Max Scherzer injures ankle during celebration

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Tigers starter Max Scherzer, already nursing a sore shoulder in recent weeks, won’t pitch Wednesday as planned after injuring his right ankle during the Tigers’ on-field celebration Monday.

Manager Jim Leyland wanted to make it clear that it was an injury that took place on the field after the Tigers clinched the AL Central and not later after the champagne started flowing.

“Somebody jumping on the pile stepped on his ankle,” Leyland said. “This is legit. This is exactly how it happened.”

Scherzer missed his last start because of shoulder soreness, and the Tigers wanted to get him a few innings tomorrow as a tuneup for the ALDS. Now it appears that he’ll go into the ALDS cold. However, early word is that he will be available to start during the series. If Scherzer can’t go, then Rick Porcello would likely join Justin Verlander, Doug Fister and Anibal Sanchez in the postseason rotation.

A-Rod to join ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball booth

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Alex Rodriguez’s post-retirement renaissance continues apace. After starring as a studio host for Fox’s playoff coverage over the past couple of years, A-Rod is about to be named to, arguably, televised baseball’s top job: color commentary in ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball booth.

Michael McCarthy of The Sporting News is hearing that ESPN is going to give the gig, vacated by Aaron Boone by virtue of his hiring by the Yankees, to Rodriguez. There he’ll join Jessica Mendoza and whoever they get to replace play-by-play man Dan Shulman, who chose to step back from the Sunday night job following last season. This, by the way, marks the second time A-Rod has taken over Aaron Boone’s job given that he replaced Boone at third base for the Yankees in 2004.

The twist: A-Rod is likely to keep his Fox postseason job too. While some broadcasters work for multiple networks, it’s pretty rare for Fox to allow its talents to work for competitors like that. Apparently they believe keeping A-Rod — who five years ago was one of the most despised figures in baseball — is worth it. What a difference a few years makes.

In other news, Alex Rodriguez is likely to be shunned mightily by the current crop of BBWAA voters when he hits the Hall of Fame ballot in a couple of years. At the rate he’s going, though, their successors will put him in Cooperstown via the Ford Frick Award sometime in the 2040s.