New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez managed to steal some of the headlines from New Jersey’s George Washington Bridge scandal (and the NFL playoffs) yesterday, and a pair of Atlantic League teams are hoping to capitalize on the publicity to get a little attention of their own.
On Saturday, Long Island Ducks President Michael Pfaff emailed Newsday‘s Mark Herrmann to suggest that Rodriguez would be welcome to play there in 2014, should he be unable to convince a federal court to overturn his Major League Baseball suspension.
“While some MLB suspensions have been honored by the Atlantic League in the past, if Alex Rodriguez were unable to participate in the major leagues this season, we would be open to exploring giving him a chance to play, stay sharp and compete against a high level of competition while helping the Ducks chase a third consecutive championship,” Pfaff’s email said.
Today, Somerset Patriots Chairman Steve Kalafar made it clear that Rodriguez would not be welcome to join his team.
“The Somerset Patriots honor the decisions and suspensions in our working relationship with Major League Baseball,” Kalafar said in a team-issued statement. “We would expect all other teams within the Atlantic League to operate the same as allowing a suspended player to continue playing and representing any of our teams would be a hurtful precedent.”
Even if the suspension is upheld (which legal experts believe will happen), Rodriguez would need the Yankees’ permission to play for another team since he is still under contract with them.
So basically, the chances of A-Rod playing in the Atlantic League this year are only slightly better than mine. Still, it never hurts to look for a bit of free publicity when you have the chance.
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