Rights of Spring

Man, I hate it when Spring Training and actual sounds of the game interrupt that wonderful flow of steroids, government intervention and $$$ news. …

Hate it about as much as New York-style pizza, Arizona sunsets, Clint Eastwood movies and anything by Sade or Jamie Callum (check him outhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vdm2A7ZsgH4&feature=related). …

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SELENA ROBERTS: Is anyone else just a little perturbed that her co-authored expose of Alex Rodriguez in Sports Illustrated turned out to be a precursor to her previously-unmentioned book, the release of which has now been rushed up a month by publisher HarperCollins?“A-Rod: The Many Lives of Alex Rodriguez” will now hit the shelves on April 14. …

PLAYERS when they sign big contracts: “It’s not about the money.” The same guys, now that the money has shrunk a little, on their way to the retirement home: “Man, it’s just not worth it.” …

SNUGGLES: Yeah, those dumb commercials for the “blanket you wear as a robe.” The part about wearing them outdoors at a Little League game always cracks me up, it is so lame. But darned if a fan didn’t show up wearing a bathrobe (brand unknown) for last weekend’s Notre Dame-UCLA game in Pauley Pavilion. It was a 10 a.m. start, so I guess a good thing the guy wasn’t still chewing his toothbrush. …

STEROIDS-SLASHED STATS: The problem with all this talk about downsizing the home-run counts of alleged cheats is, what do you then do to the teams who profited by them? Do you take away the pennants accumulated by the A’s (Jason Giambi, Miguel Tejada), Rangers (Rafael Palmeiro, Juan Gonzalez) and Yankees (too many to list)? …

DUSTIN PEDROIA: At a listed height of 5-foot-9 (and even that, maybe in high heels), he is the shortest American League MVP in 54 years, since 5-foot-8 Yogi Berra earned the trophy in 1954. Joe Morgan, 5-foot-7 and also a second baseman, took NL honors in 1976. For the record, other 5-foot-9 MVPs have been Ichiro Suzuki (2001), Ivan Rodriguez (1999), Terry Pendleton (1991) and Nellie Fox (1959). …

NEIL DIAMOND: Had the Dodgers not skipped out on Brooklyn, baseball might have had an outfielder with the perfect ball name. The singer revealed during the run-up to last week’s Grammy Awards, “I started taking guitar lessons when the Dodgers left Brooklyn. I was so depressed, so my parents bought me a guitar.” …

YANKEES: How many times. in the wake of the A-Rod Week, have you heard one of them insist, “We’ll support him. We’re like a family.” Or, like Family Feud. We shall see. …

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