A-Rod’s career is not over. Just stop it.

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David Schoenfield is one of my favorite baseball writers, but I saw this in his latest post and just can’t agree:

The more I think about the report out of Miami, the more I think we’ve seen the last of Alex Rodriguez in a major league uniform.

Schoenfield is not the only one to say this today. Several writers — many who should probably know better — have declared A-Rod’s career over today.  And I simply do not see how we get from here to there via any reasonable path.

As I noted earlier today, the Yankees are not going to void A-Rod’s deal. If they try it won’t work so they probably won’t even try. That leaves A-Rod with five years and $114 million left on his contract. He’s not walking away from that.

What might happen? He may get suspended for 50 games, after which he would come back.  He may — if the Yankees simply get totally disgusted and hysterical about things — get released.  In which case 29 teams can have Alex Rodriguez’s services for the league minimum. Back to Schoenfield:

When he was on the field last year for the 122 games he played in the regular season, Rodriguez was still reasonably productive, hitting .272/.353/.430.

That, I think, is the alpha and omega here. It’s not anywhere close to being worth his contract, but it’s quite useful from someone making almost no money. He’s not some monumental flake like Manny Ramirez. If healthy, he even has some defensive value. Someone would take a chance on him. The only factor would be the strength of his hip, not his status as a media pariah.

Athletics and Mariners to begin the 2019 regular season in Tokyo

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Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports that the Oakland A’s and the Seattle Mariners will begin the 2019 regular season in Japan, in the Tokyo Dome.

The series will mark the third time that the A’s will begin their season in Japan, first doing it in 2008 against the Red Sox and then again in 2012 against the Mariners.

This is just the latest of Major League Baseball’s moves to expand the the game internationally. In addition to those previous series in Japan, the Dodgers and Diamondbacks opened their season in Australia in 2014 and the Dodgers and Padres will play a series in Mexico City this May. There has likewise been talk of the Mets playing a series in London, though those details have not yet been worked out. Obviously the World Baseball Classic represents the league’s effort to broaden the global scope of the once national pastime.

Get ready for early morning baseball, folks.