If Alex Rodriguez does play again after serving his 162-game suspension, his friends in Major League Baseball will be few and far between.
According to a report by Yahoo! Sports’ Jeff Passan and Tim Brown, a group of roughly 40 MLB Players Association leaders voiced the desire to expel Rodriguez from the players’ union, only to be told such an action would not be legal.
Not a single player defended the third baseman on the conference call, which took place after Rodriguez sued the union and MLB after his suspension was reduced from 211 games to 162, one player involved told Passan and Brown.
“That’s what everyone was thinking,” the unidentified player said. “We wanted to get on this call and not let him back. [To say] ?This is our game, and we don’t want you in it.'”
“It’s beyond disappointment,” another anonymous player said. “What brought it beyond disappointment was the fact he’s suing the union. Guys understand people make bad decisions. They lie when they’re embarrassed or trying to avoid punishment. Those are human qualities. Guys understand. But what made guys incensed is he would bring a suit against the union.”
The earliest Rodriguez could return to the diamond would be in 2015, as his ban covers the entirety of the 2014 season and postseason. If Rodriguez does continue his MLB career, he can expect on-field retribution, as well, a player on the conference call told Yahoo! Sports.
“When he gets up to bat, you can hit him and hit him hard,” the player said. “That’s what I’d do. He sued us. Jhonny Peralta and Nelson Cruz screwed up. You know what? They owned up to it. They took their medicine.
“[Rodriguez] needs to be scared of coming back and facing people he sued. If he can’t fear the wrath of getting kicked out or not being included, he’s going to be forced out.”