A-Rod’s 2009 never happened, people. Got me? IT NEVER HAPPENED

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While I take issue with the reporting of the role that the flirting business is playing in A-Rod’s benching, I don’t take issue with the chorus of voices speculating that A-Rod is on his way out of town.  I mean, if I’m the Yankees I try to give him a healthy spring to see what he has in the tank for 2013, but it would not shock me at all if he was shopped this offseason.

Others feel this way too. And in addition to talking about a Yankees future without Rodriguez, they’re doing a good job of scrubbing the past clean of him as well.

Take Mike Lupica, for instance, who is doing God’s work in correcting the record so that the Fail-Rod narrative can be applied without complication once he’s gone:

Alex Rodriguez is not Reggie Jackson no matter how many home runs he has hit, on or off steroids, and even though he was Mr. October 2009 once. You look back on it now, on that October, in light of what happened for him in the postseason before that and after, if he made some kind of “Damn Yankees” deal with the devil, even though he was playing for the Yankees at the time.

Now he has become the damned Yankee, and it is why he is gone when this season is over.

Got that? 2009 didn’t happen. It was Satan at work, and thus there is no need to think of Rodriguez as ever being a good player in pinstripes.  Now, where is my airbrush so that I can take him out of all of the photos …

Francisco Rodriguez is being sued by his former landlord

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John Wisely of the Detroit Free Press reports that current free agent reliever Francisco Rodriguez is being sued by his former landlord for damage to the rented property as well as missing artwork. The landlord is asking for $80,000 after having kept Rodriguez’s $15,000 security deposit.

The lawsuit says that Rodriguez damaged a bedroom TV, a crystal floor lamp, glass shelves in the bar, glass tiles in the master bath, and a Moroccan mirror in the powder room. Additionally, the suit claims that the bedding is stained and paint has chipped, as well as other damages. And the piece of art that is allegedly missing, which depicts a tiger, is valued at more than $10,000.

Rodriguez has not yet been served with the suit, but the landlord has been speaking to his managers.

The Nationals released Rodriguez, 35, two weeks ago after having signed him to a minor league contract in late June. He started the season with the Tigers, but struggled to a 7.82 ERA over 25 1/3 innings before being released.

Report: Rays acquire Lucas Duda from the Mets

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MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand reports that the Rays have acquired first baseman Lucas Duda from the Mets. The Mets will receive pitching prospect Drew Smith in return, per Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports.

Duda, 31, is batting .246/.347/.532 with 17 home runs and 37 RBI in 291 plate appearances for the Mets this season. He’ll provide a potent bat in the Rays’ lineup as they attempt to overcome their current 2.5-game deficit in the AL East.

Smith, 23, is the Rays’ No. 30 prospect, according to MLB Pipeline. He ascended from High-A to Triple-A already this season, posting an aggregate 1.60 ERA with a 40/9 K/BB ratio over 45 innings across four stops with High-A Lakeland (Tigers), High-A Charlotte (Rays), Double-A Montgomery, and Triple-A Durham.