Monday, February 10, 2014

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 

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