UPDATE: X-rays negative on A-Rod, Joe Buck takes responsibility

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UPDATE: For those not watching FOX’s telecast of the Red Sox-Yankees game, A-Rod was hit by the line drive during BP after being “distracted” by Joe Buck. Can’t make this stuff up.

The good news, at least for Yankees fans, is that the X-rays came back negative and Rodriguez is listed as day-to-day.

2:41 PM: Alex Rodriguez was diagnosed with a lower left leg contusion, according to Ben Shpigel of the New York Times. He’ll receive X-rays. Ramiro Pena will start in his place at third base this afternoon.

1:49 PM: Uh-oh. According to Bryan Hoch of MLB.com, Alex Rodriguez just limped off the field after being struck in the left leg by a line drive during batting practice.

According to several beat writers on the scene, it appears that Rodriguez was hit in the shin by a ball off the bat of Lance Berkman. What can you say, the guy continues to make plenty of new friends in New York.

Andrew Marchand of ESPNNewYork.com reports that A-Rod was “writhing in pain” and was down on the ground for several minutes.

We’ll soon find out if it was anything serious.

There is, indeed, an MLB-to-Portland group

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On Monday, Baseball America reported that MLB is prepared to expand to Portland and Montreal. We talked about that at length yesterday. One of the most common responses to that piece has been “Portland? Really?”

There’s good reason for that response. Baseball-to-Portland has been talked about for years, but there has never been any real traction. Past initiatives have failed, significant public funding for a stadium seems to be a political impossibility and, heck, Portland wasn’t even interested in keeping its Triple-A team, turning its stadium into a much more successful soccer venue and not missing the Beavers all that much.

It would seem, however, that the reports are not mere speculation and there is a genuine baseball-to-Portland initiative afoot once again. From the Oregonian:

On Tuesday, former Trail Blazers broadcaster Mike Barrett confirmed to The Oregonian/OregonLive that he is part of the Portland group.

“I am officially involved with a campaign to bring Major League Baseball and a stadium development to Portland,” Barrett said. “There is also a formally organized, sophisticated and seasoned management group running this initiative. We will keep you fully apprised of any/all developments as this project progresses.”

One guy — a broadcaster no less — saying he’s part of a group is not exactly a major needle-mover, of course. But it does contrast with past Portland initiatives that have been well-publicized grassroots affairs. While those may have been more broad-based and while their public nature may have provided some refreshing transparency, the simple fact of professional sports ownership in the 21st century is that well-monied groups who play things close to the vest are more likely to make waves. We’re in an age when technocratic hedge fund-type guys make things happen in this arena, not in an age when flamboyant public personalities do.

None of which is to say that baseball in Portland is a lock or that expansion anywhere is a short term proposition. It’s just to note that, yeah, there is a bit more going on, it seems, than just pointing at a map and saying “yeah, a team would make sense here.”