Alex Rodriguez is allegedly concerned that the latest steroid allegations are a conspiracy designed by "bigger forces" to push him out of baseball, sources have told Teri Thompson, Michael O'Keefe, and Christian Red of the New York Daily News.
Forget a grain of salt, these latest A-Rod allegations need to be taken with an entire shaker. Perhaps a large box. I understand that sensationalism tends to follow Rodriguez wherever he goes, but this story reads like something else entirely:
Sources say the embattled Yankee star is "scared" that bigger forces are at work to try to discredit him and sink his career. Holed up in Miami, Rodriguez has been huddling with an army of lawyers and PR people as the performance-enhancing drug scandal enveloping him intensifies.
"He’s scared, because he thinks this is so unbelievably false, and he’s wondering who could be behind this," said a source... "He thinks something could be going on larger than anyone might think."
The source added that Rodriguez is wondering if the Yankees or even Major League Baseball are behind the latest controversy.
The Daily News is typically a solid source for Yankees dirt -- Mark Feinsand, who is great, works there -- but their coverage of the latest A-Rod steroids scandal has been suspect from the get-go, and this one in particular reads like tabloid fare.
It was the Daily News who reported last week that A-Rod's career as a Yankee was over no matter what happened with the PED allegations, despite no real indications that this is the case. Since that story hit the press, Rodriguez has stated he has no intention at all of retiring and that his rehab is continuing as planned.
An anonymous source can be good (and necessary) thing in many instances. This is not one of them. If there is no indication as to who these sources are in relation to Rodriguez, then the information they provide about what he is thinking and feeling -- which even A-Rod is probably unclear on at this point -- can be given no weight whatsoever.
Major League Baseball could very well suspend Rodriguez 50 games if they are able to amass enough solid evidence in their investigation of him and at least five others in connection with a Coral Gables PED clinic in South Florida. There is no way, however, for the league or the Yankees to punish A-Rod beyond that as he is technically a first-time offender, and there is definitely no way for them to push him out of baseball completely.
GM Brian Cashman weighed in on the whole situation last night, per Andy McCullough of the Newark Star-Ledger, noting that the club has yet to speak with A-Rod about the allegations because of MLB's ongoing investigation. He also said this:
"The only thing required from our end, right now, is patience and smarts."
"And smarts, I mean, smarts from the fact that do not get ahead of the things you don’t know about, do not state or speak to areas you have no knowledge of. Do not throw out sound bites that are convenient, because everybody’s hungry and thirsty for answers before you can legitimately provide any."
I think Cashman would agree that the Daily News has not been using its "smarts" of late.