New York Yankees' Rodriguez reacts to a reporter's question after arriving at the Yankees' minor league baseball complex in Tampa

Great Moments in A-Rod hate

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If you thought that Kevin Kernan column I just linked was bad you haven’t read Bob Klapisch’s A-Rod column yet. Really, I feel like I should apologize to Kernan right now because compared to Klapisch’s his was like a Murrow op-ed.

Klapisch’s is like a parody of every A-Rod thing you’ve ever read. He says, with a straight face, that the Yankees are probably better off without A-Rod. Which, hey, I’ll grant that A-Rod is unlikely to be his old MVP self, but when the Yankees starting third baseman is Jayson Nix, such a claim is more about wish fulfillment than baseball analysis. A hobbled A-Rod still hit 18 homers and got on base at a .353 clip last year.

But what’s more comical about it is Kapisch’s armchair psychology of A-Rod. He diagnoses a “psychological dependence on PEDs” on A-Rod’s part. Then:

That’s where the need for PEDs comes in. Drill down deep enough and you find nothing but insecurity in A-Rod’s algorithms, the need to be loved, hailed, praised, all of which require a shot of steroids or a dab of HGH — anything that would guarantee A-Rod what he lacked most: approval.

It’s amazing to me that Bob Klapisch has maintained such a successful journalism career while simultaneously obtaining his psychiatry degree and spending all of those sessions with Rodriguez. A true renaissance man.

Or, maybe, Klapisch is just doing bullcrap armchair psychological analysis. In which case he can’t begrudge me for diagnosing him with A-Rod Derangement Syndrome. You see, when someone covers someone he dislikes for so long, one begins to feel guilt and shame for not spending his time around people he enjoys more. Thus, the mind tricks the subject into turning the dreary pursuit into something more noble and important so one does not feel he is wasting his energy on something as petty as hate. Now he has to literally save people and institutions from a MONSTER! He has a noble calling, now, to protect us from someone who is just as bad as, say, a serial killing psychopath!

Hahaha, I know. That’s silly:

This might be A-Rod’s dream, but as of Monday, the Yankees believe otherwise. They just added Freddy Krueger to the roster.

Oh. Well then.

Red Sox set a new major league record with 11 strikeouts in a row

BALTIMORE, MD - SEPTEMBER 20: Starting pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez #52 of the Boston Red Sox works the first inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on September 20, 2016 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Patrick Smith/Getty Images
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Lost in the nifty base running by Dustin Pedroia that won Sunday’s game against the Rays, the Red Sox set a new major league record by striking out 11 batters in a row, per Peter Abraham of The Boston Globe. Starter Eduardo Rodriguez struck out the final six Rays he faced and reliever Heath Hembree struck out five Rays in a row after that. Tom Seaver had the previous consecutive strikeout streak of 10, set on April 22, 1970 against the Padres.

The Red Sox also set a team record with 23 strikeouts in total: 13 by Rodriguez, five by Hembree, one by Matt Barnes, and four by Joe Kelly. Per Abraham, that’s the most strikeouts in a 10-inning game since at least 1913 and the most in a game of any length since 2004.

For Rodriguez, Sunday marked the first double-digit strikeout game of his career. He has pitched quite well since returning to the rotation at the start of the second half. Over 13 starts, the lefty has a 3.10 ERA with a 70/23 K/BB ratio in 72 2/3 innings.

Dodgers clinch NL West on Charlie Culberson’s walk-off home run

WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 20: Charlie Culberson #6 of the Los Angeles Dodgers runs to first base after hitting a single RBI in the second inning against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park on July 20, 2016 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Matt Hazlett/Getty Images)
Matt Hazlett/Getty Images
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Dodgers second baseman Charlie Culberson delivered a walk-off solo home run in the bottom of the 10th inning, clinching the NL West for the Dodgers on Sunday afternoon. What a way to celebrate Vin Scully’s final home game behind the microphone.

The Dodgers were trailing 2-1 in the seventh inning, but shortstop Corey Seager tripled in a run to tie the game. Rockies outfielder David Dahl untied the game in the top of the ninth with a two-out solo home run off of Kenley Jansen. But Seager once again rose to the occasion, blasting a game-tying solo shot in the bottom half of the ninth against Adam Ottavino. That would set the stage for Culberson in the next frame.

Culberson, a former Rockie, came into the afternoon with a .591 OPS and zero home runs in 53 plate appearances. He finished the afternoon 3-for-5 with the homer.

It’s the fourth consecutive season in which the Dodgers have won the NL West. The Cubs have clinched the best record, which means they’ll play the winner of the Wild Card game. The Dodgers will play the Nationals in the NLDS. The Nationals have a 1.5-game lead over the Dodgers for home-field advantage, so both teams are still playing for something of importance in the regular season’s final week.