According to ESPN.com, Major League Baseball is strongly considering whether New York Yankees star Alex Rodriguez should be suspended over his alleged participation in illegal, high-stakes poker games. According to reports the games, which have also allegedly featured Tobey Maguire, Leo DiCaprio, and in a life imitating art joke gone wrong, Matt Damon, have been occurring for at least four or five years.
There is no evidence, nor is there even a suggestion that A-Rod has bet on baseball, or that his gambling has in any way impacted his performance. And, in honesty, it is not like there are any concerns about him being able to settle potential debts.
However, baseball has, in the past, taken a hard line on gambling (for example, Pete Rose is seen by Cooperstown gatekeepers as a worse ambassador for the game than Ty Cobb). Perhaps this is a remnant of the Black Sox scandal, but the only way that one could link A-Rod's actions to the types of issues that arose there would be under the assumption that wracking up bad losses could leave him vulnerable to criminal elements. However, as noted above, his salary alone should probably place him above initial suspicion in any potential game-throwing scandal.
What is far more likely is that baseball officials are angry at being slighted by the star after he had already been warned to stay away from these games. According to the ESPN piece, one MLB executive was quoted as saying, '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.' That does not seem to be the kind of behavior Bud Selig would take too kindly to. After all, who does A-Rod think he is, Michael Jordan?