A-Rod amends his lawsuit, assails Bud Selig’s “cowardly stance”

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Today Alex Rodriguez’s legal team amended the lawsuit A-Rod filed last month. No legal changes. The biggest factual changes are the inclusion of allegations surrounding Bud Selig’s failure to testify at the arbitration. From the Daily News:

They claim the baseball commissioner’s “cowardly stance” is consistent with his highly inappropriate past conduct – and as proof, they included a photo of Selig posing with a young fan wearing a Cincinnati Reds hat and an “A-Roid” T-shirt. “One cannot imagine the commissioner of any other professional sport – or indeed the CEO of any business – doing something similar with respect to one of his or her players or employees,” Team A-Rod said in the papers filed in Manhattan federal court.

Like so much of the original lawsuit and the public relations strategy Team A-Rod has taken since this drama began, this is all calculated to put Major League Baseball in a bad light and to try to make it appear as if A-Rod never had a chance at a fair hearing, thereby justifying their case being heard in court rather than dismissed as redundant. I’m dubious, however, about its legal merit or how successful it’ll be. It’s a lot of bomb-throwing.

The Daily News — which has spent most of the past decade slamming A-Rod one way or another — certainly thinks it lacks merit. So much so that they took a swipe at one of the people cited in the A-Rod complaint:

 

Well, you’re not exactly the New York Times. Pfft.

Why Ryan Zimmerman skipped spring training

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All spring training there was at least some mild confusion about Nationals first baseman Ryan Zimmerman. He played in almost no regular big league spring training games, instead, staying on the back fields, playing in simulated and minor league contests. When that usually happens, it’s because a player is rehabbing or even hiding an injury, but the Nats insisted that was not the case with Zimmerman. Not everyone believed it. I, for one, was skeptical.

The skepticism was unwarranted, as Zimmerman answered the bell for Opening Day and has played all season. As Jared Diamond of the Wall Street Journal writes today, it was all by design. He skipped spring training because he doesn’t like it and because he thinks it’ll help him avoid late-season injuries and slowdowns, the likes of which he has suffered over the years.

It’s hard to really judge this now, of course. On the one hand Zimmerman has started really slow this season. What’s more, he has started to show signs of warming up only in the past week, after getting almost as many big league, full-speed plate appearances under his belt as a normal spring training would’ve given him. On the other hand, April is his worst month across his entire 14-year career, so one slow April doesn’t really prove anything and, again, Zimmerman and the Nats will consider this a success if he’s healthy and productive in August and September.

It is sort of a missed opportunity, though. Players hate spring training. They really do. if Zimmerman had made a big deal out of skipping it and came out raking this month, I bet a lot more teams would be amenable to letting a veteran or three take it much more easy next spring. Good ideas can be good ideas even if they don’t produce immediately obvious results, but baseball tends to encourage a copycat culture only when someone can point to a stat line or to standings as justification.

Way to ruin it for everyone, Ryan. 😉