From the drawers of the Top Secret Fyles:
During the 1989 baseball season, all the talk centered around Pete Rose and his betting on games.
Now, 25 years later, the 2014 season will be clouded by disgraced New York Yankees star Alex Rodriguez and his use of performance enhancing drugs.
The embattled third baseman, 38, is preparing a lengthy, legal battle against Major League Baseball after Saturdays decision by an arbitrator to sit out the entire upcoming season. He should be happy the suspension was reduced from 211 games, initially set by MLB Commissioner Bud Selig, to 162 games.
A-Rod, who will lose more than $22 million this season, plans to go to federal court, seeking an injunction and reversing the decision. A-Rod announced Monday that he suing MLB and the players union.
Is he later planning to sue the Hall of Fame when he realizes he wont be entering? This is the start of utter madness.
A-Rod was one of 14 players named in last years Biogenesis report, naming athletes who tested positively using PEDs. The other 13 players, including 2011 National League MVP Ryan Braun, served their suspensions and now can return.
Whats A-Rod planning to do? The bet is on that he plans to turn his legal battle into a public relation circus determined to seek vindication against Selig. Though Selig has plenty of quirks, he does genuinely care about baseballs integrity.
Lets hope A-Rod doesnt show up at the Yankees spring training home in Tampa, Fla., enjoying batting practice.
A-Rod who already admitted using PEDs while with the Rangers from 2001-03 basically hates MLBs drug-testing policy and claims he is a victim of a witch hunt. When players test positive for drug use, consequences follow.
Behave because the rewards are so much richer.
With A-Rod claiming he is being singled out, his actions are turning off the players union. Opponents and even A-Rods Yankee teammates are quickly becoming alienated.
The Yankees need to buy out the remaining three years of A-Rods contract because he is nothing more than an albatross.
They also have to find a third baseman for 2014, like a quick-fix such as Mark Reynolds (who played for N.Y. in the second half of last season) or aging Michael Young.
The Yankees are determined to get below the $189 million salary cap for this season (not counting with what happens with Japanese star free-agent pitcher Masahiro Tanaka).
They can down the road sign a high-quality third baseman, such as Chase Headley or Hanley Ramirez (both RBI producers), when they become eligible for free agency.
Richie Richs Top 10 in College Basketball: 1. Arizona; 2. Syracuse; 3. Wisconsin; 4. Michigan State; 5. Wichita State; 6. Villanova; 7. Ohio State; 8. Iowa State; 9. Oklahoma State; 10. Florida.
Times sports copy editor Richard Fyle can be reached at email@example.com