Via Yahoo Sports –
While Major League Baseball Players Association player representatives overwhelmingly agreed that Alex Rodriguez should be kicked out of the union during a 90-minute conference call the day he sued the MLBPA, union leaders said they could not legally pursue his expulsion, three sources on the call told Yahoo Sports.
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.’”
While many players allowed for Rodriguez to fight his suspension as he saw fit, they were incensed he would turn on his “brothers,” as one player termed the membership.
“It’s beyond disappointment,” said a player involved in union leadership who was on the conference call. “What brought it beyond disappointment was the fact he’s suing the union. Guys understand people make bad decisions, they lie when they’re embarrassed or trying to avoid punishment. Those are human qualities. Guys understand. But what made guys incensed is he would bring a suit against the union.”
Whether he’ll do so in a Yankees uniform, or otherwise, remains a question present on the minds of players who have trouble imagining him acclimating back into a clubhouse following the lawsuit. Should he return, players told Yahoo Sports, repercussions could manifest on the field.
“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.”
The last instance of the union blacklisting players was during the 1995 player strike, when several dozen replacement players – scabs, in the eyes of the union – subsequently were denied licensing money and union voting privileges for the remainder of their careers.
He’s some misunderstood…not!