Struggling Yankees Players Want Help but Not from a-Rod

Chris Stephens@@chris_stephens6Correspondent IIJuly 26, 2013

First the fans started getting sick of the drama surrounding Alex Rodriguez and now some of his teammates are becoming fed up as well.

According to a story by the New York Daily News' Mark Feinsand and Anthony McCarron, A-Rod is becoming a distraction to the team.

“Guys are just tired of it,” the player said. “The media circus that’s revolving around Alex is insane — and we haven’t even seen him. It just keeps going. It’s like a carousel that just keeps going around and around and around. At some point, it has to stop.

“I would like his bat in the lineup. We could obviously use it because the potential for some home runs would help us a lot. But with the circus that’s surrounding him right now, I don’t think anybody wants that.”

It seems that despite the fact that Yankees third basemen are batting .217 with four home runs and 29 RBI, some players don't want to deal with the A-Rod drama.

But can you actually blame them?

Every time they turn around, something is in the news about Rodriguez. Whether it's skipping batting practice after meeting with MLB investigators or the latest controversy concerning if he's healthy to play or not, Rodriguez can't get out of the news.

Add in his poor play late last year and subsequently getting benched, and the Biogenesis investigation and it's getting to be too much concerning A-Rod.

But there is one thing that sticks out more than the other reports.


All About the Money and Himself

Bill Madden and Teri Thompson of the New York Daily News reported that (according to sources) Rodriguez is planning to return and retire before a suspension comes down from MLB.

Once he’s back playing in rehab games, the sources say, he could then claim he is physically unable to perform because of the serious hip injury he is recovering from, “retire” from the game, and still collect the full amount of his salary—$114 million over the next five years.

“It’s all about him getting his money and not losing it to suspension,” one source close to the situation told the Daily News. “He knows he’s never going to the Hall of Fame. All that’s left for him is to make sure he gets his money—all of it.”

While it is just a report and uses an unnamed source, that would be troubling to hear as a player on the Yankees.

For some of those players, they wouldn't put it past A-Rod because that's the type of person they believe he is—one who only cares about himself.

The history is there as well.

Case in point—after being pulled in Game 1 of the ALCS last year against the Detroit Tigers, Rodriguez proceeded to ask for a fan's phone number in the stands.

Even though he had been pulled from the game, you would think Rodriguez could be more focused on the game...especially with his team losing.

Then there was the instance when he opted out of his contract during the 2007 World Series when New York's biggest rival was in the midst of winning it all.

While Rodriguez had every right to opt out of his contract, the timing he chose showed how selfish he was. That move communicated the thought that he thinks he's more important than the World Series.

The history of selfishness is there.


Is He Really Worth It?

There's no question the Yankees are struggling at third base, but there's also no question the distraction A-Rod brings.

The Yankees have to weigh which would be better for the franchise.

While they still may have to pay A-Rod's salary, they could at least get out from under the drama that surrounds Rodriguez. And maybe they can get back to playing baseball and stop answering questions about the embattled slugger.

It's a tough decision for general manager Brian Cashman, but it's a decision he's going to have to make. What move would benefit the Yankees the most?

Of course I would wait until the punishment comes out in the Biogenesis case because they would be able to save the money he would have made during suspension.

Release him and the only thing you have left to deal with is paying him.

That's bad in one sense, but at least you avoid the other performance bonuses in his contract. Those bonuses call for him to make an extra $30 million for breaking Barry Bonds' all-time home run record. In essence, releasing him would at least save the Yankees that amount of money.

As it stands, Rodriguez has hit 647 home runs. and is only 13 home runs from receiving the first $6 million bonus by passing Willie Mays for fourth all-time.

Once the suspension is handed down (if it is at all) the Yankees must make a move. If you go by what the unnamed player said, the choice is obvious—it's time to remove A-Rod from the clubhouse. 


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