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Yankees News & Notes: A-Rod's missed connection

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I reached the pinnacle of my baseball career at age 10, when I batted .363 and made my Little League All-Star team. Though they didn't tabulate the stat at the time, I'm guessing my OPS was in the .900 range.

That was the closest to being an expert at hitting I ever got. If I write a book one day, I can't in good conscience use the title Cage Rat, though I'm not sure why anyone would.

What I'm trying to get at is that my understanding of the mechanics of a baseball swing isn't advanced enough to truly grasp what Alex Rodriguez means when he says he feels a "disconnect" in his swing right now.

It's pretty clear this isn't a positive thing. I'm just hoping it's not another way of saying, "Man, my degenerative hip hurts" or "God, it feels like someone stole my Centaur pitchfork and is stabbing me in my oblique muscle."

Rodriguez hasn't been the same hitter since returning from a brief oblique-induced shutdown. He's batting just .149 since that time and has just one RBI in his last nine games.

"It’s definitely not an excuse," Rodriguez said after Wednesday's loss. "I got off to a great start and haven’t been swinging the bat really well the last couple of weeks. It’s time to get back in the saddle and help the team win."

A-Rod says he's not injured, just slumping. The Yankees better hope that's the case, because they're simply not the same team without him.

Onto the links ...

  • Derek Jeter exited Wednesday's loss in the eighth inning after suffering an apparent injury to his hip. Joe Girardi said the captain is day-to-day, but Jeter didn't sound like a guy looking for time off. "It's not hurt," Jeter said. "Seriously, it's not that big of an issue. I've played with it.
  • File this under "Great Freaking News": Phil Hughes' shoulder problem is no longer thought to be season-threatening and there's now a belief the right-hander could be back on the mound in 6-8 weeks.
  • Tuesday marked the sixth anniversary of Robinson Cano's major league debut. "Wow; it feels like it was yesterday," Cano told The Daily News. "Time goes fast." He ain't lying.
  • You know what's worse than playing a game that takes seven hours and 35 minutes to finish? Losing that game. You know what's even worse that that? Knowing you're playing at 1 p.m. the next day.
  • If you've ever wanted to see former Yankees scrub Jose Canseco in the same photo as Balki from Perfect Strangers, then boy do I have a surprise for you!
  • The outrageously talented Tyler Kepner wrote a great piece on Luis Salazar, the Braves minor league manager who lost an eye in a spring training accident in March.
  • Francisco Cervelli on his throw down to second Wednesday that nearly clipped Freddy Garcia: "I almost killed him, man."
  • Quick, somebody tell A.J. Burnett it's April 35th.

Until next time, hang onto the roof ...

Dan Hanzus is a contributing writer for Pinstripe Alley. He can be reached at dhanzus@gmail or on Twitter @danhanzus.