Wednesday, January 30, 2013

A Whole New Meaning to the Term A-Fraud

Pucker up
It's very rare these days to have a news story come out of nowhere and knock the public upside the head with a 20 pound sledgehammer. But that is exactly what happened yesterday when The Miami New Times News ran this Tim Elfrink story about an anti aging clinic in Miami. The story then exploded. His three months worth of research linked not only players that got busted last year for testing positive for heightened levels of testosterone in their system (Bartolo Colon, Melky Cabrera), but it also uncovered a few names that escaped any scrutiny. There was the "surprise shock" in seeing Gio Gonzalez's name attached to the report, there was the "kind of surprising, but not really unexpected" addition of Nelson Cruz, and there was the "damnit, we should've known he would be included" inclusion of everybody's favorite New York Yankee, Alex Rodriguez. Like clockwork, and just in time for baseball's new in season HGH testing program to go into affect, a PED scandal. Oh goodie.

Of course, that was yesterday's flavor. the onslaught of information, speculation and conjecture came from every baseball outlet. MLB Network stopped their regularly planned program to cover this breaking story. ESPN, I'm sure, said something about it, then they went back to drooling over NASCAR and Tim Tebow. It was impossible to escape what was happening. I wasn't even able to find solace or get sanctuary from firing up my old Friendster account as social media darlings had even taken to that platform to discuss, analyze and dissect how MLB players could be, um, well, stupid enough to trust someone like Anthony fucking Bosch.

Of course, we as a people are fickle these days. News becomes old in about 45 minutes, and we are off looking for the next thing that can raise an eyebrow or stir up some enlightening debate. People on Twitter went back to tweeting nonsense, people on Instagram went back to taking pictures of food and people went back to ignoring Friendster's existence. Everything went back to normal, or so it seemed. Just when you thought it was safe to venture back out onto the interwebz again, Ken Rosenthal went and decided that we not only had not had enough of this PED scandal, we also needed a new and illegal way of viewing Alex Rodriguez's tie into this whole mess. Suggesting a possible "out" for the Yankees using his hip surgery, and getting a Doctor to say that A-Rod can't continue playing due to the injuries leaving a bulk of the tab for the insurance company to pick up and saying:
The Orioles received similar benefits when Albert Belle was unable to play again due to a degenerative hip condition in 2000.
Say it with me Kenny, "A degenerative hip condition, in this case osteoarthritis, is not the same as a labral tear." Repeat that 10 times out loud, then write it down 100 times and turn it in after class. That's not where Mr. Short Stack kicks this whole thing off, but that is pretty standard knowledge. The only word that combines the two players is the word "hip." Apparently, our beloved bow tied reporter decided that even minimal fact checking was indeed not necessary before running this story. Let's continue.
The party line is that A-Rod will work his hardest to make a full recovery, just as he did after his previous surgery. But the landscape is different now — much different if Rodriguez indeed was using three substances banned by baseball, as shown by records obtained by the Miami New Times from Anthony Bosch’s anti-aging clinic.
Pretty standard for a team to tow that kind of line concerning their most expensive player. Sidebar, this is the second time that Rosey mentions A-Rod and PED use. I can't afford to install a ticker on the side of this post, so I will just point them out as they come along. Moving on. 
If Rodriguez used PEDs from ’09 to ’12 — after admitting that he used them from ’01 to ’03 — it would stand to reason that he is uncertain of his ability to perform without “assistance.”
That's three, and, no kidding. He's already leaped the first hurdle for PED users in garnering a ridiculously lucrative contract. Now comes the task of living up to said contract. Insert needle here.
A-Rod can attempt to go through his rehabilitation, then make the case that he is physically unable to perform. A doctor surely could make such a diagnosis quite plausible, given the weakened condition of Rodriguez’s two hips. 
 Ahem, weakened condition of one hip. His other hip has already been fixed via surgery, so it's not like he now has some sort of duck waddle type gait going on (although, that would be amusing). It's OK though Kenny, you already made something up once with the Albert Belle mention earlier, why stop now. And I'm sure the Doctor's, um, fee, wouldn't be too extravagant.
A legal fight could ensue, with the insurance companies contending that either A) Rodriguez could still play or B) that his use of PEDs contributed to his physical deterioration. But good luck trying to win either case. 
Yeah, because this would be an insurance company's, and their attorney's first trip around the fraud block.
For the Yankees, there would be no better way out. 
And, boom. You have now officially given the Yankees their only option, and it is to take an illegal route down fraud avenue. Well played.

He says later in the piece that the Yankees would get "significant pushback" from the MLB Players Union if they were to simply try to void his contract on the grounds of A-Rod using PED's. The same Union that has now given the OK to implement in season blood testing for Human Growth Hormone. I find this very hard to believe that the MLBPA would come so far to improve it's public image where PED's are concerned only to turn around and then fight for a player who had just recently, and very publicly, been ousted for not only using enhancers, but lying about not using them since 2003 when he got ousted in 2009 for the same fucking thing!

For a small man, you have quite the reach Mr. Rosenthal. A-Rod has quite a few nicknames among non-Yankee fans (A-Roid, A-Fraud, etc.), but he will get a new one thanks to Matt Sussman and what he said on the twitter machine this morning:

I will say this however, if the Yankees were to go and try to pull this off, and then succeed in doing so. I will henceforth be contracting myself out to homeowners who own abandoned buildings. If they can pull off a heist of an insurance company to the tune of $134,117,647.06, I doubt any insurance company is going to be upset about paying out a few thousand dollars for a building burning down that hadn't been used in the last handful of years.

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