A verdict has been reached in the Alex Rodriguez case: Still Guilty
Independent arbitrator Fredric Horowitz reduced A-Rod’s previous 211-game ban to 162 games, meaning Rodriguez will miss all of the 2014 season. He will not be able to participate in Spring Training, the playoffs, or any other team activities. Still, A-Rod plans on joining the Yankees when they report to Tampa.
This ban will cost Rodriguez a cool $25 million dollars and is the longest suspension in baseball history. Upon hearing the news, Rodriguez released this statement:
“The number of games sadly comes as no surprise, as the deck has been stacked against me from day one. I have been clear that I did not use performance enhancing substances as alleged in the notice of discipline, or violate the Basic Agreement or the Joint Drug Agreement in any manner, and in order to prove it I will take this fight to federal court. This is one man’s decision, that was not put before a fair and impartial jury, does not involve me having failed a single drug test, is at odds with the facts and is inconsistent with the terms of the Joint Drug Agreement and the Basic Agreement, and relies on testimony and documents that would never have been allowed in any court in the United States because they are false and wholly unreliable. This injustice is MLB’s first step toward abolishing guaranteed contracts in the 2016 bargaining round, instituting lifetime bans for single violations of drug policy, and further insulating its corrupt investigative program from any variety defense by accused players, or any variety of objective review. …I am confident that when a Federal Judge reviews the entirety of the record, the hearsay testimony of a criminal whose own records demonstrate that he dealt drugs to minors, and the lack of credible evidence put forth by MLB, that the judge will find that the panel blatantly disregarded the law and facts, and will overturn the suspension. No player should have to go through what I have been dealing with, and I am exhausting all options to ensure not only that I get justice, but that players’ contracts and rights are protected through the next round of bargaining, and that the MLB investigation and arbitration process cannot be used against others in the future the way it is currently being used to unjustly punish me. I will continue to work hard to get back on the field and help the Yankees achieve the ultimate goal of winning another championship. I want to sincerely thank my family, all of my friends, and of course the fans and many of my fellow MLB players for the incredible support I received throughout this entire ordeal.”
Not surprisingly, A-Rod is not just going to accept this suspension, he plans on taking this all the way to federal court.
Whatever happens there remains to be seen, but it may be best for A-Rod to suck up his pride, move on, and sit out a season. That way he would be able to come back in 2015 and everything would be done and over with.
But then again, nothing is ever that simple to Alexander Emmanuel Rodriguez.
From a baseball perspective, the Yankees now have plenty of more money to spend, $27 million to be exact, and have to find a regular 3rd baseman to replace A-Rod. Whether that player is currently on the roster remains to be seen.