The Yankees would get rid of Alex Rodriguez if they could, but they can’t. Though A-Rod is suspended for the entire 2014 season, the Yankees don’t have the power to keep him away from spring training. MLBPA 1, sanity 0.
Absurd union rules prevent the Yanks from barring the embarrassing spectacle of A-Rod from coming to spring training, so the team may resort to the next best thing: forcing him to train with their minor leaguers.
Rodriguez is off the 40-man roster due to his suspension, which gives the Yanks the option of relegating him to their minor league facility rather than let him practice with his major league teammates.
Another option, if they really want to mess with A-Rod’s head, would be allowing him into their major league practices but ordering coaches and players not to work out with him. Basically, they could give A-Rod the silent treatment.
Either option would be incredibly humiliating. A lesser man would just say the heck with it and stay home from spring training, but A-Rod is tougher than that. He won’t let the threat of public embarrassment keep him from spring training.
He needs to get out there on the field again. Hear the crack of the bat. Feel the thud of the ball in his glove. Make sure he has plenty of media attention as he continues slamming Bud Selig and MLB for their “witch hunt.”
It’s easy to understand why the Yankees would want to keep A-Rod as far away from their current major leaguers as possible. The last thing those guys need is A-Rod turning spring training into a circus.
Unfortunately for New York, they can’t wave a magic wand and relegate A-Rod to the netherworld. They have to put up with him and somehow try to contain the insanity. Relegating him to the minor league facility may be the best choice, short of tying him up and stuffing him in an equipment shed for the duration.
Not to give them any ideas.