Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez, currently in the process of appealing his 2013-14 seasons-ending suspension from Major League Baseball, made his much-anticipated season debut at Yankee Stadium tonight against the Tigers. Prior to seeing the first pitch from starter Rick Porcello in the first inning with a runner on second base and two outs, Rodriguez received a chorus of applause and boos. He quickly fell behind in the count 0-2, then fouled off a pitch before striking out swinging. The Yankee Stadium crowd showered him with boos.
You can watch A-Rod’s first at-bat here, courtesy MLB.com:
Rodriguez has hit safely in each of his first three games since making his season debut on August 5 in Chicago against the White Sox. He will look to continue that streak tonight in support of Yankees starter Ivan Nova.
Update: With a runner on third base and one out in the bottom of the third against Porcello, Rodriguez worked a 2-2 count before striking out again. Had he gotten a base hit or a productive out, Rodriguez would have moved into a sixth-place tie with Stan Musial at 1,951 career runs batted in.
The Braves have signed former football player and current outfielder Sanders Commings, an Augusta, Georgia native, to a minor league contract, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports.
Commings, 26, was a defensive back who played for the University of Georgia before being selected by the Chiefs in the fifth round of the 2013 draft. He appeared in two games in the 2013 season.
Commings also played baseball for Westside High School and was selected by the Diamondbacks in the 37th round of the 2008 draft. He chose to attend the University of Georgia instead. When football didn’t pan out, Commings started training with Jerry Hairston, Jr. Hairston said he was “blown away” when he saw Commings hit for the first time.
Obviously, Commings’ path to success as a professional baseball player will be long, but it’s a no-risk flier for the Braves. The club has past experience with football players, including Deion Sanders and Brian Jordan.
The next task for the Braves will be to acquire Ryan Goins from the Blue Jays. That way, players will look at the lineup card each day to see if it’s Commings or Goins.
On Thursday afternoon, Rays pitcher Chris Archer asked his Twitter followers, “Lots swirling around what needs to be changed about the game of baseball. What do y’all want to see changed, if anything, & why?”
Tigers ace Justin Verlander responded:
To that, Archer said:
For what it’s worth, Verlander hasn’t been much of a hitter. In 47 career plate appearances, he has three singles and no extra-base hits. And if the AL did get rid of the DH rule, the Tigers would have nowhere to put Victor Martinez. Verlander, though, would have an easier time pitching to opposing pitchers rather than their DH’s.