A-Rod hit a home run, you guys

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For a guy who has been described as a near-invalid, barely able to walk and engaged in an epic game of chicken with the Yankees to see if he’ll retire before the Yankees release him, he’s hitting pretty well.

Rodriguez just hit a 3-1 Brandon Workman pitch over the left field wall at Steinbrenner Stadium in Tampa. It’s his first homer of spring training and his first homer in any competitive setting since September 2013. Folks on the scene are saying that the crowd roared its approval at A-Rod’s solo shot. Which puts lie to another favorite A-Rod narrative about how everyone hates him and wishes he’d just go away. Really, it’s just a handful of media types and the people who actually sign his checks who feel that way.

With the caveat of “it’s still early in spring training” always applied, let the record reflect that Rodriguez is now 5-for-11 (.455) with that homer and two RBI thus far. That’s a line of .455/.538/.818.

Donaldson ejected for kicking dirt on plate after home run

David Banks-USA TODAY Sports
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Minnesota’s Josh Donaldson managed to get ejected while hitting a home run.

Donaldson barked at plate umpire Dan Bellino for the second time in the sixth inning of a 4-3 loss to the Chicago White Sox on Thursday.

With the score 2-2, Bellino called a strike when the 2015 AL MVP checked his swing on a 2-0 pitch from Reynaldo Lopez.

Manager Rocco Baldelli came out to speak with Bellino, and Donaldson homered down the left-field line on the next offering. After rounding the bases, Donaldson kicked dirt at home plate as he crossed it.

Bellino ejected him immediately, and Donaldson, realizing he had missed home plate, returned to the plate to touch it and then argued as he kicked more dirt on it.

Donaldson also had argued with Bellino on a 1-1 breaking ball in the first inning that appeared to be high but was called a strike, leading to a strikeout.

“We need Josh on the field, out there playing, and at third base,” Baldelli said. “That’s when we’re at our best. And so that’s really the end of it. I think we can move past it at his point, and go from here.”