Newspaper article International New York Times

With Rodriguez Back, Things Look Bleak for Yankees

Newspaper article International New York Times

With Rodriguez Back, Things Look Bleak for Yankees

Article excerpt

As Alex Rodriguez brings his drug-laden baggage back to his team, a strange bit of fallout has occurred: some people feel sorry for the Yankees.

In a million years, in a million baseball seasons, I never would have dreamed I'd ever say this: I feel sorry for the Yankees.

But, thanks to the disgraced and despicable Alex Rodriguez, that time has come.

Any team that has to deal with Rodriguez and all of his drug- laden baggage could use some sympathy, especially now that Rodriguez is back to annoy everyone again, fresh off his record 162-game drug suspension.

Poor Yankees. This past season, the franchise with enough World Series rings to bejewel a small army failed to make the playoffs for the second straight year. For a team whose fans expect championships on a steady basis, this little drought might as well be 119 years. It's a solemn time for the Yankees, and they need some peace and quiet to reflect, and to figure out how to win again.

But Rodriguez didn't get that memo. Basically, he has returned playing the cymbals, ready to put on the pinstripes again for a team that needs no part of him and his noise but now has to deal with a whole new set of drug revelations involving the onetime slugger.

So what do the Yankees do with Rodriguez, who has become the lead of a comedy so dark and wrong that you feel guilty for watching it? He is a player who has lied about his steroid use, then admitted it (2009), then publicly said he was absolutely clean (2013-present) -- it's a witch hunt, he declared -- and then turned around to privately testify to federal agents that why, yes, he had used drugs, a lot of drugs, in recent years, and thanks for asking.

After a nasty public battle with Major League Baseball, which initially barred him for 211 games in connection with the Biogenesis of America case, Rodriguez has seen the light, but only because federal prosecutors held a torch above him.

Those prosecutors granted Rodriguez immunity in their investigation of Anthony Bosch and his Biogenesis clinic, a superstore of performance-enhancing drugs for which Rodriguez evidently had a frequent buyer card. In turn, Rodriguez finally fessed up about his more recent drug use. He admitted to paying Bosch about $12,000 a month for P.E.D.s, including "vitamin cocktails," human growth hormone, steroid cream and lozenges with testosterone.

All of this was first reported on Wednesday by The Miami Herald, which cited a 15-page synopsis of a meeting Rodriguez had with federal agents in late January.

It's hardly a surprise that Rodriguez did not tell the truth about his Biogenesis links until that session with the feds. Lance Armstrong did a superb job of ridding us of our naivete about adamant doping denials.

As for the Yankees, they probably aren't cheering his truth- telling, since they no doubt want Rodriguez to just disappear already. …

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