Showing posts with label Alex Rodriguez. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Alex Rodriguez. Show all posts

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Is A-Rod Finally Coming Clean?

Is A-Rod Finally Coming Clean?

Alex Rodriguez drops the lawsuits: Where does this go from here?

By Rich Mancuso

BRONX, NEW YORK, FEBRUARY 8- To those who have been in the corner of Alex Rodriguez as to innocent or guilty, there was an answer Friday afternoon. Rodriguez, from all accounts admitted his guilt by dropping lawsuits against Major League Baseball and the players association regarding his defense in this latest and biggest steroid case that hit the game of baseball.

But from the beginning, A-Rod had guilt written all over him. Spending his millions that were earned, from what we thought he deserved, as the most talented player in the game, kept this an ongoing drama that appears to have come to a conclusion.

And hopefully this is the end of the A-Rod steroid saga and baseball can move on. Because from all accounts this amounts to a major victory for Major League Baseball and through all the hearings and lawsuits filed, baseball nailed the main culprit.

Blame Major League Baseball also from the beginning. When all this steroid and PED drama started almost a decade ago, they failed to take action because fans were coming to the ballpark to see the home run leave the ballpark. A-Rod from the beginning, along with the other culprits, took advantage.

Since that time, as documented, baseball took a hit. Illegal performance enhancing drugs were prevalent and the story. Many times those stories continued to overtake the good things that were taking place on the field, the good from those who played the game without the use of a stimulant that many times awarded big money contracts to the wrong guys.

One of those wrong guys, and a major culprit in all of this was Alex Rodriguez. And like him or not, you have to have some type of sorrow for this talented player, one who did not need PED’s to begin with.

But, A-Rod was able to get away with so much. The first time, he admitted his guilt when he hit over 300 home runs with the Texas Rangers. Then, he came to New York, as a Yankee and hit more, destined to become the lone player in baseball history to hit 700 home runs or more and rewarded with was the highest contract offered to a player.

Again, numbers on the field were rewarded, just unfortunate that those statistics that A-Rod compiled did not come naturally. The fact PED’s contributed to those balls leaving the yard, and a record number of runs batted in, not coming without the use of illegal substances made this story a worse case for baseball.

And now, whether one believes A-Rod was right or wrong, perhaps the game of baseball can get back to normal.  Though the stigma of this latest A-Rod drama of the last year will never go away, nor will it disappear from the names of other culprits who got a lesser suspension from their involvement of Biogenesis or other related PED cases over the past few years.

The difficult aspect is accepting a player who goes on a home run tear, or a pitcher who is throwing over powering stuff, or another record breaker for that matter. Their accomplishments will always be questioned and for that one has to put the blame on Alex Rodriguez and others.

More so, the blame goes to A-Rod for initiating this fraud, one that went further beyond expectations, because he had the money to take this to Federal court by utilizing the services of high profiled lawyers that looked at this case for prominence. And of course A-Rod had the money to pay them what they wanted.

So with his back against the wall, and with no more support from a player’s union that advocated better drug testing and banning of PED’s from the game, Friday afternoon those lawyers getting paid good money from A-Rod petitioned the court to drop their case.

Except, that lawsuit against Major League Baseball, the union, and the Yankees should never have been filed because from the beginning of this, Alex Rodriguez was always guilty.

One can argue that a drug test was never administered to A-Rod to clear his name. But that was never a question here because all the evidence was open via text messages and documents. And one can argue that baseball is at fault for allowing this mess of PED’s to continue, no matter what strict policies were implemented or what type of security was in place.

We do know this: Alex Rodriguez will not play baseball in 2014 for the New York Yankees. There will be no circus atmosphere down in Tampa Florida next week with the media when players report to spring training camp because Alex Rodriguez said he will not be there.

Though the prevailing question is, will Alex Rodriguez play baseball again and if so, will it be with the New York Yankees? That remains to be answered as the Yankees move forward from this, and focus on their goal to fill the void at third base and return to play post season baseball in October.

Comment Rich Mancuso: Mancuso 

Monday, January 13, 2014

Just Go Away A-Rod

Alex Rodriguez 162-game ban hopefully ends latest chapter of baseball steroid era and leaves room for Yankees

By Rich Mancuso
BRONX, NEW YORK, JANUARY 13- There are so many questions that remain unanswered after an arbitrator ruled Alex Rodriguez has been suspended for the 2014 season of 162 games and the post season. Will a federal court take on an appeal process and with $25 million off the books will the New York Yankees spend and go off their $189 million salary threshold?
One thing is certain, this is the harshest suspension leveled at a player during the steroid era. And with this, baseball can move on and hopefully close the last chapter to cheaters and performing enhancing drugs. 
Rodriquez will not go down without a fight. He loves the game and we could have seen the last of him in Yankee pinstripes and maybe the last time as an active player. At 40 years of age, after the suspension is served, A-Rod could still be a designated hitter if someone wants to take the risk.
Or, he could just fade away, but the ego and love of the game, let alone A-Rod trying to preserve whatever legacy he has, will not keep him away from the playing field.
Major League Baseball gets a victory here with the suspension, but did they? They are also culprits of the steroid saga. And through all of this, with A-Rod being implicated with obstruction of their investigation, baseball implemented drug testing with players when performance enhancing drugs was out of hand.
Added to the fact, in one defense for Alex Rodriguez, he was never administered a drug test because of the Biogenesis situation. This may have been a word vs. word situation with A-Rod, the other players implicated and the name of Anthony Bosch who headed the Biogenesis clinic.
But one thing is certain. This was a message that was sent to  the players and Major League Baseball scored a major victory even though the game has been damaged. Just take a look at the recent vote for enshrinement into the National Baseball Hall of Fame. The supposed all-time home run leader, record holders and more have been denied their place up in Cooperstown because of their alleged involvement with steroids.
The following is a Alex Rodriguez Statement on the Decision of a 162-game ban and it explains something in his defense to continue his legacy: “The number of games sadly comes as no surprise, as the deck has been stacked against me from day one. This is one man’s decision, that was not put before a fair and impartial jury, does not involve me having failed a single drug test, is at odds with the facts and is inconsistent with the terms of the Joint Drug Agreement and the Basic Agreement, and relies on testimony and documents that would never have been allowed in any court in the United States because they are false and wholly unreliable. This injustice is MLB’s first step toward abolishing guaranteed contracts in the 2016 bargaining round, instituting lifetime bans for single violations of drug policy, and further insulating its corrupt investigative program from any variety defense by accused players, or any variety of objective review.

I have been clear that I did not use performance enhancing substances as alleged in the notice of discipline, or violate the Basic Agreement or the Joint Drug Agreement in any manner, and in order to prove it I will take this fight to federal court. I am confident that when a Federal Judge reviews the entirety of the record, the hearsay testimony of a criminal whose own records demonstrate that he dealt drugs to minors, and the lack of credible evidence put forth by MLB, that the judge will find that the panel blatantly disregarded the law and facts, and will overturn the suspension. No player should have to go through what I have been dealing with, and I am exhausting all options to ensure not only that I get justice, but that players’ contracts and rights are protected through the next round of bargaining, and that the MLB investigation and arbitration process cannot be used against others in the future the way it is currently being used to unjustly punish me.

I will continue to work hard to get back on the field and help the Yankees achieve the ultimate goal of winning another championship. I want to sincerely thank my family, all of my friends, and of course the fans and many of my fellow MLB players for the incredible support I received throughout this entire ordeal."
This is a historic suspension. The Yankees have been in the middle of this throughout the entire process of the hearing. A-Rod, notice at the conclusion of his statement, makes reference to returning on the field and helping the Yankees win another championship.
The Yankees have washed their hands with the situation and released a brief statement: “The New York Yankees respect Major League Baseball’s Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program, the arbitration process, as well as the decision released today by the arbitration panel.”
But, surely the Yankees are looking at this from another perspective. And, perhaps baseball is as well. A-Rod has put himself in jeopardy many times with his admission of using PED’s in the past. Then, he says he did not do what has hopefully closed the chapter with a suspension that was rendered Saturday.
The Yankees, without having to pay $25 million of an A-Rod contract, have more money to spend in their quest to get back to the World Series as they pursue the highly touted right-handed pitcher from Japan, Masahiro Tanaka. Baseball, now that a decision has been made, hopefully will move on. The game for now is clean from further PED issues even though the players association does not agree with the severity of the 162-game suspension. 
Players have been sent a message about the risk and ramifications, and they can thank Alex Rodriguez for that because this was a historic suspension and a legacy has been tarnished.
It leaves to more questions about the legacy of Alex Rodriguez and where he goes from here.
COMMENT: Rich Mancuso Mancuso

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Despite A-Rod Circus Yankees seem like a Playoff Team

A-Bum Strikes Out 5 Times, Grounds into Double Play,
Yanks Still Win

By Rich Mancuso

BRONX, NEW YORK, AUGUST 21- Maybe it took the return of Alex Rodriguez in order for the New York Yankees to make their season more interesting. With or without the A-Rod controversy, manager Joe Giaradi had said it would take 35 wins after the all-star break for his team to be eligible for October baseball.

No matter how one feels about the player known as A-Fraud, Rodriguez enhances the Yankees lineup. Robinson Cano can vouch for that. In the first game of the Tuesday day-night twin-bill sweep over the Blue Jays, Cano went 4-for4 and hit his 200th career home run.

In the night game, another win in walk-off fashion, the Yankees sixth of the season, Cano went 2-for-4 and has hit safely in 14 of his last 15 games. In that span, he is hitting .456 with eight runs, five doubles, two home runs and 11 runs batted in.

Yes, like him or not, A-Rod does make a difference despite striking out five times and hitting into a double-play in the second game Tuesday night.

“You can see it’s a different lineup when you have Alfonso, Curtis, you have Alex,” commented Cano about the return of A-Rod, Curtis Granderson and the addition of Alfonso Soriano.

Despite all the controversy with A-Rod, and the fireworks from Friday night up in Boston, Girardi never gave up. He always said when his team came back to full strength they would get back in it.

Again, Alex Rodriguez has not been a distraction. Despite the lawsuits, an appeal process of a 211-game suspension, and the hierarchy not talking to their troubled player, the Yankees say A-Rod has been a vital addition and now every game is a run to keep playing in October.

“We’re a different team offensively,” Girardi said after the Yankees won their eighth game in their last 10 overall. Two more with Toronto on this brief home stand and then the battle continues with three down in Tampa Bay, a team in a battle with the Red Sox for the AL east division lead.

With Robinson Cano hitting his 200th career home run and right hander Ivan Nova allowing four runs in 6.1 innings, New York came home to the Bronx and defeated Toronto 8-4, in the first game of a day-night doubleheader.

Not like they were in April, May, June, and some of July, they overcame a four-run deficit for the first time this season. Right hander Phil Hughes (4-12) took the mound for the second game. He had better command with the changeup, the fastball had location, and he did not allow a home run at Yankee Stadium since June 19th.

And, Hughes also said, the offense helped. Alex Rodriguez is not a distraction. “He makes us a better team,” said Hughes about his controversial teammate.

Earlier as Nova (7-4) and the Yankees took the field for the first game, Major League Baseball announced Joe Girardi had been fined an undisclosed amount for his actions Friday night at Fenway Park. Later it was reported the fine was $5,000.

Girardi was ejected from that game in the second inning after arguing with plate umpire Brian O’Nora after Boston pitcher Ryan Dempster threw three pitches at Rodriguez, the last of the three that hit him and made things appear worse for A-Rod and the Yankees.

Dempster was also fined and suspended five games for his actions. Girardi wants this to end, and the frustration is unfolding. Because Girardi is only concerned about one thing, that is winning ballgames and the Yankees seem to be doing that more the past few weeks.

“I don’t really have any comment,” said Girardi about the suspension of Dempster. “Think I made my feelings pretty clear then,” he said. Girardi seemed annoyed about the questions being asked about Dempster, feeling he offered enough about the situation that happened Friday night.

Though Girardi said, a suspension for intentionally throwing at a position player does not always make sense as it related to five games, because Dempster will probably not miss a turn in the rotation.

As for winning another game, he said, “Win the game that is at hand. The guys went out and did that today and came from behind and got some big hits and that’s what we have to concentrate on.”

Ichiro Suzuki went 2-for-5 with a double in the third inning and a single in the seventh. He is one hit shy of career ht 4,000, 1,278 of those hits came as a player in Japan. That was supposed to be another storyline, but A-Rod was the center of attention.

Suzuki did not start the second game. He pinch ran in the ninth for Mark Reynolds who walked. He advanced on a bunt, stole third and came home with the winning run on the first walk-off RBI hit from Jayson Nix.

In the end, winning ballgames is what it all about. A-Rod was not available for the media all day. He never is when not contributing, but has to have his forum when the timing is right.

With 37 games remaining, the Yankees are getting the timely hit, and overall, good starting pitching. The bullpen has been better and the home run trot is getting better for more than one.

“It’s fun in here again,” commented catcher Austin Romine who tied his career high, 3-for-3 in the second game. He too, has been a part of this resurgence that has the Yankees back in the wild card hunt and closing in for that second spot.

But they have to keep winning, and taking series in this stretch run for October. “That’s baseball, anything can happen. It’s not over till it’s over,” said Romine.

We heard that before, of course from the Yankees of years past and there was no A-Rod controversy then.

Comment Rich Mancuso: Mancuso