What Alex Rodriguez’s Return To The Yankees Really Means
By Billy Brost
We’ve all witnessed the story play out over the past year-plus. The accusations, the denials, the lawsuits, the suspension, and the unpaid legal bills. Well, it’s finally time to move beyond all of that and focus on what Alex Rodriguez the player means to the New York Yankees in 2015. With the retirements of Andy Pettitte, Mariano Rivera, and Derek Jeter, the team can finally move forward in their post-Core Four approach to winning baseball games.
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There are fans that want A-Rod as far away from the Bronx as possible. Others have softened their stance somewhat, and want to see what the almost 40-year-old former AL MVP has left in the tank. Can he be even a fraction of what he once was without performance-enhancing drugs? We all are aware that he can’t hit a good fastball the way he once could. With or without the drugs, that is simply a sign of aging. A 40-year-old hitter can’t do everything he could when he was 20. We need no more evidence than what we just witnessed with Derek Jeter this season, and believe me when I say this, he was 100% clean, all the time, throughout his career.
The Yankees seem to be willing to forgive and move forward. Notice I didn’t say forget? No organization could ever forget the drama that A-Rod has brought to the Bronx since his arrival back in 2004. It’s hard to believe that Rodriguez has spent more time in pinstripes, than he has with both the Mariners and Rangers combined.
The Yankees can spin this into a story of redemption, not only for the organization for having missed the playoffs in each of the past two seasons, but for A-Rod, who should want to fly under the radar, do his job, and take his boos across baseball like a man. If A-Rod can “quietly” give the Yankees 130 games at both third base and DH, and put up a line of .270/20/70, I think everyone involved would consider that a success. If A-Rod insists on holding court to argue a case long lost, all he will be is a distraction, and if and when the Yankees miss October for a third straight season a year from now…nobody will be safe, long contract or not.