“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.

Felix Hernandez will miss 3-4 weeks with shoulder bursitis

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Mariners’ right-hander Felix Hernandez is looking at a 3-4 week recovery period, the team announced on Friday. Hernandez has been officially diagnosed with bursitis in his right shoulder after getting pulled from his last start against the Tigers on Tuesday.

It’s not the first shoulder issue the 31-year-old righty has dealt with during his career. Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times notes that Hernandez was previously diagnosed with bursitis during a minor league stint in 2005, several weeks prior to making his major league start for Seattle. This time around, however, the injury is coupled with a few years of not-so-sharp stuff, waning velocity and career-low numbers, and while it’s certainly not a worst-case diagnosis, it seems like greater cause for concern.

Without Felix, the Mariners will keep rolling with James Paxton, Hisashi Iwakuma, Ariel Miranda, Yovani Gallardo and Chase De Jong in their rotation. They’ll also keep Ben Gamel in right field, with starting right fielder Mitch Haniger expected to miss 3-4 weeks after sustaining a Grade 2 strain in his right oblique on Tuesday.

Rays acquire RHP Drew Smith from Tigers

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The Rays acquired minor league reliever Drew Smith from the Tigers on Friday, per a team announcement. The move will close the loop on the trade the two teams began in January for backup outfielder Mikie Mahtook.

Smith, 23, pitched his first full season in Single-A West Michigan in 2016, turning in a 2.96 ERA, 4.3 BB/9 and 11.5 SO/9 in 48 2/3 innings. The right-hander is still several levels away from making any impact on the Rays’ major league roster, but appears to be progressing steadily in two seasons of pro ball and has delivered two runs, four walks and 12 strikeouts in his first 11 2/3 innings at High-A Lakeland this season. Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports that he’ll be reassigned to the Rays’ High-A Charlotte this week.