As the old saying goes: when the facts are on your side argue the facts. When the law is on your side argue the law. When neither are on your side pound your fist on the table and scream.
Or, in the case of Alex Rodriguez, just walk out. Which is what he did today after the arbitrator refused to force Bud Selig to testify. A-Rod issued a statement: “I am disgusted with this abusive process. The absurdity and injustice just became too much. I walked out and will not participate any further in this farce.”
As we noted last week, the idea of having Bud Selig testify was a crock to begin with. And thus walking out when he was not forced to testify is a crock too. This is A-Rod treating his arbitration as theater. Refusing to argue the legitimate case he has in front of him — that MLB’s suspension of 211 games was too severe based on precedent — and instead trying to put all of Major League Baseball on trial. That was never going to happen in this arbitration. He should have known that or should have been told that by his lawyers.
Or perhaps he was. And perhaps he didn’t care and all of this is just prologue to the fight he’d rather have in a federal courtroom as opposed to a baseball arbitration. There is no guarantee he’s going to even get that opportunity, however, so taking this stance is not bold, it’s reckless.
And if he had any shot of getting the benefit of the doubt from arbitrator Fredric Horowitz before, he can kiss that shot goodbye now.
Aaron Judge may be the talk of the town right now, but let’s not forget some of Major League Baseball’s more established sluggers. Take the Nationals’ Bryce Harper, for instance, who jumped on a full count during the first inning of Saturday’s game and postmarked the ball to the center field concourse in Chase Field.
Harper’s mammoth hit was the first career home run allowed by Diamondbacks’ rookie Anthony Banda. Banda quickly recovered with an inning-ending strikeout to Ryan Zimmerman, but was booted from his big league debut after Harper, Zimmerman and Anthony Rendon combined for a three-run spread in the sixth.
The first-inning homer also served another purpose: it extended Harper’s hitting streak to 15 games, the longest current streak in MLB this season. He’ll need four more games to tie the 19-game streak Royals’ infielder/outfielder Whit Merrifield established back in June.
The Nationals currently lead the Diamondbacks 4-2 in the bottom of the seventh inning.
Rangers’ right-hander Chi Chi Gonzalez is slated for Tommy John surgery, according to a report by Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News. Gonzalez was placed on the 60-day disabled list back in early April with a partial UCL tear and was working towards a throwing program before getting sidelined with more elbow pain. He’s expected to miss the entirety of the 2018 season while recovering from the surgery.
This is the second straight season that has been derailed for Gonzalez due to injury. The 25-year-old starter pitched just 10 1/3 innings in 2016 after recovering from a torn UCL, and was optioned to Triple-A Round Rock to finish out the year after compiling an 8.71 ERA, 7.8 BB/9 and 6.1 SO/9 in three starts with the club. He showed more promise in Triple-A with a 4.70 ERA, 2.9 BB/9 and 5.9 SO/9 through 24 starts and 138 innings.
It’s a tough blow for the Rangers, who have seen Gonzalez healthy in just one major league season to date. General manager Jon Daniels told reporters that a recent MRI showed signs of weakening in the ligament, which disrupted the team’s plans to have the right-hander stick to a six- to eight-week recovery timetable after getting a platelet-rich plasma injection (via Stefan Stevenson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram). The surgery is expected to take place next week and will put Gonzalez’s earliest return date sometime in September 2018.