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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 2/9/17

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A-Rod says suspension was a pivotal moment in his life; Tanaka won’t focus on opt-out until after the season; other 2018 options for the rotation; Greg Bird happy to have Chris Carter on the team; Ken Singleton and Chase Headley discuss switch-hitting; MLB to test idiotic idea in the lowest levels of the minors

2016 US Open - Day 13
I’m gonna create my own theme park!
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Around the Empire

Newsday | Erik Boland: A lot of us joke about the adorkable nature of Alex Rodriguez lately. His Dad-Rod photos on Twitter, A-Rod Corp, and his popular stint as an analyst during the playoffs are just some of the ways he’s endeared himself back into the hearts of some of his harshest critics. It wasn’t always that way. According to A-Rod, his suspension was a pivotal turning point in his life. It took him four months into it to tell his daughters about what he had done. If that was indeed his turning point, he’s certainly been moving in the right direction.

New York Daily News | Mike Mazzeo: Masahiro Tanaka, Yankees ace and all around swell guy, will begin his fourth year in pinstripes. At the end of this year, Tanaka can opt-out of his seven-year contract. Will he? Possibly. Tanaka will not be focusing on that during the season. The majority of stories regarding this will be answered at the end of the year. Instead he should focus on getting that much needed TJS.

New York Post | Ken Davidoff: If Tanaka does opt-out, the Yankees will have some decisions to make regarding their rotation. One of those decision might be to continue on with Tanaka. Another decision will be to look at the crop of pitchers available next offseason. This article takes a look at some of the options.

Newsday | Erik Boland: The Yankees, pending a physical, will soon sign Chris Carter to a one-year deal. Greg Bird, also known as GREG BIRD, is happy about the deal. Bird believes that Carter would add a powerful bat to the lineup, in addition to a good veteran presence. Bird still knows that he has to compete for the starting position and he is ready to give it his all in spring training. We’re ready as well, Greg Bird.

Fangraphs | David Laurila: Switch-hitters use dark sorcery to hit from both sides of the plate. That’s just my theory though. Actual switch-hitters who actually have played the sport of baseball discuss what it’s like during certain scenarios. Current Yankees’ third baseman Chase Headley and current YES broadcaster Ken Singleton discuss their different outlooks at switch-hitting.

Yahoo Sports | Jeff Passan: Our final article is dumb. Well, the article is not dumb. It just has an incredibly dumb idea about how to “improve” the sport of baseball. This stupid idea is to test having a runner on second base at the start of extra innings. This moronic plan would be tested in the lowest levels in the minors, where managers may not have the out-of-the-box thinking to immediately intentionally walk the first batter. Just go full Blernsball already and be done with it.