Maybe he finds a legal avenue back to the field. Maybe he barges into training camp, makes a spectacle of himself. Maybe he spends the summer on an endless loop, ascending and descending courthouse steps, lawyers in tow, smiling, waving, tan.
For it is a dire day when the inevitable comes, when the game goes away, when the infamous Tony Bosch releases a statement that comments on your misfortune, when the people who really believe in your cause wouldn’t fill a good-sized banquet table.
His league has turned on him. His employer is over him. His union has done all it can. His lawyers are getting rich, an hour at a time. Well, richer.
So, Alex Rodriguez is in his element.
And this is all so terrible. Maybe not terrible, but sad. Certainly sad.
“The number of games sadly comes as no surprise,” Rodriguez said in his statement, “as the deck has been stacked against me from day one.”
He blamed the system and the witness. He said he’d fight for his fellow players. He said he’d be back.
But what exactly was day one?
Perhaps it arrived with his first big contract, the one that would make him wealthy forever and brought the consequences of expectations and scrutiny beyond any that had come before.
Day one may have been the moment a friend, or a teammate, or a cousin told him he could be better through science, through this stuff in a vial that nobody else had to know about. Or it was the moment he gave into it, to testosterone and Primobolan, more than a decade ago. Or the day the survey tester showed up holding a cup.
Maybe it was the morning he looked in the mirror and no longer saw the kid out of Miami by way of Washington Heights, but rather an aging superstar whose body and skills were becoming less reliable. Could he live up to the second big contract, here, in New York, in the shadow of men who’d become iconic?
Was it the day he met Bosch? Was it the day he might have chosen to go along with it again? Into the teeth of a toughened drug program and a more vigilant commissioner?
Was that day one?
Or, no, when the clinic and its proprietor were exposed, and he had no choice but to lie about his relationship with Bosch, and to hope it would all go away. But things don’t go away anymore. Not things like that.
Yes, the league would investigate them all, but then it was about one man, about Rodriguez. And, probably, that’s the day one he was talking about, the day they came for him, when everyone else had surrendered. He’s right, of course, the deck was stacked and he knew it, because he’d lived it, so he would not walk away clean. The day ones were adding up.
Personally I think this is about “redeeming” his legacy so he can be voted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. It’s about ego and legacy more than anything, even if he is delusional to think even if he wins, he will be in the Hall.
The real winners in all of this is the New York Yankees who will probably try to void his contract and have all of that money they could be paying to a broken down third baseman and distraction and can now use it on reloading and trying to get back into the playoffs.