GO AWAY A-ROD
Alex Rodriguez’ lawsuits against the MLB – just another chapter in the career of a living, breathing public relations nightmare
Alex Rodriguez, third baseman for the New York Yankees, filed a second lawsuit in January 2014 against Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players’ Association. The suit accompanied his original lawsuit filed in October 2013. Rodriguez’s first suit against the MLB alleged bad faith in handling the investigation into Rodriguez’ involvement with Biogenesis founder Anthony Bosch, who allegedly provided Rodriguez with Performance Enhancing Drugs. Rodriguez’s second suit sought to overturn the decision of an arbitrator suspending him for the 2014 season pursuant to the Biogenesis investigation. Here’s the story of the second lawsuit … if you’re interested. And that is generally A-Rod’s biggest issue – no one really is interested.
Alex Rodriguez signed the two most valuable contracts in baseball history in 2001 and 2008, with the latter paying him an average of $27.5 million dollars until 2017. Read that sentence again. Click on this link to see it on baseballprospectus.com so that you know it is real. If you’re a Yankees fan, take a moment, close your eyes, take a deep breath, and let the rage subside.
The size of his paychecks, the dramatic dip in his numbers and games played over the last three seasons, and his constant, nauseating, and undying off-the-field issues has turned A-Rod into a consistent punch-line – his salary a constant source of ire – not just in New York or in baseball, but in all of sports. Alex ranks 5th on the all-time home run list between Willie Mays and Ken Griffey, Jr – two guys who were equally talented and revered across the league and in baseball history. The former is a hall of famer, the latter surely will be. Rodriguez won’t get close to Cooperstown; largely because of his ties to PEDs and admitted steroid use, as has been the case for other would-be hall-of-famers.
Rodriguez was traded to the Yankees in 2004 from the Texas Rangers on the heels of an MVP award winning seasons in 2003. He immediately clashed with beloved captain Derek Jeter and failed to perform in the post-season. He was criticized for his lack of clutch performances and his relationship with teammates – actual sports stories. After winning another MVP in 2007 – his third – and a World Series championship in 2009, Rodriguez began to slump in every statistical category, particularly his advanced metrics numbers. But his real downfall was his off-field controversies. Ranging from the bizarre fling with Madonna to one PED scandal after another, to creating controversy while injured, even leading Yankee General Manager, Brian Cashman, to tell A-Rod to “shut the f*ck up.” When your own GM is telling you to go away, you know you’re doing something wrong.
A-Rod recently dropped both lawsuits without much comment, although it was noted the second suit lacked any reasonable merit to proceed. While his second suit may have lacked merit, his first suit against the MLB and MLBPA probably deserved more attention than it was paid. The allegations were actually interesting in a vacuum, as they look into how the MLB is handling the investigations of alleged steroid use – baseball’s biggest issue and controversy since the Black Sox rigged World Series in 1919. MLB’s investigations and the MLBPA’s defense of players’ rights are no doubt important to the sport that seeks to move beyond its PED issue and how both of those parties are handling the issue should certainly be questioned, considering the distinct lack of oversight into who is investigated and how the investigations are carried out. Unfortunately, Alex Rodriguez is not the face for advocating anything. The world is tired of A-Rod; which was unfortunate for his otherwise interesting lawsuit. But, maybe the mere threat of these suits and the potential for future allegations will help the MLB sort through its investigating processes.