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Whither A-Rod’s Rehab Assignment?

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Updated: July 10, 2013

Photo by donthatemiami.com

Somebody please bring Cash into the loop!

By all accounts we’ve been hearing that the Yankees wish Alex Rodriguez would just go away, that he never wear the pinstripes again, and that they never have to deal with Circus Rod-imus again. Isn’t paying the guy penalty enough?

So when Brian Cashman went off recently, responding to A-Rod’s tweet re his rehab status with, “Alex should just shut the f— up”, we got a rare bit of raw, unvarnished emotion from a sports exec. Crude, yes…reality-based, very.

Photo by bleedingyankeeblue.blogspot.com

This was followed-up by Cash regretting his word-smithing but not his intent. And then Cash and Hal Steinbrenner spoke about how they need Alex in the lineup as soon as he’s healthy. Next Alex began playing in rehab games. And looking bad, but that’s another story.

So what gives? The Yanks don’t want A-Rod in pinstripes but they put him on the rehab circuit and claim their undying love?

As long as we’re asking silly questions, why the King-of-the-World Pheatured Photo and then the pensive, concerned Alex, at right? Which is it?

We got a clue to all these riveting questions yesterday in a report from ESPN that MLB is about to start handing out suspensions in the Biogenesis case (featuring A-Rod and Ryan Braun) soon after the All-Star break next week.

This pieces begin to fit:

  • The Yankees don’t really want to see A-Rod’s return
  • Cashman erupted in honest emotion at the thought of dealing with said return and his seeming inability to do anything to prevent it
  • Yankee brass stepped in and said they need A-Rod…this was spin. They don’t want to be seen as pushing A-Rod out the door, especially to the insurance inspector when it comes to collecting on the injury policy on A-Rod’s contract.
  • Riding to the rescue is MLB’s crack PED-prevention team which is about to make an example of A-Rod and the 20 Biogenesis miscreants.
  • These impending suspensions from MLB were imminent but Yankee brass forgot to tell Cash to stop worrying.

Photo by Keith Allison

Assuming the suspensions truly are imminent and include A-Rod, the next question becomes how long does he get?

The first offense obviously is a 50-game suspension but we’ve been hearing that MLB may push for 100-games for Alex and Braun, the logic being that they cheated AND they lied about it, that’s 2 offenses. It’s sort of, because of past transgressions they’ve been on Double-Secret-Probation.

And then there’s the Players Union…the Union has been notably silent on this development, letting it play out. Clearly the players are not united against drug-testing as in the past. There’s now a strong and vocal portion of the players who want the game cleaned up. But the Union won’t let MLB run roughshod over the penalty phase of their drug-testing agreement.

As for the Yanks it’s hard to imagine them being so sanguine on the Alex subject without something up their sleeve. A Biogenesis suspension could only buy them some time, they won’t be able to void the contract, and a shadow-of-what-once-was-Alex might get medically cleared to play at some point. Stay tuned, more drama, expect the unexpected.

Don’t necessarily expect any forthcoming suspensions to result in games lost in 2013; with prospective legal wrangling, suspensions could wind up being served in 2014. Some players could choose to appeal, some could choose to serve their time depending on length of penalty, pennant races, free agency status, etc. And the union could look to appeal them all en masse. This entire situation, including the non-test aspect of the violations, is totally unprecedented so we’re going into uncharted territory. Enjoy the spectacle, just hope you don’t have any of the Biogen 20 on your Fantasy Team.

This post was written by

Dave Graziano – who has written posts on Big Dog Sports Blog.
Short Hills, NJ USA

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