I assume the one-armed man is Johnny Damon.
According to Bill Madden of the New York Daily News, Alex Rodriguez “is the Whitey Bulger of baseball, the most wanted criminal in the game’s history, more condemned by MLB authorities tan Shoeless Joe Jackson…Pete Rose…or Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds.”
Indeed, Whitey Bulger ran organized crime in Boston for roughly a decade, murdering almost indiscriminately. After being on the run from 1994-2011, he was captured and has been charged with 19 murders and is currently on trial.
That’s a pretty apt comparison, actually. We may never know how many deaths Alex Rodriguez is really responsible for, but here’s a list of those in whose death or disappearances he’s most certainly had a hand:
1) Felix Fermin – In 1995, Fermin, age 31, was locked in a power struggle to hold onto his role as the starting shortstop for the Seattle Mariners, and hitting .195/.232/.225, when he was pushed off a ferry by Luis Sojo, at A-Rod’s request. He was never seen again.
2) Luis Sojo – In 1997, after a successful transition of power to the young shortstop, the accused began to get paranoid. Seeking to eliminate any connection to the Fermin murder, Rodriguez committed this one personally.
3-5) Rafael Bournigal, Giomar Guevara and Domingo Cedeno – With the boss incapacitated to start 1999, each of these young upstarts took a shot at running the show in A-Rod’s absence. When Rodriguez returned in mid-May, they disappeared and their bodies were never discovered. Carlos Guillen, who started just three games, begged for A-Rod’s forgiveness and was spared, probably after demonstrating his loyalty by personally whacking Bournigal, Buevara, and Cedeno. He survived the Rodriguez era, and was rewarded as A-Rod’s successor when he moved his family to Texas.
6) Royce Clayton – Aging boss forced out when Rodriguez moved south in 2001. Reports had Clayton moving around a lot after that. He was sighted in Chicago, Milwaukee, Colorado, Arizona, Washington DC, Cincinnati, Toronto, and Boston, but never stayed anywhere for more than a season or so. Last image of him captured on film was in 2011.
7) Alfonso Soriano – Not murdered, but was definitely hobbled somehow by A-Rod and his goons between 2003 and 2004. Never really the same player again.
8) Aaron Boone – In a brazen and daring assassination, Rodriguez is accused of taking
David Bell Boone* out in public, as he played a game of pickup basketball after the 2003 season, and then took over his spot at 3B for the Yankees.
*These players are virtually interchangeable in my mind and in baseball history. To confirm, David Bell is alive and well. Aaron Boone…not so much.
9 and 10) Morgan Ensberg and Wilson Betemit – Rodriguez’s power slowly waned for years after that, but he still managed to hold off up and comers who challenged for his position. Ensberg and Betemit banded together in 2008 when they sensed A-Rod was weak to try to take over the position. Ensberg was later found in a field in New Jersey with two in the head, while Betemit was given the same exile Royce Clayton got. He hasn’t been heard from since last year.
11) Kevin Youkilis – Since then, Rodriguez has mellowed considerably. He chased off Cody Ransom, but allowed him to live because he was harmless. And has allowed a lot of other guys, like Eric Chavez, Ramiro Pena, Eduardo Nunez, Jayson Nix, and David Adams to run things in his stead. But the second the Yankees brought in a viable starting alternative to take over his territory, A-Rod allegedly had him eliminated in less than a month. We haven’t seen Youkilis since April, and who knows if his body will ever resurface.
12) My Nana – Died of a broken heart over her angel’s fall from grace. Shame on you, A-Rod. How many other people have you hurt, monster?
Mike Bates co-founded The Platoon Advantage, and has written for many other baseball websites, including NotGraphs (rest in peace) and The Score. Currently, he writes for Baseball Prospectus and co-hosts the podcast This Week In Baseball History. His favorite word is paradigm. Follow him on Twitter @MikeBatesSBN.