Banished. Barred. Banned.

January 12th, 2014 by Jane Heller
Photo: Keith Allison

Photo: Keith Allison

No matter how you phrase it, the arbitrator handed down his decision yesterday and A-Rod is done for 2014. There’s a lot of speculation about what will happen in subsequent years – does he stage a comeback in 2015 at age 39, do the Yankees cut him loose and eat the remainder of his contract, does another team take a chance on him, etc. – but for the immediate future the Yankees are without their third baseman.

I wasn’t surprised the suspension was upheld, though cut down to 162 games. And I wasn’t surprised that A-Rod and his legal team intend to fight it or even that he’s pledged to show up at spring training next month no matter what anybody says. But here’s the thing about that. If he respects his teammates as much as he claims, if he respects his manager as much as he claims, if he respects the game as much as he claims, why show up in Tampa and create a circus? Why make Girardi answer daily questions about him when there’s a season to kick off? What’s he going to do on the bench: be a mentor, a cheerleader, a signer of autographs? Someone on Twitter suggested he should buy season tickets at Yankee Stadium and sit right behind the dugout if he wants in so badly. But at this point, the best thing he could do for his teammates and for the sport is to focus on fighting the fight, if that’s his choice, and staying in shape.

And speaking of those teammates, they really do need a good third baseman. I don’t have faith in Nunez over the course of the season and the other guys Cashman has picked up are utility players and don’t have much in the offensive department. But at least there’s some closure and the Yanks know for sure that there’s a need.

Mostly, I feel sad about all this. Alex Rodriguez started his baseball life as a young man with everything to gain. So much talent. So much promise. So much desire. Squandered.

And then there’s MLB. They don’t exactly come out looking clean either.

Yesterday wasn’t a good day for either side, if you ask me.

P.S.  Programming note. “60 Minutes” will have a segment with Scott Pelley interviewing the infamous Bosch, who will, apparently, provide “evidence.” I’ll be switching back and forth between this and the much more fun Golden Globes.


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16 Responses to “Banished. Barred. Banned.”

  1. Barbara says:

    I love the mlb network. Anything happens and they have good dialogue about it. Some suggested on the show that a rod loves baseball and loves attention so much is why he will show up in spring training. They also said that mlb had to go to shady people to get info because who else can they get info from. I am not an arod fan so I’m happy to not have him with the team. I feel sad for him because he is clearly a wounded insecure individual and that’s why he does so much of what he does and appears so smarmy. I thought Nunez did surprising well at third. Give a rods money to tanka. I always want money to go to pitching. I think we have offense with our off season signings. I wonder when arod is going to fold and name others that have used since most have

  2. Jane Heller says:

    I don’t love MLBN, Barbara, but they’re good when there’s a controversy. Harold Reynolds is clearly a friend of A-Rod’s so it’s interesting to have his perspective. And Costas is always enlightening, so I enjoyed listening to him yesterday. As for pitching, the Yankees can use some of the savings from A-Rod’s salary for Tanaka but he’s going to be very expensive. Will he wear the pinstripes? We shall see. Not sharing your Nunez confidence but yes, he did better than I expected at third last year.

  3. Barbara says:

    Harold didn’t sound like his usual loving arod self yesterday. He sounded fed up with steroids. I love mlbn because where else can you get baseball all the time. For me here it’s that or all Red Sox talk in the season and no baseball otherwise

  4. Jane Heller says:

    Well, he kept saying he was a friend of A-Rod, but he acknowledged that his friend should “take a breath” and step back from the whole situation, which I doubt will happen.

  5. john says:

    60 Minutes provided acting better than the Golden Globes.

    “Please release him let him go” as Tom Jones said!

  6. Jane Heller says:

    Bosch was a piece of work, wasn’t he, John? Wanted to take a shower after watching!

  7. Diane Anziano says:

    Everyone’s comments were spot on. I heard on the radio today that the local “baseball team” – The Long Island Ducks, said that they’d like A-Rod to play for them this season if he doesn’t get back into the majors. The team is run by Bud Harrelson, a real player back in the day for The New York Mets. I don’t know if they really said this or if the radio guy was trying to be funny. Anyway, I’m well over A-Rod and hope we don’t have to see him in pinstripes ever again.

  8. margaret says:

    While I find Bosch sleazy as hell I find Arods lawyer just a sleaze notch below him.

    You know you want to believe Arod however for me there is too much for me to believe him. He is always the victim. He is always the poor put upon man. Sometimes when there is smoke there really is fire. So he never failed a blood test. It wasn’t an accident that his name along with all the others who took their punishment didn’t necessarily have a bad drug test. And for some reason I believe that Bosch knew how he couldn’t fail a blood test. And could those emails/text all be lies? C’mon Alex.

    I am so sorry he won’t be at 3rd or one of our bats. God knows we don’t have great options there. (jeter perhaps at 3rd?) But he needs to go away, be quiet and hope to God he can redeem himself. He will never be a hall of famer and he only has himself to blame.

    a side note – when I lived in Seattle he was playing there at the time and oh how I wished he was a Yankee. Be careful what you wish for I guess.

  9. Jane Heller says:

    I don’t see him playing for the lowly Ducks, Diane, but I always liked Bud Harrelson and A-Rod would be great for their attendance!

  10. Jane Heller says:

    Peg, there’s a great article in today’s New York Times (I’d post the link but I’m on a plane about to take off). It asks for the same kind of transparency of evidence that was provided in the Lance Armstrong doping case. Until then the A-Rod story is unfinished. We should be able to see exactly what evidence MLB had. Are all the characters in this sleazy? To the max.

  11. Diane Anziano says:

    Hey! We officially signed Brian Roberts – how about 3rd base instead of 2nd base? Just kidding – obviously we need a good second baseman.

  12. Bob Cerv says:

    To quote a former boss (eventually fired), who quoted others:

    “Admit nothing. Deny everything. Demand proof.”

    And so it goes…

  13. john says:

    Sad to hear about Carlos Silva passing. Long time Yankee radio producer was recognized every day by John Sterling in his broadcast. John enunciated “Silva” and made Carlos an unseen celebrity.

  14. Jane Heller says:

    Me too, John. Read about it yesterday and remembered Sterling’s pronunciation. RIP, Carlos.