Major League Baseball just handed A-Rod a 211 game ban stemming from the investigation of Miami anti-aging clinic Biogenesis. A-Rod, of course, is the highest profile player linked to the clinic and owner Anthony Bosch. However, the situation is clouded by a multitude of variables. Regardless of the outcome of this sad story, A-Rod needs to bite the bullet and hang up his cleats for good.
With his reputation already sullied, retirement is the best option for the aging slugger. At 38-years-old with a body that breaks down more often than a Buick, A-Rod's primary motivation for sticking around and fighting his suspension is money. With 4 years and $80+ million left on his contract, it's no secret that he wants to get paid.
After earning $300+ million alone in salary over the course of his career, it's clear Rodriguez is just being selfish. If he were to step away from the game, the Yankees would give him a fine injury settlement for clearing the money off their books. But that's not how A-Rod rolls. If he's going out, it'll be kicking and screaming like the baby boy he is.
Keep in mind, this isn't the first time the third basemen has been investigated for performance enhancing drugs. He admitted to using PEDs as a Texas Ranger from 2001-03, but now he's not only being accused of acquiring banned substances from the Miami clinic, but he also allegedly tampered with a witness who was providing information to investigators.
Can it really get any worse than that? With an increasingly deteriorating public opinion, wouldn't it be better for A-Rod to “gracefully” step aside and maintain some level of self-respect, not to mention respect for the game that has treated him so well? It's probably a little bit too much to ask from the guy.
Is it about the stats for A-Rod? He sits in fifth place all-time with 647 home runs. It's likely he'll pass Willie Mays' 660 home runs if he actually plays in any substantial number of games. Does it really matter? Hall-of-Fame voters have proven to be very stingy when it comes to steroid era players aka asterisk dudes. This past vote saw Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa, and Rafael Palmeiro all receive less than 20% of the vote. Additionally, Barry Bonds garnered just 37%. It can't be about the statistics. A-Rod has to know he's not getting into the Hall-of-Fame anytime soon. Yet again, we must return to Rodriguez's selfishness. There are some large egos in professional sports, A-Rod's ranks near the top.
I don't doubt that A-Rod could actually provide some value as a DH or third baseman, but under the current circumstances, it's be best for everyone involved if he stepped aside. While none of this seems likely, one can hope, right?