January 30, 2013 by Matt Musico
By now, you’ve probably heard about the latest accusations regarding some well-known Major League Baseball players and their alleged use of performance enhancing drugs. Biogenesis of America, which was an anti-aging clinic located in Miami, Florida, recently shut down, and it was revealed that owner Anthony Bosch was allegedly supplying PEDs such as HGH, testosterone, and anabolic steroids to a number of professional ballplayers. Yup, it’s BALCO all over again.
Some of the names weren’t surprising, because they’ve already been caught with a positive test and have served the necessary suspension imposed by MLB’s anti-doping policy. Players like Melky Cabrera, Bartolo Colon, and Yasmani Grandal have all already been linked to PEDs, but it’s the players who haven’t tested positive that have created most of the chatter. These players include Nelson Cruz, Gio Gonzalez, and Alex Rodriguez.
I haven’t seen any statement released by Cruz’s representation, but Gonzalez, a 20-game winner last year for the NL East champion Washington Nationals, took to his twitter account to refute these allegations. A-Rod also released a statement denying that he never had a relationship with Bosch, and wasn’t a patient of his. Call me crazy, but I don’t exactly believe the Yankee third baseman.
As if 2013 got off to a tough enough start with him going under the knife for his second hip surgery, and now this gets added to the mix. Yankees GM Brian Cashman said last week it’s possible Rodriguez could miss the entire season, when it was originally thought he would hopefully return around the All-Star break. With this latest report linking their $275 million man with PEDs, people are already asking whether or not his days as a Yankee are over. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Bombers do everything they can to try and void this awful contract, and they should.
Although they should have never agreed to such a deal following the 2007 season, it’s safe to assume the Yankees didn’t sign up for what’s happened since. No one was expecting him to duplicate the .314/.422/.645 line with 54 homers and 156 RBI for the duration of his new, 10-year deal, but there were hopes he’d be moderately productive, and healthy as he reached his late-30s and early 40s.
Rodriguez was able to put up 30-HR and 100 RBI seasons from 2008-2010, but in the past two years, he’s struggled through multiple injuries, and his statistics have shrunk while his paycheck remains nice and big. In the last two seasons, he’s only played in 221 games, while failing to hit 20+ homers or drive in 65+ runs. For a 36 or 37 year-old, that’s not terrible production, but when he’s getting paid close to $30 million per season and expected to play everyday, there’s no real bang for the buck. Yes, he finally performed in the 2009 postseason (.365/.500/.808, 6 HR, 18 RBI) while helping the Yankees win the World Series, but the side show he’s continually brought is not worth it anymore.
When he finally admitted during the spring of 2009 that he did take PEDs from 2001-03 as a member of the Texas Rangers, a reporter asked him a question that could have provided us some foreshadowing to the present day (hat-tip to MLB Network). A-Rod had previously sat down for an interview with Katie Couric, in which he wasn’t truthful about his PED use, and this reporter asked:
“Alex, if you weren’t completely honest in your interview with Katie Couric, how can we trust you’re being completely honest today?”
A solid question that obviously was side-stepped by the third baseman at the time, but now it looks like he still wasn’t being completely truthful in his confession. It’s not surprising to hear him deny these latest allegations, but that doesn’t mean the Yankees will carefully see how they can go about voiding A-Rod’s contract, which currently has five years left on it, worth $114 million (ouch).
MLB has been looking into the matter, and it’s unclear whether or not punishments will be handed out to those who weren’t suspended prior, but I’m sure we’ll find out soon.
Time will tell as to how this affects A-Rod’s time in the Bronx, but it’s clear his eventual candidacy for the Hall of Fame is now in question, especially after what we saw unfold in this year’s vote. Again, it’s amazing that someone with a career line of .300/.384/.560, 647 home runs, and 1,950 RBI may not be enshrined in the Hall of Fame, but that’s the reality of the current situation and what the writers of the BBWAA think of performance enhancing drugs.
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