Another Ride on the A-Rod Merry-Go-Round

Saw doc without Yankee permission

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    NEWSLETTERS

    AP
    New York Yankees' Alex Rodriguez

    It looks like we can't close the book on Alex Rodriguez's awkward dealings with the public and, especially, the media quite yet. Last year's smooth sailing has come to an end thanks to a Canadian doctor, an unauthorized visit and A-Rod's silence on something that only gets more curious with every passing day.

    The big news Monday was that Canadian doctor Anthony Galea admitted that he treated A-Rod last year as he rehabbed after hip surgery. That's significant because Galea is currently being investigated for distributing human growth hormone after his assistant was caught at the border bringing the drug into the U.S. late last year. The investigation has led the FBI to interview Carlos Beltran and Jose Reyes about their dealings with Galea, who also treated Tiger Woods, who might actually appreciate the distraction. 

    It's believed that A-Rod will also meet with investigators, although he's been coy about any details other than a willingness to talk. His silence is already creating more trouble as the Yankees have made it clear that he was treated by Galea without their permission, which could be in violation of his contract.

    Here's what's known. Galea said that any HGH was for his personal use and that he's never given it to a patient. Beltran and Reyes both say they never got HGH from Galea. Galea says that A-Rod got anti-inflammatory medication for his hip, which is totally legal and would raise no red flags on its own.

    Now plenty of people would like A-Rod to just make a big statement and say all of the above. They'd like him to say that Galea's problems with the law began well after he treated A-Rod, so he had no earthly idea about anything having to do with HGH. They'd like him to apologize to the Yankees for handling things poorly and flagellate himself once more before critiquing his performance before the cameras. 

    The problem with that is that federal investigations tend to make people a little shy about speaking publicly. Whatever A-Rod's past with performance enhancers, it's not an admission of guilt that he isn't screaming from the rooftops about anything at this point. It's almost certainly on the advice of lawyers who would prefer that their client avoid a lengthy entanglement with the case. Once he talks to the feds, it's a good bet he talks to everyone else and this goes away as quickly as steroids did last year.

    The other stuff associated with this is a lot of sound and fury about nothing. No matter how little they might like him as a person or A-Rod's behavior in this specific instance, the Yankees aren't voiding his contract in March with a World Series title to defend. A World Series title they wouldn't have won without Rodriguez, whose biggest crime at this point was trying to get back as soon as possible to help the Yankees win that title.  

    Josh Alper is a writer living in New York City and is a contributor to FanHouse.com and ProFootballTalk.com in addition to his duties for NBCNewYork.com.