Today marks the low point in the career of Alex Rodriguez. Though he denies any wrongdoing, Rodriguez has been handed the largest suspension for performance-enhancing drugs in the history of Major League Baseball (162 games) for his part in the Biogenisis scandal. While this entire scandal may forever tarnish A-Rod’s legacy, something tells me we haven’t seen the last of Rodriguez.
Yes, an entire season is a long time for a 38-year-old to sit out. However, a little time away from the game and out of the spotlight may be exactly what Rodriguez needs. There is no denying that the former two-time American League MVP has not been himself over the past few seasons. Injuries to his lower body and hands have diminished A-Rod of his bat speed and power. Some time off will allow him to heal and regain the superstar form that baseball fans are used to seeing.
There is also a financial incentive for Rodriguez to return to baseball after his suspension. While it is highly unlikely that any team would pay A-Rod the amount that he has demanded in the past, there are numerous teams that would take a risk on the 14-time All-Star. He can still play the field at a high level, and as New York Yankees fans saw late last season, Rodriguez can still produce at the plate when healthy. I would not be surprised to see a struggling team that is looking to fill seats, like the Seattle Mariners, take a chance on A-Rod.
Let’s not forget that Rodriguez absolutely loves the game of baseball. It is hard to imagine him doing anything but playing baseball. Since he was 18-years-old, A-Rod has been entertaining fans with his unmatched talent and child-like enthusiasm. For people who have followed Rodriguez over the years, it is obvious that he carries an innocence with him that makes him hard to dislike. It’s as if he just wants to play ball, but his naivety gets him caught up in all of the extracurricular drama. This emotional attachment to the game is going to be the driving force behind his return.
This 162-game suspension is just another chapter in the saga of Alex Rodriguez. It is truly a shame that scandal after scandal have tarnished a once bright legacy. A-Rod will be almost 40 by the time he is able to return to baseball, but he will return nevertheless.