Jobu welcomes Alex Rodriguez back to the roster… sort of.
That’s what I would be saying if Bud “Pinochet” Selig hadn’t gotten back on his anti-dictatorship meds towards the end of last week. He was set to suspend Alex Rodriguez for life, or for two years (we’ll find out today at 3:00PM today), but not under the drug violations statutes set up in the last CBA. Instead, Bud was going to use a lesser known rule that states that you can suspend players for basically damaging the game and the sport (think Roger Goodell). This decision would have kept A-Rod from playing through his appeal. It was also a slippery slope that might have basically thrown the drug violations statutes out the window, so it’s probably for the best that Bud stopped himself when he did. Damn it now, though. I have to watch A-Rod play tonight.
I was hoping I would be writing about how crazy A-Rod was to fly to Chicago to meet the team while, all the while, pretending nothing was going on and that his career wasn’t in jeopardy. Instead, Selig did what’s probably best for the game, and just suspended Alex for 212 games (the rest of this season and all of next season). It might, essentially, end the former sure-fire Hall of Famer’s career. It does keep Alex from losing out on about $85MM, however, so he should probably consider himself lucky that Bud stopped short on his blind rage led campaign to rid the game of it’s most hated player.
The weird part is, there’s no doubt in my mind that Alex makes the Yankees a better team on the field. Yankees third basemen, from David Adams to Jayson Nix to Chris Nelson to Brent Lillibridge to Eduardo Núñez to whoever the hell else they’ve tried there at one point or another, have been brutal this season. Even at 60% of his former production levels, Alex is better. For one, he might accidentally hit the ball over the fence, which is something I don’t think I’ve seen a Yankees 3B do in months. Months!
However, at what cost are the Yankees gaining an actual hitting 3B? Alex is beyond unpopular, and I oon’t mean just with Bud Selig and the MLB brass either. Most fans hate the guy, which is rare. I bet Ryan Braun even has the majority of fans on his side in Milwaukee. Most other players, including his teammates, probably hate the guy. He lied to them, and everyone else, for years, and has cast a shadow over the entire season. Management and the Yankees front office can’t possibly be thrilled either. Alex has contradicted and gotten in the way of Brian Cashman all season long, and he hasn’t even spent a day on the roster! He’s taken to the radio waves to accuse the Yankees of basically pretending he’s too hurt to play, and otherwise been basically a jerk all year long.
Why doesn’t he just go away? Is he that desperate to save his legacy? Too prideful and vain to ever admit that he’s been disgraced? Guess what, Alex… It’s over. You’re never going to get into the Hall of Fame. As soon as the Yankees, and major league baseball, can rid themselves of you, they will. Don’t think you’ll be able to come back and coach a few years after retirement, either. You are the most hated man in sports today, and possibly in the history of all sports. I think I could find redeeming qualities about Ivan Drago before I could find any about you. At least Drago had a change of heart right before the last round. He gained an admiration and respect for Rocky. He knew he wasn’t going to beat the Italian Stallion. He accepted his defeat. This is something that Alex’s vanity and pride will never allow.
So, for now, I guess we’ll have to watch him play. I suppose Joe Girardi and the Yankees could bench the aging former superstar, but I don’t think that’s a good idea. First of all, he has to be on the roster. He’s under contract, and he’s healthy. If he’s going to be on the roster, why waste a bench spot on a guy you’re not going to play? Finally, and I can’t stress this enough, he’s much better than anyone else they could possibly put up there, even with two bum hips. If they are forced to carry him on the roster, they might as well play him. Maybe he’ll actually help them win a game or two before his appeal fails and he goes away… hopefully forever.
Featured image courtesy of: Getty Images
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