As Alex Rodriguez worked his way back to the Majors following surgery on his right hip, and finally arrived, the Yankees third baseman received mostly encouragement and sympathy from his peers. Don't include Angels left-hander Joe Saunders in his support group. In fact, Saunders would probably like for A-Rod's name to be recalled from ballots for the 2009 All-Star Game.
Following an offseason of steroid revelations and confessions, Saunders said he would not vote for Rodriguez, regardless of whatever compelling numbers he puts up. As Saunders put it to the Los Angeles Times, "It's over for him." Speaking following Saturday night's game against Kansas City, flush with his 1-0 victory over previously unbeaten sensation Zack Greinke, Saunders didn't buy that fans are greeting the returning Rodriguez with a "forgive-and-forget" attitude. "I think the fans do care," Saunders said. "Pretty much everybody wants a game without cheating." Saunders went on to say that the stain of steroid allegations aside, he considered Evan Longoria the American League's most deserving All-Star candidate at third base, and that he would get his vote, regardless. Tampa Bay's Longoria leads the Majors with 44 RBIs -- 10 more than runner-up Jason Bay of the Red Sox.
Tom Singer is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.