Many people have shared the popular opinion that Alex Rodriguez shouldn’t be allowed to play baseball now — or ever, after the 211-game suspension was handed down to the Yankees third baseman — on the premise that cheaters take away from the sanctity of America’s pastime. Tampa Bay Rays third baseman Evan Longoria shares that sentiment, but he is far more concerned with the now part, rather than the future.
While discussing a wide variety of topics on the Hot Clicks podcast with Jimmy Traina, Longoria said that Rodriguez being allowed to play during his appeal is unfair.
“I don’t know what his motivation is, but I will say this: I don’t think it’s fair for the other teams because I’m in the American League East.” Longoria said. “Whether he is 100 percent or not, whether his mind is where it needs to be or not, he can affect the game in a positive way, he can affect the game in a tremendous way, which is being in the lineup. In a pennant race, he’s a guy you don’t want in the lineup. Looking at it from that perspective and that perspective only, I don’t think it’s fair that we can’t have an arbitrator hear the case sooner.”
The Rays are in the midst of a division battle with the Boston Red Sox, as Tampa Bay trails Boston by two games in the American League East. The Yankees, however, are near the cellar, sitting in fourth place at 11 games out of first. While the Yankees don’t seem poised to make a push for the division title or a wild-card spot, they can play the role of spoilers in what is sure to be a tight race.
The Rays and Yankees are set to meet six more times this season.