According to Teri Thompson, Bill Madden, Michael O'Keeffe, Christian Red and Nathaniel Vinton of the New York Daily News, A-Rod was apparently convinced to fight the MLB's drug suspension over his alleged PED use instead of retiring:
“He had been talking about retirement because of injuries. Given his prior involvement (with doping), he knew he would be a target for additional testing,” says one source close to the case. “There was no way he could use and play again.”
But multiple sources told the Daily News that A-Rod’s last chance for a dignified exit ended when he turned to Desiree Perez, a Manhattan nightclub manager with a lengthy criminal record and close links to hip-hop mogul Jay Z.
While sources say Perez was behind much of A-Rod’s failed legal and PR strategy last summer, Rodriguez describes her only as a “long-time friend.”
As well as being friends with A-Rod and a nightclub owner, Desiree Perez has quite the shady past. Per the report, Perez is a convicted felon and soon thereafter became an informant for the government.
Rodriguez has already denied that Perez's opinion had anything to do with his decisions in regard to fighting the PED suspension, but sources say otherwise:
“(I) made my own decisions with my legal team over the last year, and I have accepted my penalties and am trying to serve my penalty,” A-Rod, who has no official ties to Roc Nation Sports, told The News recently.
But according to sources, fueled by animus toward MLB and distrust of the Yankees, Perez called for blood last summer. She urged Rodriguez to fight MLB on Biogenesis even though the league’s investigators had flipped the anti-aging clinic’s proprietor, Anthony Bosch.
Rodriguez set up a meeting with Yankees president Randy Levine in the hopes of potentially retiring and also collecting at least some of his gigantic contract:
Rodriguez approached Yankees president Randy Levine directly, asking for a meeting to explore an exit strategy to protect his multimillion-dollar contract.
Rodriguez ended up getting really bad advice because in the end his attempt to thwart the suspension failed miserably and he's currently serving his 162-game ban during the entirety of the 2014 season. Why he would take direction from a convicted felon and former cocaine trafficker is beyond comprehension.
While there was no saving face for Rodriguez, he could have bowed out of Major League Baseball gracefully instead of dragging it out the way he did. Now all that's left to determine is if he will play in 2015, which by all indications it looks like he will at least try to collect on the rest of the money owed to him.
The Yankees would love nothing more than to see A-Rod retire rather than return next season and create a circus. After all, the Bronx Bombers are doing just fine without their over-the-hill slugger and nobody would be surprised to see the Yanks look at buyout options to avoid dealing with the inevitable charade that will be A-Rod.Tags: A-Rod, Alex Rodriguez, Baseball, Bronx Bombers, MLB, New York, New York Yankees, Randy Levine