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Wait — all A-Rod had to do was to say he was innocent? That would have worked?

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Sensing a meme this morning. Bob Klapisch:

A-Rod can whine all he wants about due process, but that’s just a smoke screen to cover his guilt. In fact, Rodriguez couldn’t bring himself to say he’s innocent during his pre-game press conference on Monday. Over and over, Rodriguez kept saying “we’ll have a forum” to discuss the charges against him. If A-Rod was truly innocent, it wouldn’t have hurt his case to look into the cameras and say, “I’m clean, Bud has the wrong man, and I intend to prove it.”

Mike Vaccaro:

He talked about “respecting the process” that Major League Baseball and he will engage in over the next few months, now that baseball has slapped him with a 211-game suspension and Rodriguez has appealed it. “Please have patience,” he said. “There’ll be a time and a place for that.”

This is what he didn’t say:

“This is an outrage. These are fabrications. I am completely innocent … No. Because those are the things an innocent man says.

I think that the media has already determined that if A-Rod said that sort of thing it’d be something a liar says, but let us not dwell on that.

Let us instead note that it’s totally possible that A-Rod didn’t say he was innocent because he knows saying such a thing would be a lie. A lie that people would kill him for. And maybe it’s the case that he’s going to stipulate to drug use but mount an appeal based on the notion that a 211 game suspension is too great for a first time sanction. Heck, it’s what I’d do if I were representing him. At least if the evidence against him is as bad as many say it is.

But maybe I’m just being too hard-headed about this. Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe if A-Rod had walked into that press conference and said “honest guys, I’m innocent” then Klapisch and Vaccaro and all the others would have said today that he did the right thing and they wouldn’t be excoriating him in print.

Or maybe they’re just mad today that A-Rod didn’t give them a chance to call him a liar again. But I’m just spitballin’ here.

Shapiro, Murray defend Dellin Betances after arbitration feud

SAN DIEGO, CA - JULY 12:  Dellin Betances #68 of the New York Yankees and the American League pitches against the National League during the 87th Annual MLB All-Star Game at PETCO Park on July 12, 2016 in San Diego, California.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
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The dust hasn’t quite settled after right-hander Dellin Betances‘ arbitration hearing with the Yankees on Saturday. The case was decided in the team’s favor, awarding Betances with a $3 million salary for the 2017 season instead of the $5 million he initially requested. Yankees’ president Randy Levine held a press conference to voice his outrage over the figure presented by Betances and his agency, saying it had “no bearings in reality” since Betances does not have the elite closer status required for a salary bump of that magnitude.

Needless to say, the comments caused some consternation within Betances’ camp. The reliever publicly addressed the outburst, telling the press that he was prepared to put his differences with the team aside until he heard what Levine had to say. Via MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch:

Players union executive Rick Shapiro and Betances’ agent, Jim Murray, also spoke out in the right-hander’s favor. Shapiro presented Betances’ case during the hearing on Saturday and called Levine’s comments “an absolute disgrace to the arbitration process and to all of Major League Baseball.” In a report from FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal, Shapiro added: “The only thing that has been unprecedented in the last 36 hours is that a club official, after winning a case, called a news conference to effectively gloat about his victory – that’s unprecedented.”

Murray spoke exclusively to Rosenthal, accusing the president of effectively bullying the 28-year-old during the arbitration process and claiming that Levine had both mispronounced Betances’ name throughout the hearing and blamed the reliever for “declining ticket sales and their lack of playoff history.” Like Betances, Murray said that the agency was ready to accept the arbiter’s decision and move on before Levine’s decision to air his grievances to the media. “The only person overreaching in this entire situation is Randy,” Murray told Rosenthal. “He might as well be an astronaut because nobody on earth would agree with what he is saying. Even the others in the room would disagree with him.”

Royals will experiment with Alex Gordon in all three outfield spots this year

CLEVELAND, OH -  MAY 7: Alex Gordon #4 of the Kansas City Royals reacts to a fan while on first base during the sixth inning against the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field on May 7, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
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Royals’ manager Ned Yost is shaking things up in 2017, starting with left fielder Alex Gordon. Yost told MLB.com’s Jeffrey Flanagan that “every scenario is open,” and expects to utilize Gordon in right and center field this spring while he figures out where to position Jorge Soler and Brandon Moss.

Gordon, 33, hasn’t manned right field since a three-game experiment with the Royals back in 2010 and has yet to play center field during any regular season to date. The focus, however, isn’t on Gordon’s capabilities. Among the three outfielders, he carries the best defensive profile and appears to be the most versatile of the bunch.

According to Flanagan, Soler and Moss are average on defense and will continue working closely with Royals’ coach Rusty Kuntz as the season approaches. One arrangement could see Gordon in center field, flanked by Soler in right field and Moss in left, though Yost foresees Soler taking some reps at DH if his defensive chops aren’t up to snuff.

While Moss is prepared to see starts at either outfield corner, Yost appears to be set on keeping Soler in right field, at least for the time being. The club is hoping for a bounce-back season from the 24-year-old outfielder, who was acquired from the Cubs in December after batting a lackluster .238/.333/.436 and sustaining a slew of minor injuries throughout the 2016 season.