Great Moments in A-Rod: Everyone out to commit insurance fraud

Yanks can't overcome bullpen, fall 8-5 to Texas
Game 78: Rubber Game

It’s no secret that the Yankees and A-Rod are amidst a tenuous stretch in their tumultuous relationship. It’s been ten years since the Yanks acquired the star — ten years of playoff problems, opt-out operas, drug dramas. After 2007, the Yankees could have walked away from A-Rod, but the two sides just couldn’t quit each other. So here we are in 2013, and A-Rod, 38 next month, is under investigation for shady dealings with the Biogenesis clinic and trying to work his walk back from yet another hip injury.

The latest round of trouble began a few days ago on Twitter when A-Rod, instead of logging off, decided to post a note that his doctor had cleared his hip. The Yanks were supposedly eying a July 1 rehab date, and Alex seemed to jump the gun. It was innocuous enthusiasm from a player who could help his team, and it inspired Yanks GM Brian Cashman to say, on the record to ESPN NY, that Alex needs to STFU. Yesterday was a day of apologies wherein Cashman admitted to overreacting, and A-Rod clarified that he just wants to play.

Today, we have not one, not two, but three anonymously sourced articles all alleging that A-Rod, the Yankees or both are out to commit some form of insurance fraud.

ESPN NY:

NEW YORK — Alex Rodriguez believes the New York Yankees do not want him to return this season, and perhaps ever again, a source told ESPNNewYork.com. According to the source, Rodriguez thinks the Yankees are deliberately slowing his return to their active roster in the hope they can have him declared medically unfit to play this season, enabling them to recoup 80 percent of his $28 million salary through insurance.

Daily News:

According to sources close to the ongoing drama surrounding the star-crossed Yankee third baseman, Rodriguez and his advisers are so concerned that Major League Baseball’s drug posse is quickly closing in on him that they have racheted (sic) up the timetable for him to return to game action. Once he’s back playing in rehab games, the sources say, he could then claim he is physically unable to perform because of the serious hip injury he is recovering from, “retire” from the game, and still collect the full amount of his salary — $114 million over the next five years.

“It’s all about him getting his money and not losing it to suspension,” one source close to the situation told the Daily News. “He knows he’s never going to the Hall of Fame. All that’s left for him is to make sure he gets his money — all of it.”

One way to do that is for Rodriguez to return to game action, find he can no longer perform up to his standards, then retire before he’s hit with a suspension without pay. A player who retires because he is physically unable to perform, even if he’s later suspended, would still get the full amount of his contract.

The Post:

Alex Rodriguez informed Yankees officials in Tampa yesterday he isn’t ready to begin a minor league rehab assignment because his surgically repaired hip isn’t up to the task, a source told The Post last night…The source also said he has heard speculation Rodriguez could use the hip problem to retire. That would allow him to collect the $114 million owed to him. Should Rodriguez retire because of a medical problem, he would avoid a possible suspension by MLB in the Biogenesis mess. The Yankees would also be able to collect 80 percent of the $114 million from insurance.

This is, of course, tabloid drama at its finest. A-Rod and the Yanks had a disagreement in the middle of a time period where the Yanks are regretting handing out $275 million to a 32-year-old with baggage, and everyone is now trying to get back at everyone else. A-Rod, a fierce competitor, wants to get back on the field, and he wants his money. The Yanks, desperately in need of any offensive production, would love to escape A-Rod, but for better or worse, they need him if they want to stay in the playoff race. Generally, these stories strike me as a load of hooey.

What won’t happen, despite what various reports say, is a quick resolution to any of the medical drama unless it involves a quick rehab and return to the field for A-Rod. We’ve been down this road before where the muckrakers in the press allege some form of insurance fraud, and if the Yankees and/or A-Rod do plan to pursue a medical out, it won’t be leaked so publicly. For A-Rod to retire and for insurance to cover his contract, some very powerful insurance companies that don’t look kindly upon those who try to bilk them out of dollars will get involved. A whole slew of doctors will examine A-Rod, and policies will be combed through by the finest lawyers around. If ESPN NY thinks the Yanks want to get out of their contractual obligations due to PED concerns, just imagine how the companies that have insured the remaining $114 million on A-Rod’s contract feel.

Sports media will have a field day with this stuff today. The FAN was already all over last night before I went to bed, and as many say, where there’s smoke, there’s fire. But this isn’t even smoke. It’s a bunch of would/could/should that has no basis in the way baseball, business and the law work. A-Rod may be a pain that the Yanks want to rid themselves of, but it’s a marriage both partners need right now. No amount of anonymously sourced conspiracy theories can change that.

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Yanks can't overcome bullpen, fall 8-5 to Texas
Game 78: Rubber Game
  • http://wwww.twitter.com/matt__harris Matt :: Sec110

    Just devils advocate, if he was medically pronounced unfit to play, and insurance would cover the remaining salary, how does that go against the luxury tax number?

    Not asking because I think it will happen, just wondering what kind of language the CBA has for this sort of thing.

    • MB923

      I was wondering the same thing.

    • nsalem

      I have been told that the only way that the remaining money does not go against the luxury tax is for A-Rod to take voluntary retirement and forego his salary, There is no other way the Yankee’s can get out of his salary going up against the luxury tax. I don’t remember where I heard it and not 100% positive that this is true.

    • I’mVernonI’mVernon4U

      I could be wrong but I think if he’s medically unfit it would still count against the luxury tax cap. However, if the Yanks can somehow prove he is unfit due to steroid use, then the team will be off t he hook.

  • MB923

    smh

  • trr

    Who needs this “drama”?

    Like I said, he is like bad weather, nothing we can about it, just endure and wait for it to be over

    • http:/www.twitter.com/_swarlesbarkley Mark Teixeira – Ghostbuster (formerly Drew)\

      I would compare it more to prison rape.

      • Wil Nieves #1 Fan

        Bro, have you even been prison raped? Obviously not because if you had been, you would know that prison rape is much more preferable than A-Rod.

        • Heathcliff Slowcum

          What about being prison raped by A-Rod?

          • I’m One

            No big deal. All the years of steroid use have caused permanent dick shrinkage. However if you were to rape him, he’d rip your dick off with his butt muscles.

            • Adebisi

              IETC

            • Lukaszek

              Aaalrighty then

      • bpdelia

        Sigh I don’t know what pissed me off more. The off the cuff rape joke (Lolz! Rape! Tee hee hee) or the fact that I’m apparently the only one that is disgusted and saddened by a little sub thread of rape jokes. Dude lots LOTS of men and women have actually been raped. If five women read RAB odds are real good one has actually been,fucking raped. Also people are in fucking prison for weed or not telling a probation officer they moved and, while there, some get fucking raped too. Cut the bullshit assholes and grow the fuck,up.

        • Paco Dooley

          “grow the fuck,up” well said – but sadly, the RAB comments attract an immature readership – especially sad since RAB arguably has the finest writers focused on the NYY, but the comments can be painfully childish.

  • http:/www.twitter.com/_swarlesbarkley Mark Teixeira – Ghostbuster (formerly Drew)\

    Psshh Ben, what you study law or sumthn?

  • LK

    What a mess.

    • mustang (The Has Been & Wannabes Bunch 2013)

      No, Aaron Hernandez is a mess this just funny.

  • The Other Sam

    The Yankees got themselves into this mess. I believe the only legal and ethical way to handle it is to play him, for better or for worse, til the contract is done but for the sake of argument

    “They need him if they want to stay in the playoff race?

    Couldn’t they apply his money elsewhere to better achieve this end?

    • MannyGeee

      “Couldn’t they apply his money elsewhere to better achieve this end?”

      Like whom exactly? where is there any 3B in the Major Leagues that is available for trade (let alone money) that helps this team more than a healthy, albeit declining, A-Rod?

      I’ll wait.

      Author’s note: I completely agree with your first paragraph. The Yankees made this shitty bed, the ethical and legal thing is to lie in it. Suck it up and pay the man the money you foolishly decided he would be worth in a decade.

      • The Other Sam

        Doesn’t even have to be 3B. That money could be applied to playoff-potential improvement for just about any position. To say there isn’t a single player available for trade or cash kind makes Levine’s comments re the trade deadline pointless.

        • MannyGeee

          “We’re the Yankees,” Levine said. “We are always active. We are always trying to get better. I’ll leave that to [Brian Cashman] to see where the team is, what’s the best move, what do we really need, which players are coming back, when they are coming back”

          There is nothing in there saying the opposite of what I said. And truthfully, if the Yankees were going to make a deal to get better THIS season, A-Rods contract would not affect that.

    • bpdelia

      Exactly. It is what it is. Cry me a river over not wanting to,pay. Not one person on earth thought he would be worth that contract in 2014. Maybe it went off the rails a but early but, I mean “what! A 38 year old Alex Rodriguez won’t be worth the largest contact in baseball! We were ripped off! Waaa!” You,offered the contract. It actually hasn’t been a total disaster. Suck it up, behave ethically, pay the contract and harbor you’re regrets whilst quietly sleeping on your bed of money steinbrenner

  • mitch

    There’s nothing more annoying than Arod news…you’re guaranteed hours of unlistenable sports radio/tv talk

    • MannyGeee

      Try listening to Boston Sports Radio and listening to EVERY ex-con in the Greater Boston Area calling in to weigh in on their theories on the Aaron Hernandez issue.

      • Steinbrenner’s Ghost

        Did Whitey Bulger call in?

  • MannyGeee

    All great points Ben. This whole thing, just like EVERYTHING that has been A-Rod since he came to New York, has just been an insane swirl of dramatics and media whores being whorish.

    Go ask poker game players, muscular strippers, Madonna, Kate Hudson, Cameron Diaz, that chick from the 4th row with A-rods phone number, centaur artists, people who are jealous of Derek Jeter, A-Rods cousin, and Tony Bosch.

  • Different Josh

    Funny how the end game is the same for both (A-Rod being unfit to play) and yet the methods and consequences are radically different.

  • Dave m

    Welcome back Ben! Nice article

    • Gonzo

      I concur. Well worth the time. Good stuff.

  • Eddard

    At this point they need him so even I want him to come back. You saw how bad Nix looked yesterday and how Adams looks lost at the plate. A-Rod, Jeter, Grandy, Cervelli. These guys coming back are our only hope.

    • http://www.twitter.com/matt__harris Matt :: Sec110

      one of these things don’t belong…

      • mustang (The Has Been & Wannabes Bunch 2013)

        Me! Me! Me!

        Is it Cervelli?

  • Robinson Tilapia

    I’d rather talk about the trials and tribulations of Jayson Nix than this. However, any day that starts off with a Kabak post is a good day indeed. I’m glad he got some time off of digging tunnels for the Second Ave. line and/or Attica.

    • I’m One

      any day that starts off with a Kabak post is a good day indeed.

      Any day that includes a post from Ben is a good day, regardless of time. I enjoy reading Mike’s work, but we come here for differing viewpoints, either from the authors or from commenters.

  • Commenter From the Future

    A-Ha!!!!

    • Dr. TJ Eckelberg

      TAAAAAKE OOOOOOOOOONNNN MEEEEEEEEE

  • brian

    What’s amusing is that this current Yankee ownership group and Arod sooo deserve each other

    I’m on Arod’s side completely, and he’s one of the biggest scumbags I’ve ever had the pleasure of “rooting for”… that pretty much sums it up

    • Jim Is Bored

      I reserve scumbags for people who actually do terrible things.

      ARod is guilty of using PED’s, but besides that, he’s mostly guilty of narcissism. Annoying? Sure. Someone I’d never want to hang out with? Yep. But besides that, I’m happy to root for him when he’s healthy.

      • mustang (The Has Been & Wannabes Bunch 2013)

        Agree

        • mustang (The Has Been & Wannabes Bunch 2013)

          “Someone I’d never want to hang out with? Yep”

          The one part I disagree with I will be Alex’s wingman anytime.

          :)

    • http://www.twitter.com/matt__harris Matt :: Sec110

      guess you’re not a Pats fan…. #TooSoon?

  • steves

    I don’t understand how any of the leaked stories allege insurance fraud. Sounds more like “tabloid blogging” at its finest. Both Arod and the Yankees I’m sure fully understand that if Alex is unable to perform the insurance companies will not simply rollover but will exercise all their rights to confirm that Arod is physically unable to perform; if they have an out (for example if Arod’s self-inflicted use of illegal substances may have caused/contributed to the disability) they will seek relief on that theory. It will come down to a battle of medical experts and high-paid lawyers but fraud isn’t even remotely the issue here.

    • Westside Coach

      Arod may not want the lawyers getting involved. An investigation from the insurance company may result in legal action. If a civil suit happens then the will be discovery under oath. Not sure all involved would consider perjury an option. If Arod can’t play then he may look for a settlement for some of the $$, and not risk losing all of it, and/or a perjury charge.

  • cr1

    I made my usual lightning round of the usual founts of baseball news then as I clicked over to this site I had the lightning thought, Maybe this will draw Ben out of his lair…

    YES!!

  • LarryM Fl

    The more that you wish for something,the longer it takes to come about. This will get messier as the calendar sheds its days but Arod has some rights because of the CBA which he will invoke through his lawyers and the union at many dollars and hour.

    I can see this all going away if Arod can perform reasonably well at third and the plate. Most fans have short memories and all the ill will goes away if he can play until his next event.

    Its just F$$kin sad!

    • Jim Is Bored

      “Most fans have short memories and all the ill will goes away if he can play until his next event.”

      Ding ding ding ding!

  • Opus

    There could be a pile of crap on a thousand acres of land and Alex will find some way of stepping in it. But it’s gotten to the point where I feel sorry for him. He’s just going to be on the shit list for life.

    The Yankees’ public attempts of finding every creative way of voiding this albatross contract is pathetic. No one forced them to sign a contract that long for that much for a guy that had no bidders. Pay for your mistake. But the league wide collapse of these players with huge contracts will do nothing to dissuade the teams from giving them. If that’s how they’re gonna live, live with the realities these contracts bring.

    • Klemy

      Are they really the Yankee’s public efforts or articles, tweets, and blogs making guesses as to how they can get out of the contract?

  • dan

    So we can finally justify calling him A-Fraud if this happens?

    • MannyGeee

      Nope, but it won’t stop anyone.

  • Peter

    I have mixed feelings about this. On one hand the Yankees had the open door to walk away from this nonsense but much like a Stockholm Syndrome victim, they just couldn’t. In this context and the ridiculous amount of money they guaranteed in the second contract, leaves me with a bitter “they deserve what they get” thought. That is an awful lot of money to spend to get one decent post season from a guy who was an automatic to the Hall of Fame until he felt his natural talents weren’t enough to waste at the expense of filling holes.

    On the other side, I think it is absolutely shameful that the fish wraps continue to produce this type of nonsense can call it journalism. Even worse, when these fish hacks are called out for their lack of credibility to their profession (one they would state publicly is full of integrity and about the truth)they pull out a line of defense that sounds like a Donald Trump birth certificate rant.

    This is an unfortunate situation in both PR towards the Yankees and wasted dollars and resources. The Yankees drive to win and brought this type of nonsense to a head as they never seem to learn about over paying for past performance while conveniently disregarding the “ego baggage” that comes with prima donnas like ARod.

    Really makes one appreciate the steady stick to the plan model of the St. Louis Cardinals.

  • King of Fruitless Hypotheticals

    Please let him make it to the 9th inning of game seven, where he hits a TOWERING walk off GS and has to walk, then hop, then sit, dramatically, for almost a minute before he finally crawls to the plate dragging his leg behind him…

    • mustang (The Has Been & Wannabes Bunch 2013)

      THIS!!!!!

      A THOUSAND TIMES

      THIS!!!

    • Robinson Tilapia

      Wanting anything other than this would be completely un-Yankeelike.

      • trr

        I’m down with winning a game 7, but expecting A-rod to win it is like expecting elephants to fly…lest we forget, guy’s about as clutch as an automatic transmission

        • Improbable Island’s Dirty Midget Whores (formerly RRR)

          *Cough* 2009 *Cough*

          • trr

            The exception that proves the rule

            • trr

              Sorry folks, I’m just NOT feelin’ it today….
              I’ll butt out

  • mustang (The Has Been & Wannabes Bunch 2013)

    Ben writing a thread is the one good thing that came out of the dumbest “baseball” story ever.

    Missing dude.

    • mustang (The Has Been & Wannabes Bunch 2013)

      Miss you dude!

  • Matt Nokes

    I love RAB, but there is a trend forming…every time you call something a non-story it becomes a story.

    • Robinson Tilapia

      You’re just jealous because you got to catch during the ass years.

      • Matt Nokes

        WAS IT A NON-STORY WHEN I LANDED A PLANE ON A HIGHWAY? WAS IT A NON-STORY WHEN I HIT 24 HOMERUNS IN 1991? I don’t think so, bro.

  • Robinson Tilapia

    Who was the old school commenter who used to be a defender of “Alex being Alex?”

  • Fin

    This is Cashmans fault. He should know better than to respond like he did to the Media in NY. It certainly wasn’t going to lead to quiet in Yankeeland. If Cashman thought A simple tweet by Arod about his doctor clearing him to play was going to cause him headaches, what the hell did he think telling Arod to shut the F up was gona cause him?

  • http://www.penuel-law.com/ Cuso

    Now keeping in mind that there are 3 different conspiracy theories in the media that were generated by this topic, is it any wonder that Cashman told A-Rod to STFU (regardless if it was out-of-line or not).

    Cashman was stupid to have said it, yes. But he was not “wrong” to have said it.

    Now all these conspiracy theories are going to be headlines in every news outlet, regardless is there’s veracity to any of them.

    Yes, yes…A-Rod has the “right” to say that he’s been “cleared” by his doctor. Regardless if you want to believe it was a harmless tweet and done with no intent. It was stupid. Plain and simple it was stupid.