A-Rod derangement watch: handwriting analysis edition

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Yesterday, after Alex Rodriguez released his handwritten apology letter, people began joking about how some newspaper was going to consult a handwriting expert to psychoanalyze A-Rod. Others didn’t joke so much as a bet which paper it would be because, boy howdy, if there was a way to do more armchair psychoanalysis and/or character assassination of the guy, someone would surely take it.

Ladies and gentlemen, if you had The Wall Street Journal in the pool, go to the nearest window to collect your winnings. The WSJ claims it did so in order to “get some insight,” “to get inside the real Rodriguez” and to “tell us  what it all really means.”

What does it “all really mean?” Well, according to the “expert,” Alex Rodriguez “writes like a girl,” is “self-conscious, sensitive to criticism at work, a rule-breaker, and . . . not lacking in ego.” Such insight! How on Earth could anyone have concluded that Alex Rodriguez was an overly sensitive, rule-breaking guy with a big ego absent this keen expert analysis of his handwriting? If only we had some other basis for such things . . .

By now you may have detected a slight dubiousness in my tone. I apologize for that. I guess I just can’t help myself given that it has been unequivocally established that graphology — the examination of handwriting style in order to establish the psychological state of the writer — is utter bunk. Really, it’s total pseudoscience that has been uniformly discredited as akin to palm reading and phrenology. Yet, here we are, with one of the most respected newspapers in the country and possibly the world turning to a graphologist to assess poor old A-Rod.

Why? Well, I suppose A-Rod content is gold, and anything in that regard will do. Hey, we’re not immune to that here. We know how it works. Only in the Wall Street Journal’s case that gold is mined via some cheap, easy and tired jabs at Rodriguez. The sort of which newspapers have been addicted to for years. I mean, what else can describe a newspaper which has won 34 Pulitzer Prizes hiring an outside expert in order to say that a ballplayer “writes like a girl” apart from an addiction?

But hey, it’s just sports. And as we’ve seen over and over again, a lot of newspapers don’t take sports seriously and don’t hold their sports content to the same standards they hold non-sports content. A lot of them, it seems, treat their sports page readers as if they are morons.

Or did I just miss the time The Wall Street Journal hired an astrologist to tell readers how to allocate their 401K investments?

Didi Gregorius will wear a mask during games

Gregorius will wear a mask
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Didi Gregorius will wear a mask during games this year. That’s what the Phillies infielder tells the Philadelphia Inquirer:

“We are trying to go through the guidelines and trying to do everything we can do to stay safe, so, that’s why people see me walking around with a mask on and stuff. I am keeping myself safe, wearing a mask everywhere I go. So, I have to keep it on me all the time.”

Gregorius will wear a mask both while batting and out in the field, he said.

A big reason for it is that he has a chronic kidney condition which makes him “high risk” under Major League Baseball’s safety protocols. He could opt out if he wanted to but Gregorius, who signed a $14 million deal with the Phillies last winter, is a free agent again this coming offseason. He is coming off of a down year in 2019, having hit .238/.276/.441 with 16 home runs and 61 RBI across 344 plate appearances. Gregorius underwent Tommy John surgery in October 2018 and didn’t make his 2019 season debut until June 7. A big reason he took a one-year deal was to reestablish his value for next season’s go-around on the free agent market and he doesn’t want the long layoff going into what could be his last significant payday.

Major League Baseball is not requiring players or umpires to wear masks on the field during games or practices, though it is reportedly looking into clear face shields for home plate umpires to wear under their usual protective masks.

Gregorius will wear a mask to keep himself safe, he said, but he also notes in the article that “I think it adds safety for everybody, for me and people around me.” Here’s hoping, given his vulnerability, everyone around him is being as safe as he is.