Alex Rodriguez has a choice to make, and the ramifications from that choice will be felt for many years to come. A few recurring themes in Rodriguez’s career have come to a head and just might put an end to everything: PEDs, injuries, and the inability to prove his worth. With allegations closing in on A-Rod, he is seemingly left with two options:
1.) Retire, say his hip injury is career-ending. While there is certainly no glory to be had in this route, there is money, close to 100 million dollars to be more specific, 86 million to be exact. If a player is physically unable to perform, he is still entitled to collect the remainder of his contract. This happened in 2000 when Albert Belle retired, citing a hip injury, and collected the money left on his contract through 2003. Not only would this move ensure him of getting his money, it would partially shield him from the coming onslaught of criticism and anger that is sure to follow the impending Biogenesis scandal reports and subsequent suspension. A-Rod was one of the players listed as having received PEDs from the now defunct Biogenesis and its owner, Tony Bosch. The other big name on that list, Ryan Braun, was already handed a season-ending 65 game suspension.
Needless to say, this route destroys any glory, prestige, or honor still associated with Alex. If he follows this path he will always be viewed as a pariah and a villain, though many people out there already hold this opinion.
2.) Face the music, take responsibility, and do his time. Rodriguez is facing a minimum suspension of 50 games, and many people are reporting it will be more severe than that. This is definitely not the first controversy that he has faced in his career, but never have the obstacles loomed so large. Alex has reached that point in his career where his legacy is staring back at him with every passing day, there is no more room for error.
The pressure of his record 250 million dollar contract has long weighed on Rodriguez’s shoulders, and it was perhaps too much for anyone to live up to. What started as whispers in the streets of New York have turned into roars, Yankee fans see him as an embarrassment. But, what if, some way, somehow, he was able to make one more run at greatness, one more run at a World Series title? Would it erase all his past transgressions and mistakes? No, but it would take a layer off tarnish of a beaten-up career. It would show some heart, some guts, some personal pride.
So which way will Alex Rodriguez take? Slinking out the back door with a check in hand, or will he trudge along the tough road to redemption? Only time will tell, but whichever route he takes, history will be watching.
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