MLB Suspensions: Should Yankees Play Rodriguez While He Appeals Suspension?
Yankees 3B Alex Rodriguez made his season debut last night against the White Sox as he appeals the 211-game suspension given to him by MLB, and while people have questioned whether the team should play Rodriguez during the process, the Steinbrenner family has a "fiduciary responsibility" to attempt to "win every game" they can, according to ESPN's Tony Kornheiser. ESPN's Michael Wilbon said the Steinbrenners are "competitive people ... and they want to win" ("PTI," ESPN, 8/5). Denver Post columnist Woody Paige said the Yankees should "not be playing him." Paige: "I don't think that you sit there and support his decision to want to play." Boston Globe columnist Bob Ryan said the Yankees "have the big picture, which is to get rid" of Rodriguez and "try to avoid paying as much money that's left on this contract." However, in the short-term, they "need him desperately" to produce on the field. The team currently sits in fourth place in the AL East, 9.5 games out of first ("Around The Horn," ESPN, 8/5). Meanwhile, MLB Network's Tom Verducci wondered if the team wants Rodriguez "back in a Yankee uniform" after he serves his suspension. Verducci: "If he’s out for a year and in ’15, if I’m the Yankees, I seriously have to consider about paying out the rest of his contract just to be done with him and move on from this" ("MLB Tonight," MLB Network, 8/5).
COMPARING APPLES AND ORANGES: MLB Network’s Jon Heyman said the 65-game suspension of Brewers LF Ryan Braun handed down two weeks ago by MLB was a “monstrous blow” to the Brewers and it has “affected the franchise.” Comparing the suspension of Braun to Rodriguez, Heyman said, “This is a much bigger blow to the Milwaukee Brewers to have this incredible talent and this incredible player, and now he’s tainted and he’s under contract for who knows how many more years.” Verducci added that Braun “was the face of the franchise, and still will be” when he returns next season. It is up to the Brewers to “see if they can get over the stain, the taint now with Ryan Braun” ("MLB Tonight," MLB Network, 8/5).