Via the fella at the Post -
The strong indications are Major League Baseball will announce all the suspensions in the Biogenesis case this week, including one that could cover the rest of this year and all of next season for Alex Rodriguez, The Post has learned.
It always has been MLB’s plan to announce the suspensions at one time for the 15-plus players believed to be facing sanctions in the performance-enhancing drug case. MLB went early with Ryan Braun’s suspension because of his willingness to accept the penalty without appeal.
It is expected other players will do the same this week. To that end, Rodriguez’s representatives met with MLB officials in the past few days, The Post has learned. It is believed A-Rod’s camp was trying to gain a better understanding of potential penalties. However, a member of Rodriguez’s team told The Post yesterday it is “unequivocally untrue” that Rodriguez is seeking a settlement.
It is believed MLB wants to make the suspensions formal this week before teams reach the point at which they have fewer than 50 games to play. The penalty for first-time offenders who fail a PED test is 50 games.
MLB apparently is willing to give the same sanction to first-time offenders in this case, in which the evidence does not come from a failed urine or blood exam, but rather from an investigation. The thinking is MLB wants to provide the first-time offenders this carrot: Don’t appeal and you can serve the entire suspension this year and start with a clean slate for next season.
Rodriguez does not fit into this category. It has become evident MLB is going to demand Rodriguez’s punishment far exceed Braun’s. That is because MLB believes the combination of being a user and obstructing the case demands a much stiffer penalty — especially because Rodriguez has admitted to previous drug use from 2001-03 and because MLB believes Rodriguez subsequently lied to its investigators in previous interviews about his usage.
Bud Selig was at the Hall of Fame ceremonies in Cooperstown this week and was said still to be mulling what punishment to deliver Rodriguez. It is conceivable he could ask for permanent banishment, akin to Pete Rose. But the belief is no matter the level of evidence — and it has been portrayed that MLB has substantially more evidence on Rodriguez than it does on Braun — it would be hard to convince an arbitrator, if Rodriguez appeals, that Rodriguez’s first suspension should be for life.
Keep in mind, though, that Selig could ask for life knowing the arbitrator could lower the punishment to a shorter duration — or even find that Rodriguez should not be punished at all.
But as a way to levy a sanction that will not be reduced, there was growing belief around baseball that Selig would request the rest of this season and all of next year.
That could be viewed as just about the death penalty for Rodriguez, at least for his playing career. He turned 38 yesterday. He has yet to play this year. The idea that he would not play this season or next season and come back able to play in 2015 after two hip surgeries seems farfetched.
A-Rod’s pretty stupid not to try and reach a settlement.