Just when you thought the Alex Rodriguez PED drama couldn’t get an juicier, A-Rod pulls a new rabbit out of the hat. Reports have surfaced that Rodriguez believes the New York Yankees and Major League Baseball have made up the latest reports linking him to a PED clinic in Miami. He has been meeting with his lawyers in Miami, presumably preparing what should be a “I am innocent” campaign.
As we all know by now, the Miami Times published an article about a week ago linking six current MLB players (Rodriguez, Nelson Cruz, Gio Gonzalez, Melky Cabrera, Bartolo Colon and Yasmani Grandal) to a Miami PED clinic ran by Anthony Bosch. Since then, more reports surfaced that stated Rodriguez was the only one of the six to have actually received the drugs from Bosch in person and that the owner of what’s now being called “Balco East” even injected Rodriguez with the drugs. The reports have led MLB to investigate the allegations and the Yankees looking into the possibility of voiding the Rodriguez’s contract, although the team says they won’t take any action until MLB concludes its investigation.
Back to Rodriguez’s new idea that MLB and the Yankees are fabricating this story: is he out of his mind? Well, thinking about it, he probably is. This is the same man who admitted to steroid use during his time with the Texas Rangers from 2001-2003 but vowed that was it, only for the public to learn he’s done it again. But seriously, to suggest that the league and the team is going after him is beyond stupid.
Let’s start from the league’s angle. Why would MLB, which is trying to distance itself from the steroid era of the late 1990s and early 2000s, fabricate this sort of story? The story shows that the steroid dark cloud still hangs over MLB. In no way does this story make MLB look good. In fact, it paints the picture that despite the lengthy suspensions and harder drug testing, players can still find ways to go around the system and do as they want. While three of the players listed were suspended at some point during the 2012 season for PED use (presumably from the PEDs they received from the Miami clinic) there are still three others (All-Stars in fact) who were not caught. Also, does Rodriguez even know that it wasn’t MLB who found out about the clinic? The only reason we know of this clinic is because of the reporting from the Miami Times. Last time anyone checked, MLB has no ownership in the Miami Times.
Now from the Yankees point of view, why in the world would they want more drama associated to the team produced by Rodriguez? Ever since he was brought on board prior to the 2004, every Yankees Spring Training has been dominated by some sort of A-Rod story (his addition to the team, his relationship with Derek Jeter, his playoff failures, his PED use, etc.). Even though Rodriguez won’t be physically present at Yankees camp this season, he will still be the hot topic. It’s highly doubtful the Yankees are pleased about this. Also, haven’t the Yankees had enough of being connected to the steroid era of the past? This is the franchise that has employed Jason Giambi, Roger Clemens, Gary Sheffield and Jason Grimsley, some of the many names who contributed to baseball’s steroid phase. Not too sure Yankees management is happy knowing another one of their players will join that list.
Now conspiracy theorist could point to the Yankees wanting to void Rodriguez’s contract as a reason why they would be behind this. However, we know the chances of the team voiding the deal are slim to none. Unless it was directly stated in the contract that any connected PED use could lead to a voiding of the contract (as there was in Giambi’s deal), then that road is already shut. As we’ve learned, Rodriguez’s last Yankees contract has no such language.
What Rodriguez needs to do is come to grips with being caught, issue his “I’m sorry” statement and begin to realize his legacy is all but shot. Maybe he should give Barry Bonds a phone call to help him out with that.