On Monday, former NL MVP Ryan Braun was suspended for the remainder of the 2013 season, the first sign of fallout from the Biogenesis scandal. After Braun accepted his suspension, all eyes inevitably turned back to Alex Rodriguez, who’s looking at an almost-certain suspension, himself.
However, there’s one group of people you wouldn’t expect to be talking about Rodriguez as if he’s already gone — his Yankees teammates.
The New York Post’s Mark Feinsand caught up with a number of Yankees and asked them not just about their reactions to Braun’s suspension, but the assumed impending (continued) absence of Rodriguez. The result is rather bizarre, with Yankees players hypothetically supporting their teammate through a suspension that hasn’t even been handed down, yet.
“If [Rodriguez has] admitted that he did something wrong, he knows what the league is going to do,” Mariano Rivera said. “It’s not rocket science here.
“… I have to support him. He’s my teammate. He’s my brother. I’m not saying he did or didn’t do it, but if it happens. I can’t throw him in the street. He’s still my brother.”
Andy Pettitte, who has admitted PED use in the past, generally echoed Rivera’s sentiments, noting the importance of the teammate bond but also pressing the prerogative to clean up the sport.
“We’re going to back him up; we’re his teammates, there’s no doubt,” Pettitte said. “But if he did something wrong, you have to be punished for it. But I’ll still back him up. I’m still going to love him because I built the relationship with him. He’s a teammate of mine. You just wish nothing but the best for him.”
Yankees manager Joe Girardi, meanwhile, didn’t comment on Rodriguez, specifically, but expressed a general exasperation with ongoing PED scandals.
“I think I’m tired of steroids,” Girardi said. “I’m tired of that. Just do things the right way; bottom line. Everyone should do things the right way, but that’s not the world we live in. You get tired of talking about it. There’s a lot of guys that are doing it the right way and I respect those guys.”