Good Evening
Good Evening

Alex Rodriguez, Andy Pettitte, the Mets and the Braves

Here's the deal this week: I start jury duty this morning. I have every reason to believe that I'll be just as annoying about it as Diane was, in this episode of "Cheers," sharing info whether you're interested or not.

So...I'm not sure when I'll next attend a game. And I can't adhere to my usual posting schedule, because I have to report at 8:45 this morning.

Therefore, I'll post when I can, with a few thoughts here and there. Here are some now:

--Off the Yankees game, I wrote about Alex Rodriguez, and how much the Yankees still have coming from him. It has been an odd season for A-Rod. He hasn't really fallen off a cliff. He just hasn't gone deep like he normally does. The other day, we noted this interesting discussion of A-Rod's power. But if A-Rod hits shots to centerfield like yesterday's grand slam, then he'll get his share.

--I wrote this feature about pitchers who use anti-inflammatory medication. I thought it was interesting to talk to pitchers about what they do to get out there every five days.  I think you can see how pitchers would make a leap from legally prescribed, performance-enhancing drugs to the illegal types, utilizing that "Whatever it takes" mentality.

--Andy Pettitte was forthright with me about his usage of the Medrol Dose Pack. Pettitte is a guy who knows his body and knows what he needs to get by (and yes, here is the requisite mention of his illegal PED usage. I think his fans are less devastated now). To watch Pettitte pitch now, as a guy who will turn 38 this month, is to see someone who knows his limits and rarely beats himself.

So how much of a renaissance is this really for Pettitte? If you look at his Fangraphs page, you'll see that his FIP is about where it was in 2008, which was largely considered a hugely disappointing year. His left-on-base percentage and BABiP show a guy benefting from luck, who will hit a speed bump at some point. But who will still be a very serviceable starting pitcher, and worth his salary.

--Curtis Granderson, off the disabled list, is reminding the Yankees and their fans of his value. As you can see in Anthony Rieber's story, Indians manager Manny Acta volunteered that Granderson's three hits in three at-bats off three different lefty relievers served as the weekend's deciding factor.

--Derek Jeter got hurt, while Jorge Posada got better.

--The Mets...well..I guess all I have to say is, in light of my appearance in court today, they're guilty. Of something.

--The Oliver Perez saga continues. Look, it's not every day that a team eats some $20 million to unload a player. But it happens. Just go in the Mets' clubhouse and ask Gary Matthews Jr.

The Mets tried to right Perez this past winter. Shoot, Perez tried in his own way, moving to Arizona and working with Brett Fischer. But it's just not happening. The current situation isn't healthy for anyone. It's time to move on.

--Luis Castillo might be headed for the disabled list. If this happens, the Mets should let Ruben Tejada start some games at second base.

--The Braves defeated the Phillies, and consequently took over first place in the NL East. I'd still put my money on the Phillies, if I did such things, but the Braves have certaintly created interest with resurgent offensive campaigns from surprising sources like Troy Glaus and Eric Hinski, along with a slight wakeup by Chipper Jones.

--The Diamondbacks have interest in acquiring Dontrelle Willis.

--Ubaldo Jimenez won again, continuing his dominant season.



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