Alex Rodriguez was on his way back to the Bronx last week, but that was before a supposed quad strain and a suspension to Ryan Braun. Since then the story has gone absolutely bonkers. Here is the latest:
• In the wake of Braun agreeing to a plea deal with MLB there was speculation that A-Rod could do the same, but Bob Nightengale reported that he’s not interested in a Biogenesis-related settlement and plans to appeal any potential suspension.
• Joel Sherman points out that the Yankees might actually prefer if A-Rod appealed because it would delay any suspension to next season which would give them luxury tax relief. A 150-game suspension would save the Yankees roughly $21 million.
• A-Rod has hired David Cornwell, the attorney Braun used to win his 2011 PED appeal.
• There has been some speculation that the Yankees could be using a phantom injury to keep A-Rod from coming back only to immediately be suspended. Well, Dr. Michael L. Gross went on WFAN on Wednesday and said that he looked at A-Rod’s MRI and didn’t see the reported Grade 1 strain.
“To be perfectly honest, I don’t see any sort of injury there,” Gross said on WFAN. “I asked him that specifically. I said, ‘A-Rod, does anything hurt?’ And he said, ‘No.’ If there’s no pain — to me, as an orthopedist — that means there’s no injury.”
“I asked him, ‘Do you think you’re fit to play?’ And he said, ’100 percent,’” Gross said. “I’m guessing a guy who’s been playing ball his entire life knows his body. If he thinks he’s fit to play, that’s what he said.”
• The problem with that is it’s against the CBA for A-Rod to get a second opinion like that without notifying the Yankees. Here’s Brian Cashman’s response:
“Contrary to the Basic Agreement, Mr. Rodriguez did not notify us at any time that he was seeking a second opinion from any doctor with regard to his quad strain,” Cashman said. “As you know, it is the Yankees’ desire to have Alex return to the lineup as soon as possible. And we have done everything to try and accomplish this.”
“As early as Friday, July 12, when I suggested to Alex that we move his rehab from Tampa to Triple-A Scranton (at Buffalo), Alex complained for the first time of ‘tightness’ in his quad and therefore refused to consent to the transfer of his assignment,” Cashman said.
“Again, last Sunday, Alex advised that he had stiffness in his quad and should not play on Sunday or Monday. We sent Alex to New York-Presbyterian Hospital for an MRI which evidenced a Grade 1 strain.”
“As always, we will follow the rules and regulations set forth in the Basic Agreement, and will again re-evaluate Alex in Tampa (on Thursday), as our goal is to return him to the lineup as soon as he is medically capable of doing so,” Cashman said.
• But then, conveniently, the doctor spoke with the NY Post and said that he didn’t examine A-Rod, it wasn’t a formal second opinion, he merely reviewed the MRI at his request.
• Then we find out that MLB is now investigating A-Rod’s link with this Dr. Gross because Gross was recently reprimanded by the New Jersey Attorney General for “failing to adequately ensure proper patience treatment involving the prescribing of hormones, including steroids.”
TO SUM UP: MLB is considering a lifetime ban for A-Rod is going to fight any possible suspension. He’s currently sitting out with an injury that might be fake, and he could be taking steroids to this very day even as he’s under investigation by MLB. I can’t wait to see what happens next.
Photo credit: (June 23, 2010 - Source: Kevin Winter/Getty Images North America).