A couple of days ago Yankee general manager Brian Cashman acquired the most recent replacement for Alex Rodriguez at third base: Chase Headley. During the off season Cashman foolishly signed free agent Jacoby Ellsbury to a huge seven year contract.
In 2012 Headley got my attention when he hit 31 home runs and led the National Conference in RBI with 115; he finished fifth in MVP. I don't recall that I knew who he was, so I looked him up. His previous high in homers was 12 and he was already 28 years old. I was suspicious and thought he was a player to avoid. In 2013 he hit 13 homers and 7 so far in 2014. Yet Cashman just traded for him.
In 2011 Jacoby Ellsbury hit 32 homers at age 27. Previous high 9. Subsequently: 4,9,8.
Yet as far as we know neither Cashman nor any of the Steinbrenner kids even considered asking Major Baseball League (MBL) commissioner Allan Huber "Bud" Selig to commute the full season performance enhancing drugs (PED) suspension of Rodriguez. Headley will cost the Yankees $3 million for the remainder of the season. Rodriguez would cost considerably more. But since the Yankees blew past their briefly held objective of getting under the soft salary cap with the signing of Ellsbury, Brian McCann and Masahiro Tanaka, you'd think that paying Rodriguez would be a minor consideration given their stated commitment to qualify for the tournament no matter how much they need to patch up their group of old and/or first time Yankee players.
Yesterday the Yankees played game number 100: 52 wins, 48 losses. Obviously, that means that Rodriguez has now served 100 games.
Nelson Cruz and Jhonny Peralta each served 50 games in 2013. Rodriguez has served 100% more.
Ryan Braun served 65 games in 2013. Rodriguez has served 54% more.
Cruz and Braun were 2014 All Stars.
Ryan Dempster deliberately threw at Rodriguez multiple times in a game in August 2013 because Dempster did not like that Rodriguez was playing during his appeal of his original 211 game suspension. Dempster was featured on TV last night as an employed analyst on Selig's MLB Network.
What purpose is being served by continuing the punishment of Rodriguez? Is it merely so Selig gets his pound of Rodriguez flesh?
The quality of mercy is not strained: commute the sentence of Alex Rodriguez. Monday, March 10, 2014
It may not be a coincidence that the original punishment of Rodriguez extended through the entire 2014 season. Subsequently, Selig announced his retirement effective January 2015. The banishment of Rodriguez meant that Selig would never have to deal with him again. The return of Rodriguez would be a problem for the next commissioner.
Asking Selig to voluntarily engage Rodriguez again requires uncommon character, which I have yet to observe in Selig. Maybe Selig should learn from Shakespeare's "The Merchant of Venice".
Bud Selig, do the right thing: free Alex Rodriguez! He's been suspended 94 games! Friday, July 18, 2014
The issue is basic fairness, not whether you like Alex Rodriguez or Bud Selig or the Yankees. It's the good old American sense of fair play.