A-Rod is on “The List”….again
ALMOST WHAT THEY WISHED FOR
You don’t always have to be careful what you wish for. Sometimes dreams do come true. On Sunday Yankees general manager Brian Cashman expressed reservations about the remainder of the team’s contract with third baseman Alex Rodriquez, that A-Rod would never be able to live up to the figures on the agreement. A day later principal owner Hal Steinbrenner aired his own issues with the controversial one time super star. It was almost as if they were publicly wishing for a way out, some way to reduce the length of the deal or, at least, get some of their money back. On the third day the hand of divine intervention swooped down on the Bronx and presented the Yankees with a way to deal with the A-Rod issue while keeping it from becoming a distraction to a team that has solidified around a young nucleus that picked up the slack while more than half of their 25 man roster lanquished away on the disabled list. While the deal hasn’t been finalized, Major League Baseball is close to working out an arrangement with the founder of a now closed Miami anti aging clinic, Biogenisis, and, in exchange for Major League Baseball dropping a “tortious interference” suit, Tony Bosch is ready to name names. As many as 20 players are expected to be on his list of clients who purchased banned substances, many of whom are likely to face 100 game suspensions for second offenses. The name drawing most of the attention, as with everything else he does, from sunbathing shirtless in Central Park to dating high profile actresses, is Alex Rodriquez. His name surfaced early in the investigation into Biogenisis, in documents found at the firm. At the time A-Rod denied any involvment with the clinic, saying the documents were “not legitimate”. The worst thing for the Yankees, who have just begun to return their A-list players to supplement the “backup brigade” that has kept them within surprisingly close striking distance in the American League East, would be a major distraction. A-Rod being on the Biogenisis list and being suspended without pay for 100 games, which would not begin until his return from the disabled list, would not be a major distraction. The season opened amid speculation he wouldn’t be physically ready to have any impact at all for the Yankees this season and they prepared accordingly, signing Kevin Youkilis to field the position. The return of A-Rod now, having a lightning rod at third base and in the clubhouse, with the cadre of media his presence commands, would have a far more negative impact than keeping the distraction at arms length, away from the team. Any suspension would come without pay, saving the Yankees more than $15 million this season alone, and evidence that he has lied about his involvement with Biogenisis may even give the Yankees the out clause they’ve been looking for, on “morals” grounds, which would in turn free up more than enough money to allow them to again become major players in the free agent market while maintaining their salary cap position. You don’t always have to be careful what you wish for. The Yankees were pretty public about how they’d like to see things work out with Alex Rodriquez and along came Tony Bosch, bearing gifts. With a comment from the sports world, I’m Scott Gray.