What Should Alex Rodriguez Expect In His Return?


Alex Rodriguez will arrive in spring training this February, marking his official return to the Yankees after his 162-game suspension. There’s no doubt that A-Rod will face not only media scrutiny, but possibly some anger from his fellow players as well.

David Ortiz was recently asked about Alex’s return at a charity golf event he hosts in the Dominican Republic. Speaking with the Daily News, Ortiz wouldn’t clearly say whether or not he still considered A-Rod a friend. But he did state that he was angered by what Alex’s lawyer, Joe Tacopina, had to say regarding Ortiz’s steroid allegations.

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For those of you who may not remember, Ortiz was one of the players that allegedly tested positive in 2003 when the league conducted survey testing. He went on to hold a press conference at Yankee Stadium in 2009 where he strongly denied any performance-enhancing drug use.

This is where my feelings about A-Rod and his return get a little mixed. He cheated, and there’s no way anyone can argue that. But he also served a season-long suspension, which is much longer than any other player received.

In my opinion, Bud Selig tried to salvage his legacy by ending Alex’s career. I guess he thought that would make-up for allowing steroids to run rampant throughout baseball during the Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa days.

I understand that people think A-Rod’s a bad guy, but is he any worse than Ryan Braun? Let’s not forget that Braun tried to ruin a tester’s reputation and career after he failed a drug test. And Braun’s failed twice, but he never served a 162-game ban.

Alex did himself no favors when he sued the players’ union, and he was probably smart to drop it. I still think he’s going to be an outcast throughout the entire league this season, and there’s not much he can really do to avoid it.

He’s going to be this biggest story for spring training in Tampa, and I doubt it will calm down much if he doesn’t start off the season well. But all he can do in his situation is keep his head down and stay quiet. If he can play moderately well without saying anything scandalous, I’d expect the surrounding media storm to calm down by the All-Star break.

As for the players, it’s hard to say. Will some players forgive him because he was caught, or has it gone far enough to completely isolate him from the rest of the league? We really don’t know. We could find ourselves watching a couple more occurrences like the one between him and Ryan Dempster in Boston back in August 2013.

But who knows? Maybe Alex won’t even play well enough to see very much action this summer. A slow start for the 39-year-old Rodriguez may even finally have me doubting him.