New York tabloid stumps for Alex Rodriguez to make the All-Star team

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How many of you would’ve guessed six months ago that a New York tabloid would be stumping for Alex Rodriguez to make the All-Star team? I probably would’ve bet my life savings against it, actually. But here it is in today’s New York Post:

. . . if you’re AL manager Ned Yost, whose Royals lost Game 7 of the Series at home last year to the Giants, wouldn’t you want A-Rod as an option coming off your bench? . . . If it is about entertainment, you pick Rodriguez. If it is about a man having the ability to rise to the occasion and winning a ballgame, you pick Rodriguez.

You pick Rodriguez for the American League All-Star team.

There are a lot of throat-clearing paragraphs there in which the writer, Larry Brooks, makes it clear that arguing for A-Rod to make the All-Star team does not constitute an endorsement for him being Evil Incarnate. But still, this is about as close to a love letter the guy has gotten from his local press in a decade or more. And then, at the end, saying he’s a guy with “the ability to rise to the occasion?” Wowzers.

I’m still skeptical that A-Rod will make it. The Yankees don’t have a starter and will need someone selected, but I’ll believe it will be Rodriguez only when I see it. Mark Teixeira is having a good year and now that Miguel Cabrera is out there will be room for another first baseman. Dellin Betances is having a great year and, given how All-Star rosters work, it’s way easier to make it as a reliever than a position player. Ned Yost has to pick at least one guy from every team and has a limited number of slots for someone who really can only hit. I suspect that, plus perhaps some unofficial lobbying against the inclusion of A-Rod by the powers that be will keep him off the team. But whether or not he makes it, it’s definitely remarkable that A-Rod is getting some love from the New York Post.

Now, let’s see the Daily News weigh-in.

Masahiro Tanaka throws two-hit shutout vs. Rays

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Yankees starter Masahiro Tanaka went the distance, holding the Rays scoreless on two hits and one walk with 10 strikeouts across nine innings on Monday night in the Bronx. It’s the fourth shutout of his career, accounting for four of the Yankees’ last six shutouts. The other two were thrown my Luis Severino and Brandon McCarthy.

DJ LeMahieu provided the bulk of the offense, swatting a two-run home run off of Yonny Chirinos in the third inning. Cameron Maybin tacked on a solo homer off of Chirinos in the fifth as the Yankees went on to win 3-0.

After Monday’s performance, Tanaka owns a 3.23 ERA with 84 strikeouts and 20 walks across 92 innings on the season.

With the win, the Yankees increase their lead over the Rays for first place in the AL East to 1.5 games.