Via Jon Heyman -
Alex Rodriguez plans to appeal his 214-game drug suspension related to the Biogenesis case and play Monday night for the Yankees against the White Sox, according to people involved the case. But he may be the only one of 13 or so players to appeal.
While a couple of Biogenesis-linked players suggested behind closed doors they were seriously considering appeal, with a few hours to go before the announcement there was no confirmation anyone was joining A-Rod in appealing his suspension.
Rangers outfielder Nelson Cruz has told people he will not appeal after some earlier reports suggested he might. He is said to have received encouragement to possibly appeal from some teammates who are concerned about their pennant push, but he must understand it would be difficult to fight this case.
Rodriguez will be announced as suspended through the 2014 season for what is described as “massive violations” of the baseball’s Joint Drug Agreement. The other players are all in line to receive 50-game bans, which will contain their penalty within the 2013 season.
Rodriguez has told people he doesn’t believe he deserves a ban for more than the 50 games the others are receiving since he has never previously been suspended, and further suggested he deserves “less than [Ryan] Braun,” referring to the Brewers star who agreed to a 65-game ban in the case.
The evidence is said to suggest Rodriguez is said to have bought or used steroids in 2010, 2011 and 2012. However, all of it will be heard at a hearing within 20 days. Baseball’s arbitrator, Fredric Horowitz will then have 25 days to render a verdict.
MLB plans to make the announcement this afternoon, at which time they could lay out a bit of their case against Rodriguez. Word is that there’s corroborating evidence, including texts, well beyond the testimony of former Biogenesis proprietor Tony Bosch.
Nine of the other players to be suspended are known: Cruz, Tigers shortstop Jhonny Peralta, Mariners catcher Jesus Montero, Padres shortstop Everth Cabrera and Yankees catcher Francisco Cervelli, plus minor leaguers Fernando Martinez, Jordan Norberto, Fautino de los Santos and Cesar Puello.
Three other players’ name are expected to be on the suspeneded list. Those players have yet to be definitely identified in media reports. But it won’t be Bartolo Colon, Melky Cabrera or Yasmani Grandal, who are linked to Biogenesis but considered to have served their time with their past suspensions.
Rodriguez will be eligible to play while on appeal, which could take up to three weeks according to the drug agreement. Yankees manager Joe Girardi told reporters Sunday that A-Rod was being penciled into the lineup Monday night.
“It’s going to be a circus,” one Yankees person predicted.
At this point, I am sick and tired of this whole situation. And, for what it’s worth, that expression – “sick and tired” – is one that people throw around pretty loosely at times. But, I am truly and sincerely, sick and tired, of this whole A-Rod mess.
On one hand, I can’t believe that this self-serving pathological and narcissistic ass-hat is going to get to play in a major league game tonight. (Although, I totally understand “why” – it’s the way that the system works, coupled with MLB’s fear to do anything that might be seen as going outside the system.) Yet, on the other hand, I know that the Yankees created this mess when they extended A-Rod after 2007. (And, don’t let the Yankees fool you here – they were more than happy with the juiced up A-Rod when he was hitting 50 homeruns a season and when he was an inhuman wrecking ball in the 2009 post-season.) So, I sorta/kinda want to say they’re getting what they deserve.
At this point, I don’t even want to read, hear, or see any of this any more. And, the only “blessing” here is that the Yankees season is already down the crapper and this sideshow isn’t going to mess with a post-season run or something like that.
Just tell me when it’s all over.