Today, you get an Around the League in lieu of Bullets. It projects to be a busier than usual Saturday, so stay tuned for a bit more later this morning.
- I made no bones about my frustration with Yasiel Puig’s second unbelievably-ridiculously-dangerous reckless driving arrest, so I want to be equally public in praising him for deciding to hang up his driving feet and hire a driver. If you’ve got a predilection toward unsafe driving, and you’ve got plenty of money to pay someone – a cousin, in this instance – to drive you, there’s no reason not to make this choice.
- The arbitrator’s decision on Alex Rodriguez’s 211-game suspension will be handed down any day now, but there’s zero hour talk of Rodriguez accepting a reduced suspension in exchange for not trying to appeal – via court – any arbitrator decision. As Ken Rosenthal points out correctly in that piece, getting a federal court to hear – let alone overturn – a case about this kind of privately-agreed-upon arbitration system is a steep hurdle in the extreme. It just doesn’t happen in anything but the craziest, most extreme cases. Well, legally, I mean. I remain very interested in seeing how the Yankees react to the decision, given their probable desire to stay under the $189 million luxury tax cap. If ARod is suspended for the full year, they could do it if they wanted. If he’s not, they probably can’t. In either case, they might go nuts on Masahiro Tanaka anyway, making this all academic.
- Yesterday, the BBWAA expectedly suspended Dan Le Batard for a year and stripped him permanently of his right to vote for the Hall of Fame. In doing so, it seems the BBWAA probably helped make Le Batard’s point – that the voting process has become ridiculous – even more strongly. Throw in the fact that other writers have long done what Le Batard did – just not as publicly, and not utilizing the reviled Deadspin – and the well-made points by Richard Justice yesterday, and the whole thing just makes me sad. Neither the baseball fan nor the writer in me want to see the BBWAA seeming so feckless, but here we are. I still don’t want to see this as an us-versus-them-new-media-versus-traditional-media thing, but that train left the station long ago. Still, I urge folks to remember: not all traditional writers are dopes, and not all new media writers are thoughtful.
- Are the Indians slowly phasing out the Chief Wahoo logo? There are reports that it will be “demoted” behind the block C logo as soon as next year, though it isn’t totally disappearing yet. For my part, I’m no longer comfortable with the logo and won’t be using it, myself.
- Bad, bad news for the Rangers, who’ve lost lefty Derek Holland until at least midseason after a “freak accident” in his house. Holland, 27, had surgery to repair some non-ACL-non-MCL damage in the knee, and the prognosis is good. Still, the Rangers will be without their second or third-best pitcher for half of a season, and it’s a reminder that injuries can happen whenever. The transactional implications of the injury will be explored later, but the short version is that the Rangers are expected to fill his spot internally for now.
- Justin Verlander joins Miguel Cabrera as two star Tigers who’ve had offseason surgery. Both are expected to be all right for the start of the season, but I’m sure there’s a little nervousness.