In which I pretend to be above passing along Derek and Minka news even though I’m really not

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I got an email from a publicist a little while ago linking me to a report in “Life & Style Weekly” about Derek Jeter and Minka Kelly being back together. The email said that whoever writes about it “MUST CREDIT LIFE & STYLE WEEKLY.”  So this is credit. Here’s the story over there.  Though, really, you probably want to buy the paper copy, so you can learn why Pippa Middleton is “undateable.”

I mocked all of this on Twitter, but I shouldn’t have. There are people who care about this stuff. And I’m not above getting the page views for linking it, so we’re all a part of the same ugly little celebrity-chasing culture. I’ll own it.

Anyway, in case you care:

… they were seen strolling around the prestigious Musée d’Orsay in Paris on Dec. 29. “They had a guide taking them around on the fifth floor, and they were looking at Monet and the works of other French impressionists,” Pepperdine University student Jaime Olaez, who saw the couple at the art museum, tells Life & Style. “They went to all the different floors; they looked at Van Gogh. Derek was very low-key and was wearing a black-and-gray sweater. Minka looked very pretty. She was wearing white jeans, a brown jacket and boots.”

The Pepperdine student also got audio of their conversation:

Derek: Minka, you’re doing a great job showing me the museum, the Vermeer is quite good, simple, vibrant, but his work definitely fell off as he got older.
Minka: Remind you of anyone?
Derek: And I always confuse Monet and Manet. Now which one married his mistress?
Minka: Monet.
Derek: Right, and then Manet had syphilis.
Minka: They also painted occasionally.

Can I go home yet?  Oh, wait.

Damn.

Must-Click Link: “Skunk in the Outfield”

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Sam Miller of ESPN has an amazingly fantastic story today. It’s about a high school tournament baseball game in Rhode Island in 2006. It’s not your typical game story or oral history or look-to-the-past-to-see-the-future kind of thing. The only nod to such conventionality is mention of the fact that former Red Sox prospect Ryan Westmoreland played in the game. That’s mostly a footnote.

No, the article is about a trick play — “skunk in the outfield” — concocted by one of the coaches. About how it played out and what went into it before, during and after it happened. Along the way Miller talks about the nature of trick plays and offers a good three dozen amazing insights into the psychology of young baseball players and the strategy of baseball as it unfolds in real time.

Each of these observations could anchor its own story but here they form a grand mosaic. And that’s only mild hyperbole, if in fact it’s hyperbole at all. Indeed, most treatments of such a play would be some video clip with a “wow, look what happened here!” sort of couching. Miller gives a more than ten-year-old trick play an epic treatment that is every bit as enlightening as it is entertaining.

Set some time aside to read this today.

Rubby De La Rosa to undergo a second Tommy John Surgery

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This is unfortunate: Diamondbacks reliever Rubby De La Rosa will undergo Tommy John surgery. This will be the second Tommy John procedure of his career, the first coming back in 2011.

De La Rosa has had elbow  issues for his entire career. Last year his UCL was barking again and he underwent stem cell therapy to try to avoid a second surgery, but it obviously hasn’t worked out. He’s pitched in only nine games this year, allowing four earned runs in seven and two-thirds innings, striking out 12.

I first saw De La Rosa in spring training in 2011. I thought his stuff was pretty phenomenal and figured he’d be a good one. Great stuff is often a function of heavy strain on an elbow, however, and pitchers breaking is, unfortunately, the rule in baseball far more than the exception.

He’ll miss a year at least. We likely won’t see him until spring of 2019, most likely on a minor league deal.