Hal discusses A-Rod for first time since suspension

Game times, ESPN Sunday Night Baseball broadcast schedule announced
A-Rod speaks for first time since suspension, says it "could be a big favor" from MLB
(Mike Stobe/Getty)
(Mike Stobe/Getty)

It has been four pretty chaotic days since Alex Rodriguez‘s record 162-game suspension was announced. Alex is suing pretty much everyone and doing his best to burn every last bridge. It’s exhausting to follow, really.

Aside from a generic statement issued following the announcement of the suspension, the Yankees have not publicly discussed the matter. At least not until Wednesday. At the quarterly owners’ meetings in Arizona, Hal Steinbrenner commented on A-Rod and his status with the team following the suspension. As you might expect, he didn’t say anything too juicy. From Ken Davidoff:

“He’s a great player,” Steinbrenner said in the Yankees’ managing general partner’s first public comments since independent arbitrator Fredric Horowitz reduced Rodriguez’s suspension from 211 games to 162 games. “I have not thought about 2015, nor am I going to right now. My focus has to be right now. But when he’s on and when he’s healthy, he’s obviously an asset. We’ll see what happens.”

“Those of you that know me, I’m pretty objective in my thinking. This is business. I’m just focusing on the team, a player. Is the player an asset to the club or not? That’s about as far as I look. I don’t get personal … When Alex Rodriguez is healthy and himself, I think most objective baseball people would say he could be an asset to a club.”

Hal didn’t exactly say they would welcome A-Rod back following the suspension but he didn’t completely take it off the table either. I don’t expect them to bring Rodriguez back in 2015 — I do think they’ll release him at some point, but what do I know — but there’s no reason for Steinbrenner to come out and announce their plans now. Especially not with lawsuits pending and all that. There’s nothing to gain.

One thing Hal did acknowledge was talking to MLB about a way to keep A-Rod away from the team during the Spring Training, or at least the intent to the talk to MLB. “We haven’t even talked about it,” he said. “Cross that bridge when we come to it kind of thing. We’re going to reach out to [Major League Baseball], get their advice obviously, but haven’t even addressed it.”

The whole Spring Training thing is fascinating to me. I want to see how they’ll keep him away or how the team will treat him during camp if there’s no way to stop him from showing up in Tampa. Either way, I don’t think it’ll be easy or pretty. None of this has been.

email
Game times, ESPN Sunday Night Baseball broadcast schedule announced
A-Rod speaks for first time since suspension, says it "could be a big favor" from MLB
  • dkidd

    the more hal paints himself as this objective businessman, the more i suspect he’s just not very bright

    • Delbert Grady

      I really feel like if Hal ever encountered loud boisterous Yankee fans the first words out of his mouth would be, “settle down children…settle down”.

  • Eddard

    MLB needs to provide security to help keep A-Rod from infecting the rest of the team. Of course they should release him. A-Rod should never play a never day in a Yankee uniform. I was elated that the judge suspended him the entire year. It frees up some cash and gets rid of a locker room cancer all in one fell swoop.

  • leftylarry

    I’m not an AROD fan but can see no good season to just cut him and greatly doubt it will happen.

    Just what the Yankees would want, AROD is cut, Yankees pay him 60 million and somebody in the EAST signs him as a DH and he hits .270 with 27 hR’s and 95 RBI’S and beats us for a playoff spot by a game,

    Makes no sense for him to be cut and if he stays in shape, continues to work and hit, no reason a guy with a million atbats and 600 HR’S wouldn’t come right back and have a decent season.

    I never wanted to give him the contract extension and never loved his game in the clutch or his overall act but no way would I or the Yankees cut him if he’s healthy and ready to play.JMHO.

    Cooler heads will prevail if he can still play.

    • Laz

      Right. He is overpaid, but that is history. Sunk cost, the only thing now to do is make the best of it. He can hit 60 hr before they have to give him the second bonus, and they have him for 3 years. That is a pretty good price for a decent dh if he is truly healthy, just call it $2M a year, for 3 years, if he is healthy enough to be hitting the 20 hr to get the 2nd bonus, then honestly he would be worth the cost.

    • El Maestro

      Absolutely. I just can’t see why the yanks should buy him out. Only if they reach an agreement where Alex leaves 10 or 15M I would consider releasing him, and even there I think I wouldn’t do it, and why should he? He has the yanks on the hook for all the remaining money, and I think he will try to end his career in a different fashion. The guy still loves to play.

      If he remains healthy and productive he will be with the team in 2015.

      • Old Man

        Correct. He’s a Yankee. The Yankees own him and all his bullshit. Let him come to spring training, don’t see it’s a big deal. i understand the media disruption, but this a pro ball club from NYC – they better get used to the disruption anyway – good training. Even he’s only there to help some of the new players get used to things Yankee, might as well get some bang for the buck.

      • Jorge Steinbrenner

        Agreed.

    • Long-Past-His-Day-Rod

      You really believe a 40+ year old player with an entire year off is going to come back and post a .270, 27 HR, 95 RBI line? Or that he’d be healthy for long enough of a season to put up those numbers?

      I personally don’t think they’ll bring him back. However, as a Yankees fan, if it looks like it will benefit the 2015 team to have Alex on the roster then I hope they keep him. I just think .270/27 HR/95 RBI is an ultra-optimistic bordering on irrational projection for a player in his situation.

  • Holy Ghost

    Hal is keeping his options open.

    If prior to the 2015 season the Yankees still have a hole at 3rd base I don’t think an A-Rod return is as unlikely as it seems today.

    • RetroRob

      Exactly. They probably have no idea themselves what they’ll do a year from now. It’s the media and fans that will debate this one back and forth without any skin in the game. Hal has $61 million, and A-Rod brings ratings, he brings people to the Stadium, and if a year from now they don’t have a better option at third, they’re not going to cut him.

      • I’m One

        If they don’t have a better option at 3rd or DH, they’ll strongly consider bringing him back. Teix will most likely need some DH reps, but he won’t be a full timer there. I can see this going either way with A-Rod in 2015.

  • Laz

    I don’t see them cutting him yet. There is no need to make up the decision, Arod still provides value, and they already have to pay him. If he turns into an Ichiro they will probably cut him, but if he can regain some of his form, then I see no reason.

  • Jorge Steinbrenner

    Is there some sort of MLB rule prohibiting actual robots from owning teams?

    • mustang

      LOL.

      He is the furthest from his father as one can get and that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

    • HAL (9000) Steinbrenner

      Ha. Ha. Ha. Very funny brother Jorge. But father was George. Non-sequitur. Does not compute.

      • Jorge Steinbrenner

        GS3 nailed some sort of ship-building machine one lonely night in Tampa.

    • RetroRob

      Clearly the answer is no.

  • Pinkie Pie

    “Those of you that know me, I’m pretty objective in my thinking. This is business. I’m just focusing on the team, a player. Is the player an asset to the club or not? That’s about as far as I look. I don’t get personal … When Alex Rodriguez is healthy and himself, I think most objective baseball people would say he could be an asset to a club.”

    That was one of the emptiest statements I’ve ever read in my entire life.

    • jsbrendog

      he must have learned from jeter

      • Kiko Jones

        Ha! Good one.

  • Delbert Grady

    Hal is the new stadium. Vanilla. Vacant. Soft Spoken. Granted, most owners are not engaging. It’s just a shock to our system than he’s not cut from the same cloth as the old man. While Hank was cut from that cloth, it was at a bizarre angle. Our payroll would be 500 million with Hank in charge. It would be a lot more entertaining than seeing them pinch pennies, dumpster dive and talk of “process” instead of progress. This methodical thinking man’s approach bores me. I’d rather have the guy who tries to buy all the players than the guy who tries not to pay a penny more than market value.

    • Dalek Jeter

      I’d bet anybody any amount of money that if Hank was the leading owner the Yankees would look a lot more like the 80s Yankees then the 2000s Yankees and we’d rarely (if ever) see those glorious late 90s years.

      • nsalem

        If George wasn’t suspended the late nineties along with the 4 titles would probably never have happened.

        • jsbrendog

          this. this is the most important thing that people forget. george really had absolutely nothing to do with the dynasty other than agreeing to sign the checks to keep those guys that michael drafted in town and bring in the accoutrements.

        • Steve (different one)

          They also forget that it was being horrible in the early 90’s that allowed them the 6th pick in the draft to get Jeter.

    • Jorge Steinbrenner

      Vacant?
      500 million?

      Son, that is some shit you are smoking.

    • Jim Is A (Bored) Peckerhead

      Progress without process is called luck.

    • Jorge Steinbrenner

      “This methodical thinking man’s approach bores me.”

      We’d like to see a copy of your credit report, Mr. Grady.

      • Mike HC

        You haven’t lived into you filed for Chapter 9.

        • Mike HC

          *until

  • Kiko Jones

    All of you guys have made some good points re The Boss vs the kids. But regardless of where the payroll or the team’s record would be on his watch, I can’t help but think it would be a whole lot more fun with Hank at the helm. Or at least, it wouldn’t be boring, heh heh.

    • Jorge Steinbrenner

      I’d rather have Hal in charge, to be honest. Loud and boisterous posturing got this team nowhere outside of the Bronx Zoo.

      • Kiko Jones

        Yeah, I know. You’re right.
        But how much fun was “The Bronx Zoo”? Awesome! heh heh

  • Hal-Rod

    ASSET? Think Hal meant Arod is a little asshole..hence Ass et

  • whitey

    Maybe he meant ass-hat

  • themgmt

    There is a 0% chance A-Rod is released. I state that unequivocally.

  • CONservative governMENt

    The Yankees at least had 1996 and the start of the dynasty before they started spending money like idiots. The Dodgers don’t have that ‘count teh rings’ to fall back on.

    I still think the Yankees lost their way when they signed Giambi with Nick Johnson waiiting and ready. Things could have been so much different. More beautiful.

  • TWTR

    I haven’t had many positive things to say about how Hal has run the team, but his handling of this interview was excellent.

  • Mike HC

    I came out of this liking ARod a little more and disliking Selig and MLB a lot more. I think Hal and the Yanks have been smart to take a more objective stance in all this, and in general, I think Hal and the Yanks came out of all this looking ok as well.

  • John C

    NO reason to release Arod right now. He is already suspended without pay for this coming season. Maybe he screws up again somehow this year with all this time on his hands, somehow breaches his contract again and gives Yanks a reason to try and void the rest of the deal, or baseball to impose further sanctions against him. You never know. NO reason to make that decision right now.

    • Jim Is A (Bored) Peckerhead

      Don’t worry, they won’t. It’s just idiot fan talking points.

  • Derek Jeter

    THEY SHOULD NOT RELEASE HIM!! This idiot(A-Rod) has a whole year off with nothing to do. What happens if he blows out his knee surfing or something else his contract does not allow. The Yanks can then void his contact and the remaining money. If he’s allready released, they have to pay him. Releasing him now is not a good financial decision, releasing him right before 2015 season would make more sense.

    • Steve (different one)

      Or he gets caught with PEDs again….I’m guessing another incident would be a lifetime ban.

      I would LIKE to think he is smart enough to finally stop PEDs, but….

  • King of Fruitless Hypotheticals

    Does he get tested for PEDs while on suspension? I’m thinking he can get ripped and ready for next season, take some time off and maintain his strength while building more flexibility, then get tested, be clean, and hit 50HR…

  • WayneD

    Mike, you’ve several times now in different forums that you think the Yankees will release A-Rod at some point. Frankly, I think it’s amazingly naive to imagine the Yankees will eat about $61 million without any return whatsoever. That’s simply not realistic. I think it’s far more likely that one of the following will happen:

    1) A-Rod will be on the team through much of spring training in 2015. Then, if he has a good spring, the Yankees will see if any team is will to take him for a middling prospect and assume $7 to $10 million of his salary for the next three years, saving the Yankees between $21 and $30 million.

    2) If there are no takers for A-Rod, he’ll make the team because they have no third basemen on their major league or minor league rosters who can assume the position in a really meaningful way. (And, no, you cannot count on signing Chase Headley next offseason, unless you’ve already forgotten about loosing out in the Cano sweepstakes.)

    3) A-Rod attempts to come back in 2015 and determines that he’s physically unable to play and some or all of his remaining salary will be paid by whatever insurance company the Yankees took out a policy on A-Rod with.

    4) The Yankees reach a settlement with A-Rod that pays him about $25 million, and he retires from baseball to be a full-time businessman and bad-boy celebrity.

    Frankly, I hope A-Rod wins his federal suit if it gets heard for three reasons: 1) Selig is an even bigger liar and hypocrite than A-Rod; 2) It’s contrary to the American justice system to pay for evidence, such as the documents MLB bought to use against A-Rod; and 3) Our current third basemen are woefully lacking in real major league ability.

    • WayneD

      The first sentence should read “Mike, you’ve said several times now . . .” Sorry, for the omission.