NY Times Sports Columnist: Rodriguez's Legacy in Question

Tuesday, 06 Aug 2013 07:03 PM

By Bill Hoffmann

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Alex Rodriguez — suspended by Major League Baseball for taking performance-enhancing drugs — is such a disagreeable figure that his legacy in baseball is questionable, according to New York Times sports columnist George Vecsey.

"Rodriguez is so unpleasant a persona in the way he operates in all of his history," Vecsey told "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV.

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"He's already admitted … if the arbiter upholds any part of [the suspension], he's got a serious mark against him in everything he's ever done."

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Vecsey compared the New York Yankee star’s likeability factor to that of Barry Bonds, of the Pittsburgh Pirates and San Francisco Giants, and Roger Clemens, of the Yankees, Boston Red Sox, Toronto Blue Jays, and Houston Astros. Both got caught up in probes into steroid usage.

"Both of those were Hall of Fame players almost immediately upon coming into the major leagues," he said.

But, he added, "it's going to take a long time for people to forget what they did and they've never been suspended for anything."

Major League Baseball suspended Rodriguez through the end of the 2014 season and banned 12 others for 50 games, including three All-Stars: Nelson Cruz of the Texas Rangers, Everth Cabrera of the San Diego Padres, and Jhonny Peralta of the Detroit Tigers.

Rodriguez is the only player appealing the decision and will be able to play with the Bronx Bombers until a ruling.

Vecsey, the author of six bestselling sports books including :Stan Musial: An American Life," said it is possible A-Rod could wiggle out of his suspension with expert legal help.

"It's possible that a good lawyer and an arbiter, in the best sense of the word, who is neutral, would say this seems excessive to me," Vecsey said.

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"For all I know baseball has said let's throw the book at him and see how far we go …The arbiter could say that and say sounds a little harsh to me; let's cut the difference and then go on from there."

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