Yankee Third Baseman Alex Rodriguez finished his 2008 season with a .302 average, 35 homeruns, 103 RBI’s and 18 stolen bases, but to Yankee fans across the country A-Rod’s season was a disappointment. His 2007 success with runners in scoring position, and what fans call “clutch” hitting, did not carry over to his 2008 campaign. Further more, his season was disrupted by a quad injury that put him on the DL for a stretch of time, limiting his contributions to the team. What fans do not know is that behind the scenes, there was much more going on with the man known as A-Rod.
“After A-Rod’s quad injury he wasn’t the same.” Explained a Yankee employee on condition of anonymity. “Rehabbing from that strain took its toll on him and he began over using the rehab. Once he was done rehabbing he was still using a lot of the treatments he received. He developed an addiction.”
Just like any addiction, A-Rod did not see it at first, but the signs were there for those around him. It became especially clear to one Yankee employee who walked into the club house gym at 5 AM.
“I had come in to work to get the clubhouse ready before the 1pm game that day. It needed to be clean before the first players would report. When I came in I saw that some of the lights in the gym were on, but the clubhouse was closed. I figured that the late night crew forgot to turn them off, but when I walked in I couldn’t believe what I saw. A-Rod was pumping out sets on the leg press, I just heard him counting ‘2,007, 2,008, 2,009’. I mean, he never even left the clubhouse. I then cleaned around him, and cleaned the lockers, and when I came back, he was like ‘3,018, 3,019, 3,020’.”
At first this employee did not report the incident, because A-Rod assured him he could stop whenever he wanted, but soon the problems would spill into the clubhouse.
“I was starting to feel my legs weaken up a bit, so I came in an hour early to get on the leg press.” Explained outfielder Bobby Abreu. “When I got there, A-Rod was on it. I left to take some early batting practice figuring he would be done when I came back, but when I returned he was still on it. I asked how many more sets he had left, and he told me to stop judging him. I didn’t know what to do.”
It was at that point that the Yankees felt the need to perform an intervention. With a group of players, as well as general manager Brian Cashman, manager Joe Girardi, and owner Hank Steinbrenner, they approached the star slugger while on the leg press. The Yankees hired a clinical psychologist to mediate the intervention. Everyone explained how his actions were affecting them. A transcript of the intervention was obtained by the “Respect Jeter’s Gangster” investigative team.
Robinson Cano: “I mean, sometimes, I feel like when you’re on the leg press, you’re not giving us an opportunity to strengthen our legs. And it really hurts.”
Jason Giambi: “It’s not that we don’t want you strengthening your quads, Alex. It’s that we can’t strengthen our quads, when you’re strengthening yours.”
Alex Rodriguez: “You don’t understand. I need this. You guys all hate me! You’re always trying to control me!”
Hank Steinbrenner: “Alex. Get off the (expletive deleted) leg press.”
Clinical Psychologist: “Mr. Steinbrenner, that’s not helpful.”
Hank Steinbrenner: “If you don’t get off the leg press, I’ll find a third baseman who will.”
Clinical Psychologist: “Okay, Mr. Steinbrenner, I think you need to leave.”
Hank Steinbrenner: “Oh no! You mean I can’t stay for this sissy party? I have enough problems getting called out by ‘Respect Jeter’s Gangster’ to be dealing with this crap. I’m out of here.”
Clinical Psychologist: “You’re not a sissy Alex.”
Brian Cashman: “Alex, look who we brought here. Its your good friend Lou Piniella.”
Lou Piniella: “Alex. Get off the (expletive deleted) leg press.”
As is clearly evident the intervention was impactful to Alex, but it did not completely solve the problem.
“Most of the time Alex is fine.” Explained Johnny Damon. “But every now and again, we’d all be in the clubhouse and he’d suddenly make a run for the leg press. Jeter had to tackle him one time before he could get on it.”
The situation is one the Yankees will monitor for the 2009 season, but they feel confident that with the help of his teammates, his manager, and friends, Alex will win an MVP in 2009.