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The Globe and Mail

Love him or loathe him, Yankees forced to turn to Alex Rodriguez

In this March 22, 2007, file photo, New York Yankees' Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez stand around the batting cage

Gene J. Puskar/AP

The Globe's Robert MacLeod curates the best of sports on the web Monday to Friday

Love him or loathe him, you have to at least have a smidgen of respect for Alex Rodriguez and his ability to remain in the limelight no matter what the circumstances.

Be it his involvement with performance-enhancing drugs, the gobs of money he makes playing third base for the New York Yankees, or his romantic ties with entertainment starlets, the 38-year-old has always provided plenty of fodder for the city's tabloid writers.

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The Yankees are thankful that these days it is the impact that Rodriguez is having on the playing field that is generating most of the news as New York make a push over the final month of the season to hopefully secure an American League wild-card berth.

The Yankees registered a 7-5 win over the Baltimore Orioles at Camden Yards on Tuesday night and now stand just two games behind Tampa Bay and a half-game behind Baltimore and Cleveland in the A.L. wild card derby.

With captain Derek Jeter spending more time in the training room than the playing field dealing with ankle issues, it is Rodriguez who continues to step up to help New York's cause, ripping a couple of doubles in the Yankee victory.

As Tyler Kepner of the New York Times writes, like it or not the Yankees have little choice to continue to rely on Rodriguez to carry the load over the final month.

David Lennon writes in Newsday that even New York manager Joe Girardi admits surprise at how "indispensable" Rodriguez has become to the Yankees.

And you can't forget about the contributions of Alfonso Soriano,  who swatted his 15th home run since rejoining the Yankees to assist in Tuesday's win.

Injuries are impacting all teams at this late stage of the season, and the Boston Red Sox are not immune.

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The front-running A.L. East club must be sighing in relief after agent Scott Boras told the Boston Globe that the injury to the right foot of centrefielder Jacoby Ellsbury  should not prevent him from returning to play by the time the post-season rolls around.

Fans chasing after errant baseballs hit into the stands or over the outfield walls is one of the game's time honoured activities.

As Jason Turner relates in his story in Utah's Logan Herald Journal, it also resulted in Bart Griffiths saving the life of a wheelchair bound man he found face first in an irrigation ditch.

Daniel Cleary flying high

With National Hockey League training camps starting in about a week, teams continue to fine-tune their roster in preparation for the 2013-14 regular season.

Ted Kulfin reports in the Detroit News that Daniel Cleary has ended his eight-year association with the Wings by signing a three-year, $8.25-million contract with the Philadelphia Flyers.

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In Washington, fans of the Capitals are resting a bit easier after star forward Alex Ovechkin blunted rumors that he might take his game to the KHL, telling reporters he has a contract to play in the NHL.

NFL comes down hard on Suh

The National Football League has come down hard against Detroit Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh for his low block on Minnesota Vikings centre John Sullivan during the second quarter of Sunday's game.

As reported by Will Brinson, the NFL writer for, the fine levied against Suh is massive; the largest for a single on-field incident in league history

For his part Sullivan – who recovered to remain in the game - said he respects the NFL's decision.

Could not help but raise an eye over this story.

On Sunday the San Francisco 49ers will play the Seattle Seahawks in a game featuring two NFC powerhouses.

And although it is just the second game of the season for both outfits the stakes are obviously high as the opposing quarterbacks – Colin Kaepernick of the 49ers and Russell Wilson of the Seahawks – have agreed to a friendly wager.

The loser of the game will have to shave off one of his eyebrows.

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