Milwaukee slugger Ryan Braun is hearing it from Major League Baseball and beyond after adamantly denying steroid use then getting suspended for exactly that.
Alex Rodriguez, in his own creative way, seems to be following right in his footsteps.
Rodriguez has spent the recent weeks in the midst of a bizarre he-said, he-said situation. The sudden appearance of his doctor Wednesday was just the latest chapter in a strange saga that has included reports that Rodriguez is trying to retire as quickly as possible to get out from under a looming MLB suspension. Rodriguez has been accused of associating with Biogenesis, a Florida anti-aging clinic known to distribute performance-enhancing drugs. Braun has been tied to the same clinic and, while details are not completely firm, it is thought that his Monday suspension for violating the league’s performance-enhancing drug policy was related to his involvement.
Many expect Rodriguez to fall next. While that would be a huge shakeup in baseball, where Rodriguez has long been both a top-tier player and polarizing figure, the New York Daily News reports that the fallout could be ugly in a lot more ways.
The Yankees, both in the front office and the clubhouse, have publicly supported Rodriguez as he’s come back from his latest injury — and throughout the recent years, during which he has insisted he has not used performance-enhancing drugs. But that could all change if Rodriguez gets tagged again, the Daily News reports.
The Daily News quotes one New York teammate who seemed to be just waiting until the verdict comes out on Rodriguez.
“When it’s all said and done, you’ll hear more than enough comments from the guys in here,” the player said, according to the Daily News, of what would happen if Rodriguez is found to have used PEDs and lied about it. “You’ll be able to write it for weeks.”
The player said the way Braun handled the news has set the tone for how players want to be treated. Braun wasn’t at Miller Park on Monday when the MLB suspension was announced, but his teammates were, much like — the Daily News says — the Yankees have had to answer for Rodriguez repeatedly as he sits out with injury. Rodriguez has also repeatedly denied the steroid use he’s now being accused of again.
“I don’t think he handled that the right way,” the player said of Braun. “He adamantly denied it, and it turns out he was lying. It’s going to haunt him through his whole career. That’s something he’s going to have to deal with the rest of his life.
“If it turns out to be the same with Alex, they’ll both be in the same boat.”
Even without the steroid allegations, though, Rodriguez appears to be wearing on the Yankees in other ways.
“Guys are just tired of it,” the player of the ongoing Rodriguez drama. “The media circus that’s revolving around Alex is insane — and we haven’t even seen him. It just keeps going. It’s like a carousel that just keeps going around and around and around. At some point, it has to stop. … I would like his bat in the lineup. We could obviously use it, because the potential for some home runs would help us a lot. But with the circus that’s surrounding him right now, I don’t think anybody wants that.”
Nobody wants Rodriguez? That’s a story that’s becoming increasingly easy to believe.
Good point, sir.
Wow, that young Wil Myers can hit! Wonder if a team like KC could pry him away with a veteran pitcher like Shields. Oh. Wait.—
Joe Posnanski (@JPosnanski) July 25, 2013
Just making sure everyone knows this exists.