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.

Seattle Mariners to make a “full-court press” for Shohei Ohtani

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Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto said in a team-sponsored podcast the other day that the M’s will make a “full-court press” for Shohei Ohtani. To that end, Dipoto said that the M’s would be willing to let the two-way star to pitch and to hit, which is something Ohtani is interested in doing in the United States. Not all clubs are likely to let him do this, with most likely seeing him as a starting pitcher only.

Ohtani, who is expected to be posted by his Japanese team, the Nippon Ham Fighters, possibly as early as today, can sign with anyone he wants. He is, however, subject to the international bonus pool caps, so the bids on him will be somewhat limited. The Texas Rangers and New York Yankees have the most money available: $3.535 million for the Rangers and $3.5 million for the Yankees. The Twins ($3.245 million), Pirates ($2.266 million), Marlins ($1.74 million) and Mariners ($1.57 million) are the only other teams with more than $1 million left. Twelve teams — including the Dodgers, Cubs, Cardinals and Astros — are limited to a maximum of $300,000, having met or exceeded their caps for this signing period already.

Ohtani, however, is said to be less motivated by money than he is by finding the right situation. While a lot of guys say that, the fact that Ohtani is coming over to the U.S. now, when his financial prospects are limited, as opposed to waiting for two years when he is not subject to the bonus caps and could sign for nine figures, suggests that he is telling the truth. As such, a team like the Mariners that is willing to allow him to hit and pitch could make up for the couple of million less they have in bonus money to spend.

As for how that might work logistically, Dipoto said that the team would be willing to play DH Nelson Cruz a few days in the outfield to accommodate Ohtani, allowing him to DH on the days he’s not pitching. That might be . . . interesting to see, but given how badly the Mariners could use a good starting pitcher, they have an incentive to be creative.

Ohtani, 23, suffered some injuries in 2017, limiting him to just five starts and 65 games as a hitter. In 2016, however, he hit .289/.356/.547 with 22 homers in 342 at-bats and went 11-3 with a 3.24 ERA, and a K/BB ratio of 146/51 in 133.1 innings as a starter.

Five clubs have more money to spend on Ohtani than the Mariners do. None of those teams are on the west coast, which some Asian players have said in the past they preferred due to faster travel back home. The Mariners, owned for a long time by a Japanese company which still retains a minority interest in the club, and long the home for high-profile Japanese players such as Ichiro and Hisashi Iwakuma, likely have a better media and marketing reach in Japan than most other teams as well, which might be a factor in his decision making process. Is all that enough to sway Ohtani?

We’ll find out over the next couple of weeks.