Breaking: A-Rod not retiring, Brian Cashman pleased with this

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That shouldn’t be news, but after two days worth of Yankees reporters channeling all of the front office’s fantasies about A-Rod quitting baseball and sparing them the expense of the contract they willingly gave him, here is some actual information about all of that from Wallace Matthews and Andrew Marchand of ESPN New York: he’s not retiring and the person who matters most in the Yankees front office is fine with that:

Alex has no plans at all to retire,” one source with close personal ties to the embattled third baseman told ESPNNewYork.com on Thursday. Another source, authorized by Rodriguez to speak on his behalf, passed this along: “Alex says he’s working diligently on his rehabilitation and is looking forward to getting back on the field as soon as possible.”

And Brian Cashman?

When informed of Rodriguez’ comments, Yankees GM Brian Cashman, who has avoided commenting publicly on Rodriguez’s latest incident, responded with one word: “Good.”

In two quotes both the insurance fraud scheme and the Yankees plan to negotiate A-Rod down to $200 and a few gift cards out of shame or whatever is out the window.  Pity.

As for the earlier reports from the Daily News and others saying this was the end of A-Rod: I’m sure someone in the Yankees front office told you that. How you hear it, however, and don’t immediately challenge your source as to the ridiculous of it or, at the very least, note your dubiousness of their claims in your article, is beyond me.

Reds acquire Darnell Sweeney from the Dodgers

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The Reds acquired utilityman Darnell Sweeney from the Dodgers in exchange for cash considerations, J.P. Hoornstra of the Southern California News Group reports.

This is the second time that the Dodgers have traded Sweeney. The club sent him to the Phillies along with John Richy in August 2015 for Chase Utley. The Phillies sent him back to the Dodgers this past offseason with Darin Ruf in exchange for Howie Kendrick.

Sweeney, 26, made his major league debut in 2015 with the Phillies, hitting a meager .176/.286/.353 in 98 plate appearances. With Triple-A Oklahoma City this season, he hit .227/.290/.412 in 131 PA. While Sweeney’s bat hasn’t proven to be anything special, he has played second base, third base, shortstop, and all three outfield positions, so his flexibility will make him useful at some point.

Bryce Harper to Little League players: “No participation trophies, first place only”

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Nationals’ star outfielder Bryce Harper had some words of advice for a local Little League team on Saturday, telling a crowd of young players and their parents that winning matters far more than any participation trophies they might receive for their efforts on the field.

“As much as they might tell you, ‘Oh, it’s okay, you guys lost…’ No, Johnny, no,” Harper explained. “No participation trophies, okay? First place only. Come on.”

The panic over participation trophy culture has swelled over the last few years as studies continue to suggest that children are happier when they’re praised for their accomplishments, rather than rewarded for simply trying their best. The general idea is that kids aren’t motivated to succeed when they know they’ll receive a ribbon or medal celebrating their efforts at the end of the day — regardless of whether they win or lose. (Granted, it stands to reason that every kid can feel the difference between winning a championship trophy and receiving a participation ribbon.) Some have taken the idea to an extreme, claiming that when a child receives too many accolades for mediocre or poor performances, it can warp the way they view the world by generating a sense of undeserved entitlement.

Harper kept his tone light during the Q&A session, however, drawing cheers and applause from the majority of parents and a few of the kids. The 2015 NL MVP has routinely taken his own advice over the years, earning Rookie of the Year honors, four All-Star nominations and a Silver Slugger award since he broke into the major leagues in 2012. Next on his list? A World Series championship.