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 …

Another young fan was struck by a foul ball, this time at Guaranteed Rate Field

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ESPN reports via the Associated Press that a young boy was struck by a line drive foul ball but was not seriously injured during Sunday afternoon’s game against the Royals. The boy and a woman were escorted by a first aid crew to the concourse area and the boy was later eating ice cream in a luxury suite.

A woman was struck in the face by a foul ball also on the first base side at Guaranteed Rate Field on Friday, but she didn’t request medical assistance.

Last week, a young fan at Yankee Stadium was hit by a line drive foul ball, which motivated several teams to commit to extending protective netting at their ballparks. The Yankees, strangely, were not among them. Nor were the White Sox.

Diamondbacks clinch NL Wild Card

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Losses by the Cardinals to the Pirates and the Brewers to the Cubs on Sunday clinched an NL Wild Card berth for the Diamondbacks. Their walk-off, 3-2 win over the Marlins earned them hosting rights for the Wild Card game.

The D-Backs, now 90-66, trailed the Marlins 2-1 going into the bottom of the eighth. Daniel Descalso tied the game at two apiece with an RBI single off of Brad Ziegler. Second half hero J.D. Martinez secured the win with a walk-off RBI single in the bottom of the ninth against Javy Guerra.

The Rockies beat the Padres on Sunday to increase their lead over the Brewers (+2) and Cardinals (+2.5) for the second Wild Card slot. One of these three teams will visit Arizona for the Wild Card game.

The Diamondbacks are back in the playoffs for the first time since 2011, when they lost the Division Series in five games to the Brewers.