It's amazing how quickly someone's tune can change when they realize the reality of a situation. Intent on fighting any suspension, Alex Rodriguez and his lawyers have long-insisted that they would not negotiate a suspension plea deal. However, as news broke yesterday that MLB was preparing to issue a lifetime ban, Rodriguez's representatives stepped up to the negotiations table.
According to T.J. Quinn of ESPN's Outside the Lines, Rodriguez's representatives begins negotiations with MLB yesterday that would prevent Rodriguez from receiving a lifetime ban. The suspension is still expected to be a lengthy one, though, says Quinn. What comes of these talks will not be known until sometime today or tomorrow most likely, but it was clear that an increasing number of people within Major League Baseball wanted to push for a lifetime ban. This, of course, stems from more than a simple connection to Biogenesis, as Quinn points out.
Sources said MLB was also given evidence supporting accusations that Rodriguez attempted to coerce at least one witness in MLB's investigation. That accusation is the basis of MLB's argument that Rodriguez may be punished for his conduct, in addition to multiple violations of the game's joint drug agreement.
This is a sad and historic moment in baseball history. Baseball could set a precedent that would make it much more difficult for players to choose performance enhancing drugs as a means to success. With the current system, penalties are harsh, but not harsh enough to prevent players from trying to get around them. Melky Cabrera got a nice contract in Toronto after serving his 50 game suspension in San Francisco last season. Rodriguez's case could set a precent that strikes fear into any player willing to take PEDs. However, Rodriguez's case is different because of the voluminous evidence and additional violations.
It seems clear that Rodriguez will not play another game this season. That then begs the question, is his career over even without a lifetime ban?
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