Alex Rodriguez

Thank you Buster Olney

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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.

Corey Dickerson has lost 25 pounds

PORT CHARLOTTE, FL - FEBRUARY 25:  Corey Dickerson #10 of the Tampa Bay Rays poses for a photo during the Rays' photo day on February 25, 2016 at Charlotte Sports Park in Port Charlotte, Florida.  (Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images)
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Corey Dickerson of the Tampa Bay Rays wasn’t a super huge guy or anything, but he’s going to be smaller this year: he told reporters today that he’s lost 25 pounds. He attributes it to a new diet and a workout regimen and says it’ll help him with his running, swing and throwing.

Dickerson had a down year in 2016, so if losing 25 pounds is something he thinks will work for him he’s got nothing to lose. Of course the best way for him to improve his numbers is to convince the Rays to trade him back to Colorado, but that’s not likely.

James McCann is in The Best Shape of His Life

Detroit Tigers catcher James McCann blows a bubble while warming up during a spring training baseball workout, Saturday, Feb. 27, 2016, in Lakeland, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)
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As I note every spring, “Best Shape of His Life” stories aren’t really about players being in The Best Shape of Their Lives. They’re about players and agents seeking to create positive stories.

We know this because the vast majority of Best Shape of His Life claims are about guys who were either injured the season before, guys who had subpar years the season before or players whose conditioning was a point of controversy the season before. These folks, or their agents + reporters who have little if nothing to write about in the offseason = BSOHL.

James McCann hurt his ankle last season and had a subpar year at the plate. So not only is he a perfect BSOHL candidate, he went old school with the claim and hit it right on the money, verbatim:

Spring training is less than a month away, folks!