• A-Rod Suspended For All Of 2014

    Posted by on January 11th, 2014 · Comments (22)

    Via Ken Davidoff -

    The verdict is in: Guilty. Very guilty.

    Independent arbitrator Fredric Horowitz ruled Saturday that beleaguered Yankees superstar Alex Rodriguez must serve a full-season, 162-game suspension plus the 2014 postseason for his involvement with Biogenesis, the shuttered South Florida anti-aging clinic.

    It’s a reduction from the initial 211-game suspension executed by Major League Baseball, but it’s nevertheless a clear loss — perhaps a career-ender — for A-Rod, who vowed that he wouldn’t yet surrender. He filed a lawsuit against MLB last October as a pre-emptive strike against this moment.

    “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,” A-Rod said in a statement, “and in order to prove it I will take this fight to federal court.

    The suspension will cost A-Rod $25 million, and it gives the Yankees (who will owe a mere $3.16 million toward their luxury-tax calculation) a chance to achieve their goal of getting their 2014 payroll under $189 million — although that chance will blow up if the Yankees sign Japanese free-agent pitcher Masahiro Tanaka.

    A-Rod’s team of lawyers is expected to file for an injunction to prevent the suspension from being enacted until the lawsuit has played out, although that qualifies as a legal Hail Mary given the courts’ general respect for binding arbitration.

    Furthermore, the MLB Players Association, while releasing a statement that it “strongly disagrees” with Horowitz’s ruling, added, “We recognize that a final and binding decision has been reached, however, and we respect the collectively-bargained arbitration process which led to the decision.”

    In other words, A-Rod is on his own with future litigation.

    If this somehow holds up, the Yankees will still owe Alex $61 million over 2015 through 2017. Will they be willing to eat that? That’s what I want to know…

    And, if this somehow holds up, I fully expect A-Rod to attempt a comeback in 2015. He wants 3,000 hits. And, he probably wants 660 and 714 homeruns – since that will get him another $12 million.

    He’s not going away folks. Sorry.

    Comments on A-Rod Suspended For All Of 2014

    1. Evan3457
      January 11th, 2014 | 3:40 pm

      Not very suprising, the 162 games. The arbitrator makes the process and MLB look better by reducing the suspension, which shows that A-Rod “had his day in court”, and his penalty was mitigated.

      An attempt to get an injunction will almost surely fail under current labor law. A stay of the suspension is possible. A civil suit is not a criminal case. MLB doesn’t have to prove A-Rod’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, which would place a heavy burden on them. They would have to make the case that the preponderance of the evidence shows that the process was done fairly under the rules for the process set up and agreed to by the MLBPA (of which A-Rod is a voluntary member, and which A-Rod assented to when he signed his most recent contract) and MLB, and that it therefore didn’t violate any of A-Rod’s “civil (constitutional) rights”.

      In addition, in a civil case, A-Rod can be forced to testify or at least compelled to give a deposition, in which the attorneys representing MLB can ask him anything about the case, and during which any false statement he might make can leave him open to a perjury charge.

      But his ego will get the better of him, and he will go forward, because he’s blown up the bridges behind him. I hope he doesn’t get a stay of the suspension. But he might. So you’re quite right, Steve, he’s not going away.

    2. Evan3457
      January 11th, 2014 | 3:43 pm

      MLBPA comment:

      “”The MLBPA believes that every player has the right under our arbitration process to directly confront his accuser. We argued strenuously to the Arbitrator in Alex’s case that the Commissioner should be required to appear and testify. While we respectfully disagree with the Arbitrator’s ruling, we will abide by it as we continue to vigorously challenge Alex’s suspension within the context of this hearing.

      …which means the MLBPA will fight the result of the process, and not the process. If A-Rod goes into court to overturn the process, the MLBPA will almost certainly not aid him. Doing so would go against the wishes of the majority of the membership at this poiint.

    3. January 11th, 2014 | 4:29 pm

      I think the MLBPA backing the process MAY help get the court case dismissed. But, maybe that’s wishful thinking?

    4. Kamieniecki
      January 11th, 2014 | 4:59 pm

      It would seem the MLBPA backing the process can only help the argument that the federal court case should be dismissed.

    5. Mr. October
      January 11th, 2014 | 5:19 pm

      Of course he’s not going away…

      And so much for the morning person opposite Esiason on WFAN in New York, who claimed this week to have inside knowledge of a suspension of less than 162 games.

    6. JeremyM
      January 11th, 2014 | 7:16 pm

      The 2014 team is now worse, the Steinbrenners get to put a bunch of money back in their pockets, and the chance they try to stay under $189 million increased. Oh, and a pointless lawsuit. Bad day for Yankee fans overall.

    7. January 11th, 2014 | 7:29 pm

      If A-Rod was smart, and, if he really cared about his legacy – which, of course, are two things that are totally not true! – he would sit out this year, stay in shape, and workout out a buyout agreement with the Yankees. (Of course, the MLBPA would have to bless the buyout, I suppose.) Then, in January of 2015, he would be a free agent and could sell himself to the best offer he can get to play. Better yet, to prove that all he cares about is playing baseball and winning, he could offer himself as a RH DH/3B/1B to the team in the best position to win for a really low contract – like $2 million a year. And, then, let him go on to get his records and maybe restore part of his legacy. But, of course, none of this would ever happen…ever.

    8. Greg H.
      January 11th, 2014 | 8:28 pm

      JeremyM wrote:

      Bad day for Yankee fans overall.

      If we could say that this ended the circus for the year, that would be a positive, but it doesn’t. If Jeter would try to play 3rd it might be okay, but he won’t. (I don’t buy this from the captain – I’m a huge Jeter fan, but at this stage, he should try it – can’t be much worse than his defense at SS). I’d still like to see them sign Tanaka instead of going for plan 189.

    9. Zero PSI
      January 11th, 2014 | 10:11 pm

      Predicting the outcome of legal processes is a fool’s errand. There’s enough money on the table to keep several teams of lawyers (league, union, Yankees, Arod) busy for quite some time.

      Cracker Jack anyone?

    10. Evan3457
      January 12th, 2014 | 12:50 am

      Zero PSI wrote:

      Predicting the outcome of legal processes is a fool’s errand. There’s enough money on the table to keep several teams of lawyers (league, union, Yankees, Arod) busy for quite some time.
      Cracker Jack anyone?

      Well, that much is true.

      And if this were a criminal trial, I’d be as fatalistic. But this is going to be a federal suit to overturn an arbitration, with terms of the arbitration agreed to by both parties in advance (A-Rod’s signature on his contract with the Yankees is his approval of the MLBPA, which negotiated the current Basic Agreement, which includes this arbitration process.) It will take some very deep pockets, and some “extreme” lawyering to overturn largely settled federal labor law.

      About his lawsuits against MLB and the doctors and maybe the Yankees… who knows? But none of those, even if successful, gets him back on the field this year. Even if he wins those and uses them to get him money back, those wins will come too late. His sole hope of evading the suspension is to get a stay from a very friendly court, and the odds are very long.

    11. JeremyM
      January 12th, 2014 | 9:42 am

      Greg H. wrote:

      JeremyM wrote:
      Bad day for Yankee fans overall.
      If we could say that this ended the circus for the year, that would be a positive, but it doesn’t. If Jeter would try to play 3rd it might be okay, but he won’t. (I don’t buy this from the captain – I’m a huge Jeter fan, but at this stage, he should try it – can’t be much worse than his defense at SS). I’d still like to see them sign Tanaka instead of going for plan 189.

      I agree on all counts, but I just don’t see it happening. I see them making enough of an effort for Tanaka to look like close losers, then they’ll dial down to plan 189. But I could be wrong, because they definitely underestimated how quickly Yankee fans would tolerate rooting for a non-contender last season.

    12. redbug
      January 12th, 2014 | 11:28 am

      @ Evan3457: in a civil case, A-Rod can be forced to testify or at least compelled to give a deposition, in which the attorneys representing MLB can ask him anything about the case, and during which any false statement he might make can leave him open to a perjury charge.

      And, the arbitrator’s findings would be made public.

    13. McMillan
      January 12th, 2014 | 1:55 pm

      Zero PSI wrote:

      Predicting the outcome of legal processes is a fool’s errand.

      @ Zero PSI:
      Agreed.

      Evan3457 wrote:

      Well, that much is true.
      And if this were a criminal trial, I’d be as fatalistic. But this is going to be a federal suit to overturn an arbitration, with terms of the arbitration agreed to by both parties in advance (A-Rod’s signature on his contract with the Yankees is his approval of the MLBPA, which negotiated the current Basic Agreement, which includes this arbitration process.) It will take some very deep pockets, and some “extreme” lawyering to overturn largely settled federal labor law.

      @ Evan3457:
      You’ve gone from teaching high school math, and formal logic, to teaching law at what A.B.A.-approved or accredited top-50 law school program in the United States?

    14. redbug
      January 12th, 2014 | 2:04 pm

      Anthony Bosch will be on 60 Minutes tonight

    15. PHMDen
      January 12th, 2014 | 2:29 pm

      He still has a chance to play in 2014 with an injunction.

    16. Kamieniecki
      January 12th, 2014 | 3:38 pm

      It’s a shame Cashman drafted Andrew Brackman instead of Josh Donaldson – the Yankees might’ve had enough offense from the third base and D.H. positions to 90 wins in 2013, and would not have the hole the team has at third base for the 2014 season.

    17. Corey
      January 12th, 2014 | 4:23 pm

      Just heard on radio the long island ducks offered to a – rod a spot in the team if he doesn’t play for the Yankees this season. Wonder if that would even be a possibility

    18. Kamieniecki
      January 12th, 2014 | 5:11 pm

      Corey wrote:

      Just heard on radio the long island ducks offered to a – rod a spot in the team if he doesn’t play for the Yankees this season. Wonder if that would even be a possibility

      I’d make the trip to watch him play. Does the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball test for PEDs?

    19. Corey
      January 12th, 2014 | 5:26 pm

      I doubt they test. Seems like a win for the Atlantic league if they can get it done. Not sure if arods contract would allow it

    20. January 12th, 2014 | 8:17 pm

      Kamieniecki wrote:

      It’s a shame Cashman drafted Andrew Brackman instead of Josh Donaldson – the Yankees might’ve had enough offense from the third base and D.H. positions to 90 wins in 2013, and would not have the hole the team has at third base for the 2014 season.

      Brackman was a big hairy monster…oh, wait a minute…

    21. Evan3457
      January 13th, 2014 | 1:58 pm

      Corey wrote:

      Just heard on radio the long island ducks offered to a – rod a spot in the team if he doesn’t play for the Yankees this season. Wonder if that would even be a possibility

      Not a possibility. A violation of his contract with the Yankees to play baseball anywhere else.

    22. Evan3457
      January 13th, 2014 | 1:59 pm

      McMillan wrote:

      Zero PSI wrote:
      Predicting the outcome of legal processes is a fool’s errand.
      @ Zero PSI:
      Agreed.
      Evan3457 wrote:
      Well, that much is true.
      And if this were a criminal trial, I’d be as fatalistic. But this is going to be a federal suit to overturn an arbitration, with terms of the arbitration agreed to by both parties in advance (A-Rod’s signature on his contract with the Yankees is his approval of the MLBPA, which negotiated the current Basic Agreement, which includes this arbitration process.) It will take some very deep pockets, and some “extreme” lawyering to overturn largely settled federal labor law.
      @ Evan3457:
      You’ve gone from teaching high school math, and formal logic, to teaching law at what A.B.A.-approved or accredited top-50 law school program in the United States?

      I have to be a teacher at a law school to paraphrase experts on arbitration law? Maybe only in your fevered imagination.

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