Well, consider it a closed chapter to an unnecessarily elongated saga, but today, Alex Rodriguez dropped his lawsuits against MLB and the MLBPA (the players’ union) in regards to the Biogenesis case. MLB released a statement confirming this decision:
We have been informed that Alex Rodriguez has reached the prudent decision to end all of the litigation related to the Biogenesis matter. We believe that Mr. Rodriguez’s actions show his desire to return the focus to the play of our great game on the field and to all of the positive attributes and actions of his fellow Major League Players. We share that desire.
Rodriguez’s attorney (or at least the main guy of a cache of attorney on his payroll) also confirmed that Rodriguez won’t be at Spring Training this year, contrary to some earlier assumptions that he might due to his suspension on applying to regular season games. But Rodriguez removing himself from the drama that always is the Yankees camp (even more so when there’s such an interesting bit of journalism) is actually seen as a sign that he is instead choosing to accept the ruling, move on, and focus on the future, which I think is the best case scenario for everyone in the long-run.
It should be worth noting that Rodriguez’s suit against Yankees’ team doctor Dr. Ahmad and New York Presbyterian Hospital is still ongoing because it has nothing to do with the Biogenesis matter. To recap that issue: Rodriguez accused Dr. Ahmad and the hospital of malpractice for not catching the hip issue that he says affected his playing in the 2012 postseason and eventually needed surgery following that season, causing him to miss more than half of the 2013 regular season. Again, as this has nothing to do with the Biogenesis case, this suit is still in the court system. Only time will tell how this unfolds.
In his place, the Yankees are set to use new acquisition Kelly Johnson at 3rd base, rotating in a platoon of Eduardo Nunez, Scott Sizemore, and Dean Anna. And then again, anything can happen during Spring Training, so it’s technically still anyone’s guess who will play 3rd this year, almost too reminiscent of 2013 already.
And the Yankees announced today that they will do their official “Welcome to the Yankees” press conference for pitcher Masahiro Tanaka on Tuesday at Yankee Stadium before he heads down to Florida to report in on Friday. Like Ellsbury, McCann, and Beltran before him this year, it will be Tanaka’s turn to shine, don his own pinstripes, and talk about what is expected of him and what he expects of himself. Tanaka joins a distinguished line of Japanese heroes to make a splash in the Bronx, some of whom were his own heroes growing up, so I’m guessing being a Yankee like Matsui and Ichiro might come up at some point. And rightly so. I’m looking forward to seeing Tanaka don the pinstripes and go from being a “Japanese wunderkind” to a New York Yankee and learn that “once a Yankee, always a Yankee”.