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A-Rod: “That year off I just had to f—ing change and stop being a jerk”

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There’s a big story about Alex Rodriguez in the Hollywood Reporter. You know the story by now: after becoming baseball’s biggest pariah, A-Rod came back with a new attitude, had one nice season and then bowed out on his terms and with shocking popularity. Now he’s on TV all the time, running a business, dating J.Lo and gets better press than just about anyone with his history has a right to expect.

What’s the secret? Pretty simple, actually:

“It’s probably too soon for me to say this, but maybe in 10 years I’ll be able to say that the ‘ ’14 sabbatical’ was one of the best things that happened in my life,” he says. When I ask if he doesn’t believe that already, he adds, “I’ll say this: That year off I just had to f*****g change and stop being a jerk . . . When I came back [after the suspension], I wanted to be a different person.”

We can never know what athletes and entertainers are really like, but as far as we can discern that sort of thing, A-Rod has made himself into a different person. At the very least, he was never good at maintaining an act very long when he was younger, so I’m comfortable assuming that this is not an act now. The guy seems genuinely comfortable and happy and self-aware in ways he never was before his famous time out.

Beyond all of that, if you’re interested in knowing how A-Rod spends his days now it’s a pretty good article.

 

 

Mariners acquire Nick Rumbelow from Yankees

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The Mariners acquired Yankees’ right-hander Nick Rumbelow in exchange for minor league righty Juan Then and left-hander JP Sears, per an official announcement on Saturday. Rumbelow made 17 appearances for the Yankees in 2015 before undergoing Tommy John surgery and could provide some bullpen depth for the Mariners in 2018.

The 26-year-old right-hander spent the majority of his 2017 season in Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, where he delivered an 0.62 ERA, 2.5 BB/9 and 9.3 SO/9 over 29 innings. The Yankees didn’t rush Rumbelow into a full workload after he missed the 2016 season recovering from Tommy John, but he didn’t appear to have any significant setbacks with his health or performance and should be ready to compete for a role next spring.

Sears, 21, was ranked 21st in the Mariners’ organization by MLB Pipeline. He was drafted in the 11th round of the 2017 draft and features a deceptive, low-velocity fastball that he can throw for strikes to either side of the plate. In his first year of pro ball, he split 17 games between Short-Season A Everett and Single-A Clinton, turning in an 0.65 ERA, 3.9 BB/9 and 16.6 SO/9 across two levels.

Then, 17, also completed his first year of pro ball after signing with the Mariners as a free agent. He went 2-2 in 13 games of rookie ball, pitching to a 2.64 ERA, 2.2 BB/9 and 8.2 SO/9 in 61 1/3 innings. Neither Sears nor Then will take the mound for the Yankees anytime soon, and offloading Rumbelow to the Mariners should clear up some room on New York’s 40-man roster as they prepare for the upcoming Rule 5 Draft.