Sunday, August 7, 2011
Updated: August 9, 7:23 AM ET
Reports: No poker discipline for A-Rod
New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez won't be suspended by Major League Baseball over his alleged involvement in illegal poker games, according to two reports.
"Even if it is determined that he was [playing illegal poker], he will not be suspended at this time for this infraction," a source told the New York Post. "He will be warned again and not lightly."
Major League Baseball investigators still want to speak with Rodriguez about his alleged involvement in the high-stakes games and are expected to do so "in the next couple of weeks," a source with close ties to Rodriguez told ESPNNewYork.com's Wallace Matthews on Thursday.
That conversation is likely to occur in Tampa, Fla., where Rodriguez is rehabilitating his right knee, which was operated on July 11 to repair a torn meniscus. The source said "scheduling issues on both sides" are preventing the meeting from taking place sooner.
Nonetheless, unless investigators uncover other conduct deemed more troublesome than mere participation in the games, Rodriguez won't be suspended, according to a Friday SI.com report citing "people with knowledge of the situation."
A scenario in which Rodriguez could face punishment would be if it was determined that his conduct violated MLB standards concerning drug use and betting on baseball in the course of the poker games, two baseball lawyers told ESPN The Magazine's Buster Olney on Thursday.
Specifically, MLB will want to know if Rodriguez had anything to do with the alleged cocaine use at the games, or if the money amounts involved could make him more vulnerable to gamblers.
Meanwhile, Rodriguez has stepped up his workouts while recovering from knee surgery.
There's still no timetable, though, on when he'll rejoin the team.
Rodriguez had Monday's session moved from the Yankees' minor league complex to their spring training site at George Steinbrenner Field because of rain.
A-Rod took part in a situational hitting drill during a 57-pitch batting practice session. Rodriguez says his progress so far is "thumbs up."
Rodriguez is hitting .295 with 13 home runs and 52 RBIs. He had surgery on his right knee July 14.
Also, left-handed reliever Pedro Feliciano, who hasn't pitched this season because of a tear in left shoulder, has resumed working off a bullpen mound. He might be ready to throw batting practice next week.
Information from ESPNNewYork.com's Wallace Matthews and ESPN The Magazine's Buster Olney was used in this report.