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Yankee Priorities: Guilting Alex Rodriguez Into Risking His Health

Rob FitzContributor IMarch 7, 2009

Recently, news broke that Alex Rodriguez had a torn labrum in his hip, an injury that should be quite notable considering the frequent turning motions of both swinging a bat and throwing across the body to first from third.

Initially, we heard he would go in for surgery and miss up to four months, as reported by his "cousin." However, the Yankees were having none of that, insisting Rodriguez should instead try to play through the pain this season.

This struck me as a strange decision, especially in the long term, for the New York Yankees. After all, Alex is under contract for almost a decade more, and it wouldn't be worth it to risk his long term health (see: revenue potential) for the first half of a season, regardless of the big free agents they've picked up to go after the 2009 World Series.

Is Brian Cashman really short-sighted enough to think making Alex be "selfless" and play through the pain in order to quiet all this steroid talk is a good plan? If this goes wrong, instead of missing the first half of the season, A-Rod would likely miss the playoffs, which has been a sore subject for them recently.

On top of that, the revenues for what we all presume to be an eventual run at Barry Bonds' home run record would be very much endangered should this hard-headedness lead to further injury.

The strangest part is that this decision appears to be the team's and not Rodriguez's. When it comes to risking long-term injury for the good of the team, that decision almost always rests in the hands of the player, as we saw with Shawn Merriman on the San Diego Chargers this year (which, of course, failed).

I can only picture Cashman and Hank Steinbrenner taking Alex into a corner and saying "You've gotten us all kinds of negative press this month, don't think you can go hide just yet! You're going to get us out of this with good press!"

Alex, of course, has agreed to play through the pain. He's trying everything he can to improve his image, and who can blame him?

I just hope it doesn't backfire to career-damaging lengths. Oh wait, yes I do, I'm a Red Sox fan.

Carry on then.

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