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.

Michael Kopech has opted out of the 2020 season

Kopech has opted out
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Michael Kopech has opted out of the 2020 season. The White Sox starter informed the team of his decision today, and the team issued a press release to that affect a few minutes ago.

The statement from general manager Rick Hahn. said “we recognize that reaching this decision is incredibly difficult for any competitive athlete, and our organization is understanding and supportive. We will work with Michael to assure his development continues throughout 2020, and we look forward to welcoming him back into our clubhouse for the 2021 season.”

Kopech, 24, has only four big league starts under his belt, all coming in late August and early September of 2018, but after a strong spring training he was likely to make Chicago’s rotation at some point in the 2020 season after sitting out all of 2019 following Tommy John surgery. Kopech was among the players sent to Chicago from the Red Sox in the Chris Sale trade back in December 2016. Others involved in the deal included Yoán Moncada, Victor Diaz, and Luis Alexander Basabe.

Now, however, Kopech has opted out.