Alex Rodriguez is just one hit away from 3,000

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UPDATE: 3,000 hits will likely have to wait until tomorrow. Rodriguez came up second in the bottom of the eighth inning and was walked on four straight inside pitches by Sam Dyson, who clearly didn’t want any part of history. The disappointed fans at Yankee Stadium are letting him hear it.

9:19 p.m. ET: With his first chance at 3,000 hits, Rodriguez just lined out to right field in the bottom of the sixth inning. He could get another at-bat tonight.

8:50 p.m. ET: Rodriguez singled to left field in the bottom of the fifth inning, so he’s now just one hit away from 3,000. He should get at least one more at-bat tonight. Stay tuned.

7:34 p.m. ET: After entering tonight’s game with 2,997 career hits, Alex Rodriguez just drove in Brett Gardner with an RBI single off Mat Latos in the first inning to give the Yankees an early 1-0 lead over the Marlins. He’s now just two hits away from becoming the 29th player in MLB history to reach 3,000 hits.

Including tonight, the Yankees will play their next seven games at Yankee Stadium, so there’s a good chance he’ll reach the milestone at home. We’ll pass along updates as it happens.

Rodriguez’s former teammate, Derek Jeter, was the last player in MLB to reach 3,000 hits. He got there on July 9, 2011.

Straight-away center field will be 385 feet at London Stadium

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Marley Rivera of ESPN has a story about some of the on-field and in-game entertainment, as well as some aspects of the field conditions, for this weekend’s London Series.

The fun stuff: a mascot race, not unlike the Sausage Race at Miller Park or the President’s race at Nationals Park. The mascots for London: Winston Churchill, Freddie Mercury, Henry VIII and the Loch Ness Monster. I suppose that’s OK but, frankly, I’d go with Roger Bannister, Shakespeare, Charles Darwin and Guy Fawkes. Of course no one asks me these things.

There will also be a “Beat the Streak”-style race which had better use the theme to “Chariots of Fire” or else what the heck are we even doing here.

They’ve also taught ushers and various volunteers who will be on-site to sing “Take me out to the ballgame,” which is a pretty good idea given how important that is to baseball. As a cultural exchange, I think some major league team should start using “Vindaloo” by Fat Les during the seventh inning stretch here. It’s a banger. It also seems to capture England a bit more accurately than, say, “Downton Abbey” or “The Crown.”

That’s all good fun I suppose. But here’s some stuff that actually affects the game:

The end result will have some interesting dimensions. The field will be 330 feet down each foul line, and it will have a distance of 385 feet to center field, which will feature a 16-foot wall. Cook also said it would have an expanded, “Oakland-like” foul territory, referencing the Athletics’ Oakland Coliseum expanse.

Those dimensions are unavoidable given that the square peg that is a baseball field is being shoved into the round hole that is a soccer stadium. As Murray Cook, MLB’s senior field coordinator tells Rivera, that sort of thing, while perhaps less than ideal, is at least in keeping with baseball’s strong tradition of irregular field conditions. It will, however, be one of the shortest dead center distances in baseball history.

Oh, and then there’s this:

Protective netting was also an important issue addressed when building the ballpark, with Cook stressing that his team has implemented netting that “is the largest you’ll ever see in any major league ballpark.”

[Craig makes a mental note to bookmark this for the next time MLB says it won’t mandate extended netting in the U.S. because doing so is too difficult]