Alex Rodriguez

Alex Rodriguez could need in-season surgery for slight meniscus tear in knee


According to Chad Jennings of the Journal News, Alex Rodriguez was diagnosed with a slight meniscus tear in his ailing right knee.

Yankees manager Joe Girardi said a decision will be made today whether A-Rod will continue to play through the pain or undergo in-season surgery, which much like fellow veteran third baseman Chipper Jones, would likely cost him a month. Either way, surgery will eventually be necessary.

Rodriguez, 35, is batting .295/.366/.485 with 13 homers and 52 RBI over 344 plate appearances this season, but hasn’t homered since June 11. Eric Chavez was his primary backup to begin the season, but is currently on the disabled list. If A-Rod opts for the surgery, Ramiro Pena and Eduardo Nunez would be in line for most of the playing time at the hot corner. In that case, we should probably expect Brian Cashman to be active at the trade deadline.

On a day where all the attention was supposed to be focused on Derek Jeter’s pursuit of 3,000 hits, now we’ll all be talking about A-Rod’s dilemma. Typical A-Rod to go ahead and get hurt just to steal the spotlight, right?

Starts times of postseason games announced


Every year the playoff schedule is announced, every year people complain. And it’s understandable why they do. After six months of games starting at around 7pm — bam! — the playoffs come and you’re either staying up late or tuning in early to watch your local nine.

Of course, the reason for this is that Major League Baseball has two fundamental problems to deal with when the playoffs come around (a) the country is big; and (b) baseball is local and two-thirds and more of the fans don’t have a local team to root for in the playoffs. As such, baseball has to make a schedule that somehow deals with teams — like the Mets and Dodgers — who have big time differences between their home fan bases while trying to rope in as many national viewers as possible.

This means compromises and weirdness like, say, the first couple of Mets-Dodgers games starting after 9pm Eastern time on Friday and Saturday. Or the Texas Rangers starting a game at what, back home in Texas, will be 11:45AM. Which, admittedly, aren’t great start times, but do we expect Dodgers fans in L.A. to fight Friday rush hour traffic and be home in time to watch a game featuring the local team any earlier than 6pm? Seems like a tall order.

Anyway, the early round schedule was just released and you can see it below. If you are so inclined you can find all manner of inconveniences here. Sure, if you don’t have a job — or if being online and watching baseball all day is your job — Friday’s back-to-back-to-back-to-back playoff games are pretty sweet. But otherwise, just plan accordingly and do the best you can.

And remember: no one gives a rip about these schedule issues about ten minutes after the games start:

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Wild Card, Division series umpires announced

Angel Hernandez

Major League Baseball just released the umpire assignments for the Wild Card Game and the Division Series. As always, the basis for these assignments is a proprietary, scientific calculation undertaken by Major League Baseball, mixing in (a) skill; (b) seniority; and (c) trolling of baseball bloggers who, unlike 99% of the rest of the world actually know the names and track records of various umpires and who are easily riled.

Which is to say that, while we have no Joe West in the early playoff rounds this year — too obvious, perhaps? — we do get an Angel Hernandez.

Here are the assignments. The asterisks represent the crew chief of each unit. Guys with little up arrows next to their names are regular season crew chiefs in their own right. Print this out and keep it near your television so you know who to yell about before the broadcasters tell you who to yell at:

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