- (Reuters/Steve Nesius)
Yankees manager Joe Girardi told the New York Post recently that Alex Rodriguez would resume his baseball activities starting this Thursday, after resting from knee surgery. But many are wary that Rodriguez may be pulled out of the game due to his purported participation in illegal underground poker games.
If suspicions are confirmed, Rodriguez, the third baseman for the Yankees, may face a possible suspension. An anonymous Major League Baseball executive told ESPN, “We’re talking to people involved in the investigation and we’re taking this very seriously.”
“Because he had been warned about this before, I would say a possible suspension would be very much in play.”
Rodriguez was first “warned” of his underground gambling habits back in 2005 by his team and Bud Selig, the MLB Commissioner. His representative, Richard Rubenstein, had denied the claims then, according to ESPN.
The recent reports of involvement surfaced in June when Star Magazine and RadarOnline revealed that many A-list celebrities, including Tobey Maguire, Ben Affleck, Matt Damon, and Leonardo DiCaprio, were playing in high-stakes illegal underground poker games.
Rodriguez, though he never played with the above celebrities, was part of the gambling ring as well, with witnesses telling Star that he participated in the Texas Hold ‘Em games at least twice. Cocaine was reported to be at one of the games.
Host Molly Bloom, who organized the games, also helped the baseball star throw his own gambling party, Star reported. Though all accusations have been denied, the MLB is still investigating the matter, speaking to witnesses and those who may have been involved.
“The truth is still out there somewhere,” the anonymous executive told ESPN. “You get the feeling that Alex says what he thinks he needs to say to get by, and then goes out and does what he wants.”
Gambling is not the only woe to add to the All-Star’s list of grievances. Rodriguez was previously exposed for taking illegal substances while playing for the Texas Rangers in 2001-2003, testing positive for steroid use.
Apologizing for letting his fans down, he explained to ESPN that he was young, stupid and naïve and “wanted to prove to everyone that [he] was worth being one of the greatest players of all time.”
He denied using any performance-enhancing drugs during his days with the Yankees, and shared that his best game was played when clean.
Rodriguez, for the 2011 Season, is currently hitting .295, with 13 homeruns, and 52 RBI’s.