Between now until his contract ends after the 2017 season, Alex Rodriguez could make nearly $125 million in salary from the New York Yankees.
He should leave every last penny of it on the table and retire. And none of us should give him an ounce of credit for that eighth-of-a-billion dollars he’d be forfeiting.
At the risk of being chastised as a hopelessly misguided, Pollyana-esque, buffoon, I’ll simply say it’s the right thing to do.
The only thing to do.
For once in his career, A-Rod should do the right thing. Instead, he’s appealing his suspension and will be an embarrassment to the Yankees and the league for the rest of the season.
In short, he’ll demonstrate again why, in a Sports Illustrated poll, he was the landslide winner on the phoniest player in the big leagues.
If you’re injured, you have every right to take all the money, even if you’ve withered away into a .260-hitting, 15-homer, 38-year-old with no range. And, like Rodriguez, batted .120 (3 for 25) with no RBIs last postseason, including 0 for 18 with 12 strikeouts against right-handers.
But that’s not the case here.
MLB and most every sane person believes he’s broken all the rules, lied and cheated, covered up and misled and taken every performance-enhancing drug and masking agent under the sun. He’s alleged to have taken 19 different drugs.
Think about that ... 19 drugs.
His fighting MLB is pathetic even by his loathsome standards. A-Roid and A-Fraud are more than nasty tabloid headlines. They couldn’t be more apt.
Legally, he could accept his 211-game suspension (about $33.5 million in salary lost) and the Yankees would still owe him about $91 million plus whatever percent of his $30 million in bonuses he might make for career homers 660-763. He currently stands at 647.
But it’s that union mentality of taking every last crumb that is so galling. He’s made his money, $353 million in salary alone. At this point, its basically stealing. Dirty money for a dirty player whose greed knows no bounds.
Sure, the Yankees can afford it. Nobody is going to weep for billionaire owners. But A-Rod just continues to thumb his nose at the sport and those who play clean.
How pathetic are those home run bonuses, which were signed before the game was forever tarnished by the steroids scandal. So the 763 would beat Barry Bonds’ record. Bonds, whose grotesquely swelled head (literally, not figuratively) could be the symbol of the “steroid era.”
That swelled head will be replaced by a different kind of swelled head. A-Rod’s massive ego.
Lie and cheat in football and I’ll forgive you. NFL players are freakishly big and play through inhuman amounts of pain. We all get that it might take “a little something extra” to play in the NFL. I don’t begrudge those guys a penny.
Baseball is different. Commissioner Bud Selig is trying hard to put the black eye of the steroid era in the rearview mirror.
Sadly, A-Rod will be a constant reminder.
Follow Michael Muldoon on Twitter under the screen name @MullyET.