Saturday, June 12, 2010

Injured ARod angers the Yankees again

Alex Rodriguez just keeps pissing off his bosses.

Instead of telling Joe Girardi that his groin injury was acting up again before Thursday’s game, he tried to take the field, but had to come out after one inning, leaving Ramiro Pena to bat in the coveted cleanup spot ahead of Robinson Cano. It was unwise for ARod to not immediately inform his manager of the stiffness he felt, but it's understandable that a professional athlete would try to ignore the injury or play through it.

But this is not the first time that ARod's decisions about his injuries angered the New York Yankees hierarchy. They were already annoyed about finding out that ARod decided to get treatment for his hip problem from controversial Canadian doctor Tony Galea, apparently without the team's permission, dragging them back into the steroids controversy.

But I don't feel sorry for the Yankees on this one. It was the Steinbrenners' decision to re-sign him to a 10-year megadeal for much more than they had to pay him. Granted, they didn't know about ARod's steroids use (or perhaps they had suspicions, but no proof). But there were plenty of warning signs that re-signing ARod could be problematic.

They knew about his reputation for not being a clutch player, particularly in the playoffs. They knew about his contentious relationship with the New York fans and Derek Jeter (which according to Joe Torre's book, the Yankee Years, they blamed the captain for more than ARod). They knew about his diva attitude, shown to the baseball world when he opted out of his contract in the middle of the World Series. ARod gave them an out when he did that, but instead of moving on, they bent over backwards to give him a contract with all sorts of incentives that no other Yankee has ever had.

This latest incident is the type of drama they are fated to live with as ARod plays out the rest of his days in a Yankee uniform. The Yankees can be as furious as they want, but they have no one to blame but themselves.

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