Alex Rodriguez needs more hip surgery, out until midseason

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This morning George King of the New York Post wrote that Alex Rodriguez’s surgically repaired right hip remains damaged and now his colleague Joel Sherman reports that Rodriguez “almost certainly needs more hip surgery”–this time on his left hip–and is expected to miss at least part of 2013.

Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News reports that Rodriguez’s surgery is slated for January, with the delay stemming from the need to build up more strength in his hip before going under the knife. Obviously the fact that he’s expected to miss at least part of the season and yet the surgery is being put off until January suggests it won’t be a speedy recovery process, and according to Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com it’s a 3-6 month timetable that could knock him out for the entire first half.

Rodriguez hit .272 with 18 homers in 122 games this year while apparently playing through a damaged hip, posting career-lows in slugging percentage (.430) and OPS (.783) at age 36, and was repeatedly benched in the playoffs. He’s still owed $114 million for the next five seasons, including $28 million for 2013.

UPDATE: Rodriguez reportedly had to be hospitalized during the playoffs.

Mariano Rivera elected to Baseball Hall of Fame unanimously

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Former Yankees closer Mariano Rivera deservingly became the first player ever inducted into the Hall of Fame unanimously, receiving votes from all 425 writers who submitted ballots. Previously, the closest players to unanimous induction were Ken Griffey, Jr. (99.32% in 2016), Tom Seaver (98.84% in 1992), Nolan Ryan (98.79% in 1999), Cal Ripken, Jr. (98.53%), Ty Cobb (98.23% in 1936), and George Brett (98.19% in 1999).

Because so many greats were not enshrined in Cooperstown unanimously, many voters in the past argued against other players getting inducted unanimously, withholding their votes for otherwise deserving players. That Griffey — both one of the greatest outfielders of all time and one of the most popular players of all time — wasn’t voted in unanimously in 2016, for example, seemed to signal that no player ever would. Now that Rivera has been, this tired argument about voting unanimity can be laid to rest.

Derek Jeter will appear on the Hall of Fame ballot for the first time next year. He may become the second player ever to be elected unanimously. David Ortiz appears on the 2022 ballot and could be No. 3. Now that Rivera has broken through, these are possibilities whereas before they might not have been.

Another tired argument around Hall of Fame voting concerns whether or not a player is a “first ballot” Hall of Famer. Some voters think getting enshrined in a player’s first year of eligibility is a greater honor than getting in any subsequent year. I’m not sure what it will take to get rid of this argument — other than the electorate getting younger and more open-minded — but at least we have made progress on at least one bad Hall of Fame take.