By Steve Silverman
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It’s only getting worse for Alex Rodriguez, and it’s not likely to get better for a long time.
Red Sox pitcher John Lackey said he didn’t think that A-Rod should be playing while he appeals his 211-game suspension.
And now, Rodriguez implicated Yankees teammate Francisco Cervelli and Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun in Major League Baseball’s latest performance-enhancing drugs scandal, according to CBS’ “60 Minutes.”
So, if the latest report is accurate, Rodriguez is now a rat who outs other players. This cannot be defended at any level if it’s true. If there are some who would try to paint A-Rod as some kind of whistleblower, that’s not accurate. The report would lead you to believe that he’s fully complicit in long-time PED use, and that he’s just trying to make sure others get their share of the blame so the harsh glare of public scrutiny is off of him for a few seconds.
Rodriguez’s reputation is being destroyed further with every accusation that hits the news cycle.
It wasn’t that long ago that Rodriguez was a baseball hero who was viewed as a legitimate successor to Hank Aaron in the home-run race, because he was not an alleged steroid cheater like Barry Bonds.
Rodriguez no longer compares favorably to Bonds. That’s because Bonds, for all of his faults, was not the phony that Rodriguez appears to be.
Bonds was a mean, arrogant and unlikable player throughout his career. He was a nasty, conceited guy as a young player with the Pittsburgh Pirates — just ask current Tigers manager Jim Leyland about Bonds’ days in Pittsburgh — and he got even worse once he moved to San Francisco.
Bonds never pretended to be a people person. He was who he was.
Rodriguez is the kind of phony who makes most people’s stomach turn. You know this because of the way that players like Trout, Lackey and others don’t couch their words when it comes to A-Rod.
When pressed, players almost always stand up for one another when they see one of their own facing the heat of public scrutiny. Major leaguers normally look at each other as brothers, and while they may have personal disputes, they handle those issues in private.
Not with Rodriguez. His apparent phony attitude and calculated behavior have been turning teammates and opponents off for years.
Fans have been disgusted with the former superstar ever since Sports Illustrated reported in 2009 that he had tested positive for steroids in 2003.
Critics are right to question everything that has gone on in A-Rod’s career since he signed his first professional contract. Has he ever played a clean day of baseball in his career?
Nobody knows the honest answer to this, and he has stained the game as much as any player.
A-Rod received harsh treatment from the fans in Chicago and New York upon returning to baseball this season. He will get even more of that “special welcome” when he plays in Boston on Friday night.
It looks like it will only get worse for him from there. Once his appeal is completed, he will almost certainly have to serve his suspension.
Perhaps the Yankees will be able to get the remaining years on his contract voided. He may not be able to contribute, and my guess it that none of the players want him around.
If the latest report proves true, the shame is all his, and the chasm between his behavior and decency will grow wider with every passing day.
If A-Rod is guilty, he will never live down having given up his fellow PED users.
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