Three opt-ins . . .

Tanka---opting to stay a Yankee . . .

Tanka—opting to stay a Yankee . . .

Opt-out clauses in player contracts often bewilder fans and sometimes wreak havoc, as did Alex Rodriguez when he exercised his during the 2007 World Series. Now they could wreak either benefit or havoc when players don’t exercise them. Consider these who’ve decided to stay put rather than opt out:

* Masahiro Tanaka—The Yankees right hander could have opted out of the final three years of his deal. Instead, he chose not to exercise the option. That takes a top of the line starting pitcher off the winter market. It also gives the Yankees a kind of hometown discount since Tanaka could have commanded more on the open market than the $67 million he’s due on the final three years.

The Bird was the word

This is how you flip the Bird to Andrew Miller when Miller throws a rare errant fastball . . .

This is how you flip the Bird to Andrew Miller when Miller throws a rare errant fastball . . .

Andrew Miller, who’s only human in spite of his reputation, knew the split second Greg Bird swung his bat Sunday that the fastball he threw the Baby Bomber wasn’t long for this world. It wasn’t even long for Yankee Stadium.

Miller had just ended a bases loaded threat when he got Starlin Castro to pop out to the back of the infield an inning earlier.┬áNow, Miller had just thrown Bird a pair of sliders Bird couldn’t have hit with a shovel. And then it came.

Language barriers, brawl game jersey auctions, and other fooleries

Did Hall of Famer Schmidt have a point about language barriers, however clumsily addressed?

Did Hall of Famer Schmidt have a point about language barriers, however clumsily addressed?

We should be enjoying things this week. Things like the Astros’ staggering dominance of the American League West and maybe baseball itself, the bombing of Yankee rookie Aaron (Here Comes The) Judge, the near-classic pitching duel between Clayton Kershaw and Stephen Strasburg, the four-homer game of an obscurity named Scooter Gennett, the 600th home run of Albert Pujols.

But no. Baseball is played and governed by human beings, and human beings are only too fallible. Consider:

Opening Day: Longoria, Archer pin the Baby Bombers

2017's first home run launches off Evan Longoria's bat . . .

2017′s first home run launches off Evan Longoria’s bat . . .

Opening Day in all fairness isn’t the complete, final measure of the season to come. The Yankees are probably thanking the spirits of Yankees past for that after the beat down Evan Longoria the Rays inflicted upon them Sunday afternoon.

But they’re probably also saying thanks to whomever aligned their bullpen to open. The pen showed the moxie the lineup lacked after the Rays piled up what proved the 7-3 final. Shame they couldn’t stop Longoria from hitting the season’s first bomb.