Is Selig Pulling a Stern on A-Rod?

March 06, 2009 | Comments (0) | by T.R.

Anyone well-versed in Chicago sports lore, or the NBA in general, is familiar with the conspiracy theory that I'm about to re-hash. The story goes that NBA commissioner David Stern, behind closed doors in a smoke-filled room, mandated that Michael Jordan take a leave of absence from the league in 1994 as punishment for his public gambling issues. Jordan "decided" to halt his dominant basketball career and pursue his childhood dream of playing Major League Baseball. He spent that season with the Birmingham Barons, a Chicago White Sox affiliate. After his hiatus and relative failure (.202 batting average), he would return to the Bulls and win three more NBA championships.

On Sunday, Alex Rodriguez, he of recent performance enhancing accusations, met with Major League Baseball to discuss his role in the steroid saga. Two days later, rumblings about a cyst and a torn labrum began surfacing. Is it out of the realm of possibility that his injury is not as serious as it's being made to be? Is Bud Selig silently reprimanding A-Rod for this latest ding to the not-so-shiny reputation that baseball currently has?

Could something like this have been said?:

"Listen, Alex, we understand that you were only one of 104 names on that report. And we know that those tests were supposed to have remained anonymous with no punishment for the infractions. However, this is a pivotal time in cleaning up Major League Baseball. You were supposed to be the one to break Barry Bonds' records and lay his name to waste. Now you've broken our trust. We're going to need you to not play in the World Baseball Classic. But that's not quite enough. We'll come up with a questionable injury that won't necessarily require surgery, but in essance you're going to have to sit out for eight weeks. We feel that this is a very fair compromise, for the good of the game, and we will not pursue any further punishment against you after your time is served."

The above is totally hypothetical. But doesn't it make some shred of sense? I don't mean to come off as a flaming conspiracy theorist; I know we landed on the moon. But a cyst and a tear that may or may not require surgery? A-Rod reportedly would prefer to rehab without surgery. Take some light BP, lots of stretching and some jogging for eight weeks. Throw on the uniform and sit in the dugout. Everyone will forget about it by the time August swings around.

Can we get a transcript of A-Rod's meeting from Sunday? I know we can't get our hands on his X-rays, but can we get a couple more doctors to confirm?

Call me a kook if you will, but stranger things have happened. I'm just putting it out there.