Meanwhile, elsewhere, in Alex Rodriguez-related news: Yesterday was A-Rod's first day of baseball-related activities. It's always a better world for Alex Rodriguez when baseball-related activities start. Those are sort of the only activities he can handle.
We remain pretty far from convinced that this is a particularly egregious A-Rod scandal, this gambling business. One "witness" claims that A-Rod wasn't at the supposed "cocaine-fueled" games — as if poker tables themselves weren't messy enough — because he was a bit busy playing in the World Series at the time. (Now that would be a scandal, had he been sneaking in "cocaine-fueled" poker games in between innings. Oh, and "cocaine-fueled" is such an unnecessary descriptor. If you are on cocaine, by definition whatever you are doing is cocaine-fueled.)
But it's a "distraction," and whether A-Rod is the reason this keeps happening — that's certainly the argument in this overheated, breathless Ian O'Connor ESPN New York column, which quotes a "high-ranking baseball official" as saying A-Rod is "no different than Lindsay Lohan or Britney Spears," other than the fact that he's 13 years older than both of them — or whether it's media people freaking out any time he so much as sneezes, it's exhausting and annoying for everyone involved with the Yankees. Except for Derek Jeter, who you just know secretly loves it every time A-Rod is accused of doing something stupid.
In a week, A-Rod will be on his minor-league rehab stint, and not long after that, he'll be back with the Yankees, batting cleanup. Just in time to help "fight" for an AL East title that last season assured no one really cares about as long as you have the wild-card, and just in time to have people talking about him again. It couldn't happen any other way. These are A-Rod's baseball-related activities.