Alex Rodriguez And The Yankees: In A Complicated Relationship

If Alex Rodriguez and the Yankees were on Facebook, they'd be listed as "in a relationship, and it's complicated."

Monday was a bad day for A-Rod. After the MLB handed down to the baseball superstar a year-long ban for alleged steroid use and intimidation of witnesses, he vowed to appeal and stubbornly played in Monday night's Chicago game — where crowds booed and jeered him.

A-Rod admitted yesterday that the last year has been a "nightmare," (and don't the Yankees know it). He was in hot water with the team even before the Biogenesis scandal: A-Rod neglected to tell them just how badly he was injured early this year, instead seeking a second opinion and breaching the clause in his contract that requires him to notify them of injury. (The Yankees are paying A-Rod close to $300 million, FYI.)

Do the Yankees even want A-Rod back? Certainly the team's manager, Joe Girardi, has pencilled him in to continue playing, even though his suspension kicks off on Thursday. (If A-Rod appeals, as he's pledged, he'll be allowed to continue playing during the process.) When press asked the player if he thought the team wanted him to stay, he replied: "If I'm productive, I think they want me back."

Emphasis on think, and that very open-ended "productive."

The upper Yankees office is reportedly much more clear on the matter. A-Rod spoke ominously of "people getting creative trying to cancel my contract," and it's assumed he was referring to either the Yankees' management or MLB authorities. Or, you know, possibly both. (He has talked about being the victim of a conspiracy, so why not both?)

The Yankees offered up a firmly worded statement, after fellow Yankee Francisco Cervelli was also handed a 50-game ban for his involvement with Biogenesis:

The beefy shadow of A-Rod hangs over this one. If Cervilli used "bad judgment" and they're "disappointed" in him, how on earth do they feel about their chief Yankee who used steroids (again!) and then apparently tried to intimidate witnesses into keeping mum?

Contractually, the Yankees and A-Rod are joined at the hip for a while. So that's complicated.