• A-Rod Out Until 2015?

    Posted by on July 28th, 2013 · Comments (10)

    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.

    Comments on A-Rod Out Until 2015?

    1. Raf
      July 28th, 2013 | 10:48 am

      With Braun, I don’t think that people realize that his suspension isn’t much different than when a starting pitcher gets suspended; the suspension has no teeth. He has already missed time this year with injuries, and collected the bulk of his salary for this year. With the Brewers in last place and unlikely to contend this year I can see why Braun wouldn’t contest his suspension. Rest up, and give it a go next year.

      As for Rodriguez, reaching a settlement would be too easy for him to do. :P I wish MLB would get on with it. Announce the suspension and if Rodriguez decides he wants to appeal, lawyer up or whatever, so be it.

    2. redbug
      July 28th, 2013 | 11:27 am

      @ Raf:

      While it matters little to the Brewers as to getting in the PS whether Braun plays this year, it matters a lot to him and them because he’s badly tarnished his reputation. He was so indignant over the last PED accusation. His fans wanted to believe him. Now it’s clear he’s a cheat and a liar.

      It’s somewhat like Andy Pettitte’s claim that he only took PED’s to speed up his recovery from injuries. I think most fans, the Yanks, MLB believed him and appreciated his admitting it. Should it ever come out that it was more than that it would badly damage his image.

    3. July 28th, 2013 | 11:42 am

      This is all falling into place.

      MLB didn’t want to announce the suspensions before since it would take away from the All-Star game. And, they don’t want to do them know since Bud would have to deal with that at Cooperstown. But, they need to do it soon since there’s almost less than 50 games left to this season, if they want to give some guys 50 games.

      And, don’t let the Yankees fool you when they say that they are out of the process. They knew that the suspensions would be coming this week. That’s why they have been stalling to allow A-Rod back on the field. And, A-Rod knows they are coming – that’s why he wanted to get back out there on Friday.

    4. Raf
      July 28th, 2013 | 11:46 am
    5. Raf
      July 28th, 2013 | 12:11 pm

      Steve L. wrote:

      And, don’t let the Yankees fool you when they say that they are out of the process. They knew that the suspensions would be coming this week.

      If Nolan Ryan is to be believed (WRT Nelson Cruz), it seems that MLB is keeping teams out the loop.

      Hope the suspension isn’t announced today, what with HOF Induction going on.

    6. July 28th, 2013 | 12:16 pm

      Raf wrote:

      If Nolan Ryan is to be believed (WRT Nelson Cruz), it seems that MLB is keeping teams out the loop.

      More at stake with A-Rod because of the dollars, lawyers, and length of the potential suspension due to the history with the player.

    7. JeremyM
      July 28th, 2013 | 2:30 pm

      @ Steve L.:
      Do you think A-Rod just wanted to get into a few games to see how it went since he won’t be playing for awhile? It’s so odd that he was pushing so hard to play if he knew this was coming down the pipe. I don’t think he knows what’s going on and has been manic because of it.

      As far as Braun, his rep was tarnished either way – that was out the window. So I agree with Raf that his suspension had no teeth. He’s been hurt as well, so now he can recover and collect a greater salary next year. His contract bumps up significantly next season so it made sense for him financially to sit now under a lower salary. So I guess it has teeth to a degree, but they’ve been filed down considerably.

    8. July 28th, 2013 | 10:40 pm

      Is there any scenario in which this doesn’t go to an arbitrator?

    9. MJ Recanati
      July 29th, 2013 | 9:59 am

      Steve L. wrote:

      More at stake with A-Rod because of the dollars, lawyers, and length of the potential suspension due to the history with the player.

      I find it highly unlikely that MLB HQ would be consulting with some teams and not others and they’re either dealing with all of the stakeholders in all of this or none of them. The Rangers would have a strong case of arguing preferential treatment if the Yankees were given an insight into the process — for contingency planning, if nothing else — to the exclusion of any other team.

    10. MJ Recanati
      July 29th, 2013 | 10:03 am

      JeremyM wrote:

      I agree with Raf that his suspension had no teeth. He’s been hurt as well, so now he can recover and collect a greater salary next year. His contract bumps up significantly next season so it made sense for him financially to sit now under a lower salary.

      Agree.

      The other thing I find silly is that a 65-game suspension amounts to only 15 games longer than what he would’ve served if an arbitrator hadn’t tossed out the punishment for his positive drug test in 2011. If Selig was making a big deal about having two strikes against Braun and all it amounted to was “+15″ then it seems like Braun took the deal for the reasons that Raf and Jeremy mentioned. Hardly the harsh discipline Selig intended to dole out.

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