The official report date for Yankees' pitchers and catchers is tomorrow, but next Wednesday might be the biggest media day for all of spring training. Why? That's the day Alex Rodriguez is due to report.
In case you've been living under a rock this week, here are a few A-Rod stories (and reactions) that are worth your while:
First up, a #longread on the Yankees DH/3B/DH/3B/DH (who knows) from ESPN The Magazine: "The Education of Alex Rodriguez." The story reveals very personal details, such as his encounters with a therapist, but here's a fun little excerpt that caught my eye:
Phil Hughes quietly had one of the best seasons by any pitcher in 2014 after leaving the Yankees and moving to Target Field. He even set the all-time single season record for best K/BB ratio (11.63). Who knew? Unreal.
But it wasn't really until now when someone finally cared to look into it more closely. That person was Matt Goldman from Beyond the Box Score, an awesome baseball analytics site that I can't recommend enough.
Most people would take one look at Hughes' record and say that Yankee Stadium is simply a much harder stadium to pitch in than Target Field. Sure, that may have been a factor. But, as BtBS points out, Hughes finally figured out an effective pitching style.
Hughes always had great stuff. In Minnesota, somehow he figured out how to use his arsenal most effectively. Would you bet on Hughes duplicating his 2014 success next year? Do all of your baseball betting here.
I don't think Yankees fans generally hate Barry Bonds any more than the average fan. It's not like he broke Babe Ruth's record (Hank Aaron already took the hate for that). But since A-Rod plays for the Yankees and has lied over and over again (while Bonds has simply denied), I believe A-Rod is the most hated ballplayer ever.
Brian Cashman re-signed Chase Headley with full intentions of darting him at third base, thereby shifting A-Rod to full-time DH duties. Still, A-Rod had the gall to publicly undermine Cashman's plans by saying he's vying to play third. What nerve.