A-Rod speaks to kids about drug use? Fabulous idea!

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Class, settle down. We have a guest speaker here today:

New York Yankees’ slugger Alex Rodriguez made an unexpected visit to 500 students at a Baltimore County school to deliver an anti-steroid message Tuesday, months after admitting publicly that he used performance-enhancing drugs earlier in his career.

At the time of his admission, Rodriguez vowed to turn his past transgressions into a positive lesson for young athletes, and he appears to be attempting to uphold that promise by discreetly speaking to select students this season. It’s part of the agreement, however, that the talks not be covered by the news media.

After previously addressing groups in New York City and Texas, he presented his anti-steroids message at Milford Mill Academy on Tuesday, hours before Rodriguez’s Yankees played the Orioles at Camden Yards.

In his speech he said that it felt “pretty darn good and liberating” to finally be telling the truth, and that doing so “is very important to me professionally and spiritually.”

Imagine how good and liberated he’d feel if he told the complete truth:

“Kids, steroid use did no harm to, and probably helped me build a career that will earn me more than a quarter billion dollars. While, occasionally, people write mean things about me, I have suffered zero in the way of actual punishment for it. What’s more, my fame and celebrity now has me bedding Hollywood starlets.

“But totally, dudes, just say no.  Thanks. Are there cookies? I was told there would be cookies.”

Call me crazy, but maybe schools should have people whose lives were actually harmed by drugs to come in and speak to the kids.

Report: Yankees acquire Edwin Encarnación from Mariners

Edwin Encarnacion
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The Mariners are in the midst of reconstructing their roster, a process which most recently resulted in the trade of first baseman/DH Edwin Encarnación to the Yankees, per a report from ESPN’s Jeff Passan. While the teams have yet to publicly confirm the deal, the Mariners are expected to receive pitching prospect Juan Then and will likely eat a significant portion of Encarnación’s salary as well.

Encarnación is a sizable get for the Yankees, who could benefit from the veteran’s power and consistency in their ongoing drive toward the postseason. The 36-year-old infielder missed some time with a bout of lower back tightness, dental issues, and soreness in his left hand, but has still maintained a decent .241/.356/.531 batting line with an AL-best 21 home runs, an .888 OPS, and 1.7 fWAR through his first 289 plate appearances of the year. Per Mark Feinsand of MLB.com, Encarnación has another $11-12 million left on his contract in 2019, with a $20 million option for the 2020 season and a $5 million buyout.

Then, 19, was acquired by the Yankees in a three-person trade with the Mariners during the 2017 offseason. The right-hander currently ranks no. 27 in the Yankees’ system and made his last pro ball appearance for New York’s rookie-level affiliate in 2018, pitching to a 2.70 ERA, 2.0 BB/9, and 7.6 SO/9 across 50 innings. It’s not clear if any other players are involved in the trade, though USA Today’s Bob Nightengale notes that no other prospects are thought to be included in the package for Encarnación.