Funny how Alex Rodriguez, the player Bill Madden repeatedly insisted “will never play another game for the Yankees,” is arguably the biggest reason that the Yankees have won 11 of their last 14 games and are now just 3 1/2 games out of a wild card spot, and 6 games out of the division lead. So where is Bill Madden’s mea culpa?
It isn’t happening, of course. The next time Madden admits he was wrong on A-Rod will be the first time. Instead, in today’s Daily News column, Madden dances around the fact that A-Rod’s return had much to do with the Yankees’ resurgence, giving him as little credit as possible for it. (Full disclosure, I used to work at the Daily News, but I would feel the same way about Madden no matter what!)
Madden has made repeated wrong-headed pronouncements about Rodriguez, not to mention saying bizarre and outrageous things about A-Rod, like calling him “the Whitey Bulger of baseball.” (Not to mention him telling WFAN’s Boomer and Carton that there was “no vendetta on [Bud] Selig’s part” against A-Rod) And Madden has never acknowledged that his pontifications were wrong, not even when the FAN’s Mike Francesa, in one of the greatest radio moments of this year, called him on it. (I’ve made lots of wrong pronouncements, too, but I will willingly cop to them!)
And I haven’t even gotten into the fact that Madden repeatedly insisted that A-Rod undergoing serious surgery, and going through grueling rehab, was simply a ploy to be declared physically unable to perform, and to collect insurance money. Remember this Madden gem, from July 11?:
It is now a frantic footrace with the MLB drug posse for Alex Rodriguez, who will never play another game for the Yankees but is desperately trying to make sure he doesn’t lose a penny of the $100 million owed him on the last 4½ years of his contract.
In plain view, A-Rod is going through the motions, playing in rehab games for the Class-A Tampa Yankees in the Florida State League, all in the name of making his way back to the Bronx by the end of the month. It is just an elaborate charade.
Madden also wrote this, on June 26:
Alex Rodriguez has 114 million reasons for telling the world that he has the green light to play baseball games again.
According to sources close to the ongoing drama surrounding the star-crossed Yankee third baseman, Rodriguez and his advisers are so concerned that Major League Baseball’s drug posse is quickly closing in on him that they have racheted up the timetable for him to return to game action.
Once he’s back playing in rehab games, the sources say, he could then claim he is physically unable to perform because of the serious hip injury he is recovering from, “retire” from the game, and still collect the full amount of his salary — $114 million over the next five years.