When you look at Alex Rodriguez and his numbers, you would immediately assume that he is a first ballot hall of famer, that is if you didn't know about his past that involved steroids. Watching him come straight out of high school to the pros, you wouldn't expect someone of his caliber to even think about using performance enhancing drugs since he is so talented. Since 2003, the young star at the time began using performance enhancing drugs when he was a member of the Texas Rangers. "I was young, I was stupid, I was naïve," Rodriguez stated during his interview in 2009 when he admitted to using performance enhancing drugs. It is to believe that is was the drugs that helped him play at a higher level than usual and go on to become a three time AL MVP (2003, 2005, 2007) and help the Yankees win the World Series in 2009 to add that title to his resume that he's been searching for. He was hitting over 30 home runs each year with more than enough power and that is possibly what led to the speculation of him using steroids to gain all his power. A-Rod had an interview in 2007 with CBS' "60 Minutes" and he denied that he used any substance to gain that advantage. But before all the speculations, A-Rod was considered the top player in the game and was receiving some of the highest paid contracts in MLB history along with some big bonuses.
New York Yankees (current)
2001-2010 (Traded to NYY)
Rodriguez's name came up on the Mitchell Report during the Biogenesis investigation which was the clinic that A-Rod visited multiple times where he and numerous other MLB players received banned substances. A-Rod was issued an 211 game suspension in 2013 where A-Rod went on to appeal. The suspension was then changed to banning A-Rod for the entire 2014 season in which A-Rod thought it was unfair. He wasn't the only name on the list and was issued a season long ban while other players were suspended for almost half the season. Rodriguez started going through the process of suing MLB and even the Yankees. He felt like he was being treated unfairly during the investigation and that they have ruined his reputation with an investigation that was supposed to remain private. Eventually after a few months of giving it thought, A-Rod decided to drop the lawsuit and accept his season long ban. One was only able to imagine how A-Rod can make a come back to the MLB and some how get through all this drama.
Nobody could of have been more frustrated with all the media attention than Yankees GM Brian Cashman. He tried doing everything in his power to try to get A-Rod off the team to avoid all the attention but realized that it was impossible due to financial reasons. Rodriguez had three years left on his contract with over $62 million. There was no way trade was possible because no team would be willing to take on that sort of contract that will also bring the drama and media attention to the organization. With all that money left on his contract, Cashman would not have been able to release A-Rod without paying him almost half of that amount up front so Cashman decided to let him play out the rest of contract. Cashman can only hope that A-Rod can some how produce when he returns to the team and won't be just a distraction to the organization.
The damage has already been done to Rodriguez's reputation but he was not the only one who had to suffer. Rodriguez's cousin, Yuri Sucart, was one of eight people arrested for their role in the Biogenesis Clinic. Recently Sucart was given his sentence of seven months in prison. He was the last one of the group to receive their sentencing. Part of his sentence includes six months house arrest after his release from prison along with a $5,000 fine. He could also be facing deportation back to the Dominican Republic but that decision has not been made yet.
Anthony Bosch, who used a fake identity when he was in charge of the Biogenesis Clinic, agreed to plead guilty for his role in the investigation. Bosch is facing the longest prison sentence of four years.
The Come Back
There were so many questions being asked about A-Rod's return for the 2015 season. Will he play that much at all? Can he even still produce? Or will he just be a distraction? A-Rod has been answering all those questions for us. He has been able to handle the media very well during spring training and on and has clearly been producing for the Yankees thus far in the season. He's shown that he still has some power and has been consistently hitting the ball and getting on base which is all the Yankees can ask for. We weren't sure if he would be playing the field at all but A-Rod has clearly accepted to role as the full-time DH. He is climbing up the rankings in certain categories. He has passed Willie Mays in all-time home runs, he is about to pass Barry Bonds on the all-time RBIs list, and is approaching the 3,000 hit mark. A-Rod has more than people expected him to and Yankee fans can only hope that this production from him can continue. His teammates understood that the media would not just be all over Rodriguez but his teammates as well and they were able to handle it very well and were excited to have him back on the team, including Yankees relief pitcher Dellin Betances. "I've played with him before and I'm excited to have him back. "We're welcoming him back with open arms," said Betances. Now that there is no longer any other off-field issues and with Rodriguez performing, the media is no longer an issue for the team ad they can focus strictly on baseball.
Future Career Already Set?
With three years remaining on his contract with the Yankees, Rodriguez has not yet announced whether or not he will continue playing after his contract comes to an end but if he continues to play the way he is now then it would be no surprise to see him try to continue and see if any team would be willing to take that chance with him. Let's face it, there is no way Brian Cashman will try to resign A-Rod so if Rodriguez wants to continue playing then it would be in a different uniform. But if he doesn't plan on continuing his career then it appears that some job offers are already lined up for him. The Miami Marlins have already expressed interest in possibly having Rodriguez as their next manager if he retires in a few seasons. Rodriguez is from Miami and has a home there so a move like that would actually be more convenient for him to think about that offer from the Marlins.
Will Anything Even Matter In The End?
Even if A-Rod breaks some records and finishes his career on a good note, will any of it even matter in the end? He can all the best numbers in the world but with his involvement in the Biogenesis investigation and his use of steroids, it could make it impossible for him to make the hall of fame. This would put him along with the greats like Barry Bonds, Sammy Sosa, Mark McGwire, and more that have had a great career but possibly won't make the hall of fame due to illegal substance uses. It's hard to determine how this will be approached but we won't know anything until A-Rod officially retires. One can only imagine what his legacy will truly be in the end.