So, do Yankees fans cheer for A-Rod tonight?

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Maybe that’s a totally stupid question. I’ll admit, it’s a bit talk radio at the very least. It’s not terribly important in the grand or small scheme of things, but it’s something that I’m genuinely wondering about and what is a blog if not a vehicle for examining the things which hold the blogger’s interest?

My guess: half-boos, a quarter cheers and a quarter indifference.

They’ll only report the boos, of course, because its has become all but required that we cast Alex Rodriguez in as negative a light as possible, but I really do not believe there will be some unanimous condemnation of A-Rod in Yankee Stadium. We’re supposed to pretend otherwise, but lots of folks are simply baseball fans and don’t give a rip what went into the performance. They boo the bad performances and cheer the good ones and at the moment (a) A-Rod has no performances in front of them this year; and (b) his replacements have been so godawful that I’m pretty sure Yankees fans would cheer for Mussolini if he showed up and could play a competent third base and show some pop.

As for the boos: I bet a third of those are from people mad at the steroids stuff, a third mad at the A-Rod/strained quad media circus and a third who are still angry at how poorly he played during the playoffs last year.

Not that we’ll know, and not that the media will go with any narrative more A-Rod-friendly than “a cool reaction for Rodriguez.” But I bet it’s a lot more complicated in the mind of the Yankees fan base than it is in the minds of the soapboxers.

2017 Preview: The American League East

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For the past few weeks we’ve been previewing the 2017 season. Here, in handy one-stop-shopping form, is our package of previews from the American League East

Boston may have the most talent and, in Mookie Betts, the best player. The Yankees have the best farm system. Baltimore has all the dingers and the best closer. Toronto may have the best collection of heels, at least in the view of fans of the other AL East teams.  The Rays have the best . . . hmm. I’ll get back to you on that.

Anyway, here are our previews for the American League East:

Boston Red Sox
Toronto Blue Jays
Baltimore Orioles
New York Yankees
Tampa Bay Rays

Steven Matz likely to start season on DL; Zack Wheeler to adhere to innings limit

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Mets manager Terry Collins said on Wednesday, “It’s unlikely that [Steven Matz] will start the season with us.” The final spot in the Mets’ starting rotation will go to either Zack Wheeler or Seth Lugo, Newsday’s Marc Carig reports.

On Wheeler’s innings limit, assistant GM John Ricco said, “There’s going to be some number but we don’t exactly know what that is.” Wheeler missed the last two seasons after undergoing Tommy John surgery.

Neither Wheeler nor Lugo have had terrific springs as each carries a 5.11 and 5.56 Grapefruit League ERA, respectively. However, Carig notes that Wheeler has impressed simply by appearing healthy and brandishing a fastball that once again sits in the mid- to high-90’s. Lugo, meanwhile, proved crucial to the Mets last year, posting a 2.67 ERA across eight starts and nine relief appearances.