The A-Rod Scandal Never Materialized

Flap over visit from cousin fails to ignite

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    A-Rod can't bring the media circus anymore.

    The Daily News really thought they had something on Thursday morning.

    They splashed A-Rod on the back page and wrote a breathless article about how his cousin Yuri Sucart the steroid supplier was seen at the team hotel during the current road trip.

    Because Sucart is banned from any Yankee-related facility or function, Major League Baseball was investigating his presence.

    For those tired of contemplating Jorge Posada's future, this was like manna from heaven. A-Rod and his steroid mule of a cousin were back together just as Rodriguez was shaking off the effects of a long slump.

    You don't need a Pulitzer to connect those dots, baby! Forget about any science behind how steroids might work to help out a player, we've got ourselves reason to write about drugs in baseball and we'll be able to ride this thing at least until Jeter gets close to 3,000 hits.

    Alas, it was not meant to be. The "scandal" of Sucart's appearance on the road trip fizzled out after about eight hours when Major League Baseball quite reasonably ruled that neither the Yankees nor A-Rod was responsible for policing public areas and that there would be no further investigation or punishment.

    Maybe this A-Rod guy really is overrated. Back in the day, he could touch off a three-day media firestorm by ordering his eggs over easy instead of scrambled and now he can't even get people interested in fraternizing with someone readily described as being a steroid mule.

    Wallace Matthews of ESPN New York tried to give A-Rod a bit of a scolding in a column by arguing that it was bad judgment to hang with Sucart even if nothing untoward was going on. He undermines that point pretty seriously when he brings up Andy Pettitte's father, who was also his HGH mule, and stops short of accusing Pettitte of exercising bad judgment when he sees his father.

    The poor Daily News is trying to save their story -- the headline says MLB "can't" punish A-Rod which suggests an unmentioned desire to punish him -- but it was dead on arrival. And that status is a good sign for baseball.

    If baseball wants to argue that they have a testing system that works, it should not concern them in the least if A-Rod is hanging out with Sucart, Barry Bonds or the Russian doctors who tuned up Ivan Drago in "Rocky 4."

    Perceptions would be the counter-argument, but the league has to move past the bad old days at some point and this is as good a time as any other.

    Let's not cry over spilled milk about this, boys and girls. There's a homestand coming out and with this weather there's a good chance A-Rod will be shirtless in Central Park before long.

    Josh Alper is a writer living in New York City. You can follow him on Twitter and he is also a contributor to Pro Football Talk.