NEW YORK—After noticing a slight, recurring mechanical flaw in its swing that has caused its season average to dip to .275, Yankee officials sent A-ROD-13, an expensive yet still completely unreliable batting unit, back to its original manufacturer for recalibration and a general tune-up. "The problem is stemming from the inconsistent firing of cylinders in A-ROD's hydraulic system, causing his pressure-relief valve to start responding to every late-game algorithm by popping out to first base," said Yankees assistant engineer Lee Mazzilli, who is responsible for oiling A-ROD's hinges and tightening his shoulder screws between innings. "Also, his fielding-equilibrium mechanism totally blew out a month ago, and we still haven't replaced it. But A-ROD should be back and as good as new in four to six weeks." Yankee officials, however, have thus far experienced no problems with A-ROD's factory-installed voicebox, which has only repeated the same five stock phrases it was specifically programmed to say.
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