Thursday, July 25, 2013

Yankee players don't want A-Rod 'circus' back in locker room: Report

It was only a matter of time before the frustration of injuries, the prospect of missing the playoffs and the Alex Rodriguez PED investigation and all the sordid details of his comeback came to a boil in the New York Yankees locker room — and now it has.

Publicly, A-Rod’s teammates have said the right things when asked about him. But privately, many Yankees players believe Rodriguez should suffer the consequences if he is found guilty of using PEDs and of lying about it.

And, as much as the Yankees need Alex Rodriguez’s bat back in the lineup, it seems the players in the Bombers’ clubhouse may have finally reached a breaking point when it comes to their controversial teammate.

One player told The New York Daily News that some of his frazzled Yankee teammates are hesitant to welcome A-Rod back on the roster.

Speaking on the condition of anonymity, one Yankee said the nonstop A-Rod drama — which on Wednesday took a bizarre turn, as it was revealed that the third baseman got a second opinion on his injured left quad without the team’s knowledge — is becoming a distraction to a ball club that already has enough to worry about.

“Guys are just tired of it,” the player said. “The media circus that’s revolving around Alex is insane — and we haven’t even seen him. It just keeps going. It’s like a carousel that just keeps going around and around and around. At some point, it has to stop.
“I would like his bat in the lineup. We could obviously use it because the potential for some home runs would help us a lot. But with the circus that’s surrounding him right now, I don’t think anybody wants that.”

Publicly, A-Rod’s teammates have been vague, but supportive,  when asked about him — whether commenting on the quad injury that kept him from returning this week or his looming performance-enhancing drug suspension.

But it's beginning to sound like more than just a few Yankees players won't be sympathetic to A-Rod's plight if he is found guilty of the PED charges.

“When it’s all said and done, you’ll hear more than enough comments from the guys in here,” the player said. “You’ll be able to write it for weeks.”

Ryan Braun left his Brewers teammates to answer questions for him on Monday, bolting from Miller Park before Major League Baseball announced his suspension. It has been the same way for the Yankees, who have had to constantly answer for A-Rod, who hasn’t commented about his latest PED scandal, involving his reported links to the Biogenesis clinic, while rehabbing from hip surgery and taking a tour of the Yankees’ minor-league system.

"I don’t think he handled that the right way," added the player. "He adamantly denied it, and it turns out he was lying. It’s going to haunt him through his whole career. That’s something he’s going to have to deal with the rest of his life. If it turns out to be the same with Alex, they’ll both be in the same boat."

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