Continuing with the A-Rod high stakes poker discussion, Massarotti and Bertrand welcomed ESPNNewYork.com columnist Ian O’Connor onto the program to share some insight into the growing A-Rod saga as well as other Yankees news and notes.
Mazz got right to the point with O’Connor and asked him whether the Alex Rodriguez gambling story is a big deal at all. O’Connor remained mum on the issue, stating that the a lot is yet to be determined. The Yankees knew, O’Connor said, that A-Rod had a good deal of baggage when they re-signed him to a lucrative 10 year, 275 million and the Yankees had to just cross their fingers and hope that A-Rod could keep his off-the-field issues from affected his play on the field. Right now, the Yankees view the controversy more as an annoyance than anything else, O’Connor said.
Asked whether he sees any type of suspension on the horizon for A-Rod, O’Connor indicated that given the fact that A-Rod had been previously warned by Major League Baseball in 2005 to put an end to his underground poker exploits, “a suspension is in play.” Bertrand stepped in to ask whether anyone in the Yankees organization is more concerned about this than GM Brian Cashman is, who emphatically told Mazz and Bertrand an hour before on the show that he had zero concern about it. O’Connor persisted in saying that the Yankees plainly view this as an annoyance as of now, but what could create some waves would be the fact that there may have been illicit drug use at one of private games A-Rod attended.
Mazz switched gears to ask O’Connor whether the Yankees regret giving A-Rod such an obscene contract four years ago. O’Connor pointed out that Brian Cashman to a man said that he was not behind that contract but Hank Steinbrenner wanted it which made it a requirement. Bertrand then asked what A-Rod’s current rep is in the Yankee clubhouse and how this new development might affect how he is viewed by his teammates. A-Rod, O’Connor said, made everyone happy for about a year and a half culminating with the Yankees’ World Series win in 2009. From that point on, A-Rod’s dog and pony show resumed and he reverted back to his A-Rodian ways.
Can A-Rod get past this? How about Sabathia’s contract situation? Why didn’t the Yankees pick up any pieces at the trade deadline this season?
Tune in to Felger and Mazz to hear this discussion and more!