Report: Players want A-Rod kicked out of union, threaten to bean him on tense conference call
Hopefully, Alex Rodriguez isn’t surprised that MLB players have not reacted positively when they learned that the exiled ballplayer’s recently filed lawsuit which names the MLBPA as a defendant. If he is shocked, he is even more delusional than he seems. Which is a frightening thought.
Last week, Rodriguez sued both Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Association over an independent arbitrator’s decision to suspend the New York Yankees third baseman 162 games — the entire 2014 season, including any playoffs.
The 162-game ban was a reduction from the original 211-game suspension levied against A-Rod by Major League Baseball in light of his alleged involvement in the Biogenesis scandal.
A-Rod’s lawsuit attempts to overturn the suspension in its entirety and during a heated 90-minute conference call earlier in January, irate player representatives inquired whether it was possible to boot A-Rod out of the players’ union.
Via a fascinating Yahoo! report from Jeff Passan and Tim Brown:
On a conference call of perhaps 40 players and board members held Jan. 13 from 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m., outraged union members repeatedly requested that Rodriguez be expelled, sources said. Following a roll call of players present on the line, according to one participant and another familiar with the call, the first player to speak asked bluntly: Can we kick him out of the union?
Advised by union leadership that was not possible, more players nonetheless expressed the same opinion. Not a single member defended Rodriguez, one player said, in a forum where there are frequent disagreements.
“That’s what everyone was thinking,” the player said. “We wanted to get on this call and not let him back. [To say,] ‘This is our game and we don’t want you in it.'”
Even worse — for A-Rod, at least — is that players feel betrayed by his actions and some even hinted that a little on-field retribution may be in order.
“When he gets up to bat, you can hit him and hit him hard,” one player on the conference call told Yahoo Sports. “That’s what I’d do. He sued us. Jhonny Peralta and Nelson Cruz screwed up. You know what? They owned up to it. They took their medicine.
“[Rodriguez] needs to be scared of coming back and facing people he sued. If he can’t fear the wrath of getting kicked out or not being included, he’s going to be forced out.”
Not good. If Rodriguez wasn’t enough of a controversial figure among his MLB colleagues, his latest decision to sue the MLBPA — a move legal experts argue was necessary if he had any hopes of overturning his suspension — has turned him not only into a turncoat in the eyes of his fellow ballplayers, he now in all likelihood will be viewed as pariah, an enemy, a traitor if and when he ever has the guts to return to playing major league baseball.
If the vitriolic opinions expressed during the conference call are reported accurately, one has to wonder why A-Rod would even consider coming back.
Oh yeah, because he is a egomaniacal narcissist. That’s right.