Alex Rodriguez plunked

Indians-Yankees round two: Mitch Talbot ejected after plunking A-Rod

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After Friday’s benches-clearing incident in the game between the Indians and Yankees, umpire Dan Iassogna wasn’t going to tolerate any hijinks Saturday.  Iassogna tossed Cleveland’s Mitch Talbot in the bottom of the sixth for hitting Alex Rodriguez in the thigh, even though it was the first HBP for either team on the day.

In Iassogna’s defense, there were some suspicious circumstances here.  Curtis Granderson homered two batters before A-Rod stepped to the plate, and A-Rod himself had homered in his previous at-bat.

Still, it was just a 2-0 game at the time, with the solo homers accounting for the only scoring.  Talbot was defnitely hoping for a win at the time, not revenge. It was raining in New York, and Tablot clearly slipped on the mound while delivering the pitch that his A-Rod. Yankees PBP guy Michael Kay suggested it might have been acting, but with the awkward delivery, Talbot didn’t throw the pitch at full speed and what’s the point of intentionally hitting someone if you’re not going to rush the ball up there as hard as you can?

With Iassogna quickly taking control, there wasn’t much action in the dugouts after this one.  A-Rod dropped to his knees for a minute, but he was fine to continue.  Bartolo Colon is currently working on another shutout bid and would be foolish to retaliate with the score as is.  If there’s more to come, it probably won’t happen until Sunday or Monday.

The Cardinals will not exercise Matt Holliday’s 2017 option

CHICAGO, IL - JUNE 20: Matt Holliday #7 of the St. Louis Cardinals reacts after strikin out to John Lackey #41 of the Chicago Cubs (not pictured) during the first inning at Wrigley Field on June 20, 2016 in Chicago, Illinois.  (Photo by Jon Durr/Getty Images)
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Jon Heyman reports that the Cardinals do not plan to exercise Matt Holliday‘s $17 million option for 2017.
And, not surprisingly, will not extend him a similarly priced qualifying offer, either.

Holliday will be 37 when spring training begins and he is finishing his worst season as a major leaguer, having hit .242/.318/.450 with 19 homers over 424 plate appearances.

Injuries have not helped him — he’s missed the last six weeks with a fractured thumb — but it’s not like guys het healthier the older they get. Holliday will likely be looking at a massive pay cut for next year and a competition to make an Opening Day roster.

The Blue Jays and the Toronto press are fueding with each other

ST. PETERSBURG, FL - SEPTEMBER 3:  Manager John Gibbons #5 of the Toronto Blue Jays looks on from the dugout during the first inning of a game against the Tampa Bay Rays on September 3, 2016 at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images)
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The Blue Jays are poised to make the playoffs for the second year in a row and are playing a critical series with the Orioles, the outcome of which will likely determine who gets to play at home for that one-and-done game next week. Big stakes! Must keep focused!

Or, alternatively, maybe it’s time to have a silly, juvenile feud with the press. Here’s Steve Buffery of the Toronto Sun, asking why the Jays are doing stuff like this while fighting for the playoffs:

Why, for example, would the leaders on the team allow someone to put up on a wall photos of two Toronto sports writers with an ‘X’ scratched on their face and the a message written on top reading, ‘Do not grant them interviews’ (or words to that effect)? . . . Things like: Someone cranking up the music just when the media arrives to conduct pre-game interviews.

Not that the Jays have been treated wonderfully by the press themselves:

There was an incident the other night when a couple of journalists tried to corral struggling closer Roberto Osuna for an interview, but he kept blowing them off. Finally, one reporter followed him right into a private part of the clubhouse and told him off.

That’s . . . not what you’re supposed to do.

Still, there is zero point to get into silly feuds with the media. If they overstep their bounds, there are a TON of Jays officials and, I suspect, newspaper editors, who will quickly and eagerly discipline the reporter. You don’t have to make wanted posters and act like children. Partially because it’s just a bad look. But also, because it leads to news stories about it like the one in the Toronto Sun.