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.

Phillies, Red Sox interested in Carlos Santana

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The Phillies and Red Sox appear intent on pursuing free agent first baseman Carlos Santana, MLB Network’s Jon Morosi reports. Santana rejected a one-year, $17.4 million qualifying offer from the Indians on Thursday and is expected to draw widespread interest on the market this winter. The Mets, Mariners, Angels and Indians could make a play for the infielder, though no serious offers have been made this early in the offseason.

Santana, 31, is coming off of a seven-year track with the Indians. He batted .259/.363/.455 with 23 home runs and 3.0 fWAR last season, making 2017 the fourth-most valuable year of his career to date. Although he was primarily stationed at first base over the last year, he could step back into a hybrid first base/DH role with the Red Sox, who are hurting for infield depth with Hanley Ramirez still working his way back from shoulder surgery.

As for Santana’s other suitors, the Mariners are far less likely to pursue a deal after trading for Ryon Healy last Wednesday. Neither the Mets nor the Phillies have a DH spot to offer the veteran infielder, and the Phillies’ Rhys Hoskins appears to be blocking the way at first base. Then again, Santana may not find a more enticing offer outside of Cleveland, where Edwin Encarnacion might otherwise be the club’s best option at first base. During the GM meetings, Indians’ GM Mike Chernoff said he “love to have both [Santana and Jay Bruce] back” in 2018, but hasn’t backed up that love with any contract talks just yet.