With the Yankees not doing much of anything so far this off season and pitchers and catchers reporting to spring training in two weeks I couldn't decide what I wanted to write about. I thought I would do an article on the return of Captain Derek Jeter who is returning after breaking his ankle in game one of the ALCS against Detroit.
On Monday Jeter took ground balls at the Yankees Minor League complex down in Tampa Florida. The 38-year old captain fielded about 55 grounders and also took batting practice. Jeter was asked if he would be ready for the April 1st Opening Day game against the Red Sox. Derek replied, " Why not ? I've always said I'll be ready for a long time. I told you it's fine now." I'm looking forward to his return.
I also thought I would write something about third baseman Alex Rodriguez who is trying to come back from his second hip surgery. I figured it would just be a short story and wait for spring training to get under way to write about something with some substance. Boy was I wrong !
It's being reported by the Miami New Times that Alex Rodriguez allegedly purchased performance enhancing drugs from Biogenesis of America an anti-aging clinic in south Florida. The Miami New Times is reporting that a former clinic employee gave them a list of player names who were using PED's that included human growth hormone, testosterone, and anabolic steroids. I've even heard radio reports saying that deer antler extract and some type of deer antler spray was also being taken.
Some other players being named on the list are Nationals pitcher Gio Gonzalez, Rangers Nelson Cruz, Blue Jays Melky Cabrera, and Bartolo Colon, Prior to this list coming out Cabrera and Colon have already been suspended 50 games for violating MLB's drug policy. Gonzalez has stated that he never used PED's and Cruz has yet to comment. NFL football star Ray Lewis is also being named on the list.
After admitting his use of PED's in 2001-2003 while in Texas A-Rod has hired an attorney and is denying any involvement. The New Times reported that Rodriguez's name has shown up 16 times on clinic records and was still using right through last season.
I can sit here a babble on about he did use, stopped using, or is still using and that debate can go on until the cows come home but let's take a minute to see how this effects the Yankees as a team.
I've been saying they need to get younger especially at third base. They signed Kevin Youkilis to fill in for A-Rod. Reports indicated that after hip surgery on January 16th Rodriguez wouldn't be back until the All-Star break. Now the question is will he be back at all ? Will he be suspended ? The Yankees are saying that they wait and see what happens with Major League Baseball and it's investigation. We'll have to see how this one plays out.
The way I see it.Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner wants to cut payroll well guess what ? Looks like they will try to now. You can bet the farm that the Yankees will tell you the use of PED's is not the image they want to portray or it's against their morals but the fact of the matter is that this is their way out of a bad contract. Rodriguez is owed $ 114 million over the next five years. Nobody seems to know if there's anything in his contract about violating a drug policy but boy if there is, you can certainly look for the Yankees to dump him and not pay him. I don't have a problem with them not paying him or letting him go. He's not the player he once was. But then again who knows what he really was if he was using PED's the whole time. Either way he's older, breaking down, and costing them a ton of money. Okay so if they do let A-Rod go then what ? Where's the third baseman of the future ? Another reason why I've been screaming it's time this team gets younger !! Now they might have to get younger real quick. Stay tuned as the A-Rod saga continues.
Spring training is set to get under way for pitchers and catchers in two weeks so stay tuned for updates and reports about who's hot and who's not. As usual I will have my glass half full but with the lack of moves the Yankees made this off season that glass might have a pin hole at the bottom of it ! I can't wait for the 2013 season to get under way !! I can smell the freshly cut grass, beer, and hot dogs already !!
Let's Go Yankees !!