Alex Rodriguez has elected to have a basic hip operation that will only cost him 6-9 weeks, as opposed to the more complex surgery that could have cost him up to four months which he has put off until the offseason.
Dr. Marc Philippon will be the operating surgeon and says that there is an 85-90 percent chance the surgery will hold for the entire season. He also said that he thinks it’s more likely he’ll be back in six weeks rather than nine.
The Yankees, who are currently in the second year of a 10-year deal paying him 275+ million dollars, reportedly have an insurance policy in the event of him going to the disabled list. It is unknown if this is actually true or how much money the Yankees would get back, but it is worth noting.
I think the surgery is the right call. With at least 247 million dollars yet to be paid to him you have to be cautious. Getting screwed here is the worst possible thing that could happen. He absolutely needs to get back to full strength.
Fox Sport’s Ken Rosenthal wrote that he could be starting to age and that this may be the inevitable breakdown all players must one day face. I wouldn’t go as far as saying that yet but it really makes you wonder how he will come back.
An expensive transaction like trading for Scott Rolen and undertaking his contract would be an utterly irrational move. He could be back by the end of April and the Yankees can live without him for a month. If it was half a season then I agree that it would be time to panic, but Cody Ransom can get the job done for a few weeks. A quick fix like signing Mark Grudzielanek or trading for a Mark Teahan or Bobby Crosby would make sense. Upon A-Rod’s return it wouldn’t hurt to have an experienced utility man and they’d still get a decent amount of playing time as he gets used to playing everyday again.
The decision allows Rodriguez to nurse himself back to health while at the same time leaving New York contenders in the AL East. Alex and the Yankees made the right move for both of their short and long term futures.
With Manny Ramirez and Orlando Cabrera officially signed, I take a look at what’s availible in the Unsigned Players Dept.
Top Remaining Free Agents
1. Ben Sheets
2. Ivan Rodriguez
3. Ray Durham
4. Jim Edmonds
5. Paul Byrd
6. Mark Grudzielanek
7. Joe Beimel
8. Pedro Martinez
9. Will Ohman
10. Kenny Rogers
11. Moises Alou
12. Frank Thomas
13. Emil Brown
14. Chad Cordero
15. Curt Schilling
16. Richie Sexson
17. Rudy Seanez
18. Luis Gonzalez
19. Keith Foulke
20. Sidney Ponson
21. Mark Mulder
22. Julian Tavarez
23. Damion Easily
24. Dave Roberts
25. Ben Brousard
Ben Sheets gets the top spot only because of his dominant 2008 season and I don’t think anyone else on this list deserves it. A torn flexor in his elbow will keep him out of action until at least July. If he signs on with a team before the June draft then the Brewers will receive a compensation pick so don’t expect any offers until then…Ivan Rodriguez will use the World Baseball Classic to showcase all he has left. The Mets, Astros and possibly Marlins have shown interest…There are reports that Moises Alou and Kenny Rogers may have unofficially retired…Paul Byrd will take at least early 2008 off to spend time with his family, but could get back into action by the All-Star break…Look for Mark Grudzielanek to get a look at third base in the Bronx should A-Rod need surgery…Pedro Martinez‘ velocity and stamina are both way down and he’s had trouble finding work for this season. The Cardinals may bring him on and try him in the closer’s role…Former All-Stars Chad Cordero and Curt Schilling are off injuries costing them both the 2008 seasons but are still trying to find work.
Alex Rodriguez has a torn labrum and a cyst on his right hip. It may require surgery and would effectively knock him out of the World Baseball Classic and the Yankees line-up until May or possibly as late as the All-Star break. The ladder would cost New York 88 games without its premier slugger. With things as close as they are in the AL East, they’d take a step back behind the Rays and Red Sox.
Jayson Stark speculated on Sportscenter earlier that they could take a look at Bobby Crosby or Mark Teahan. If the injury worsens over the season then players like Adrian Beltre or Garrett Atkins could get some looks as well, but nothing is close.
You could have a worse back-up than Cody Ransom, but that’s exactly what he is, a backup. He’s a 33-year old utility player with all of 183 at-bats (.251/.348/.432) in the majors since 2001 while also spending time with the Giants and Astros.
A report was just released that he will have his hip drained and that he is going to try to play through it and rejoin the team. He is still out of the WBC. Hopefully for him and the Yankees he can get back right away and continue to prove that he can produce while playing clean to try to clean up his image before it is forever tarnished, though it may be too late.
Alex Rodriguez learned from the mistakes of Barry Bonds, Jason Giambi, and Roger Clemens and came clean right away.
He could have followed suit and denied it right into his social grave. He could have let the media rip his heart out and diminish his sense of pride to the point where he barely left his house like Mark McGwire has become. He could have. But that isn’t exactly an ideal option for someone entering the prime of their career while in the second year of a record setting ten-year 275 million dollar contract.
Andy Pettitte and Gary Sheffield went through this before him and he saw what being truthful can do. He has now kept the hearts of his loyal fans and saved himself from being tabloided more than Paris Hilton, though he probably already is anyway.
All in all the good news is we hopefully will not have to listen to nearly as much of this because of his honesty. I think that even more former players should do the same and come clean before they exposed because chances are they will be and it will look a lot better if they do this on their own now before they become scapegoats for an entire generation.
With yesterday’s news of A-Rod’s positive steroid test, we have all just signed a 14-year contract extension to listen to steroid news through the remainder of the nine years left on his reco
rd contract and then his five years before he becomes hall of fame eligible. It seems as though this story will never go away.
People, both media and fans alike, need to just get over it. Players don’t take steroids just to find an easy way to fame and stardom. They take steroids because they are part of the group of major leaguers who are always looking for an edge over the competition because they are among the fiercest competitors in the world.
Sure there are plenty of legal issues and health concerns that kept the majority of players away from using them. These are completely normal and more than acceptable reasons to never take steroids under any circumstances.
With that said take a step back now and keep an open mind. Picture yourself as an elite athlete. You have a readily available option to significantly better yourself as a baseball player. Baseball is a game of inches and that extra power and speed can go a long way. You have the luxuries of money and doctors to help ensure that you are taking only the safest and best type of drugs and that they are being properly used.
Do you really think you as a fan could honestly say that if you were in their situation you wouldn’t do it yourself? There were no penalties before 2004 so what was stopping them?
My guess is there are a lot of people out there who say they would never do it but that’s very tough to say when you are not in their situation and I don’t blame any of them for using steroids.
“Cheating” has been going around sports forever. Whether it’s using steroids, doctoring a ball, betting on games, corking bats, or tailoring the playing field to your advantage; bending the rules has always been part of the game and always will.
I sternly believe that there were many more players using than the 104 players that tested positive back in 2003. I also think the problem was not at all just limited to baseball and the problem could have been just as bad, if not worse in football or other sports where strength is even more important.
It was once thought that the Mitchell Report would finally give everyone closure on the steroid era but it seems to have only made it worse. People need to just accept that it was very common, stop blacklisting every player ever associated with using steroids, and move on so the door can finally be shut on this story for good.