Up is down and down is up. After baseball fans learned earlier this week that New York Yankee megastar Alex Rodríguez had attended illegal high-stake poker games and that Major League Baseball was investigating ARod, Sports Illustrated reported yesterday that Rodríguez would not be suspended for his actions.
As SI.com’s Jon Heyman wrote:
Unless there is something more to this story — and MLB will indeed investigate — Rodriguez will not be suspended, people with knowledge of the situation say. He will only be warned and re-educated about how to stay out of bad situations.
Heyman concludes his piece with questions about the whole situation:
But when his name attracted the attention of sportswriters, Rodriguez publicist Richard Rubenstein told Newsday that A-Rod wasn’t at any of the card games. This seemed like a long shot, as Rodriguez loves to play cards (the Yankees warned him to stay away from New York poker clubs after he was seen at one in 2005). Then predictably, more confirmation came that he was indeed playing cards, which is no surprise since Rodriguez does play poker.
The new story by the publicist is that there are “factual inaccuracies” in the poker story. It appears that one inaccuracy is that Rodriguez didn’t participate in a poker game in a Miami hotel in November 2009. The publicist didn’t catalog what the “factual inaccuracies” were. The publicist also didn’t address his own factual inaccuracy claiming that A-Rod didn’t play in any of the games.
MLB is within its rights to tell one of its biggest stars to stay out of bad spots, but it’s doubtful that they can keep Rodriguez away from poker games. Rodriguez already is reportedly trying to line up games for this winter in Los Angeles. He has told people that he wants to play and that he’s going to be in L.A. because that’s where his girlfriend, actress Cameron Diaz, is.
It’s hard to imagine that baseball can make a big deal out of private poker games. And it’s hard to believe that it could dissuade Rodriguez from playing in these games. But it can try to warn him about the company he keeps.
It is clear to us that the MLB double standard once again applies when it comes to protecting a major MEGASUPERSTAR. So the whole morals clause in MLB no longer applies. Here’s a thought: get rid of it, and free Pete Rose! (and Shoeless Joe!)
In the meantime, we side with @lobstaman when it comes to ARod: