Dr. Lupica will see you now

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Mike Lupica — who I’m sure has some sort of medical degree or else he wouldn’t be allowed to go after a doctor like this due to his total lack of expertise and credibility on such issues — is skeptical about the physician who treated A-Rod’s knee over in Germany:

Nobody is saying that Wehling, the new star doctor of the moment in sports, is Galea, or will ever look at any kind of legal trouble. Maybe what Wehling is doing with blood really is better than what everybody else is doing, he is one of those guys out of science and medicine who really is a step or two ahead of the field.

But sometimes you don’t have to be either a doctor or a scientist to know that when things look too good to be true, they usually are.

He repeatedly refers to the blood-spinning procedure A-Rod got as “a quick fix” and the whole column drips with dubiousness that is only present because A-Rod is involved and he’s a big lightning rod for this stuff, not because there’s a single reason to believe that the doctor or the procedure in question is suspect legally or ethically.

I’m struck by the notion that if Lupica were writing 90 years ago he’d be putting up columns going after Alexander Felming:

“Nobody is saying that Fleming, the man who claims that if Penicillium notatum were grown in the appropriate substrate, it would exude a substance with antibiotic properties, is possessed by evil spirits and practices sorcery, but sometimes you don’t have to be a doctor or scientist to know that if things look too good to be true, they usually are.”

Not sure which 1920s ballplayer would be the whipping boy Alex Rodriguez is because of it, but I’m going with … Babe Herman of the Brooklyn Robins. His name — there has to be some sort of “little Babe” or “FauxBabe” construction the tabloids would go in for — and the city he played in would be way too ripe for a guy like Lupica to riff on all the time.

Report: Twins sign Erick Aybar to minor-league deal

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The Twins have reportedly signed free agent shortstop Erick Aybar to a minor-league deal, LaVelle E. Neal III of the Star Tribune reported Friday. FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman adds that the deal comes with a potential $1.25 million if Aybar reaches the majors, with additional incentives based on plate appearances. He’ll be able to opt out on March 27. The team has yet to confirm the signing.

Aybar, 34, is now four years removed from his career year in 2014. He’s been in a state of steady decline since then, slashing just .234/.300/.348 with seven home runs and 11 stolen bases over 370 plate appearances for the Padres in 2017. His poor performance wasn’t helped by a fractured left foot, either, which cost him almost six weeks on the disabled list.

Still, the Twins see something promising in the veteran infielder, and reportedly intend to use him as another utility option this spring. Per Neal, Aybar will join fellow backup infielders Eduardo Escobar and Ehire Adrianza and may even (temporarily) take over for Miguel Sano at third base if Sano isn’t able to shape up for the role by Opening Day.