When asked if he had spoken to Alex Rodriguez recently, Yankees ace C.C. Sabathia only had one thing to say, “Who?” The Yankees’ organization and most of the players have kept their distance from A-Rod since the aftermath of the Biogenesis scandal which included the ensuing suspension and appeal. Yankees’ general manager Brian Cashman said he had not spoken to Rodriguez and he was “focused on this team and moving forward.”
Rodriguez was a never-ending distraction last year. The Biogenesis case was a large part of that, but even before that, Rodriguez was grabbing media attention from a hip injury he suffered last spring. His mid-season return from his surgery added on to this phenomenon. His streak of distractions continued on this year when he declined to be included in the pregame introductions on the field. If that is not enough for the media to eat up, he was in the news once again in the past two weeks. Rodriguez still owes around $3 million dollars to all his lawyers and private investigators he hired to help try and overturn his record suspension handed down by Major League Baseball.
New York fans should be happy though that his distraction of bad play is not on the field. The one they called “Choker,” struggled in his return from his hip surgery. In 44 games and 181 at-bats, Rodriguez hit .244 with 38 hits and 43 strikeouts. Could the Yankees use his glove? Absolutely. However, a player such as Yangervis Solarte, has stepped up his game because of A-Rod’s absence.
There is a simple answer to the problem of using performance enhancing drugs in Major League Baseball and I think Pete Rose and the 1919 Chicago White Sox know the answer: Banish players forever! Major League Baseball should crack down harder on cheaters like Rodriguez, Roger Clemens, Mark McGwire, Barry Bonds, etc. They will not however, because of the one key factor in the successful business of baseball: money! Executives believe people viewing baseball will go down due to the lack of star power. The game may not be as entertaining, but at least it would be pure.