Alex Rodriguez now able to jog on a treadmill

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Good news on the Alex Rodriguez rehab front.

According to Bryan Hoch of MLB.com, the veteran third baseman told Yankees manager Joe Girardi on Saturday that he is able to run slowly on a treadmill without feeling any sort of lingering pain or discomfort in his surgically-repaired hip. “He was pretty fired up about that,” Girardi said later in a talk with the media.

Rodriguez underwent major hip surgery in January and is not expected to be ready for major league action again until after the All-Star break. Kevin Youkilis has been playing third for the Yankees.

Michael S. Schmidt of the New York Times reported Friday that A-Rod (or one of his associates) tried to purchase documents from the Miami-based Biogenesis clinic with the intention of destroying them. Major League Baseball is currently investigating Biogenesis, so the attempt by A-Rod could be viewed as a violation of the Joint Drug Agreement — which demands cooperation from players during PED investigations.

And that violation could alone lead to a suspension of some kind. Something to watch for.

Another interestingly named player is promoted by the Pirates

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When you promote a player from the minors, the first and foremost consideration is whether or not he can help your ball club. But, assuming that’s taken care of, teams should really, really make it a priority to call up dudes with cool sounding names because it makes life more interesting for the rest of us.

The Pirates are doing that. The other night Dovydas Neverauskas made his big league debut. In addition to being the first Lithuanian born-and-raised player in major league history, it’s a solid, solid name. Now the Pirates are making another promotion: Gift Ngoepe.

Yep, Gift Ngoepe. He’s an infielder from South Africa, making the leap to the bigs due to David Freese‘s hamstring injury. Ngoepe, 27, was batting just .241/.308/.379 through 66 plate appearances this season with Triple-A Indianapolis, his ninth in the minors, so he’s not exactly a prospect. But man, that’s a killer name.

It’s also worth mentioning that Gift and Neverauskas were arrested together in a bar fight last August in Toledo, so there is already a good basis for some bonding here.

Good luck, Gift. Gift Ngoepe. Mr. Ngoepe. G-Ngo. Man, I could do this all day.

Manny Machado teaches us to never give up

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The Rays beat the Orioles last night, but the play of the game belonged to an Oriole defender.

Evan Longoria was batting and he chopped a ball foul down the third base line. At least it started out foul. As we all know, however, it doesn’t matter where the ball starts, it matters where it is when it crosses the bag.

Manny Machado knows this and didn’t give up on the ball despite it starting several feet in foul territory. He watched it come back, stayed with it and threw out Longoria who, unlike Machado, did give up on it, assuming he’d merely get a strike and another hack. Watch:

Longoria would get Machado back, however, fielding a ball Machado smoked to third base in the ninth inning, recording the second to last out of the game.