This column by the New York Post’s Joel Sherman raises the intriguing idea that the Yankees’ front office may be cheering on the renewed investigation of Alex Rodriguez for alleged use of performance enhancing drugs. As Sherman puts it:
It is understandable why the front office is fixated on Rodriguez. If he doesn’t play this year because of his hip surgery, the Yankees will recoup about 80 percent of his contract via insurance. If he is actually suspended for 100 games, that would be about $15 million saved. Maybe the right set of dominoes could play out where A-Rod just decides to retire, which might provide another insurance-based financial bonanza. Or the MLB investigation could open the slim road for the Yankees to try to void the remainder of his contract (don’t hold your breath).
I am a big Sherman fan, but his description of the incentives the Yankees may have to see A-Rod stay on the disabled list, be suspended by the league, or even retire is way too vague. Can’t a sports or business reporter somewhere get to the bottom of exactly what both his contract with the Yankees and the Yankees’ contract with the insurer covering him — as well as contracts covering more typical players — say about who is obligated for how much in the event he stays injured, is suspended or retires? We Yankee fans would love to know if some big money might be freed up for us to go after some real talent.
4. GE’s alleged credit card scam:
This story in the trade publication Modernhealthcare.com reports that a company called CareCredit — which distributes credit cards to patients “inside the offices of more than 160,000 healthcare providers” — has agreed to a settlement with the New York State attorney general’s office after it was accused of charging interest rates of nearly 27 percent while promising initial rates of 0 percent.
CareCredit, it turns out, is owned by GE Capital Retail Bank, a division of the corporate icon that “Brings Good Things to Life.”
“About one-quarter of all the people who signed up for 0% introductory rates ended up paying 26.99%,” Modernhealthcare.com reported, quoting the attorney general’s announcement.
Just the fact that a unit of one of America’s most respected blue chip companies is apparently engaged in this kind of bait and switch, boiler room activity ought to get the national press interested. There’s also the question of what else the company may be engaged in that won’t make its way into GE’s perpetual, and perpetually effective, corporate imaging campaigns. A check of the GE Capital website, for example, lists consumer financing units covering not only healthcare but everything from auto parts to home improvement to glasses and eye care.