Dan Schlossberg's Weekend Notebook: Getting Old • Latino Sports

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Dan Schlossberg’s Weekend Notebook: Getting Old

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At 39, Yankee captain Derek Jeter has been out almost all season

At 39, Yankee captain Derek Jeter has been out almost all season

Age is a matter of mind; if you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.

In major league baseball, however, Father Time almost always rears his ugly head.

The New York Yankees and Philadelphia Phillies both learned that lesson this year.

With a roster of aging stars, both clubs suffered devastating injuries early and haven’t recovered.

Yankee captain Derek Jeter, who turned 39 in June, has spent virtually the entire season on the disabled list. So have fellow New York infielders Kevin Youkilis, 34; Mark Teixeira, 33; and Alex Rodriguez, 38.

Among the other graybeards in pinstripes are lefthanded starter Andy Pettitte, suddenly showing his age at 41, and closer Mariano Rivera, who will mark his 44th birthday in November.

Rivera, relegated to the sidelines after tearing his ACL early last season, was supposed to retire in 2012 but didn’t want to say goodbye while residing on the disabled list.

Mariano after falling and injuring his knee in 2012 (Photo Popfi.com)

Mariano after falling and injuring his knee in 2012 (Photo Popfi.com)

He came back and started strong before the Dog Days of August caught up with him. The once-flawless closer not only blew three straight save opportunities for the first time in his career but notched another first by giving up two home runs in the same inning. Miguel Cabrera (Tigers) even homered against Mariano in consecutive at-bats.

This is not to say that Rivera should have retired but that he’s now closer to Clark Kent than he is to Superman.

As for A-Roid, he’s one step closer to Lex Luthor, the arch-villain who so often played the Man of Steal against the Man of Steel.

The latest fiasco sounds like All the President’s Men, with Rodriguez confidants leaking names of other players allegedly involved in the Biogenesis scandal.

Again, what was A-Rod thinking? Did he think that squealing on Ryan Braun and other colleagues would make him seem less guilty?

He sounds like a guy with a $25 million contract and a $25 head.

Roy Halladay has been sidelined almost all year after shoulder surgery

Roy Halladay has been sidelined almost all year after shoulder surgery

In Philadelphia, the team is also ancient and creaky. Cleanup hitter Ryan Howard, 34, and ace pitcher Roy Halladay, 36, missed months with injuries and Chase Utley, pushing 35, has been disabled five times in his career. Lefty Cliff Lee hits 35 two weeks from today and has also seen better days.

Like the Yankees, the Phillies are desperate for a youth infusion. They took a giant step in that direction today when Hall of Fame infielder Ryne Sandberg was promoted from coach to manager, succeeding 70-year-old Charlie Manuel. But a manager has to have the horses (read that the fillies) to win.

Other thoughts that crowd a writer’s desk on Friday night:

The advent of near-universal instant replay may reduce baseball to a virtual board game. Managers will get three “challenges,” one of them usable before the seventh inning and two of them afterward. If the challenged umpire’s call proves correct, the manager will not be charged with using up one of his challenges . . .

Is it possible that five men with Atlanta Braves ties with enter the Hall of Fame in 2014? Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine, both 300-game winners, should be first-ballot locks, but former Braves managers Bobby Cox and Joe Torre plus general manager John Schuerholz all could be chosen . . .

Greg Maddux is virtually certain of election to Cooperstown in 2014

Greg Maddux is virtually certain of election to Cooperstown in 2014

Possible playoff opponents of the Los Angeles Dodgers are glad the Dodgers are peaking now. The 40-8 streak they took into this weekend was the best by any team since the 1941 St. Louis Cardinals were even hotter . . .

The Cards should get going again now that MVP candidate Yadier Molina has returned from a short injury-related stint on the sidelines . . .

Versatile speed merchant Emilio Bonifacio cleared waivers — meaning any club could have acquired him — before the over-reaching Kansas City Royals scooped him up . . .

First-to-worst: even Tim Lincecum’s revival can’t save the sinking the San Francisco Giants, who have become the doormat of the NL West after winning the whole ball of wax last fall . . .

With three second basemen (Dan Uggla, Tyler Pastornicky, Ramiro Pena) on the disabled list, would the Braves consider playing B.J. Upton there? He was signed as a shortstop by the Tampa Bay Rays . . .

Braves beat writer Mark Bowman of MLB.com predicted on Braves Banter radio last night that the team would not sign two stalwarts with local ties: catcher Brian McCann and injured pitcher Tim Hudson, both prospective free agents . . .

If not for Orioles slugger Chris Davis, Miguel Cabrera would be a lock to become the first man ever to grab consecutive Triple Crowns.

Another Triple Crown for Miggy?

Another Triple Crown for Miggy?

About Dan Schlossberg

Former AP sportswriter Dan Schlossberg of Fair Lawn, NJ has produced 35 baseball books, including autobiographies of Ron Blomberg, Al Clark, and Milo Hamilton. Also a broadcaster, he is the host and executive producer of Braves Banter and Travel Itch Radio and a contributor to Sirius XM.

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