Arbitrator Fredric Horowitz has made his ruling on the Alex Rodriguez suspension, and Major League Baseball has done a victory lap on "60 Minutes" with its star witness, Tony Bosch. Rodriguez is to sit out the 2014 season in disgrace for being involved with Bosch's Biogenesis firm, a distributor of performance-enhancing drugs.
And yet, New York Yankees manager Joe Girardi knows better. The A-Rod saga ain't over yet.
Other than Yankees GM Brian Cashman, the most put-upon person in the A-Rod mess has been Girardi. Rodriguez is seeking a court injunction and has expressed interest in joining the Yankees in spring training — which is his right. If he does go to Tampa in February, handling the zoo that will ensue will be a big headache for Girardi. Nothing that he isn't used to, of course. It's just... when will it end? Not yet, writes Chad Jennings at the LoHud Yankees blog:
“It’s been a long process,” Joe Girardi said. “But I’m not so sure the process is over.”
Speaking after an event at the Harvey School in Katonah, Girardi said he remains concerned about Rodriguez — “I worry about my players because, more than anything, we’re people before we ever played,” he said — and he’s not considering Saturday’s announcement as the final act in this saga. Girardi knows Rodriguez is trying to have the suspension blocked by a federal judge, and Girardi seems to be keeping himself mentally prepared for any new twist in a story that’s already full of them.
As The Stew has noted, the Yankees would have a big void at third base without Rodriguez. But they also have some names to pull out of a hat:
“I think we’ll handle it from within, the players we have, if (Rodriguez) is not a player for us,” Girardi said. “We have Kelly Johnson, and then we’ll probably try to platoon him with a right-handed bat. Obviously Nuney’s got a shot at it, and we signed (Scott) Sizemore, and there’s other players we will look at. We’re just going to have to deal with it.”
For however long it lasts. And considering A-Rod's contract runs for three more season after '14, it's a saga with more sequels to come.
- - - - - - -