New York Yankees Alex Rodriguez watches from the dugout as the Yankees take batting practice in Minneapolis

Great Moments in A-Rod Derangement Syndrome

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Are you or someone you know irrationally fixated on the moral, ethical and public relations transgressions of Alex Rodriguez? Do you believe that actions most people would consider to be mere silly nonsense constitute capital crimes? Do you consider one of those bad acts to be him not being Lou Gehrig? Do you believe Alex Rodriguez is the only party responsible for him getting multiple nine-figure contracts? Did you have some interns compile a list of every single bad thing Alex Rodriguez ever did so you could paste it into your column as if it were a formal indictment?

If so, you are likely suffering from A-Rod Derangement Syndrome. Like this poor subject, Wallace Matthews of ESPN New York:

The objectionable part is that A-Rod is trying to portray himself as fighting the good fight, a noble man attempting to triumph over an army of haters. That is hardly the case. Just about every bit of the imagined “adversity” Alex Rodriguez thinks he is confronting is of his own making . . . He is the one who chose to live a high-profile lifestyle, and then complained about all the media attention it draws, sort of like the kid who kills his own parents and then begs for leniency on the grounds he is an orphan …

. . . None of these things, with the exception of the drug allegations, is a capital offense in itself. But taken together, they paint a picture of a man living a life of singular privilege, without boundaries or respect for any authority other than his own. Again, not a crime in itself. But to live that life of privilege and wealth and try to portray it as the equivalent of working on a chain gang? That is an insult and an affront.

Two equivalencies between A-Rod and murderers. A quotation of the word “adversity” when the interview to which Matthews is referring contains no instance of A-Rod using the term at all and a reference to A-Rod claiming he’s a victim or a prisoner when he did no such thing. An “A-Rod is no Lou Gehrig” framing device.

These are the symptoms of A-Rod Derangement Syndrome. A disease which is not fatal but which can, if gone untreated, lead to hackery and related complications which can render your journalism career a joke.

Please, get help. Before it’s too late. Before you’re suffering like poor Wallace is.

Giants sign catcher Nick Hundley

DENVER, CO - JUNE 07:  Nick Hundley #4 of the Colorado Rockies takes an at bat against the Miami Marlins at Coors Field on June 7, 2015 in Denver, Colorado.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
Getty Images
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Andrew Baggarly of the Mercury News reports that the Giants have signed catcher Nick Hundley. It’s a major league deal worth $2 million.

Hundley, who is 33, but who seems like he’s been in the bigs for about 27 years, hit .260/.320/.439 with 10 homers in 83 games for the Rockies last season. Obviously he will be the backup given the presence of Buster Posey.

MLB reorganizes its diversity and social responsibility leadership structure

Billy Bean
Associated Press
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Major League Baseball has experienced inconsistent progress in its efforts at promoting diversity and social responsibility in recent years despite making it a league priority.  Today it has announced several changes in its leadership structure in these areas, with Commissioner Manfred saying, “As the sport of Jackie Robinson and Roberto Clemente, we have a responsibility to uphold and honor their legacies, especially in ensuring that our sport and business practices are as inclusive, diverse and socially-conscious as possible.”

To that end:

  • Billy Bean has been promoted to Vice President and Special Assistant to the Commissioner. This is a newly-created and elevated position in which Bean will continue his efforts at promoting human rights issues important to Major League Baseball, with a particular focus on LGBT and anti-bullying efforts. He has done such work since 2014 as its Ambassador for Inclusion, but putting him at the vice presidential level and having him answer directly to Commissioner Manfred increases his profile and that of his mission;
  • Renée Tirado, has been promoted to Vice President of Talent Acquisition and Diversity & Inclusion. Tirado had previously served as Senior Director of Recruitment. She will direct the implementation of recruitment plans and procedures to support MLB’s staffing objectives and will oversee MLB’s Diversity Pipeline Program. As you may recall, Major League Baseball has struggled mightily in these effort in recent years, and has admitted as much; and
  • Melanie LeGrande has been promoted to Vice President of Social Responsibility. She previously served as MLB’s Director of Community Affairs. Her job will be to develop and enhance the initiatives that support MLB’s position in the community and oversee MLB’s community investments, nonprofit/non-governmental organization partnerships, large-scale disaster relief efforts and employee volunteer engagement.

Manfred said, “the promotions of Billy, Renée and Melanie reflect our commitment to have strong, innovative leadership in place that aligns our industry objectives with a desire to be effective corporate citizens.”

While all of these are current employees who have served in roughly similar roles. A business’ organizational chart says much about how much that business values various functions and initiatives. In keeping with Manfred’s comments, that all three of these people have been promoted to the vice presidential level is a strong signal from MLB about what it wants.

Now all it has to do is follow through and get what it wants.