Source: Scott Boras is out as A-Rod's agent

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Alex Rodriguez has fired uber agent Scott Boras and is now being represented full time by Pittsburgh attorney Jay Reisinger.

Bob Nightengale of USA Today was the first one to run with this this morning, but for reasons that are unclear, the link disappeared as soon as it showed up (UPDATE: It’s back up now, though it has changed a bit).  Not sure why USA Today would pull his story, because it was essentially accurate. Nightengale’s report went that A-Rod is “using” Reisinger and has “abandoned” Boras, though Nightengale says that if he ever needed more contract work, “Boras is only a phone call a way.”

Nightengale’s report inspired me to make a couple of phone calls and I’ve learned that all of what he wrote is technically true, but it’s a bit more stark. I’m hearing from reliable sources that A-Rod has definitely fired Scott Boras. Did so about a month ago.  It wasn’t really ugly or anything, which is why we didn’t hear about it at the time, but it happened and the relationship is over. Enter Reisinger.

Those who follow the steroids beat know that Reisinger has been representing Rodriguez as his attorney for some time.  He counseled him last year when the PED revelations came out and has continued to counsel him to date as A-Rod has been dragged into the Anthony Galea blood spinning stuff. Reisinger also represents Andy Pettitte in connection with the Mitchell Report/Clemens stuff and counseled Sammy Sosa before his infamous congressional testimony (counseled him expertly, as I have written).

But as time has gone on, A-Rod’s trust in Reisinger has grown, and Reisinger has assumed greater responsibility. He is now — and has been for some time — the point of contact between A-Rod, the union, the league and the Yankees.  That has made him the defacto agent.  Given the sorts of challenges A-Rod faces these days — an investigation and other dealings that are less about negotiating the big contract than they are about various ancillary matters that require greater attention to detail and maybe some hard nosed litigation skills — he just makes more sense than Boras does.

So there we are. Boras isn’t lacking for clients, but he has lost his most famous one. 

Joe DiMaggio’s hitting streak ended 78 years ago today

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There’s nothing special about a 78-year anniversary. It’s not a round number or anything and we tend to like round numbers. But (a) I was reminded of this today; and (b) we have no idea if the Martians will have invaded and taken over the planet come 2021, so I feel like it’s best to run this now than wait for the 80th anniversary. Cool? Cool.

Anyway: on this day in 1941, Joe DiMaggio’s still-unbroken and possibly unbreakable (see below) 56-game hitting streak came to end. The game took place in Cleveland in front of a staggering 67,468 fans. Not bad for a Thursday night. The way the streak ended, courtesy of an ESPN Classic post from Larry Scwartz back in 2003:

Third baseman Ken Keltner makes two outstanding plays, grabbing DiMaggio smashes down the line in the first and seventh innings and throwing him out at first base. In between these at-bats, left-hander Al Smith walks DiMaggio in the fourth.

The Yankee Clipper has one more chance to extend his streak when he bats in the eighth with the bases full against Jim Bagby, a young right-hander who just enters the game. DiMaggio hits the ball sharply, but shortstop Lou Boudreau plays a bad hop perfectly and turns the grounder into a double play.

Stuff happens.

To be clear: 56 may not be broken in my lifetime or yours. It’s obviously a SUPER difficult task to string together a hitting streak of considerable length. As we saw when guys like Pete Rose or Paul Molitor or whoever have come within spitting distance of DiMaggio’s record — long spitting distance — the pressure ramps up and it’s hard to do you job with a lot of pressure. Add in the fact that simple base hits are harder to come by in today’s game than they used to be due to prevalent hitting, pitching and defensive trends, and it’d be no shocker whatsoever if no one ever does it.

But I draw the line at “unbreakable,” simply because, as noted above, stuff does happen. And because there’s nothing structural preventing it from happening. It’s not like Cy Young’s 511 wins or something which fundamental changes in the game have made basically impossible. No one is going to win 26 games a year for 20 years straight or what have you. Heck, CC Sabathia is baseball’s current gray hair among pitchers and only has a few dozen more career starts than that. It’s just a different game.

Hitters do play in 150-160 games now, though, and the good ones do average more than one hit per game. Putting them in the right arrangement may never be likely, but doing so is only a matter of stars aligning, not breaking the fundamental rules of engagement. It could happen. Maybe. Because, unlike some other records, it did before under broadly similar circumstances.

OK, that aside, I’ll offer up my favorite and most maddening DiMaggio hitting streak fact.

During his streak, which lasted from May 15-July 17, DiMaggio went 91-of-223, which is a .408 average. Between April 15-September 28 (i.e. the whole dang season) Ted Williams hit .406. And when it was all said and done he was substantially better in virtually every other batting category as well.

Joe DiMaggio won the MVP Award.