Despite suspension, Alex Rodriguez intends on participating in spring training

Mark Townsend

Just when the New York Yankees thought the Alex Rodriguez distraction was behind them for awhile, spokesman Ron Berkowitz announces that A-Rod has every intention of showing up and participating in spring training next month.

Those sounds you hear are Yankees fans and officials collectively slapping themselves on the forehead or slamming their head on a desk. They simply cannot escape the A-Rod circus. None of us can, actually. But according to Wallace Matthews of ESPN New York, there's not a lot anybody can do if A-Rod wants to be there.

Under a loophole in his suspension, he is allowed to participate in spring training. His side's argument that if he is able to receive an injunction to stop the suspension, he will able to play and thus he should prepare for the season.

The Yankees could tell him to not come to Tampa. Last spring training, Rodriguez was not with his teammates at all as he rehabbed from his hip surgery.

There's a very, very good chance the Yankees will kindly ask A-Rod to stay away, but it seems there's an even better chance A-Rod will ignore the request and show up anyway. Because let's face it, it just wouldn't be closure for A-Rod unless he can make everybody squirm a bit before making his grand exit.

The only control the Yankees have is how much he plays. One would assume he would see very limited time, if any time at all, because as much as A-Rod can say he has to prepare for his career beyond 2014, the Yankees have several questions to answer in 2014. Many of those questions surround the position A-Rod will be vacating, so it's well within their best interests to play the guys who will help them during the upcoming season.

A-Rod won't like that, of course, and will make a big deal out of it. That part is inevitable. And from there the never-ending circus will continue to haunt our lives.

- - - - - - -

Mark Townsend is a writer for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!