The craziness that is the Alex Rodriguez saga continues. On the heels of the conflicting reports that ARod is or is not looking to make a deal with MLB over his suspension for Biogenesis and trying to save his career in that respect; the whole weird story took another turn yesterday when ARod violated the CBA in regards to obtaining a medical second opinion.
As we all know, ARod is recovering from hip surgery and not too long ago was primed to return to the New York Yankees lineup. However, days before his return, he complained of leg pain and the Yankees did what they always do, they ordered a MRI. The results of the MRI were that ARod had a grade-1 strain of his quad. ARod, not happy with that diagnosis, went on his own to another doctor to get a second opinion (in the hopes that he would find a doctor that would clear him to play). ARod simply sent the doctor his MRI – the doctor NEVER ACTUALLY EXAMINED HIM. From the reports I read, the doctor, during many interviews yesterday, made it seem like ARod was doing his best to get the doctor to say that he was cleared to play. The doctor reviewed the MRI and did disagree with the Yankees’ team doctor’s finding of a strain, however, as I said before, the doctor never actually examined ARod in person. It should also be noted that the doctor admitted that he wasn’t paid for this “examination” and that he actually said he “did it for fun.”
According to the CBA, a player can get a second opinion only after informing the team via writing that they are doing so. ARod firmly believes the Yankees are doing everything they can to keep ARod on the disabled list so that they can “medically retire” him and collect on insurance money. I’m guessing that this is why he bypassed the Yankees and also I’m thinking he’s not a firm believer in the MLBPA at this moment, so that’s why he skipped them too. This is just another example of ARod doing something that most fans believe is “not normal” but that ARod actually doesn’t see anything being wrong with it.
The Yankees may very well be doing everything they can to keep ARod off the field. Why would they want to bring a player in that will do more than just bring a circus to town? Why would they want to bring a player to the team that may or not be able to play this season due to a pending suspension? While it may not be right, and chances are the insurance company may have enough evidence to determine that they don’t have to pay off the policy (is he injured or not? are the Yankees playing loose with the term “injured?”), I firmly believe no one in the Yankees want him back, no matter that they think “he will help the team on the field.”
In my opinion, the hate for Alex Rodriguez is making Barry Bonds and Lance Armstrong look like the most beloved athletes on the planet. Those two athletes at least still have supporters somewhere. ARod, from what I can tell, doesn’t have any supporters anywhere. Everyone simply wants to see ARod go away. If ARod was smart, he’d play up the injuries, hope the insurance company pays out, and that all of this happens before MLB comes down with his Biogenesis suspension – at least that way he’d still get paid.
But no, in ARod’s mind, he can still play and didn’t do anything wrong. From all the reports, he plans on appealing any suspension handed down by MLB – even though it appears the evidence MLB has against him is even greater than what they had against Ryan Braun (who quickly accepted a 65-game ban rather than appeal based on the sheer volume of evidence MLB had). The MLBPA even says it wants all players presented with overwhelming evidence to simply accept the best deal they can so that the entire league can simply move past this with as little of it being displayed in public. ARod is probably fearful of a lifetime ban, which would mean he would lose out on the remaining salary he is owed.
I do not think ARod will get a lifetime ban, however, I can see MLB giving him 100 or 150 games. If that happens, that means ARod would be 39 by the time he is able to play again (he turns 38 this weekend) and a 39 year old, former PED user who hasn’t been productive on the field for several seasons now, just won’t succeed in the league. He will be a former shell of his former-shell self that he currently is and will never be able to try to fix his legacy (players like Braun are young enough that they could still play at a high level for another 15 years and maybe, just maybe fix their reputation).
When you add this recent “second opinion” story to ARod’s history of having a centaur picture of himself above his bed, trying to get women’s phone numbers during a playoff game in which he was benched for lack of production, being fed popcorn by Cameron Diaz, dating Madonna, the “Slap Play” in the 2004 playoffs against the Boston Red Sox, along with the whole PED issue, and many, many other similar stories, you end up with a picture of a man who simply either doesn’t realize what’s appropriate and allowed, or at worst simply doesn’t care.
Alex Rodriguez simply needs to go away. There is nothing he can do that will fix his legacy or allow him to be inducted into the Hall of Fame. He needs to realize that if he keeps this up, he will be another version of Jose Canseco – basically a laughingstock and joke (even though Jose was 100% correct about PED use and baseball, he’s still a punch line). Barry Bonds could walk anywhere in San Francisco and still receive cheers – ARod can’t even leave his house without getting booed. It’s time to call it a career ARod.