ARLINGTON, Texas -- On Monday, I wrote a column saying that the best thing Alex Rodriguez could do for himself would be to drop all the posing, the pretense and the publicists and just tell the whole truth about what he got from Biogenesis and why he felt he needed it.
I still believe that is the right thing for A-Rod to do to salvage whatever is left of his public image and personal dignity.
But if A-Rod wants to help his team -- and considering the amount of animosity and mistrust that exists between him and the Yankees, I can't fathom why he would want to -- then the truth is he should do the exact opposite.
The one way he can truly help the Yankees this season is to be the anti-Braun. Rather than take his lumps without protest, as Ryan Braun did on Monday, A-Rod should clam up, appeal the suspension, and push the entire process into next season. That way, at least there's a chance the Yankees won't have to pay him for 2014, which opens up a world of possibilities for the free-agent market this winter.
A-Rod is not going to help the Yankees on the field this year. According to a source in the organization, the left quad strain that landed him back on the DL this weekend will take 10 days to two weeks to heal, after which he will need another complete 20-day rehab. That puts us just about to September, barring any setbacks, and pretty much squashes any chance of any significant contribution from A-Rod this season.
So far, he has been paid every bit of his $28 million this season and the Yankees have been unable to recoup a penny of it. According to a source with knowledge of the Yankees' insurance policy on A-Rod, they will not be able to collect unless he is declared medically unfit to play for this season, at which point they will be reimbursed "a minimal sum, a couple of million dollars or so."
However, if he appeals a suspension -- and a suspension appears to be a virtual certainty after Braun was taken down on Monday -- the process is likely to carry over into next season. And assuming A-Rod loses on appeal, he could be facing a 100-game ban, or more. Based on his $25 million salary for 2014, that could save the Yankees a minimum of $15 million off next year's payroll, and perhaps as much as all $25 million.
That, of course, would mean they could re-sign Robinson Cano and still have money left over even if Hal Steinbrenner decides to stick with his former edict, which he now describes as a "goal" of a $189 million payroll for 2014. It would make for a much better free-agent shopping season this winter than Brian Cashman had last winter, when his pockets were sewn shut for most of it by his suddenly frugal boss.
If A-Rod has any interest in helping himself, he will speak up now, as I wrote Monday night. But if he has any interest in helping the Yankees, he will clam up and let his lawyers do the talking.
Which do you think he will do?