Alex Rodriguez's suspension has been lifted, he's back on the 40-man roster, and he's working out in preparation for his return to the field in 2015. You know what that means, right? Time for the New York media to get their collective A-Rod smear games back in action! Yeah!! Because a guy who's already been outed as a steroid user for the better part of the last 15 years, targeted and treated by MLB and the media as the biggest PED offender in the history of organized sports, and had his reputation and credibility completely destroyed in the process obviously needs to be the focus of more steroid-related stories, right?
For instance, did you guys know that A-Rod paid off his cousin who was his drug handler back in the day to keep him from going to media and telling his story of Alex's PED use?
"In court documents filed last week in Miami, federal prosecutors say Rodriguez paid $900,000 last year to settle a threatened lawsuit by Yuri Sucart, who had worked as Rodriguez’s personal assistant. Sucart, in a letter from his lawyer, threatened to expose Rodriquez’s PED use if he wasn’t paid $5 million."
Shocking! Or how about today's Miami Herald report that A-Rod confessed his steroid use to federal prosecutors:
"But 18 days later, Rodriguez gave a sworn statement to the DEA and prosecutors that, between late 2010 and October 2012, he did use substances prohibited by Major League Baseball. It was completely at odds with his public statements."
Ground-breaking stuff right there. Truly earth-shattering.
Question. What's the endgame here, guys? What does this accomplish? Hasn't everybody had their fill of shaming A-Rod and airing out all his dirty laundry? What's the point in writing and publishing and talking about stories like this anymore as if they're actually breaking news? Was there anybody left out there in the world who actually believed he didn't use PEDs? Was there anybody who didn't think he was paying off Cousin Yuri in some capacity? If you've followed this whole story even loosely from the beginning, you probably already assumed he was paying him off. Does knowing how much he paid and when and for what reason make a difference at this point?
All the talk before this past season was about how A-Rod being suspended and going away from the team was a good thing because all the attention he brought with him was bad and would be a distraction. He stayed out of the spotlight all year, took his suspension, worked out, and kept his name out of the papers. He hasn't done anything differently than what he was doing since the suspension was lifted and yet here he is again, having his name thrown around in a negative light by the very media who said it was a good thing that he wasn't around for the media to cover. It's not A-Rod being a distraction, it's the media MAKING him a distraction by refusing to let him go.
Just give it up, people. Move on. A-Rod cheated, A-Rod used steroids, A-Rod got caught using steroids, A-Rod lied about using steroids, and A-Rod served the suspension he was given for all of that usage and cover-up. It's over. There's nothing left to uncover here, nothing left to expose, and no more reason to beat this drum. None of these reports are going to make him go away, none of these reports are going to make his contract go away, and none of them help quell the negative locker room vibe that everybody loves to connect to A-Rod. The guy is a broken down, publicly humiliated schmuck already, but he's a schmuck who's still under contract and still going to try to play through the rest of said contract to collect the money owed to him. Mind you that's money that Yankee ownership was only too happy to give him when he came crawling back to them in 2007. There's no need to make him the bad guy anymore and there's no need to force the spotlight on him anymore. He's already the bad guy and he's never going to be the good guy again.
You've done your jobs, MSM. You got him. You showed him how tough you are for lying to you and "tarnishing the game" or whatever. Now move on and find something worthwhile to investigate and write about, because I think I speak for a growing number of Yankee fans out there when I say I'm tired of reading about A-Rod steroid stories and really don't want to have to ride this hate train all year.