Originally posted on Bronx Pinstripes  |  Last updated 6/27/13
The Alex Rodriguez saga is growing with each passing day, and we could be headed for an ugly war with no clear end in sight. It appears as if nine years of frustration on both sides is coming to a head, and it all started with a tweet from A-Rod. After sending out a tweet to the world stating that his doctor (not authorized by the Yankees) cleared him for rehab games, GM Brian Cashman was quoted as saying: “You know what? When the Yankees want to announce something, we will. Alex should just shut the f— up. That’s it. I’m going to call Alex now.” The two sides tried smoothing over the situation – A-Rod attributed the tweet to “pure excitement” and Cashman apologized for the words he chose. Yesterday afternoon, Rodriguez, Cashman and team President Randy Levine talked on the phone for about 30 minutes and had a “healthy, constructive talk” – according to ESPN. Also yesterday, there was a story about how A-Rod believes the Yankees are making sure he doesn’t play this year in order to collect insurance – up to 80% on the $28 mil he’s due this year. A source told ESPN: “Alex thinks there’s something really off about this situation. Here we have a doctor declaring him fit to play. You think they would be happy about that. Alex thinks it’s all about the insurance. How could it not be?” But now comes the juicy part. In a report in the Daily News this morning, sources close to the ongoing saga say that since A-Rod and his camp are becoming increasingly worried about the MLB’s looming suspensions stemming from the Biogenesis clinic, the third baseman has plans to return, deem himself physically unable to play and then retire – collecting the remaining money on his contract, which would let the Yankees off the hook for the remaining money.  Players who are physically unable to play are allowed to retire without forfeiting their money. Former All-Star Albert Belle suffered a similar hip injury, and was forced to retire in 2001. He went on a series of 60-day DL stints in order to collect what was left on his deal. Then comes a report in the New York Post, which states that A-Rod told the Yankees yesterday that he is concerned with his health. “He is not ready to play in games,” the source said. “He is worried about his health.” This story paints a whole different picture than what’s in the Daily News. The Post makes it sound like Rodriguez is truly concerned with his hip, while the Daily News makes it sound like A-Rod is rushing his return to get back before suspensions come. At this point, who knows what’s true. What we do know is that this situation looks like it will get uglier before it gets better. When the Yankees acquired A-Rod before the 2004 season, he and the fans had visions of another dynasty in the making. While A-Rod has produced a championship almost single-handedly, he has also produced endless drama – drama that now appears to be boiling over, and will probably continue for months – maybe years if nothing gets resolved.
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