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His last Opening Day in the Bronx is today.
You hate him but you know he’s a five-time World Series champ.
You hate him but you know he’s been in the playoffs 17 out of his 19 seasons in the bigs thus far.
You hate him but you know he’s got a lifetime .312 batting average (to date) with more than 1200 RBI and 250 homeruns in a 20-year career.
You hate him but you know he just passed Milwaukee’s Paul Molitor to become 8th in total hits, with Carl Yaztremski’s hit total coming up next. 
You hate him but you know he’s earned his nicknames “Mr. November,” “Captain Clutch” and whatever other monikers fans and other players have devised and applied.
You hate him but he plays the game right, and always has.
You hate him but you know you can’t hate him because look at that smile and oh yeah, did we mention the World Series rings?
Thanks for everything, Captain.
Thank you, Derek Jeter.
Even from the haters.

His last Opening Day in the Bronx is today.

You hate him but you know he’s a five-time World Series champ.

You hate him but you know he’s been in the playoffs 17 out of his 19 seasons in the bigs thus far.

You hate him but you know he’s got a lifetime .312 batting average (to date) with more than 1200 RBI and 250 homeruns in a 20-year career.

You hate him but you know he just passed Milwaukee’s Paul Molitor to become 8th in total hits, with Carl Yaztremski’s hit total coming up next. 

You hate him but you know he’s earned his nicknames “Mr. November,” “Captain Clutch” and whatever other monikers fans and other players have devised and applied.

You hate him but he plays the game right, and always has.

You hate him but you know you can’t hate him because look at that smile and oh yeah, did we mention the World Series rings?

Thanks for everything, Captain.

Thank you, Derek Jeter.

Even from the haters.

Opening Day poem.

Fuck you, snow

Fuck you, winter

'tis the season

of splendid splinters.

Of caught fly balls

and stolen bases;

of triples, doubles,

and pennant races.

Under domes, 

or wide, blue sky —

away or home,

let homers fly.

Hit inside pitch;

bunts down the line;

World Series rings —

it’s baseball time.

(Photo of Major League Baseball’s opening day ceremonies in San Diego, CA on Sunday, March 30 by USA Today)

I want to start by saying thank you.

I know they say that when you dream you eventually wake up. Well, for some reason, I’ve never had to wake up. Not just because of my time as a New York Yankee but also because I am living my dream every single day.

Last year was a tough one for me. As I suffered through a bunch of injuries, I realized that some of the things that always came easily to me and were always fun had started to become a struggle. The one thing I always said to myself was that when baseball started to feel more like a job, it would be time to move forward.

So really it was months ago when I realized that this season would be my last. As I came to this conclusion and shared it with my friends and family, they all told me to hold off saying anything until I was absolutely 100% sure.

And the thing is, I could not be more sure. I know it in my heart. The 2014 season will be my last year playing professional baseball.

Derek Jeter announces his impending retirement via Facebook.

:-(

After a year of warring with Major League Baseball, Alex Rodriguez effectively ended his battle on Friday, dropping his lawsuits against baseball and the players’ union over his doping suspension.

The legal move means that Rodriguez, the Yankees’ third baseman, has accepted that he will be sidelined for the entire 2014 season plus the postseason — the longest suspension in the sport’s history for the use of performance-enhancing drugs.

Without admitting to the use of banned substances, Rodriguez, 38, quietly submitted papers in federal court in New York seeking to voluntarily dismiss two high-profile lawsuits he has filed in recent months.

In one of the cases, Rodriguez had sued M.L.B. and the players’ union, seeking to throw out an independent arbitrator’s decision that upheld most of his 211-game suspension. In the other case, originally filed in October, Rodriguez named M.L.B. and its commissioner, Bud Selig, as defendants, claiming they engaged in a “witch hunt” as they investigated his use of banned substances.

But Rodriguez’s energy for continuing to pursue his case in the courts began to wane in recent weeks as legal experts predicted dim prospects for his lawsuits and as the public grew increasingly weary of his battle. The arbitrator’s report in his case, which was made public as a result of the lawsuit Rodriguez filed in January, offered an authoritative account of Rodriguez’s alleged doping regimen — serving a public setback to a ballplayer once considered among the best of his generation.

In mid-January, Rodriguez signaled while speaking with reporters in Mexico City that he might be moving toward giving up, as he said that the upcoming season will give him a chance to “rest physically, mentally and to prepare for the future and to start a new chapter of my life,” according to a translation of a video posted to ESPN New York.

The New York Times, "Alex Rodriguez Drops Lawsuit Against Baseball, Selig and Union."

LOL, what a motherfucker.

BVT News Roundup 21 January 2014.

Alex Rodriguez, once Major League Baseball’s biggest star, was slammed Saturday with an historic drug suspension that encompasses all of the 2014 season, including the postseason, and will cost the Yankee third baseman $25 million in this year’s salary, plus millions in any performance incentives he would have earned.

The ban comes after a year of vicious attacks on Major League Baseball and the Yankees, public denials that he acquired massive amounts of performance-enhancing drugs from a seedy Miami dope den, and millions in legal bills from a team of high-profile lawyers, crisis managers and private investigators.

Arbitrator Fredric Horowitz struck the 14-time All-Star and three-time Most Valuable Player with the 162-game suspension, plus the offseason, in an endorsement of MLB’s accusations that Rodriguez scored an array of PEDs from Biogenesis, a now-shuttered Miami-area anti-aging clinic operated by Anthony Bosch, in clear violation of the game’s collectively bargained drug program.

MLB announced the suspension — the longest drug suspension in the history of the program — Saturday morning in a short statement.
For the 38-year-old Rodriguez, the ruling is a death blow to his already PED-tainted career, even though the decision by Horowitz reduces the 211-game ban baseball commissioner Bud Selig imposed in August and is based on non-analytical evidence — Rodriguez has not failed a drug test since baseball’s 2003 survey testing year. He is unlikely to take that small victory as a sensible stopping point in his legal crusade, however, and his attorneys have threatened to immediately file an injunction asking a judge to stay the suspension pending further legal action. Rodriguez has already commenced a lawsuit against the league and others he claims have conspired to frame him as the most tainted ballplayer since Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens.

The decision comes about seven weeks after Rodriguez stormed out of his grievance hearing on Nov. 20, professing that he had been treated unfairly. The walkout saved him at the last minute from going under oath with denials.

Assuming the suspension stands — it is highly unlikely a judge would interfere with a ruling issued under binding arbitration — Rodriguez’s suspension is immediately effective, meaning he will not be allowed to participate in spring training or any other Yankee activities. He will lose his entire 2014 salary — $25 million — plus millions in the performance bonuses he was closing in on.

The decision wraps up a tumultuous process that began Aug. 5, the day Selig banned Rodriguez for doping and interfering with MLB’s Biogenesis probe. While Rodriguez immediately elected arbitration, more than a dozen other players implicated in the scandal accepted their bans. Most of them have already served 50-game suspensions (Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun accepted a 65-game suspension) and are now free to take the field in spring training, something Rodriguez will not be allowed to do.

The New York Daily News, "Arbitrator Hits A-Rod With Full Season Ban"

BVT News Roundup 9 January 2014.

BVT News Roundup 8 January 2014.

Evening News Wrap 3 December 2013.

(Yankees third baseman Alex) Rodriguez inadvertently raised questions about his use of stimulants at the beginning of spring training in 2008.

At the time, the sport’s drug testing program was under scrutiny. Two months earlier, George J. Mitchell had released his report on the use of performance-enhancing drugs in the game, naming many players, including Roger Clemens and Andy Pettitte, for their links to doping.

In one of his first interviews in spring training in 2008, Rodriguez, who had not yet been publicly tied to doping and was on track to break Bonds’s career home run record, tried to defend the drug testing program, saying that he had been tested “9 or 10 times” the previous year.

That number of tests, however, raised many questions because it was significantly higher than baseball’s drug testing program called for at the time for nearly all players.

The program that year called for all 1,600 players to be tested at least two times. Another 600 tests were conducted that year on players during the season and 60 more random tests were conducted in the off-season.

A player had a 1 in 600,000 chance of being selected for seven random tests and a 1 in 9 million chance of being selected for eight tests.

But as part of baseball’s drug testing program, some players could be tested many more times. That group included players who tested positive for stimulants for the first time in 2006 and were subjected to six more tests over the next year.

“That’s not true,” Rodriguez said at the time when asked whether the increased number of tests he had undergone was because he had already tested positive for stimulants. “It couldn’t be more false — 100 percent false.”

Later that day, he released a statement saying that his “quote from earlier today was taken literally.”

The New York Times, "Reports of a Positive Test in 2006 Call Rodriguez’s Words Into Question."

Christ, what a doping dopey asshole.

Weekend News Read 2 November 2013.

image

(Screencap of the 2013 World Series trophy at the finish line of the Boston Marathon via the Boston Globe)