The New York Yankees are distancing themselves as far as they can from the possibility that Alex Rodriguez will be suspended by Major League Baseball for his alleged connection to performance-enhancing drugs in the Biogenesis case.
ESPN reported Tuesday that A-Rod, who could face a 100-game suspension, is among nearly two dozen players implicated in the matter, with Biogenesis clinic owner Anthony Bosch now cooperating with MLB. Manager Joe Girardi, in a seven-minute conversation with reporters before the Yankees played the Cleveland Indians, wasn’t going near the topic.
“This is in MLB’s hands,” Manager Joe Girardi said Wednesday. “For me to speculate doesn’t make a lot of sense.”
A-Rod is in Tampa, working out at the team’s facility there as he recovers from hip surgery. Girardi said he talks to his third baseman regularly, but only about baseball and his hip.
“I’m always concerned about my players,” Girardi said. “And I’m concerned about guys on other teams, too, how they handle situations and how they deal with it, how it affects maybe a rehab. But my focus on them is doing whatever I have to to help them get ready. You try to put them in a good place. Right now, it’s in Tampa for Alex to get ready. Hopefully that will build up to games. But that’s my focus.
“My focus is not on what MLB is investigating and all of that. And I don’t want to get caught up in that just because, in a sense, they’re going to handle it. I’ll let them handle it. I’ll continue to assist our players in getting ready anyway they can.
“But he’s in Tampa getting ready and that’s what we want him to do.”
Their third baseman suspended for 100 games? Oddly, this may be just what the Yankees need. Steve Politi of the Newark Star-Ledger writes.
For Rodriguez, it should signal the end of his career in the Bronx. He’ll deny that, of course, but he already was unlikely to play in 2013, and now a 100-game suspension could loom over his future.
“The last thing anybody in a uniform needs right now is another distraction, and I am not going to be one,” Rodriguez told the New York Post before the news broke Tuesday night. “I’m hitting, running, fielding, conditioning and working toward one goal, which is to get back and win.”
That future can’t be with the Yankees. It’s time for the team to rid itself of Rodriguez. Maybe this news, an embarrassment for the highest-profile player on this roster, will be what this team needs to make that happen.