Alex Rodriguez reportedly played in a couple card games at rich guys' houses in or near Beverly Hills. The stakes were said to be high.Great article (read the whole thing) by Heyman, and I couldn't agree with it more.
And word out of well-placed Los Angeles poker sources is that Rodriguez is already trying to find poker games for next winter in L.A.
According to the initial reports about the card games that allegedly included A-Rod, a fight broke out over some steep losses. Rodriguez, according to the story, got up and left upon seeing the skirmish. One report suggested that someone -- not Rodriguez -- used cocaine out in the open at one of the games.
As a scandal, this is a pair of deuces.
Unless there is something more to this story -- and MLB will indeed investigate -- Rodriguez will not be suspended, people with knowledge of the situation say. He will only be warned and re-educated about how to stay out of bad situations.
The stakes shouldn't matter, but for the record, the reports suggest that Rodriguez lost what for him is a small amount. One said "a few thousand'' dollars, another said $40,000. He makes about $200,000 a game, so relatively speaking, that's pennies.
The bad publicity part came when one report suggested that there was cocaine out in the open at one of the games. If true, that certainly is not a plus, but that can't be pinned on Rodriguez, as seeing someone else do drugs isn't a suspendable offense.
The other negative part was the alleged fight that broke out at one of the games over lost money. It was someone else's lost money, and someone else's fight.
MLB is within its rights to tell one of its biggest stars to stay out of bad spots, but it's doubtful that they can keep Rodriguez away from poker games. Rodriguez already is reportedly trying to line up games for this winter in Los Angeles. He has told people that he wants to play and that he's going to be in L.A. because that's where his girlfriend, actress Cameron Diaz, is.
It's hard to imagine that baseball can make a big deal out of private poker games. And it's hard to believe that it could dissuade Rodriguez from playing in these games. But it can try to warn him about the company he keeps.
Friday, August 5, 2011
From Jon Heyman:
Tags: Alex Rodriguez