Finally, a columnist who isn’t buying into conspiracy theories.
Buster Olney details A-Rod’s struggles — his baseball struggles — notes the exceedingly poor matchups in play between the zombie A-Rod and the Tigers’ power righties, and puts lie to the notion that the reason Rodriguez is on the bench is because of silly tabloid nonsense:
Does anyone think that the Yankees decision-makers, from Girardi to general manager Brian Cashman, love every player they’ve inserted into their lineup through the years? No. Have they used productive players they couldn’t stand personally (like the way Joe Torre kept giving the David Wells the ball)? Absolutely.
Hell, if the Yankees thought the 86-year-old Fidel Castro could throw 120 mph and help the Yankees win the 2012 title, they’d pitch him.
Perhaps this can be explained by the fact that Olney is a national writer so he doesn’t spend all fall and winter filling column inches with “A-Rod is history’s greatest monster” stories. But the fact that it happens to be the most logical and straightforward explanation for all of this is an added benefit.
CC Sabathia‘s contract with the Yankees expires after the 2017 season but the lefty feels that he has enough left in the tank to pitch in 2018 and beyond, Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News reports.
Sabathia said, “I just know myself. I know I feel like it’s not my time yet. Barring any crazy injuries I know I can pitch past next year. I feel like this is just the beginning of what I’m trying to do. I feel like there’s a lot more still to learn and a lot better to get. It’s exciting.”
The 36-year-old lefty currently holds a 4.02 ERA and a 144/63 K/BB ratio in 172 1/3 innings. It’s his best and healthiest season since 2012. He battled a knee injury last season and checked into rehab for alcohol addiction last October. Sabathia said that being treated for his addiction put him “in a good spot.”
Sabathia is owed $25 million through a vesting option for the 2017 season.
The Red Sox can thank the Orioles for not having to fight to clinch the division on Thursday or later. The Orioles came from behind to defeat the Blue Jays 3-2 on Wednesday evening, clinching the AL East for the Red Sox.
A few minutes after that game went final, the Red Sox squandered a 3-0 lead taken in the eighth inning, culminating in a walk-off grand slam by Mark Teixeira in the bottom of the ninth inning. Closer Craig Kimbrel started the ninth, but didn’t have control over any of his pitches. He allowed a leadoff single followed by three consecutive walks to force in a run. Joe Kelly relieved Kimbrel and seemed to be close to wriggling out of the jam, getting Starlin Castro to strike out looking and Didi Gregorius to pop up. But after starting Teixeira with a first-pitch curve ball for a strike, Teixera clobbered a 99 MPH fastball, sending it over the fence in right-center to end the game.
For the Yankees, the come-from-behind victory was crucial as it staved off Wild Card elimination for one more day.
This is the first time the Red Sox have clinched the AL East since 2013, also the last year they won the World Series.