Baseball is a game of rules, both written and unwritten.
Alex Rodriguez has never thought that those rules applied to him.
Whether it was A-Rod yelling "Mine!" rounding the bases while Toronto infielder Howie Clark attempted to field a pop fly—which resulted in the ball dropping in for a hit in 2007—smacking the ball out of Bronson Arroyo's glove in Game 6 of the 2004 ALCS, or walking across the pitcher's mound against Oakland in 2011, Rodriguez has always done what he wants—everyone else be damned.
Oh, and there's that little issue of steroids and other performance enhancing drugs that you might have heard of, resulting in A-Rod's current acrimonious relationship with the powers that be—not only in the MLB offices, but with the New York Yankees as well.
But today, folks, Rodriguez has reportedly reached a new low, as reported by CBS Sports' Jon Heyman:
I suppose that we shouldn't be all that surprised by this. It's always been about A-Rod, nobody else, and that includes his teammates—Yankees catcher Francisco Cervelli was one of the "others" that Heyman mentions.
That should create an interesting atmosphere in the Yankees clubhouse, don't you think?
Joe Giglio, of B/R and WFAN fame, brings up a valid point:
You'd have to believe that, at this point, more than a few of his teammates will be sure to watch what they do—and say—with Rodriguez hanging around. ESPN Radio's Jeff Rickard wonders whether any player will even speak to him after this latest news:
For those of us who have wondered what sort of evidence MLB has—and how far back that evidence goes—to support the unprecedented 211-game suspension that it levied against Rodriguez, USA Today's Bob Nightengale reports that A-Rod and his inner circle aren't the only people leaking information:
If accurate, that's pretty damning.
And it makes A-Rod's performance in the 2009 postseason, when he hit .365 with six home runs, 18 RBI and a 1.308 OPS over 15 games, propelling the Yankees to a World Series championship, that much more suspect.
What exactly was Rodriguez hoping to achieve by having this information released? It's a question that neither I, nor CBS Sports' Scott Miller can answer:
William Howard Taft, the 27th President of the United States, who has been dead for more than 80 years, was so moved by this news that he's risen from the grave and created a Twitter account so that he could chime in:
Former major league utility player F.P. Santangelo does not have a Twitter account, but one that was created in his honor believes that MLB needs to institute a rule change for A-Rod only:
There isn't a pitcher in baseball that wouldn't support that change today, especially Boston's John Lackey, who is furious that his team has to face Rodriguez at all this weekend, as he vented to MLB Network's Peter Gammons:
There's still one thing that hasn't been discussed: Who is in this "inner circle" that reportedly leaked the names? How many people are there? Do they get paid a salary?
It's fair to assume that whoever comprises the group does nothing without A-Rod's approval, which makes this theory from the National Post's Bruce Arthur all the more compelling:
Part of me wouldn't be shocked if that was the case.
Regardless of who comprises his inner circle, this latest news makes you wonder exactly how much longer the MLBPA can stand behind Rodriguez as he appeals his suspension.
You'd have to think that the rest of the union is outraged that one of its own would "snitch" on other members, and that union chief Michael Weiner is fielding some emotional calls from some very angry players right about now.
It's going to be very interesting to see how the player's association handles this—and how his fellow ballplayers handle Rodriguez from this point on.