“If The Boss Was Still Alive” Watch: George Steinbrenner was absent from Joe Torre’s Hall of Fame speech

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Here’s the back page of the New York Post today:

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A dude leads the local nine to 12 consecutive playoff appearances, six pennants and four World Series titles and they lead with some invented slight of a guy who has been dead for years. And who, according to Tom Verducci’s book “The Yankee Years,” had other candidates in mind besides Torre and who, even after Torre was hired, was allegedly working behind the scenes to see if Showalter would come back.

That intrigue aside, Steinbrenner was way more hands off than he had been once he came back from his Dave Winfield-Howie Spira suspension in 1993. Gene Michael and his men were running the Yankees on a day-to-day basis, not George. Obviously he would have final say, but it’s safe to say that Torre owned gratitude to more than just George Steinbrenner for his tenure as Yankees manager.

All of that said, Torre himself said afterward that he regretted omitting Steinbrenner, thereby validating this as a “scandal.” But what this is really about can be seen in the stories about it:

Later, talking to a small group of reporters, the 74-year-old Torre was asked how Steinbrenner might have handled the omission if he were still alive. “That would have made me feel better,” he said. “At least he would have yelled at me: ‘You ungrateful such, such and such.’ “

The New York press will never, apparently, drop the notion that what the long-dead George Steinbrenner might think matters.

Julio Urias to undergo season-ending shoulder surgery

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The news has gone from bad to worse for Dodgers’ left-hander Julio Urias, who is scheduled for anterior capsule surgery on his left shoulder next Tuesday and expected to be sidelined through the middle of the 2018 season. His MRI came back negative on Wednesday, giving the Dodgers some hope that the 20-year-old’s bout of shoulder inflammation wasn’t masking any structural damage, but the pain lingered several days later and prompted further concern from the club. The procedure will be performed by Dr. Neal ElAttrache.

Urias was optioned to Triple-A Oklahoma City in late May and placed on the disabled list with left shoulder discomfort several weeks into his assignment. At the major league level, he owned a 5.40 ERA, 5.4 BB/9 and 4.2 SO/9 through 23 1/3 innings, going 0-2 in five starts with Los Angeles. He made a brief rebound in Triple-A, posting three wins and striking out 17 of 67 batters in 17 1/3 innings before landing on the DL.

It’s a tough blow for the southpaw, who had yet to hit his stride in the majors before getting sidelined with shoulder issues. The Dodgers were especially mindful of this outcome for Urias, and had taken preventative measures to protect his arm by establishing a strict innings limit last season. According to club president Andrew Friedman, there’s a small silver lining here: while Urias’ injury will keep him out of work for at least 12 months, he doesn’t appear to have sustained any damage to his labrum or rotator cuff, and could be facing a much more streamlined recovery process as a result. Whether he’ll be able to rebound once he takes the mound again remains to be seen.

Tigers release Francisco Rodriguez

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Tigers’ right-handed reliever Francisco Rodriguez was released on Friday, per a team announcement. The club recalled fellow right-hander Bruce Rondon from Triple-A Toledo in a corresponding move.

The former closer got the boot after losing his closing role in early May, giving left-hander Justin Wilson a chance to impress at the back end of the bullpen. It’s been a rough year for Rodriguez, who manufactured six blown saves and a 7.82 ERA, 3.9 BB/9 and 8.2 SO/9 over 25 1/3 innings for the Tigers. The final straw, it seemed, came with Robinson Cano‘s grand slam in the seventh inning of the Tigers’ 6-9 loss to the Mariners on Thursday.

While the demotion to a clean-up role and an apparent lack of communication caused Rodriguez considerable frustration, he’s two years removed from his last dominant performance as a major league closer and has shown few signs of returning to form. His recent slump doesn’t diminish the impressive totals he’s racked up over his 16-year career — 437 saves and six All-Star nominations among them — but if he can’t break out of it soon, he may not receive the kind of high leverage role he’s seeking with another big league team, either.