Alex Rodriguez's silence regarding the allegations of using performance-enhancing drugs has led some cynics to believe the New York Yankees star is guilty by not coming out and speaking publicly about the ugly situation.
Now, a source behind the scenes says the embattled slugger is "scared" that higher powers are conspiring to discredit his career and get him thrown out of baseball.
"He's scared, because he thinks this is so unbelievably false, and he is wondering who could be behind this," said a source, according to The New York Daily News.
"He thinks something could be going on larger than anyone might think," said the source referring to last week's Miami New Times story linking A-Rod to a Miami-area performance-enhancing drug scandal.
The source added that Rodriguez is wondering if the Yankees or even Major League Baseball could be behind the explosive allegations and are out to get him.
While the Yankees third baseman recovers from hip surgery at a Miami location, his lawyers and PR flacks are huddling to figure a way to clear up this mess.
They have a lot of muck to sort out before salvaging the embattled A-Rod's career this time.
Agents from MLB's Department of Investigations met with editors of the Miami New Times, the weekly newspaper that posted the hand-written records and files from a since-closed anti-aging clinic that linked A-Rod to Anthony Bosch, a self-described "biochemist."
Bosch — who sources said personally injected A-Rod with the illegal drugs at his Miami mansion— is reportedly being investigated by MLB and federals agents for allegedly providing PEDs to as many as 20 professional athletes.
A DEA spokeswoman would not "confirm or deny" the existence of the probe.
Two sources said the MLB agents did examine the documents and are hopeful the newspaper will turn them over for further investigation. The dates and notations in the notes could possibly lead to corroborating evidence of drug use.
The 37-year-old Rodriguez is coming off a sub-par season and is owed $114 million by the Yankees over the next five seasons — a salary that many feel is too much for an aging slugger.
Sources have told The Daily News that A-Rod's career with the team my be over — even if the allegations of PED use are not true. The team could contend that his second such hip procedure in four years has left him in such a diminished physical state he could be forced to retire or agree to a financial settlement.
Yankees general manager Brian Cashman has called the latest allegations of steroid use against Rodriguez unfortunate but insists the Yankees will not pass judgement until the investigation has run its course.
"This is an ugly story, that we wish didn't exist," said Cashman. "We'll take the time to let it process."
Steroids and paranoids — what a combination.