Following a dissapointing playoff perforamnce and a hip injury, Alex Rodriguez now faces a new setback (Paul Sancya/AP)

Following a dissapointing playoff perforamnce and hip surgery, Yankees’ third baseman Alex Rodriguez now has a new problem on his mind (Paul Sancya/AP)

Steal a loaf of bread, go to jail.

Slide several million dollars through a tax loophole, pause to accept an award from the Chamber of Commerce on your way to check on the progress of the new wing you’re adding to that second home in the gated community.

Bigger is better. Or at least you’re more likely to get away with it.

If it turns out that the notebooks associated with the now defunct business formerly known as Biogenesis in Coral Gables, Fla. aren’t fictional, that was apparently the reasoning Alex Rodriguez was employing.

Rodriguez wasn’t supposed to be a baseball story until mid-summer. He’s currently recovering from January hip surgery and won’t be available to the Yankees until the All-Star Break, if then. If ever. Because the recent surfacing of the Biogenesis notebooks may change everything. Once reporters had cracked the notebook’s code, in which it’s alleged that Alex Rodriguez was cleverly referred to as “Alex Rod,” they began counting the performance-enhancing substances and salves the not especially mysterious “Alex Rod” was employing…or at least purchasing. They stopped counting at 19, perhaps because it was time for lunch.

The news of these notebooks has aroused the curiosity of some of the people working for Major League Baseball.

“Gee,” they have perhaps been asking each other, “how do you suppose one of the most high-profile employees in our business has been using injectables, digestibles, and spreadables of various hues and potencies pretty much around the clock without failing a drug test? Especially since the alleged best customer of Biogenesis is a guy who has acknowledged that he dabbled in the same or similar substances a few years back…a circumstance that might arouse suspicion, or at least vigilance, had he been employed by, say, the postal service.”

So those who were too young to experience the highlights of baseball’s steroid era – Mark McGwire’s “I’m not here to talk about the past” tap dance before a congressional committee, for example, or the curious case of Roger Clemens, a fellow allegedly happy enough to invite his personal trainer home to inject Mrs. Clemens with steroids but never interested in partaking himself – seem to have been granted another opportunity.

Somewhere – the New York Yankees have decided they won’t say where – Alex Rodriguez, allegedly “Alex Rod,” is rehabilitating his hip. He was last heard saying he expects to resume his baseball career this summer. Stay tuned to see whether the score or so of substances allegedly supplied to him by Biogenesis have rendered him too big to fail.