It’s hard to imagine that Alex Rodriguez thought this would turn out well.
The beleaguered Rodriguez decided to call into Mike Francesa on WFAN late this afternoon and tell the world that he’s ready to play and that the Yankees are holding him back.
The move comes after Rodriguez took part in a conference call with Yankees management on Thursday afternoon. According to the New York Times, both Rodriguez and the Yankees agreed to a plan that would have A-Rod play in a simulated or minor league game on Aug. 1 and come off the DL a day or two later.
Rodriguez said on WFAN that he agreed to the plan even though he’d rather play tomorrow. Asked whether he still trust the Yankees, he replied, “I’d rather not get into that.”
Rodriguez’s counter comes after a report earlier in the day that he was facing discipline from the Yankees for getting an unauthorized second opinion on his quad injury. These latest public comments are sure to further inflame a relationship with the Yankees that’s already deteoriated to a point beyond which it may never recover. Obviously, the only thing still keeping the two parties together is the $100 million the Yankees owe Rodriguez. One wonders just how much of that they’d now be willing to eat just to get rid of him once and for all.
Veteran utilityman Reid Brignac is in camp with the Astros on a minor league deal. The 31-year-old is close to being done as a major leaguer as he owns a career .219/.264/.309 triple-slash line across parts of nine seasons. In an effort to prolong his big league career, Brignac is now attempting to become a switch-hitter, MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart reports.
I’m going to try it out this year. It was something that I just thought long and hard about and I was like, ‘OK, I’m going to try and see how it goes.’ I used to switch-hit when I was younger off and on, nothing consistent. I could always handle the bat right-handed. I play golf right-handed, so I do a lot of things that way that feel natural.
I just want to get to the point where I’m trying to stay in games, not get pinch-hit for, not starting games because a lefty is starting. … That could help me stay in the games longer. I’m trying to add a new element. I play multiple positions and now if I can switch hit and be consistent at it, then that can only help me.
As Brignac mentions, he’s also verstile. He’s a shortstop by trade, but has also logged plenty of innings at second base and third base, and has occasionally played corner outfield.
There aren’t any examples — at least that I can think of — where players began switch-hitting late in their careers and actually succeeding in the major leagues. As the saying goes, you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. But here’s hoping Brignac bucks the trend.
Angels shortstop Andrelton Simmons fell off the map a bit last year due to a combination of the Angels’ mediocrity, Simmons’ lack of offense, and a month-plus of missed action due to a torn ligament in his left thumb.
Simmons is still as good and as smart as ever on defense. That was on full display Monday when the Angels hosted the Padres for an afternoon spring exhibition.
With a runner on first base and nobody out in the top of the second inning, Carlos Asuaje grounded a 2-0 J.C. Ramirez fastball to right field. The runner, Hunter Renfroe, advanced to third base. Meanwhile, Asuaje wandered a little too far off the first base bag. Simmons cut off the throw to first base, spun around and fired to Luis Valbuena at first base. Valbuena swiped the tag on Asuaje for the first out of the inning.