Alex Rodriguez plans to fight the Biogenesis charges head-on

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Given that every report on the matter claims that Major League Baseball has overwhelming evidence of Alex Rodriguez’s drug use one might assume that his defense would center on the severity of the penalty as opposed to the charges on the merits. If one did so, however, one might be wrong. From ESPN:

MLB suspended Rodriguez for 211 games earlier this month for what baseball alleged was his use of banned substances over “multiple years,” among other violations.

Rodriguez’s attorney, David Cornwell, said Tuesday in an interview with New York radio station WFAN that Rodriguez’s legal team will challenge that allegation during its appeal of the suspension.

“We are challenging that there are multiple violations of the (Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment) Program,” Cornwell said.

Lawyers say things all the time and those things may or may not hew to reality once the proceedings open. But given the posture I feel like we can conclude that the A-Rod arbitration is going to be very, very long.

But hey: at least we’ll have something to do during the long, cold offseason!

Brandon Crawford homers off brother-in-law Gerrit Cole

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You can’t pick your family and no one knows that better than Giants shortstop Brandon Crawford. His sister Amy married Astros starter Gerrit Cole in November 2016, so the two players are brothers-in-law.

The two players have matched up against each other 18 times in the past, as Cole spent his first five seasons in the National League with the Pirates. Cole often won that battle, holding Crawford to four hits — all singles — in 18 plate appearances.

Crawford finally got the better of Cole on Tuesday night, hitting a line drive into the appropriately-named Crawford Boxes at Minute Maid Park for a two-run home run, cutting the Astros’ lead to 5-2.