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.