If A-Rod is suspended he can still go to spring training

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A fun reminder from Joel Sherman of the Post. If A-Rod is suspended, the current rules of the Collective Bargaining Agreement and Joint Drug Agreement allow him to still attend spring training. He just can’t be in uniform for regular season games. What’s more:

Players Association executives told me if MLB or the Yankees attempted to bar Rodriguez from spring training, they would file a grievance arguing it is punishment beyond what is in the JDA.

I sorta feel like an agreement would be reached in which A-Rod simply didn’t go and the Yankees didn’t expect him. Heck, he wasn’t around last year and all he was was injured, not suspended. Veterans hate spring training as it is. If he’s out for the season or more he’s not going to want to be there.

Still: part of me wishes that A-Rod would just embrace all of the silliness and potential chaos his situation will allow. Show up. Go on road trips on busses. Sit for interviews all day. Talk about the Yankees 2014 chances as if he’s gonna be there. Offer up a lot of “just going to take it one game at a time cliches.”

Then sit back and watch the reporters try to figure out what to make of it.

2017 Preview: The American League Central

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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 Central

Do the Indians have a weakness? Do the Tigers and Royals have one more playoff push in them or do they have to start contemplating rebuilds? The White Sox and Twins are rebuilding, but do either of them have a chance to be remotely competitive?

As we sit here in March, the answers are “not really,” “possibly,” and “not a chance.” There are no games that count this March, however, so they’re just guesses. But educated ones! Here are the links to our guesses and our education for all of the clubs of the AL Central:

Cleveland Indians
Detroit Tigers
Kansas City Royals
Chicago White Sox
Minnesota Twins

2017 Preview: The National 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 National League East

The Washington Nationals crave a playoff run that doesn’t end at the division series. The Mets crave a season in which they don’t have a press conference about an injured pitcher. The Marlins are trying to put the nightmare of the end of the 2016 behind them. The Phillies and Braves are hoping to move on from the “lose tons of games” phase of their rebuilds and move on to the “hey, these kids can play!” phase.

There is a ton of star power in the NL East — Harper, Scherzer, Cespedes, Syndergaard, Stanton, Freeman — some great young talent on ever roster and, in Ichiro and Bartolo, the two oldest players in the game. Maybe the division can’t lay claim to the best team in baseball, but there will certainly be some interesting baseball in the division.

Here’s how each team breaks down:

Washington Nationals
New York Mets
Miami Marlins
Philadelphia Phillies
Atlanta Braves