So in case you missed it, Alex Rodriguez is suing his own union, which (understandably) has upset a fair number of his fellow union members. In fact, so upset that they (naturally) wondered if they might eject Rodriguez from the organization. Turns out they can't. But if he comes back they can throw pitches at him! So there's that.
Yahoo's Jeff Passan has some great quotes:
While many players allowed for Rodriguez to fight his suspension as he saw fit, they were incensed he would turn on his "brothers," as one player termed the membership.
"It's beyond disappointment," said a player involved in union leadership who was on the conference call. "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."
"When he gets up to bat, you can hit him and hit him hard," one player on the conference call told Yahoo Sports. "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."
Just a week or so ago, I thought Rodriguez might play next year. Now I'm pretty sure he won't.
If Rodriguez were still a great player, or a young player who might become great, he might still get a shot. But he's neither great nor potentially great. A rebuilding team won't sign him, because he's set a terrible example. A contending team stocked with veterans won't sign him, because the veterans won't have it. Which leaves ... what sort of team, exactly? Maybe a contending team that's a) stocked young players who don't need veteran leadership, and b) doesn't give a damn what everybody else thinks?
Alex Rodriguez will be 39 next year. Manny Ramirez was nearly 39 when he played his last game in the majors leagues, with the Tampa Bay Rays. I am not saying that Rodriguez will play for the Rays. I don't believe he'll play in the majors again. What I'm saying is that if he does want to play again, he should move to Tampa-St. Pete yesterday and start acting like he gives a damn about anything but himself. Because it's now probably either the Rays or the Long Island Ducks. And I doubt if his ego can handle the Ducks.
Bottom line, it seems highly likely that we've seen the last of Alex Rodriguez, Major League Baseball Player. And it seems we'll have to wait a long, long time for his public rehabilitation. Which would mean the two greatest baseball players of the last half-century -- statistically speaking, that is -- will spend some decades as pariahs.
Whether you think that's fair or not, it's true. And there's a small part of me that's angry with those guys for spoiling everything for the rest of us.