I have some very sad news to report. Often when I say I have sad news to report I mean it in jest, where the line "I have some very sad news to report" is followed either by an ironic, sarcastic, blatantly obvious, or patently false statement. Take, for example, the following – I have some very sad news to report: Stephen Drew is a bad baseball player. Though this news may be frustrating, it is almost certainly not sad; nobody weeps over Stephen Drew’s impotence as a baseball player, and we would all like him to be replaced by somebody more competent. Additionally, this statement isn’t actually news because Drew's poor play is hardly a secret.
See? The statement "I have some very sad news to report" is, in 100% of cases, a farce.
Except this time.
I have some very sad news to report. On July 31 all rumors will die. This will be a sorry day. They die, of course, because after July 31 at 4pm, all trades are forbidden. Sort of. Because there can be no trades, there can be no trade rumors, and so there are basically no rumors at all. Those of us who rely on rumors for our very existence, like me, will shortly thereafter shrivel up until we look exactly like and are the size of an old man’s hand. You won’t be able to recognize me then. I’ll be wizened and pathetic. There’s nothing to do about it, so don’t bother mourning me. Until then, let’s celebrate the little time I have left with some rumors and some gossip.
- General Manager Brian Cashman has signaled the Yankees will not be pursuing a top-line starting pitcher. If you believe him, this means the likes of Cole Hamels and Johnny Cueto won't be targets for the team. "The acquisitions cost are certain players that I have no intention of moving at this stage," said Cashman, almost certainly referring to the trifecta of lauded prospects the Yankees have holstered at the moment – Luis Severino, Aaron Judge, and Greg Bird. It would take at least one of those players to land Hamels or Cueto, and we can say with absolute certainty that this would not be worth it for Cueto (given his recent elbow scares) and arguably not worth it for Hamels.
- However, there are some prospects the team could look to trade. In a paywalled piece, ESPN’s Buster Olney named Triple-A catcher Gary Sanchez as a trade option. With the highly competent Brian McCann stationed at catcher for now, there’s no room for Sanchez. It’s said Sanchez could be the centerpiece of a trade for someone like Craig Kimbrel, providing the Yankees would be willing to take on Kimbrel's salary.
- Baseball and humor usually leave each other well enough alone, but Alex Rodriguez’s ESPYs apology speech was some plus-plus comedy. In case you haven’t seen it yet, do check it out.
- I’m sorry, but it’s time for some Derek Jeter news. The former Yankee captain won the Icon Award at the ESPYs. Of baseball, Jeter said, "Honestly, I haven’t missed it much." He also reiterated that he did not want to return to baseball as a manager because of the sport’s schedule, but that he would consider being part of an ownership group. "Jeets likes to call the shots, ooh yeah," he didn’t say.
- Hal Steinbrenner for one doesn’t believe Jeter will be able to keep his distance from the game for too long. Steinbrenner said he expected Jeter would rejoin the team as a "key employee" at some point in the future.
- Meanwhile, Jeter was given the Legend Award at Nickelodeon's Kids’ Choice Sports awards show last week. He was then promptly showered in slime, because Nickelodeon.
- We missed this a few months ago – we weren’t doing these things back then, so that’s probably why – but it turns out Alex Rodriguez is renting out the same Fifth Avenue apartment that Reggie Jackson once lived in. Rodriguez apparently introduced himself to the building’s manager with a hearty, "I’m Alex. Have you lived here long?"
- Rodriguez was the centerpiece of the below Instagram shot taken at Sabathia’s recent surprise birthday party. There he is, chomping down on a cigar! Hello A-Rod! Things to do at the party, incidentally? You could ride a mechanical bull, roll cigars at a cigar-rolling station (does A-Rod roll his own cigars?), eat deep-fried Oreos (drifting dangerously into Red Sox clubhouse territory here), or enjoy a set by Method Man & Redman.
- "I know what I did in my career, and how I did it, and I did it right," were words spoken by human rocket Roger Clemens yesterday. Clemens said it didn’t bother him that he wasn’t in the Hall of Fame yet. Tragically, he didn’t see fit to comment on my favorite Clemens-related thing: poetry he recited during his 2008 Congressional testimony. His best piece? Offensive Haiku, issued in response to a question he found offensive:
I am offended.
I will be honest with you.
I am offended.
- Finally, Joe Girardi has designed an iOS/Android game called "Portalball." This is not a fake story. This is a real story. It’s unclear precisely what this game is; reading that Wall Street Journal piece, one figures Portalball could only have risen from a fever dream. Aliens have invaded earth through augmented reality portals. Players must hit, pitch, and field baseballs in order to defeat said aliens. It’s unclear. The Journal calls it a "hybrid sci-fi baseball game." Is this game basically just Signs? Is Joaquin Phoenix in this game? When you beat it, does M. Night Shyamalan’s face morph out of the screen and attach itself to yours? Find out when the game comes out in August. All proceeds go to Girardi’s charity, Catch 25.