Every New York Yankees fan can agree on one thing: Alex Rodriguez needs to go.
While that is the overwhelming opinion of most in the Bombers' universe, there isn't a chance it's going to happen anytime soon.
With the exception of the 2009 playoffs in which A-Rod had a monstrous showing that led to a Yankee World Series run, the third baseman has been nothing short of a major headache for the organization, whether it be news about his numerous girlfriends or the ever-evolving case against him in the performance-enhancing drugs department.
The only way the Yanks can rid themselves of the annoyance that is A-Rod is to have the troubled star retire. That's right, not even a suspension for PEDs will keep A-Rod away for good, per Wallace Matthews and Andrew Marchand of ESPNNewYork.com.
According to two baseball sources -- one of whom is familiar with the wording of Rodriguez's contract -- even if it is proved that Rodriguez received PEDs and HGH from Bosch, the Yankees would not be able to impose a punishment greater than the mandatory 50-game suspension stipulated for a first-time offender by baseball's collectively bargained Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program.
"Baseball's drug policy was specifically written so that teams can't do things like this," one of the sources said. "You can't use this to try to get out of the last years of a contract."
Major League Baseball is currently trying to build a case against several players who have been linked to Anthony Bosch and his Biogenesis clinic down in Florida, which has reportedly distributed performance-enhancing drugs to the likes of Rodriguez and Milwaukee Brewers star Ryan Braun, among others.
The entire case is based on the testimony of Bosch himself, who has proven to be a shady character at best. Bosch first went to A-Rod to ask him for money—most likely to pay for all of his legal troubles—but was denied by the Yanks infielder.
So, with that out of the question, Bosch has agreed to cooperate with the MLB in exchange for various protections, including the dropping of a lawsuit against him from the MLB itself, per Mike Fish and T.J. Quinn of ESPN.
From Bosch's testimony, the league hopes to build a strong enough case against A-Rod and the other players that could land suspensions for those involved and quite possibly a 100-game suspension for Rodriguez.
The problem is that the testimony of a man in as much legal trouble as Bosch isn't exactly credible. For all we know, Bosch could be making these things up to save his own hide and get the protections and support he is seeking from the MLB.
Granted, Bosch may show overwhelming evidence to support the case against A-Rod and others, but with or without it, Bosch's credibility will be harshly tested during the appeal process should suspensions be handed down.
And if Ryan Braun proved anything last year, it's that the appeal process can go in favor of the accused player no matter how ridiculous the player's case may be. In this case, questioning Bosch's credibility is far from ridiculous.
Besides, even if the MLB is successful in suspending Rodriguez this season, A-Rod will no doubt be back and ready to go during the 2014 campaign because the suspension won't be enough to void his deal. It would only serve as a reprieve for the Yanks.
At worst, Rodriguez will recover in time to return this season and be right back in the everyday spotlight in 2013 should no suspension be handed down soon enough.
Whatever the case may end up being, Rodriguez will never leave all the money that is owed to him on the table in favor of disappearing out of the spotlight of controversy. We would sooner see his legs fall off before something like that happens.
Now, I know you don't like Rodriguez as much as the next guy, but could you really blame him? Ask yourself: would I leave $80 million to $90 million on the table in order to retire if I can still physically take the field?
Even if A-Rod goes down that road, the Yanks can only recover up to 80 percent of the remaining money left on his deal, per Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com. Still, that would be far better than the alternative.
However, even if A-Rod stays consistently injured for the remainder of his years with the team, he will make sure the Yanks pay him to keep rehabbing at the very least.
So, in the meantime, sit back and "enjoy" the four plus seasons A-Rod still has left on his mega deal, because he quite simply isn't going away anytime soon.