Report: Alex Rodriguez files second suit, this for malpractice

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Because he’s already on the hook for the lawyers anyway, Alex Rodriguez reportedly filed his second suit of the day this afternoon, alleging medical malpractice from the Yankees team doctor and New York Presbyterian Hospital.

The news comes down from ESPNNewYork.com’s Andrew Marchard, who also had the scoop in August that Rodriguez was preparing such a suit:

Rodriguez and his lawyers believe they have evidence that supports their contention that Chris Ahmad, the Yankees’ team doctor, misdiagnosed A-Rod’s hip injury during last October’s playoffs. They have yet to file the suit as they continue to put together their case.

Rodriguez will likely present evidence that suggests Ahmad misdiagnosed his hip injury last October and then later withheld information that indicated Rodriguez needed surgery. Rodriguez didn’t undergo surgery until January and missed the first four months of 2013. Had he known earlier that he needed the procedure, he might have been able to make it back in May or June.

Rodriguez’s previous suit Friday was filed against MLB and commissioner Bud Selig, accusing them of engaging in a witch hunt, among other things.

No one pounds the zone anymore

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“Work fast and throw strikes” has long been the top conventional wisdom for those preaching pitching success. The “work fast” part of that has increasingly gone by the wayside, however, as pitchers take more and more time to throw pitches in an effort to max out their effort and, thus, their velocity with each pitch.

Now, as Ben Lindbergh of The Ringer reports, the “throw strikes” part of it is going out of style too:

Pitchers are throwing fewer pitches inside the strike zone than ever previously recorded . . . A decade ago, more than half of all pitches ended up in the strike zone. Today, that rate has fallen below 47 percent.

There are a couple of reasons for this. Most notable among them, Lindbergh says, being pitchers’ increasing reliance on curves, sliders and splitters as primary pitches, with said pitches not being in the zone by design. Lindbergh doesn’t mention it, but I’d guess that an increased emphasis on catchers’ framing plays a role too, with teams increasingly selecting for catchers who can turn balls that are actually out of the zone into strikes. If you have one of those beasts, why bother throwing something directly over the plate?

There is an unintended downside to all of this: a lack of action. As Lindbergh notes — and as you’ve not doubt noticed while watching games — there are more walks and strikeouts, there is more weak contact from guys chasing bad pitches and, as a result, games and at bats are going longer.

As always, such insights are interesting. As is so often the case these days, however, such insights serve as an unpleasant reminder of why the on-field product is so unsatisfying in so many ways in recent years.