case. It’s like, “It’s been six years since he retired already?”

If you were a kid growing up in the 1990’s and you played baseball, you mimicked Griffey’s swing. I was terrible at hitting, so it didn’t help me any, but it was a cool feeling when you did Junior’s signature waggle at the plate and connected with a pitch. And if you grew up with video games in the ’90’s, you probably also played his self-titled Super Nintendo Game:

Piazza is a special case, as I’m from southeast Pennsylvania. He was from nearby Norristown and Phoenixville, and as such was the pride of the state even if he spent most of his time across the country and, later, with the rival Mets. It wasn’t uncommon to see people hate the Mets’ guts but still cheer when Piazza homered, as long as it wasn’t against the Phillies. There was one particular home run which had everyone cheering, no matter their affiliation:

Congratulations to Griffey and Piazza for being immortalized into the Baseball Hall of Fame on Sunday, a well-deserved honor.

The 2017 Hall of Fame ballot will bring back Jeff Bagwell, Tim Raines, Trevor Hoffman, Curt Schilling, Roger Clemens, Barry Bonds, Edgar Martinez, Mike Mussina, Lee Smith, Fred McGriff, Jeff Kent, Larry Walker, Gary Sheffield, Billy Wagner, and Sammy Sosa. First-timers will include Ivan Rodriguez, Manny Ramirez, Vladimir Guerrero, Javier Vazquez, Mike Cameron, J.D. Drew, Jorge Posada, Magglio Ordonez, Derrek Lee, Tim Wakefield, Edgar Renteria, Melvin Mora, Carlos Guillen, Jason Varitek, Orlando Cabrera, Aaron Rowand, Pat Burrell, Freddy Sanchez, Arthur Rhodes, Julio Lugo, and Danys Baez.

White Sox suspend Chris Sale five games over Saturday’s clubhouse incident

HOUSTON, TX - JULY 02:  Chris Sale #49 of the Chicago White Sox pitches in the first inning against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park on July 2, 2016 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
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White Sox starter Chris Sale was scratched from Saturday’s start against the Tigers due to a clubhouse incident. It turns out Sale wasn’t happy that the White Sox wanted to use throwback uniforms that featured collars. Sale reportedly cut up his uniform and got into a heated argument with front office staff.

The White Sox released a statement on Sunday, announcing that Sale has been suspended five games. White Sox senior vice president and general manager Rick Hahn said, “Chris has been suspended for violating team rules, for insubordination, and for destroying team equipment.”

Hahn continued, “While we all appreciate Chris’ talent and passion, there is a correct way and an incorrect way to express concerns about team rules and organizational expectations.”

Matt Albers made a spot start in Sale’s place on Saturday against the Tigers. He gave up one run on one hit with one strikeout in two innings of work before giving way to the bullpen.

Sale, 27, has been mentioned in trade rumors lately with the August 1 non-waiver trade deadline approaching. The White Sox reportedly turned down a “king’s ransom” for Sale recently, but one wonders if the clubhouse incident might motivate the club to make a trade.