Rodriguez Suspension Reduced; Case Not Closed

As usually is the case with Alex Rodriguez, there is no last word. Just because arbitrator Frederic Horowitz reduced his unprecedented 211-game suspension for violation of MLB’s drug policy to 162 games.

Up next is a date in federal court. After that, who knows? Could this go to the Supreme Court?

Rodriguez won’t let this thing go, and he says it is more than about the $25 million missing 2014 will cost him.

While how Rodriguez has handled himself hasn’t endeared himself to many, and because he previously admitted using steroids prior to MLB’s PED policy, there’s little reason to believe he hasn’t used them since.

That’s not the issue.

The issue, says Rodriguez, is about fairness and his legacy. There is some degree of truth to the fairness argument.

According to the drug policy, Rodriguez’s admission wouldn’t be used against him. And, since there was no failed drug test, where did Bud Selig get the original 211 games. Seems like an arbitrary figure only because it is.

The first offense is 50 games, followed by 100. The first offense doesn’t have to be a failed test, but could be something like being linked to steroids, such as appearing on the Biogenesis list.

Even so, 13 other players, including Ryan Braun, were also on the Biogenesis list as supplied by founder Anthony Bosch. Braun failed a drug test last year, but got off on a technicality. According to the agreement, Braun would get 100 games, but was only tagged for 65.

Everybody else got 50. But, Rodriguez? He got 211.

Selig never explained his reasoning, nor did he seem fit to explain in during the arbitration process. Selig wasn’t obligated to appear, but if he felt so strongly about his decision, he should have been there to tell his story.

Part of that story, undoubtedly, would have been to explain how Selig and Major League Baseball obtained its evidence, which was purchased from Bosch after he refused to relinquish his materials.

Part of MLB’s grievance against Rodriguez was he attempted to do the same, but with the intent of destroying the documents.

So, MLB is punishing Rodriguez for trying to do what it did. Seems highly hypocritical.

How Selig arrived at 211 games is arbitrary and smells of the witch-hunt Rodriguez asserts.

We know the steroid era was borne out of MLB turning its head to what was going on in the game – giving tacit approval to the needle, the clear and the cream – as to put fannies in the seats to watch phony home run races.

It seemed like every time Rodriguez flaunted Selig’s authority it cost him games. There was nothing consistent to how Selig dealt with Rodriguez as opposed to the others given up by Bosch.

This inconsistency, coupled with MLB’s buying out of Bosch, smacks of bias and unfairness. That the arbitrator cut into Selig’s 211 games indicates he felt the original penalty was over the top.

Look, I want steroids out of the game as much as anybody. More than most. But, I want it done the right way and I don’t believe MLB has handled the Rodriguez case the right way.

Your comments are greatly appreciated and I will attempt to respond. Follow me on Twitter @jdelcos

7 thoughts on “Rodriguez Suspension Reduced; Case Not Closed

  1. This is a power play.

    Alex is above the game for a decade he was considered the best player the game ever saw. He played stellar defense, had power and hit for avg.

    Most importantly he was paid in large bills.

    As an owner Selig would want to make the point that Alex is just another player.the fact that no one likes him makes it easy. He has no defenders

    Alex cheated. He admitted it. Selig wants to clean up the game. He made the mess and he is old. He will retire soon. He wants to be known as the commissioner who cleaned up the game after he drove it into the basement.

  2. Back to the mets.

    I read some projection from espn where Duda, Ikewill both hit as many hr and more RBI than the two new power hitters. Also have the same avg.

    As I have been saying since the season ended. Exactly what does the $22m buy us? We spent a lot money. Only to improve the team and the new guys can’t hit better than the scrubs we want to discard.

    What does that say about the offseason?

  3. John,

    This was done through a arbitration process that was collectively bargained by both MLB and the players with an independent arbitrator. MLB and Selig were criticized for doing nothing when steroids was prevalent in the game. What is MLB supposed to do? Not be aggressive! You can argue all you want about how it was done but the fact is an independent arbitrator agreed with MLB and the witnesses that testified. I have 15 years of law enforcement experience and been through many trials, just because somebody has background issues does not mean they are not believable on the stand. I am exhausted hearing writers who cover baseball be critical of MLB because they bought evidence and used people like Bosch as witnesses who are deemed “not credible.” Well all of the other players took a “plea deals” that were connected to Bosch. If AROD was willing to take a deal I am sure his sentence would have been reduced. All of sudden, Bosch looks pretty credible. Other evidence that was presented can easily make a witness credible on what they are testifying about.

    AROD is doing what everyone else does and that is point the finger someplace else and put them on trial. Don’t look at me, the problem is MLB. No, I think MLB got it right. Braun benefitted from the arbitration process and MLB benefitted from it this time.

    • Glen: I respect everything you have to say, and before it is over what you say will hold true. I am upset about the hypocrisy of all this. Yes, MLB and Selig allowed the steroid era to take place, now he’s all fire and brimstone. Just seems odd. I hate the fact that MLB paid Bosch for his evidence, especially considering his credibility. … We’ll never know if Rodriguez would have gotten a lighter penalty if he played ball with MLB from the beginning. He’s probably regretting it now. Thanks for your comments.-JD