Alex Rodriguez, aka A-Rod, is one of the greatest players in the history of Major League Baseball. He’s also one of its greatest cheaters and liars. Now, the guy who was going to break Barry Bonds’ home run record in a Yankees uniform, wants to own an MLB franchise. The Mets franchise to be exact. But, he doesn’t deserve to own an MLB team and here’s why:
I’m not convinced by his much public-relations-driven reformation that he’s a changed man. More than anything else though, is the fact that he cheated the game at least twice and lied about it when confronted. I say “at least” because A-Rod was only caught cheating twice. We don’t know how long he cheated or how many times he eluded the system.
A-Rod and Cheating, Part I
A-Rod took an “aw, shucks” approach when a 2003 positive PED test taken when he was a member of the Texas Rangers was revealed in 2009. His interview at that time with veteran baseball writer Peter Gammons was a joke. Some reminders:
PETER GAMMONS: What kind of substances were you taking?
ALEX RODRIGUEZ: Peter, that’s the thing. Again, it was such a loosey-goosey era. I’m guilty for a lot of things. I’m guilty for being negligent, naive, not asking all the right questions. And to be quite honest, I don’t know exactly what substance I was guilty of using.
Exactly how many different illegal substances were you using back then A-Rod?
PETER GAMMONS: Let’s go back. How were you introduced to these substances? Was it at the gym? Was it from other players?
ALEX RODRIGUEZ: The culture, it was pretty prevalent. There were a lot of people doing a lot of things. There was a lot of gray area, too. You know, back then you could walk in GNC and get four or five different products that today would probably trigger a positive test.
It wasn’t a real dramatic day once I arrived in Texas that something monumental happened in my life. The point of the matter was that I started experimenting with things that today are not legal or today are not accepted and today you would get in a lot of trouble for.
Ever since that, that incident that happened to me in Arizona, Surprise, I realized that, you know what, I don’t need any of it, and what I have is enough. I’ve played the best baseball of my career since. I’ve won two MVPs since, and I’ve never felt better in my career. Of that I’m very proud of.
He didn’t need any of it. Yet, just four years later, A-Rod found himself right back in the PED soup, involved in the Biogenesis scandal. MLB suspended him for 211 games, the longest non-lifetime suspension in the history of the sport.
A-Rod and Cheating, Part II
MLB didn’t release the findings of their investigation, but A-Rod had a fit. Instead of being contrite this time, he was downright belligerent. He made numerous appearances on Mike Francesa’s show on WFAN, railing against the Yankees and MLB. He ranted about how he was being screwed over by both entities, because they wanted him out of baseball. He insisted that the Yankees didn’t want to pay him the remainder of his contract and that MLB wanted him out of the game completely.
At the same time, his lawyer, Joe Tacopina made numerous appearances on the Michael Kay Show on ESPN radio, espousing A-Rod’s virtues and spouting the same disparaging rhetoric about the Yankees and MLB.
MLB suspended A-Rod, but he refused to accept it and entered an appeals process while he continued to play for the 2013 Yankees.
In October 2013, A-Rod’s lawyers sued MLB and then-commissioner Bud Selig alleging they had “engaged in tortuous and egregious conduct with one and only one goal … to destroy the reputation and career of Alex Rodriguez.”
On the same day, he sued the Yankees’ team doctor, Christopher Ahmad, for malpractice concerning his 2012 hip injury. A-Rod was making enemies left and right.
In January 2014, more lawsuits were filed on behalf of A-Rod against MLB and the MLB Players Association in an attempt to overturn the suspension, which was then in effect. An arbitrator reduced the suspension from 211 games to 162 games and the 2014 playoffs. A-Rod remained steadfast that he had done nothing wrong…until days later.
The Miami Herald reported in November 2014 that A-Rod had confessed to the feds in January of that year that he did indeed get steroids from Biogenesis and had its owner Anthony Bosch draw blood for him. The jig was up and so was A-Rod’s charade of innocence.
Since then, we have had a well-orchestrated A-Rod redemption tour – the mea culpa tour. He made a ton of apologies, cleaned up his personal life, and returned to baseball for one-plus seasons. He became ESPN’s Sunday Night TV Baseball analyst (hmm, he’s terrible so maybe he should own a team), has worked on Fox during the post-season, and been in more TikTok videos with fiancee Jennifer Lopez and their kids than one person could stand to watch.
And, let me ask you this: Was the behavior of baseball’s greatest pariah, Pete Rose, any worse than that of A-Rod’s? In a word, no. Yet, Rose remains outside the game while A-Rod is welcomed with open arms.
One more thing. In 2007, A-Rod opted out of his $252MM contract so that he could make even more money. And, the Yankees willingly forked over a boatload more. Yet, now as a would-be owner, A-Rod is “suggesting” that the players accept a salary cap. In essence, he’s telling the players’ union “I made my ton of money, but screw you.”
Everyone deserves a second chance in life and in A-Rod’s case, in baseball. He got his second chance and he spit on it. For all of these reasons, Alex Rodriguez does not deserve to own a Major League Baseball team. And, if not for the 2009 World Series win, most Yankees fans wouldn’t think so either.