New York Yankees: Alex Rodriguez’s Delusions of Redemption

Yahoo Contributor Network

COMMENTARY | In Alex Rodriguez's warped mind, his legacy has been tainted by Major League Baseball and the New York Yankees, who conspired to run him from the game.

And now even the Major League Baseball Players Association is on his hit list because it did not fight hard enough for him. Rodriguez still feels he can play at a high level and further believes that he can redeem himself on the field. This is a vision of grandeur indeed.

Rodriguez wants nothing more than to get back on the field now, or in 2015, and prove he can perform without using performance-enhancing drugs. In his mind, if he can get through the remainder of his contract without crumbling to the ground in the process, it will disprove everything we've learned from his involvement in the Biogenesis scandal.

Rodriguez has his lawyers on the offensive, hoping some misguided judge will hand over an injunction, which would temporarily render the arbitration verdict non-binding and force a court trial with hopes of overturning his 162-game suspension. Yes, it seems Rodriguez lives in another world.

Many legal experts, such as ESPN's Lester Munson, do not see any scenario in which the arbitrator's decision is heard, let alone overturned.

"Federal courts are reluctant to review and to second-guess arbitration awards," stated Munson on Jan.11. "Like all others in all businesses that agree in contracts to submit disputes to arbitration, Rodriguez will learn that federal judges have no interest in reconsidering rulings by arbitrators."

If Alex Rodriguez wants to rebuild his legacy and the predominantly poor perception of his character, it will have to be done off the field. Rodriguez must realize that even if he can return to the field, he'll be viewed with contempt by his teammates, opposing players, the ownership, the league and most of the fans.

There is also the notion that the Yankees could simply release Rodriguez at any point prior to him taking the field and bite the $61 million bullet they cast and now cannot avoid. If the Yankees release Rodriguez, is there a team out there who gives him a shot at 39, going on 40, with all the baggage attached? My guess would be no. No one wanted Barry Bonds after the San Francisco Giants cut bait, and he was still very productive.

So, if Rodriguez cannot remove the tarnish from his name by playing the game, what can he do? His first steps will require some self-awareness. He will have to come clean, again. It will take a lot of apologizing. Rodriguez will have to finally accept his name will forever be linked to performance-enhancing drugs. Rodriguez squandered his chance to rewrite his place in baseball history when he decided to cheat and lie again.

Rodriguez will have a better chance of changing the perception of his character away from the game. He would have to put all of his energy into something of value, a mission to do some good as a man. What makes the most sense is becoming a vocal proponent of the fight against performance-enhancing drugs in baseball and all sports -- something that would show he has learned from his mistakes and that he wants to help others avoid the same thing happening to them.

His mission, whatever that may be, should envelop all of his time, display unwavering focus, an undying commitment and make a difference in others' lives. People may then see Rodriguez in a different light.

Unfortunately, Rodriguez clearly does not perceive things this way, as his lawsuits against anyone getting in his way of the diamond attest. Rodriguez is on an island all to himself. A man with the desire to do the one thing he loves more than anything else in this world, but no place to do it.

His legacy as a baseball player is forever sealed in history, but as a man it can still change.

Chris Carelli is a freelance sports writer/editor and the Director of Content Strategy for Sportsideo. Besides his work as a New York Yankees contributor for Yahoo Sports, Chris created and maintains his own blog site, The Baseball Stance, which provides commentary about all of Major League Baseball. Connect with Chris on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.
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