Alex Rodriguez talks to the Media outside Yankees’ Clubhouse 4/1/13Credit: Kathy Willens/AP/ABC News
According to the NY Post’s Joel Sherman and Ken Davidoff, Major League Baseball’s Commissioner, Bud Selig plans to announce the remaining suspensions for players linked to the Biogenesis PED scandal this week, all at once.
According to this report (and many others), the evidence that MLB has against one player in particular far exceeds that against other players linked to the anti-aging clinic in Miami, and therefore his punishment will be more severe. That player is Alex Rodriguez.
The evidence reported by the Post states that Alex Rodriguez not only used the performance enhancing drugs that Biogenesis provided, but he also tried to cover up any evidence from Major League Baseball that could indict him in a case.
Word is that Selig wants to give A-Rod the “death penalty”, which in baseball terms means a lifetime ban from the sport (and Hall of Fame). According to Davidoff and Sherman, a lifetime ban is not likely because an appeals arbitrator will likely find that a lifetime ban for a “first offense” is too harsh, and a judge could reduce the punishment drastically, as far as issuing no suspension at all.
A one year (plus) suspension is outside of the normal 50 game, then 100 game then lifetime ban three strikes discipline schedule, but because Rodriguez has admitted to using steroids from 2001-2003, when he was with the Texas Rangers, and there is evidence that he tried to cover up evidence that linked him to this new PED scandal, the belief around the league is that an arbitrator will not reduce the proposed suspension for the rest of 2013 and all of 2014.
Alex Rodriguez is 38 years old, he’s certainly no spring chicken. He is coming off of a second hip surgery, and a mediocre 2012 season/postseason. Realistically, this year and a half ban could be the end of Rodriguez’ career. If the suspension sticks, and he does try to come back in 2015, does anyone really think that he can be anywhere near the Alex Rodriguez of the past? He’ll have to be off the juice, and he won’t have seen Major League level pitching in over two full years; I just don’t see him making a Major League roster again.
The money that he is owed on his record $275 million contract will be a deciding factor in how(or if) Rodriguez fights any penalties from Commissioner Selig. He’s a ballplayer, but he’s also a businessman. He’s owed close to $100 million through 2017. He’ll lose whatever he is owed for the time that he is suspended, but he could salvage the remaining $61 million (as reported in the NY Post) for 2015-2017 if he accepts the punishment and does not appeal. However, the New York Yankees have an issue with continuing to pay Alex. They have been reportedly seeking to void the remainder of his contract on grounds of fraud, because only the Commissioner of Baseball has the right to sanction a player directly for illegal drug use.
We’ll have to wait and see until the suspension become official, but it looks like the A-Rod Circus could be going away, at least for awhile.
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