Pariah no more! A-Rod was front and center for a big MLB community event

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Today in New York, Major League Baseball announced the launch of the “PLAY BALL” initiative, which is designed to encourage participation in baseball activities among kids. And not just in the form of organized leagues. Sandlot, playing catch, the whole deal. It seems like a pretty cool idea because, as so many have said, if you played baseball as a kid, you’re more likely to be a fan later. The website, linked above, has coaching tips, guides to help parents find community leagues and other information that can make it all easier.

The launch today happened at Heritage Park in New York, where Rob Manfred and members of the Yankees and Marlins — who are in town for an interleague series — were on hand. Included in the group:

Alex Rodriguez: good enough to market a very important Major League Baseball community initiative. I guess he’s officially off the s***-list.