• MLB Investigating A-Rod (Again)

    Posted by on August 3rd, 2011 · Comments (26)

    Via ESPN.com -

    Major League Baseball is taking “very seriously” the allegations that Alex Rodriguez took part in some illegal, underground poker games, one of which reportedly turned violent, and he could face suspension if his participation in the games is confirmed.

    “We’re talking to people involved in the investigation and we’re taking this very seriously,” said an MLB executive who spoke to ESPNNewYork.com on condition of anonymity. “Because he had been warned about this before, I would say a possible suspension would be very much in play.”

    The allegations, first published by RadarOnline.com, are that the New York Yankees third baseman played in at least two of the games, one of which took place at the Beverly Hills mansion of a record executive at which “cocaine was openly used and a fight nearly broke out when one of the players refused to pay after losing “more than a half-million dollars.”

    According to the story, details of which were reportedly provided by another player at the games, Rodriguez “tried to distance himself from the game,” once the violence broke out.

    “He just shook his head, not knowing what the hell happened,” the whistle-blower revealed. “He didn’t want to deal with it at all. He was like, ‘OK, whatever. It’s your game.’ I would estimate A-Rod lost, like, a few thousand dollars that night. After everything that happened, he paid up and left.”

    In 2005, Rodriguez had been warned about gambling in underground poker clubs by the Yankees and by baseball commissioner Bud Selig, both of whom were concerned that possible involvement with gamblers who might be betting on baseball games could result in a Pete Rose-type lifetime ban from baseball.

    Various reports have the games under investigation taking place as far back as 2007.

    Although baseball’s investigation centers upon Rodriguez’s card-playing and he is not thought to have gambled on the outcome of any baseball games, the fact that he may have disregarded Selig’s warning is said to have angered the commissioner.

    MLB is also concerned that Rodriguez’s name will resurface in the ongoing federal investigation of Dr. Anthony Galea, the Toronto physician charged with smuggling human growth hormone and other illegal substances into the United States. Galea has treated numerous professional athletes, including Rodriguez and Tiger Woods.

    “It’s like there’s something new with him every day and it’s impossible to keep up with it,” a baseball insider said.

    Yup.

    Comments on MLB Investigating A-Rod (Again)

    1. August 3rd, 2011 | 6:12 pm

      If the allegations turn out to be true the Yankees should explore the possibility of voiding his contract. Enough is enough.

    2. JeremyM
      August 3rd, 2011 | 6:42 pm

      I’ve been an A-Rod fan, and maybe an apologist, but he only has himself to blame for this one. I can’t say I’m happy with him.

    3. Raf
      August 3rd, 2011 | 6:42 pm

      ESPN.com wrote:

      In 2005, Rodriguez had been warned about gambling in underground poker clubs by the Yankees and by baseball commissioner Bud Selig, both of whom were concerned that possible involvement with gamblers who might be betting on baseball games could result in a Pete Rose-type lifetime ban from baseball.

      That would explain his postseason performances, save for 2009. ^_^

    4. JeremyM
      August 3rd, 2011 | 6:43 pm

      That said, RAB raises a good point about the lack of action on DUIs involving players. I still say he should’ve known better- I don’t care about poker, but if he was told to stay away, then stay away.

    5. August 3rd, 2011 | 7:59 pm

      While some Rodriguez fans do not want to admit it, A-Rod, for many years, has operated with an attitude of “I’m a superstar and rules and/or normal social expectations only apply to mere mortals.” This is just another chapter in that book.

      So, I’m not shocked that he did something that MLB and/or the Yankees suggested that he not do…

      Will baseball do something here, considering that guys like Austin Kearns, Miguel Cabrera, Derek Lowe and Coco Crisp got busted for DUI and Bud did nada, publically, and, illegal underground poker games are, considered by some, to be a victimless crime? I dunno.

      I could see Bud and the boys putting Alex on Double Secret Probation with the hope that something comes up with Galea, or with Yuri Sucart, or something else ugly, and then they suspend him for failing, refusing, or neglecting to conform his personal conduct to the standards of good citizenship and good sportsmanship.

      Of course, the MLBPA would appeal such a move. That’s what they do.

      Then it will just be a battle to see how far Bud wants to push it.

      It’s just sad, to me, as a Yankees fan, that all this has to involve a Yankees player. But, that’s what you get with A-Rod. We’ve been seeing it in Yankeeland for 8 years now.

    6. Raf
      August 3rd, 2011 | 10:27 pm

      Steve Lombardi wrote:

      It’s just sad, to me, as a Yankees fan, that all this has to involve a Yankees player. But, that’s what you get with A-Rod. We’ve been seeing it in Yankeeland for 8 years now.

      Meh, we had Ruben Sierra and other Latino players messing around @ Jimmy’s Bronx Cafe, we had Luis Polonia cavorting with a minor, Pascual Perez showing up late to camp and shortly failing a drug test, Darryl Strawberry, Steve Howe, Billy Martin and their shenanigans, Steinbrenner and his shenanigans, etc, etc, etc…

      Maybe I’m just a bit jaded.

    7. August 3rd, 2011 | 11:31 pm

      Raf wrote:

      Meh, we had Ruben Sierra and other Latino players messing around @ Jimmy’s Bronx Cafe, we had Luis Polonia cavorting with a minor, Pascual Perez showing up late to camp and shortly failing a drug test, Darryl Strawberry, Steve Howe, Billy Martin and their shenanigans, Steinbrenner and his shenanigans, etc, etc, etc…Maybe I’m just a bit jaded.

      Sure, there have been Yankees in the past with an issue – Frtiz & Kekich, et al.

      But, none of them have the laundry list that A-Rod has put together…

      …playing poker in illegal clubs – twice, the 2006 feature in Sports Illustrated, caught cheating on his wife with a muscular stripper, wife wears a shirt to a game at Yankee Stadium which contains an obscene word, having an affair with Madonna, opting out of his contract in announcement by agent Scott Boras during World Series, caught using PEDs, the drama with his realtionship with Jeter, Anthony Galea, etc.

    8. LMJ229
      August 3rd, 2011 | 11:31 pm

      Steve Lombardi wrote:

      Will baseball do something here, considering that guys like Austin Kearns, Miguel Cabrera, Derek Lowe and Coco Crisp got busted for DUI and Bud did nada, publically, and, illegal underground poker games are, considered by some, to be a victimless crime?

      The Commissioner takes gambling alot more seriously than DUI. It may be a victimless crime to you and I but to Bud Selig it is a capital offense.

    9. LMJ229
      August 3rd, 2011 | 11:38 pm

      A-Rod is a magnet for controversy. He loves being the center of attention. That’s why he dates the women he dates, hangs out in Hollywood and South Beach, runs around with his shirt off, etc., etc. This is what you get with him – the good and the bad. We will put up with it as long as the good outweighs the bad. But how long will that last?

    10. Raf
      August 3rd, 2011 | 11:50 pm

      Steve Lombardi wrote:

      But, none of them have the laundry list that A-Rod has put together…

      I dunno about that, Billy Martin & George Steinbrenner are part of the list I mentioned. Rodriguez may be a lot of things, but convicted felon isn’t one of them. Neither has Rodriguez been suspended from baseball, twice. Rodriguez may have made some dumb decisions, but he wasn’t nearly the menace that a drunk Billy Martin was.

      LMJ229 wrote:

      The Commissioner takes gambling alot more seriously than DUI. It may be a victimless crime to you and I but to Bud Selig it is a capital offense.

      Agreed, gambling is as bad as it gets in baseball. IIRC there’s a sign in every clubhouse listing the penalties of betting on baseball.

    11. Raf
      August 3rd, 2011 | 11:54 pm

      LMJ229 wrote:

      He loves being the center of attention. That’s why he dates the women he dates, hangs out in Hollywood and South Beach, runs around with his shirt off, etc., etc.

      I dunno… He isn’t the first “star” to behave in this manner, nor will he be the last. Athletes dating famous women is nothing new.

    12. August 3rd, 2011 | 11:54 pm

      LMJ229 wrote:

      The Commissioner takes gambling alot more seriously than DUI. It may be a victimless crime to you and I but to Bud Selig it is a capital offense.

      I can understand Bud’s concern. His thinking probably being: Anyone willing to play in illegal underground poker games is probably likely to have an association with book-makers and/or organized crime and is then therefore likely to be placed in a position to influence the outcome of basebal games, etc. And, that’s a huge can of worms.

      But, I still think the best he can do in this case is give A-Rod a strong warning/lecture.

      Unless, of course, there’s more to this story than first reported. And, with A-Rod, that’s always possible.

    13. Raf
      August 4th, 2011 | 12:06 am

      Steve Lombardi wrote:

      His thinking probably being: Anyone willing to play in illegal underground poker games is probably likely to have an association with book-makers and/or organized crime and is then therefore likely to be placed in a position to influence the outcome of basebal games, etc. And, that’s a huge can of worms.

      That’s a worse case scenario. But what usually’s the case is that these games are illegal because the gov’t isn’t getting their cut (taxes and whatnot). These “underground” tournaments are more common than we think, more now than ever with the rise in popularity of poker.

      But, I still think the best he can do in this case is give A-Rod a strong warning/lecture.

      Agreed.

    14. Evan3457
      August 4th, 2011 | 12:57 am

      Excuse me, but isn’t this the SAME STORY the Daily News wrote about a month ago…

      Deja Vu

      …with the only new item being someone else (not A-Rod) used cocaine?

      Why is this front page news? What, exactly, has changed?

    15. Corey Italiano
      August 4th, 2011 | 2:19 am

      Steve Lombardi wrote:

      wife wears a shirt to a game at Yankee Stadium which contains an obscene word,

      This isn’t true, it said Fcuk. That’s a brand last I checked.

    16. August 4th, 2011 | 6:59 am

      Have to begin to wonder if the #Yankees are willing to just write off the last $200 Million of A-Rod contact and let him go.

    17. August 4th, 2011 | 7:32 am

      I’m not into gambling, betting, etc. So, I don’t know the answer to this one – maybe one of you can help me?

      What’s the attraction to playing poker in illegal clubs versus going to Vegas or AC and playing in a high-stakes, above board, poker game?

      Is it the “thrill” of doing something “dirty” and “against the law”? Or, is it just a way to “skirt reporting earnings and avoiding paying taxes”?

      If it’s either, or both, that tells us a lot about A-Rod’s personality and it could mean that he’s likely to go down a path that will get him busted for doing something…and it’s just a matter of time.

      See: Dykstra, Lenny.

    18. August 4th, 2011 | 7:54 am

      Per Buster this AM -

      Level of A-Rod fatigue right now within MLB, on a 1-10 scale: 13. But they probably can’t do more than make him do MLB version of perp walk.

      http://twitter.com/#!/Buster_ESPN/statuses/99048978049531904

    19. August 4th, 2011 | 8:03 am

      Corey Italiano wrote:

      This isn’t true, it said Fcuk. That’s a brand last I checked.

      Regardless, it was still a poor judgment call connected to A-Rod that brought negative attention to the organization.

    20. August 4th, 2011 | 8:06 am

      Nutball Gazette wrote:

      Have to begin to wonder if the #Yankees are willing to just write off the last $200 Million of A-Rod contact and let him go.

      That’s a lot of dough to eat. But, if A-Rod continues to slide in productivity, and later has an incident off the field with more teeth, it would be in the best interests of the team to try and get out of his contract – and get out of those last 5 years of his deal which will be a nightmare to pay him.

    21. Raf
      August 4th, 2011 | 9:33 am

      Steve Lombardi wrote:

      What’s the attraction to playing poker in illegal clubs versus going to Vegas or AC and playing in a high-stakes, above board, poker game?

      It’s the exclusivity. Look at the names on that list, there isn’t a “regular schnook” among them. The games were invite only, and I’m sure if a person asked for an invite, they’d never get one.

      For the “rest of us,” it’s a way to play/gamble. Going to AC or Vegas isn’t an option for many. Many people aren’t interested in going to AC or Vegas.

      There isn’t a ‘“thrill” of doing something “dirty” and “against the law”,’ no more than there is one when people fill out their brackets during March Madness or buying a box during the Super Bowl.

    22. Evan3457
      August 4th, 2011 | 10:02 am

      People really have to stop hallucinating. It is extremely unlikely that the Yankees will “pay A-Rod off” for anything more than the last year of his deal. Even the Yankees are not going to drop $40 million on the table; even 5 years from now.

    23. redbug
      August 4th, 2011 | 6:14 pm

      Wasn’t there a story a few yrs ago about Arod possibly tipping-off opposing players as to what the pitch was in lopsided games (and vice versa)? I believe his Texas teamamtes who said it was so. It allowed them and him to pad their stats.

    24. BOHAN
      August 4th, 2011 | 10:49 pm

      Steve Lombardi wrote:

      What’s the attraction to playing poker in illegal clubs versus going to Vegas or AC and playing in a high-stakes, above board, poker game?

      its a way to play really high stakes and not have anything taken out of pots or winnings. in casinos they take a certain percentage of pots usually 10 % and after a certain amount you have to report any winnings which the government taxes. and if guys are loosing 500k they’re obviously playing for absurdly high stakes and casinos only go so high with their stakes. so if you want to play for higher stakes you have to play in “illegal underground” games.

    25. LMJ229
      August 4th, 2011 | 11:23 pm

      Evan3457 wrote:

      People really have to stop hallucinating. It is extremely unlikely that the Yankees will “pay A-Rod off” for anything more than the last year of his deal. Even the Yankees are not going to drop $40 million on the table; even 5 years from now.

      And let’s not forget all the merchandising they will get on his march to break the HR record.

    26. LMJ229
      August 4th, 2011 | 11:26 pm

      Raf wrote:

      It’s the exclusivity. Look at the names on that list, there isn’t a “regular schnook” among them.

      That’s exactly what it is. A-Rod loves to hang with the celebs and VIPs. Plus, I’m sure it is much more private than playing in Vegas where he would likely have fans harassing him.

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