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Yankees ready for end of A-Rod drama

The SportsXchange

LOS ANGELES -- With the cloud of the Biogenesis scandal appearing as if it will dissipate in the coming days, the apparent consensus in the New York Yankees clubhouse seems to be one giant exhale.

As if 25 sets of shoulders all sighed at the same time.

Multiple reports Wednesday stated that third baseman Alex Rodriguez was headed for a lifetime ban for his role in the scandal involving performance-enhancing drugs. Later reports inferred that Major League Baseball officials were engaged in talks with the veteran slugger's attorneys regarding a lengthy suspension.

No matter the result, the Yankees just want the situation resolved.

"Everything is in the air; you hear so many different reports," New York outfielder Vernon Wells said Wednesday night after the Yankees' 3-0 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers. "I think everyone around here just wants it to be resolved one way or another so it's not in the air. If he's gonna be here, let's get him here, and he can settle in and be a part of this team again. I'm sure if you asked Alex, he'd like the same thing."

The Yankees, who moved to 56-51 after splitting a two-game set Dodger Stadium, have answered questions throughout the year about their controversial teammate.

They're ready for it to end.

"It's been ongoing for a long time," right-handed pitcher Phil Hughes said. "It's good to hopefully have everything behind us now. The story can change to baseball, which will be nice. A lot of things are going to come out, and MLB is going to handle it as they see fit."

One thing is certain: The Yankees believe a healthy Rodriguez could improve their lineup.

Rodriguez has missed the entire season after offseason hip surgery, and a quad strain slowed his recovery in recent weeks. He is scheduled to play in a simulated game Thursday, and he could begin a minor league rehab assignment Friday.

"It can be a huge impact to this lineup if he's healthy and capable of doing what he's capable of doing," Wells said. "Obviously we'd love to have him, it's just a matter if he's going to be here or not."

A clubhouse chock full of veterans has the Yankees understanding that they'll be able to ride out the storm, Rodriguez or not.

"I gotta come back to the veteran leadership -- (general manager Brian) Cashman brought us in here for a reason," catcher Chris Stewart said. "We're capable of winning ballgames and helping this team. Each and every one of us has a job to do, and we go out and do it. We have guys coming back from the disabled list, but we're not worried about that. We've got a job to do, and we're going to do it until they say we don't have a job anymore."
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