As of writing, the New York Yankees’ record stands at a respectable 53-47. However, the mark is only good for fourth in the AL East, and the team has actually given up more runs on the season than it has scored.
The Yankees could use any and all help offensively they can get – especially with The Captain, Derek Jeter, having only played in one game and Alex Rodriguez missing the entire season thus far rehabbing from offseason hip surgery.
So why, if A-Rod and his 647 career home runs are ready to play, is he still waiting to be removed from the team’s injury list?
On Wednesday, the 37-year old enlisted what feels like an army of sources out into the sports media world to explain that the Yankees are holding him out on purpose. The team has officially listed Rodriguez as out with a strained quadriceps, but Dr. Michael Gross with the Hackensack Medical Center told Mike Francesa in a radio interview that the player is 100-percent healthy and ready to play.
“He feels he has no choice,” the source told ESPNNewYork.com. “He wants to play and they won’t let him play. Nobody knows Alex’s body better than he does.”
“To me, an MRI is an MRI,” the source said. “Either it is or it isn’t.”
But while members of Rodriguez’s camp are telling whomever will listen that their man is ready to go, others are not nearly so sure. One anonymous source with direct knowledge of A-Rod’s conversation with Yankees general manager Brian Cashman has a very different account of events.
“He told them he couldn’t play third base on Saturday, and he told them he couldn’t play at all on Sunday,” the source said.
Turning 38 years old on Saturday, A-Rod is still owed $100 million on a contract that pays him through 2017 – if he plays that long. Rodriguez is currently the main target of a Major League investigation into performance enhancing drugs sold and used at the Biogenesis Labs in Miami, Fla. Ryan Braun has already been suspended for the remainder of the season without pay after admitting to PED use during his career.
Is there a Major League conspiracy “out to get” A-Rod right now?
“So he’s saying the New York Yankees, Major League Baseball and New York Presbyterian are all in cahoots to phony up an injury?,” a highly-placed baseball source asked ESPNNewYork.com Tuesday night. “It makes no sense.”
Very little of Rodriguez’s last few months have made sense. The tempest surrounding his PED use, his phantom strained quad, his immediate future in pinstripes and even his future within the game he has dominated for so long are all now very much in doubt.
His own, personal empire seems to be crumbling right before our eyes, and Rodriguez himself appears to have sent out minions to announce the entire thing.