Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Quiet Yankee spring a thing of the past

Just like that, the peace and quiet of the first few weeks of spring training for the New York Yankees was shattered. The source of the angst, of course, is Alex Rodriguez.

The Yankees third baseman told reporters that he has been contacted and will talk to federal agents about his interactions with a Canadian doctor being investigated for involvement with performance-enhancing drugs. Given ARod's admitted steroids use, it's a major story anytime his name surfaces in connection with PED.

Lacking a real controversy, the reporters covering the Yankees were incredibly bored this spring training and desperately tried turning the lack of negotiations on a contract extension for Yankee Captain Derek Jeter into a story. Now that they have a real story on their hands, they won't let go so things are probably going to get a lot worse for the Yankees.

I feel sorry for Joe Girardi and Brian Cashman, who were probably enjoying the quiet spring. Just a few days ago, their biggest problems were settling on a fifth starter and the Yankee lineup. Now they have to deal with another ARod-related mess. Girardi's attempt at recreating last year's bonding experience will no doubt be overshadowed by this latest controversy.

I also feel bad for the players, who will be pestered by questions about ARod rather than about baseball. I expect them to pledge support for their third baseman, who came through in a big way during last year's playoffs. But you wonder at what point this all becomes too much for them and they start to resent ARod for bringing this controversy to their door again. It's way too early to tell, but it's possible that ARod could once again become the pariah of the Yankees clubhouse.

Thanks to Randy Oostdyk via Wikipedia for the photo.

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