A-Rod’s Prospects After Steroids, Injury, Time Off, and 40: An Interview with an Expert Athletic Trainer and Champion Bodybuilder

Dos Equis commercials peddle their fictional man-of-many-feats as the “most interesting man in the world,” but my old friend Stu Yellin can give that old beer drinker a run for his money. I met Stu when we were 5; we spent much of the next decade getting each other in trouble in school, usually when one of us tried to make the other laugh in class by drawing pictures like Spider-Man beating up the teacher (an actual example of a drawing Stu showed me in 12th grade). My art skills never grew past middling (though I did just draw a decent Groot for my kids), but Stu became a major TV cartoonist, drawing the Colbert- and Carrell-voiced “Ace + Gary, The Ambiguously Gay Duo” for SNL, The Tick, and Lizzie McGuire. He then became an art teacher — before becoming a pro bodybuilder too. He got a very late start, competing only as of his early/mid-30s, yet won Pro Cards in various drug-tested federations (most notably the WNBF, the strictest one on substance abuse), and won first place as a middleweight in several “natural bodybuilding” competitions with tough drug testing.…

Read more

And Then There’s This…

The part of the A-Rod steroid re-shaming spectacular where he pisses on Cousin Yuri’s wall as a way to threaten him.  Via The Daily News:

“She [Sucart’s wife] said Rodriguez came to the Miami home Rodriguez provided to the Sucarts in 2010 and vowed to destroy the family if they went public with his use of performance-enhancing drugs. Then he urinated on the wall and the patio, she said, as if to mark the house as his territory.

‘He peed on the floor. He was so arrogant, he came into my house like he thought he was a god,’ Carmen Sucart said.”

I give up.  I’ve got nothing.  We’ve officially crossed over into Bizarro World and the offseason hasn’t even really gotten started.

Read more

Choo-Choo!! Time To Fire Up The A-Rod Hate Train Again

Alex Rodriguez Arriving at  MLB Offices  in NYC

Courtesy of Splash News

Alex Rodriguez‘s suspension has been lifted, he’s back on the 40-man roster, and he’s working out in preparation for his return to the field in 2015.  You know what that means, right?  Time for the New York media to get their collective A-Rod smear games back in action!  Yeah!!  Because a guy who’s already been outed as a steroid user for the better part of the last 15 years, targeted and treated by MLB and the media as the biggest PED offender in the history of organized sports, and had his reputation and credibility completely destroyed in the process obviously needs to be the focus of more steroid-related stories, right?

For instance, did you guys know that A-Rod paid off his cousin who was his drug handler back in the day to keep him from going to media and telling his story of Alex’s PED use?

“In court documents filed last week in Miami, federal prosecutors say Rodriguez paid $900,000 last year to settle a threatened lawsuit by Yuri Sucart, who had worked as Rodriguez’s personal assistant.

Read more

Was It Worth It?: Mark Teixeira

Teix Face

Seen way too much of this face the last few seasons. Courtesy of Getty Images

The biggest of the big anchor contracts in Yankeeland, the 10-year one for Alex Rodriguez, is cloudy in terms of the juice being worth the squeeze depending on how you factor in extra revenue and championships against all the negative headlines and declining production.  The next biggest deal, CC Sabathia‘s, was a little more clear in its worth.  Signing CC to lead a rotation desperately in need of an ace was the right decision.  It worked out splendidly for the first half of the contract before the decision to extend him was made and the move went sour thanks to injuries.

How about the “smallest” of the 3 contracts, Mark Teixeira‘s 8-year deal?  He signed it in the same offseason as CC, teaming up with him and the pitcher I’ve sworn never to name again to form the biggest Yankee free agent haul prior to last offseason.  …

Read more

Was It Worth It?: CC Sabathia

CC vs BAL 2012

The big fella in more dominating times. Courtesy of William Perlman/The Star-Ledger

The top prizes of this year’s free agent crop are 2 upper-echelon starting pitchers in their early 30s.  They’re going to command a lot of money and they could command a lot of years from whatever team eventually lands them.  The Yankees are not expected to be seriously in the running for those 2 pitchers, in part because they’re feeling the effects of their own-long term contract they gave out to an upper-echelon starter in his early 30s.  CC Sabathia has been the ace of the staff in name since signing before the 2009 season, and the ace in production from 2009-2012.  He’s on the books for the next few years and may not be able to pitch a full season or pitch at all again.  So was it worth it?

The Deal- 8 years/$186 million, with a $25 million vesting option or a $5 million buyout for 2017.  …

Read more

Was It Worth It?: Alex Rodriguez

A-Rod WS Parade

Insert joke about A-Rod being the devil here. Courtesy of Getty Images

Long-term contracts.  They’re the worst nightmare of owners, general managers, and fans alike, and no team in MLB is feeling the negative effects of them right now more than the New York Yankees.  It’s why they let Robbie Cano walk, it’s why they want to get under the luxury tax threshold to avoid paying so many extra tax dollars, and it’s why they’ve floundered at, around, or slightly above the mediocrity line for the last 2 seasons while still boasting annual payrolls north of $200 million.

When the offseason began and we threw the line out for post ideas, one of the reader suggestions was an analysis of the team’s long-term contracts and whether the players’ production in the early part of the deal was enough to make it worth it when they fell apart at the end of the deal.  This week I’m going to attempt to perform that analysis on the 3 big deals currently weighing the Yankee roster and payroll down like old, expensive anchors: Mark Teixeira‘s, CC Sabathia‘s, and A-Rod’s.…

Read more

Report: A-Rod Could See Time At First Base Next Season

I know I’ve been beating the point about the Yankees needing a backup plan for Teix at first base into the ground, but this isn’t exactly what I had in mind.

Via Andrew Marchand, the Yanks may look to Alex Rodriguez as one of those backup plans.  Brian Cashman confirmed to Marchand that Joe has already talked to A-Rod about learning to play the position in preparation for his return from this year’s suspension.  According to Cash, this move is primarily driven by the team’s belief that A-Rod won’t be able to stay healthy playing third base.

“I don’t think it’s safe to assume that he can play third base.  With his age and missing a full year, you have to have some perspective. This is a very difficult game. Alex is up for that challenge, but I think it’s safer to assume that might not be something that he can handle the whole year.”

With A-Rod, Teix, Carlos Beltran, and Brian McCann, the Yankees have 4 guys who are going to need semi-regular time at DH next year.  …

Read more

Are There Issues In The Yankee Clubhouse?

Joe Presser vs BAL

The old “rip your team after they’ve already been eliminated from postseason contention” move, eh? Courtesy of Getty Images

Aside from Derek Jeter‘s final few games and the last honorary send-off he was given by the Red Sox and their fans this past weekend, the only other bit of noteworthy Yankee news came in the form of a possible locker room controversy.  On Saturday, Wally Matthews and Andrew Marchand of ESPN NY filed a story detailing a reportedly “scathing” locker room speech given by Joe to his team before Thursday’s home finale.  You can read the full story here if you haven’t already, but the overall gist is that Joe was “angry” and called his players out for lack of effort.  Here’s the money pull-out quote:

“According to clubhouse sources who were present for the critique, and backed up by interviews with more than a half-dozen players, most of whom spoke to ESPNNewYork.com not for attribution for fear of angering their manager, Girardi chided some players for being overweight and others for not being ‘hungry’ enough.

Read more

Quick Hit: Pineda Can’t Buy Run Support Right Now

Michael Pineda has made 9 starts this year.  He’s pitched exactly 50 innings in those 9 starts and allowed 11 runs (10 earned) in those 50 innings.  His consistency in limiting opposing lineups to 2 runs or fewer was noted by Katie earlier this morning, and his overall performance has re-inspired hope that he can become a strong #2 starter at the top of future rotations.

The only problem with Pineda’s performance this season, and it’s not even his problem really, is that it hasn’t led to very many Yankee victories.  Pineda has a 3-4 record and the team is 3-6 in his starts, mainly because the offense refuses to score runs for him.  In the 50 innings he’s pitched, the Yankees have scored 16 runs.  That number is bad enough as a standalone, but when you consider that 10 of them have come in 2 games and none have been scored in the last 2 it gets even worse.  …

Read more