A-Rod Storms Out Of Arbitration, But Relief In Court Unlikely

Alex Rodriguez stormed out of the arbitration hearing today on his appeal of Major League Baseball’s 211-game suspension after the arbitrator, Frederic Horowitz, denied Rodriguez’s request to call Commissioner Bud Selig as a witnesses.

Rodriguez’s outburst is just the latest twist in the on-going drama between him and MLB. And it suggests that Rodriguez and his attorneys believe that the arbitrator will uphold the suspension, at least for some number of games. But Rodriguez is unlikely to get the help he wants from a court — to either stop the arbitration or overturn Horowitz’s final ruling.

Let’s review how we got here:

MLB suspended Rodriguez on August 5 for violations of the the Collective Bargaining Agreement and Joint Drug Agreement between MLB and the Players’ Association (or MLBPA). MLB charged Rodriguez with using banned substances over a period of years and with attempting to obstruct MLB’s investigation. MLB suspended Rodriguez for the remainder of the 2013 season and all of the 2014 season, which amounted to 211 games.

Rodriguez immediately appealed his suspension to baseball’s arbitrator. That gave Rodriguez the right to continue playing baseball until the arbitrator issued his final decision.

The hearing on Rodriguez’s appeal got under way on September 30 at MLB’s offices in New York. Even though Rodriguez is, essentially, the complainant — as he is challenging the commissioner’s suspension — MLB has the burden to prove that Rodriguez used substances banned by the JDA and impeded the investigation, and that the 211-game suspension was justified.

Over the course of several weeks, MLB put on the testimony of Anthony Bosch, the owner of the now-shuttered Biogenesis Clinic; Dan Mullins, MLB’s lead investigator, and Rob Manfred, MLB’s Chief Operating Officer. Rodriguez’s lawyers had the opportunity to cross-examine these witnesses and did so. There were charges and counter-charges of secret meetings, witness tampering, purchasing stolen documents and more. The appeal hearing was adjourned in mid-October, and set to resume on November 18. In early November, the New York Times detailed the aggressive tactics used by both sides during MLB’s investigation and Rodriguez’s appeal in this story.

A few days after the Times story, Rodriguez sued MLB in New York state court for interfering with his contract with the Yankees and with other business relationships. Rodriguez accused MLB of doing everything in its power (and some things beyond its power) to paint him as the poster boy for the steroid era, to push him out of baseball and ruin his reputation. The complaint — which you can read here – previewed Rodriguez’s attack on MLB’s tactics and the appeal process, and tried to lay the groundwork for Rodriguez to overturn the arbitrator’s final ruling. But Rodriguez didn’t ask the state court to stop the appeal hearing.

MLB removed Rodriguez’s complaint to federal court on the theory that Rodriguez’s allegations and his claims are governed by the CBA and JDA, and thus pre-empted by federal labor law. MLB then filed a motion to dismiss Rodriguez’s complaint on the same grounds (copy here). MLB also argued that Rodriguez had failed to “exhaust his remedies” by filing a lawsuit before the end of the appeal hearing. Rodriguez, for his part, filed a motion to remand the case back to state court (copy here). The federal judge presiding over the case — Judge Lorna A. Schofield of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York — has not yet ruled on these motions.

Which brings us to today’s developments.

The appeal hearing before arbitrator Horowitz re-commenced on Monday for Rodriguez to put on his case. Yankees president Randy Levine was called as a witness, and gave 30 minutes or so of testimony. Rodriguez and his lawyers also argued to the arbitrator that Selig should be ordered to appear, and forced to testify on his basis for the 211-game suspension.

This morning, the arbitrator ruled that Selig need not appear and testify. That decision set A-Rod off. Ken Davidoff of the New York Post was covering the hearing (by standing outside MLB’s offices, as the hearing is closed to the public) and reported:

Upon learning of Horowitz’s ruling about Selig’s testimony, an angry Rodriguez slammed his hand on a table, according to one source familiar with the proceedings, and shouted at MLB COO Rob Manfred.

One source contended Rodriguez told Manfred, “You’re full of s— and you know it,” while a second source said Rodriguez proclaimed, “This [process] is f—ing bulls—.” Rodriguez then departed with attorney Jim McCarroll.

“I am disgusted with this abusive process, designed to ensure that the player fails,” Rodriguez said in a statement. “I have sat through 10 days of testimony by felons and liars, sitting quietly through every minute, trying to respect the league and the process.

“This morning, after Bud Selig refused to come in and testify about his rationale for the unprecedented and totally baseless punishment he hit me with, the arbitrator selected by MLB and the Players Association refused to order Selig to come in and face me.

“The absurdity and injustice just became too much. I walked out and will not participate any further in this farce.”

After Rodriguez stormed out, several of his attorneys stayed behind to continue arguments on Horowitz’s ruling on Selig’s testimony. Then the hearing adjourned for the day.

MLB issued this statement:

For more than 40 years, Major League Baseball and the Players Association have had a contractual grievance process to address disputes between the two parties. This negotiated process has served players and clubs well. Despite Mr. Rodriguez being upset with one of the arbitration panel’s rulings today, Major League Baseball remains committed to this process and to a fair resolution of the pending dispute.

The Players’ Association argued strongly on Rodriguez’s behalf that Selig should be forced to testify, but said that the appeal hearing must be completed despite Selig’s absence. Here is MLBPA’s full statement:

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.

Later in the afternoon, Rodriguez appeared on Mike Francesca’s radio show on WFAN in New York, alongside one of his attorneys. Rodriguez told Francesca that he never used PEDs, that he never took any steps to obstruct MLB’s investigation and that the whole thing was a lie. A-Rod also accused Bud Selig of working to put A-Rod “on his mantle” before he retires. Rodriguez’s attorney focused on MLB’s witnesses, and argued that the league had failed to meet its burden of proof. “The arbitrator could have and should have ruled after MLB rested its case,” the attorney said. The full audio of the interview will be available on WFAN’s website later today by clicking here.

Rodriguez’s attorney is right. If his team refuses to complete their presentation of evidence, arbitrator Horowitz must still issue a decision on the appeal. The questions was and remains whether MLB met its burden of proof that Rodriguez used PEDs and/or obstructed the investigation, and whether MLB’s punishment was justified by the evidence and the language of the CBA and JDA. Rodriguez cross-examined all of MLB’s witnesses; it’s for the arbitrator to determine the credibility of the testimony and how the credible facts bear on the CBA and JDA.

What is likely to happen next?

True answer: who knows. My educated guess: Rodriguez’s attorneys will return to the appeal hearing, whether he accompanies them or not.

It would be very difficult for A-Rod to get a federal court to stop the appeal hearing now, before the arbitrator issues his final ruling. The arguments made by MLB in their motion to dismiss are on point: federal law requires parties governed by collective bargaining agreements to exhaust the remedies provided for under those agreements before asking a court to intervene.

Once the arbitrator rules, Rodriguez will undoubtedly attack the decision in court, unless Horowitz rules in his favor entirely. Federal court is the right forum, and Judge Schofield is likely to decide the matter. Again, Rodriguez will face a very tough burden to overturn the arbitrator’s final decision. As I explained in this post in June:

A decision by the arbitration panel either affirming or overturning a suspension is final and binding on MLB and the player. Collective bargaining agreements are governed by the federal law known as the Labor Management Relations Act. Under that statute, judicial review of an arbitrator’s decision under a collective bargaining agreement is very limited. Courts are not authorized to review an arbitrator’s decision on the merits, even if one of the parties argues that the arbitrator made factual errors or misinterpreted the CBA. A court may intervene only when the arbitrator strays so far from his authority that he “dispenses his own brand of justice,” as the Supreme Court wrote in a recent opinion.

In other words, Rodriguez will have to show that Horowitz was so in cahoots with MLB that it led to a fraudulent or biased proceeding. Perhaps Horowitz’s decision not to force Selig to testify will be enough to meet that standard. Perhaps, but not likely.

Today was a day of high drama in the Alex Rodriguez Story. But the evidence and legal arguments in support of or against MLB’s 211-game suspension haven’t really changed.




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Wendy also writes for Sports on Earth and Bay Area Sports Guy. She's written for ESPN.com, Baseball Nation and The Wall Street Journal. Wendy practiced law for 18 years before pursuing her passion for baseball. You can follow her writings and ravings on Twitter @hangingsliders.

70 Responses to “A-Rod Storms Out Of Arbitration, But Relief In Court Unlikely”

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  1. Jim McCarroll says:

    Your Honor, I call Col. Nathan R. Jessup as my next witness!

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  2. Ruki Motomiya says:

    “Rodriguez told Francesca that he never used PEDs”

    *Plays laugh track*

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  3. scott says:

    Best case scenario realized:

    1-Hear about ARod’s episode today
    2-Open ESPN’s canned piece written with fear of reprisal from the hand that writes the check
    3-Think, “I’d much rather hear Wendy Thurm’s take”
    4-Ditch ESPN. Open Fangraphs.
    5-Wendy’s on the top of the page. So so sweet. Thank you internet. Thank you Fangraphs.

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  4. While A-Rod faces a big hurdle in court, if his allegations that MLB threatened further suspensions if he testified on his behalf are true, I wonder if that will work in his favor.

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    • Wendy Thurm says:

      That is a fair point but remember, disciplinary proceedings that arise from collective bargaining agreements differ from civil or even criminal cases. It’s not uncommon for the employer (here, MLB writ large) to act as investigator, prosecutor, and judge on the initial phase of punishment. The arbitrator acts as a check on MLB’s conduct.

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      • Balthazar says:

        Yep. Because arbitration was in the contract, this hearing is the key venue for Rodriguez. And the burden of proof standard is different in arbitration than in a tort or criminal trial. MLB will likely only have to demonstrate that they acted reasonably and that the evidence against Rodriguez was credibile. Contrary evidence would count . . . but Rodriguez’ side hasn’t presented or elicited any. Alex is saying he thinks they were mean to him, which isn’t really germane to the issue before the arbitrator.

        To me, this is all noise to set up a tort filing by Rodriguez against MLB alleging conspiracy. I don’t see any way he’d win that, but then recent jury’s have been extremely forgiving of sports celebrities caught nakedly in the act, so Alex seems to think an overawed jury box might plant a big wet kiss on his mug too. But if the arb goes against him, the wall’s going to be mighty high for him to climb. We know he thinks he’s Superan, but he’s getting a running start on that big leap, it seems . . . .

        A-Rod: going ugly into that good night—and not nearly fast enough, sez I.

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      • I agree on the initial phase of discipline. I think it’s different if MLB made these threats last week after the appeal was filed. It’s not exactly the same as workers compensation arbitration because it’s primarily statute-based, but discriminating/interfering after the protected activity (filing claim/appeal) is engaged, is precisely the type of behavior that lands employers in court post-arbitration.

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  5. tom s. says:

    I doubt Damon Bruce has ever written or said anything half this coherent or thoughtful in his life. Good writing is good writing, whoever it comes from.

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  6. lcj says:

    Wendy, what do you think of the arbitrator’s decision not to compel Selig to testify? Is it legitimate? Would you need to know more about what has happened in the arbitration?

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    • Wendy Thurm says:

      I do need to know more. From everything we’ve heard, it was Selig who personally made the decision on the 211 games. A-Rod said on the radio that Manfred testified that he (Manfred) was told to make the discipline for 211 games. It may be that the arbitrator denied the request because he’s already concluded that there is no justification for that length of suspension. We’ll have to wait to see his ruling to know more.

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      • The Boomer says:

        That’s my uneducated speculation too. Horowitz has already decidd that the punishment is beyond the scope of the CBA so there’s no need to call Selig for him to explain his reasoning and it’s by definition invalid.

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  7. pft says:

    Horowitz not allowing them to question the guy who decided on Arods suspension length shows that he is in Buds back pocket. The last arbitrator to rule against MLB was fired, so you can’t be surprised this one knows how he has to rule to keep his job.

    Meanwhile, Arod can not testify because MLB is the judge and jury on his testimonies accuracy, and he faces a longer suspension by testifying, even if he is truthful because anything he says that contradicts MLB will be construed as a lie.

    So Arod figured out this is a sham, not unexpected (which is why they are going to court).

    I mean, here you have MLB’s main evidence as coming from MLB knowingly purchasing stolen property that impeded a FL investigation (perhaps even encouraging the theft), with a dubious chain of custody, and coerced testimony which is always unreliable, as a result of a frivolous lawsuit. Justice.

    So good for Arod in walking out. I don’t know if there is a board of arbitration that holds these arbitrators accountable for ethical conduct. but if there is they should be looking over Horowitz shoulders closely on this one. Not that MLB does not have the money to take care of any concerns he might have.

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    • Andy says:

      Yeah, the case against ARod is really flimsy. That’s why the other dozen or so players connected to Biogenesis are also fighting their decisions.

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      • pft says:

        They could not afford to fight since MLB was threatening to impose much larger sentences if they went to arbitration. Arod has a net worth over 300 million so has the resources to fight.

        Also, most players realize arbitration is a sham. The last time a player won in a high profile case the arbitrator got fired.

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        • Andy says:

          So why did Cruz apologize for doping? Did any of them publicly deny that they doped?

          You don’t seriously believe ARod is innocent of the charges, do you?

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        • Andy says:

          Braun also confessed, as did Melky, eventually. How many players connected to Biogenesis have to confess before it becomes obvious that all of them linked to it were guilty?

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        • Andy says:

          The reason players don’t win when they appeal doping cases is because they’re virtually always guilty. Anti-doping technology and rules overwhelmingly favor the athlete. You have to be really stupid to fail a test. So when once in a blue moon some player actually tests positive, of course he’s guilty and of course he’s going to lose if he fights it. Unless he gets off on a technicality like Braun.

          If MLB had not played hardball in getting the Biogenesis information, Braun would still be telling the whole world how clean he’s always been.

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      • chuckb says:

        There’s a strawman, since we’re talking about players receiving the exact same suspensions.

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        • Andy says:

          What we’re talking about is the only player connected to Biogenesis who publicly insists he didn’t dope.

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        • Gio Gonzalez says:

          Hey guys, remember when MY name was in the Biogenesis notebooks and it was later revealed I had done nothing wrong??!!!

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        • YX says:

          It’s more that there is no proof you did anything wrong. Lack of guilty proof is not exactly proof of innocent.

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    • lightSABR says:

      You realize, right, that the union can also fire the arbitrator if they don’t like his ruling? And the union signed off on his appointment as arbitrator?

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  8. dale pearl says:

    What I find disturbing in the whole PED case is that those that have a track record or association with PEDS continue to get top level contracts offered to them. This is ridiculous. They are getting paid based upon “fake” performance. If someone fails a PED test not only should the receive stricter suspensions but their remaining contract should be automatically reduced to the league minimum. Problem is using PEDS still pays off for the team and the player. They wind up getting a 50 game suspension. I do hope A-Rod gets the 211 game suspension whether he is guilty or not? why is that? To put fear in every single player of getting caught up in this mess.

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    • Pitnick says:

      Is this true? If Melky Cabrera had signed a contract based on his 2012 numbers, he’d get at least 3 times as much money.

      Marlon Byrd was busted in 2012, but his recent contract was signed based on his success in 2013 when he was (presumably) clean.

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  9. Hawat says:

    Is there any chance A-Rod plays a game next year? Because, yeah, I own him in a fantasy league….

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  10. TheGrandslamwich says:

    Is there any real reason Selig needs to be there? Manfred has been in charge of the investigation the whole time. What could Selig possibly have to add to the hearing that Manfred cannot handle?

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    • Doug Lampert says:

      Presumably he could explain why he went for a 211 game suspension.

      I have not heard any convincing explanation of just why Arod got 211 games, but Selig’s is the signature on that sentence.

      Was ARod’s offense somehow much worse than any of those other players? Or is MLB trying to intimidate people into not going to arbitration, or is MLB trying to save the Yankees money? I really can’t see a justification for 211 games in what is technically a first offense on PEDs and thus by agreement should be a 50 game suspension.

      Asking “Why 211 games rather than what is called for in the BCA” seems obviously relevant to a hearing under the CBA on the 211 game suspension.

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      • chuckb says:

        “Asking “Why 211 games rather than what is called for in the BCA” seems obviously relevant to a hearing under the CBA on the 211 game suspension.”

        I agree 100%. I have no idea whether or not Selig should have been there, but his testimony seems entirely relevant. It’s pretty clear that Selig either didn’t have the balls to show up to defend his decision or couldn’t defend the suspension. It’s really tough to decide which of the two — A-Rod or Selig — is the lesser human being.

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      • Alec Trev says:

        I was under the impression that the extra games were due to his obstruction of the investigation. Is this incorrect?

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        • Harry says:

          thats what I heard as well, but I dont think the MLB has ever released an info actually saying that. Usually suspensions for violating drug policy is confidential info and what we hear as the public is not official from the MLB. IIRC, the thought that the extra games are for obstructing the investigation is mostly speculation by media types who have knowledge of the case and the investigation. It seems the actual reasoning behind the length of the suspension would be quite pertinent to the hearings, but what do I know?

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        • Alec Trev says:

          ^Alright, that’s fair. I definitely agree that MLB should have to give a justification on the length.

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  11. Spunky says:

    Great job, Wendy! Thanks for the update!

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  12. TKDC says:

    I have a rather “crackpot” theory that I am 100% convinced is true and the more Beam I drink the more I believe it. This was planned from the start, likely by Scott Boras’ team. What benefit does Arod have in exploding and running out of a hearing? It can’t help him win the hearing. What it does is set the groundwork for a PR campaign when he eventually loses. You could say that it creates the very slightest of negatives in this case, but my best guess, considering the hearing continued as scheduled, is that it has zero effect. But it helps Arod in the press claim he was railroaded. And if they didn’t actually want him to testify, this helps prevent any “why didn’t he testify?” talk. I just don’t see a 38-year-old professional who seems to always be able to take the coaching from his team doing something like this on his own. I’m a lawyer (don’t work in anything like this), and the frequency of people rushing out of legal proceedings or quasi-legal proceedings is shockingly low other than with the severely unstable. Think about your own lives. Also, think, if you are innocent, are you really going to not want to be there for your defense? So, long story short, I strongly believe this is a ploy planned probably from the beginning or early on by the Arod team. This isn’t a legal strategy though, it is a PR one.

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    • AC of DC says:

      I’m not buying in entirely, but I wouldn’t call it fully crackpot, either. I could not speak to the motive, but I wouldn’t be surprised if such a maneuver were indeed rehearsed. Exciting outbursts in the courtroom are almost exclusively the stuff of corny television melodramas and boring films looking for commercial clips — or disingenuous theatrics cribbed from such fare, perhaps undertaken by a hammy manchild not quite moored in reality.

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      • The Honorable Sen. Clay Davis says:

        I agree too, it’s not entirely crackpot…his appearance on a radio show the same day as the outburst does hint at possible contrivance depending on when it was ‘scheduled’. Despite his histrionics and the fact it’s A-Rod and that he likes magazines to publish photographs of himself looking at himself in the mirror – MLB hasn’t come out of this smelling like a delicious meatloaf dinner… I say this because I just made one and I am hungry and I am about to eat it I apologise. I am hungry honest.

        Cheating is everywhere, not just in baseball. I bet this meatloaf has probably had some performance enhancing substance added to it to improve it’s performance at the plate…

        I’ll show myself out.

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    • The Boomer says:

      My theory is that this circus is laying the groundwork for A-Rod to be able to assert his innocence going forward should Horowitz rule he should serve a 50-game suspension.

      Plus, he now doesn’t have to testify, which I am sure his team wanted to avoid if it was possible to do it without looking guilty.

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    • RC says:

      ” the frequency of people rushing out of legal proceedings or quasi-legal proceedings is shockingly low other than with the severely unstable”

      ARod is a guy who has basically been coddled his entire life because of his ability to hit a baseball. I wouldn’t expect him to act like the rest of the population. He’s essentially a child.

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  13. ARoid says:

    I listened to it. I’m pretty sure A-Rod didn’t say “I never took steroids” but that he didn’t do what he’s being accused of in this particular case. He’s already admitted doing PEDs in the past. He denied doing them this time, and he denied involvement in any obstruction of justice. For what it’s worth.

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  14. ATrain says:

    “Rodriguez accused MLB of doing everything in its power (and some things beyond its power) to paint him as the poster boy for the steroid era, to push him out of baseball and ruin his reputation.”

    Look, I’m no fan of Selig, but I think it’s pretty obvious that A-ped did just fine accomplishing all of that on his own.

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    • Cidron says:

      yup, all that mlb did was to catch him with his hand in the cookie jar. They didnt put his hand in it.

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      • Steve says:

        Agreed. And the penalty for that is 50 games.

        Isn’t it reasonable to think that A-Rod is both guilty AND being completely shafted by this process?!!

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        • nada says:

          no! With great power (or in this case, natural ability) comes great responsibility.

          Strategically, MLB will never be able to prevent fringe players who have nothing to lose and everything to gain from doing PEDs to get into the league.

          But what they should be able to severely punish (and what undermines the sport of baseball to a much greater degree) is star players like ARod doing steroids.

          I recognize that rules are rules, and he’s probably being punished beyond the strict boundaries of those rules; except the commissioner has some discretion or wiggle-room with the rules, and he’s using it – basically to banish ARod for the rest of his useful playing life (I hope).

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        • Steve says:

          Wait, what? A-Rod should have a greater punishment because he’s a better player?

          That seems…insane? Stupid? pick your word I guess.

          Ryan Braun and Manny Ramirez (who, by the way, was caught TWICE and only served 50 games for his second suspension…try justifying the 211 in the face of that fact) were both pretty big stars…

          I apologize if I missed the satire in your post. If it was meant to be a joke, ignore me. Frankly that is the only way it makes a lick of sense.

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  15. Hurtlockertwo says:

    There’s more than little irony when you listen to ARod. He accuses others of being liars when he repeatedly lied about his PED use. He wants to “protect” his legacy?? Really ARod, have you never hear of Barry bonds and Roger Clemens?? And finally it’s very ironic that everyone else associated with the biogenisis case pleaded guilty and took their punishment, ARod wants us to believe he was the only innocent one of the group.
    Good article Wendy!!

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    • Cidron says:

      Rule of thumb with PED usage. Own up to it. You will be forgiven. We have almost forgotten that Pettitte and Giambi have used, whereas we will never get over, nor forgive the Palmieros, Bonds, Clemens, A-Frauds of the baseball world.

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      • Steve says:

        Rule of Thumb with PED usage:

        Be a good player, but not an all time great, and someone who threatens any hallowed baseball records and you will be forgiven.

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        • nada says:

          why?
          Why are we not allowed to consider the magnitude of a player’s accomplishments in their subsequent punishment?

          If Joe Schmoe the minor league pitcher takes a banned supplement and for a month sniffs a major league rotation, wherein he performs at replacement level, yes he should get the requisite ban, but it frankly doesn’t do much damage. The ultimate response is we shrug our shoulders and say “poor Joe, he’s never gonna play again.”

          When a superstar does it and shatters long-cherished records and forces himself into record books all while trumpeting his cleanliness and yes, being a dick to approximately everybody at the same time, it attracts hugely more attention to the corruption of baseball and forces people such as the HoF committee and so on to make difficult, painful choices about recognizing the legitimacy of the records and so on.

          Records are symbols which have meanings; they are tied into the people who make them, and in summary, it’s not unreasonable to want those people to be good, honest, hardworking professionals, as opposed to slimy, cheating scumbags.

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        • eayres33 says:

          We aren’t allowed to consider the magnitude of a players accomplishments in their subsequent punishment because the collective bargaining agreement, doesn’t allow it.
          In the legal systems court don’t allow it, because justice is suppossed to be fair and impartial.

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        • RC says:

          “Records are symbols which have meanings; they are tied into the people who make them, and in summary, it’s not unreasonable to want those people to be good, honest, hardworking professionals, as opposed to slimy, cheating scumbags.”

          Except that pretty much everyone in the baseball record books was a slimy cheating scumbag.

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      • Steve says:

        Also, when did Giambi “own up” to it. He called a press conference and said he apologized, but would not say what he was apologizing for.

        If A-Rod had done that, he would have been ridden out of town on a rail.

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    • RC says:

      “everyone else associated with the biogenisis case pleaded guilty and took their punishment”

      Except for the guy who didn’t, and wasn’t guilty (Gonzalez).

      The fact that Gio Gonzalez was on the list and we know he wasn’t getting anything helps quite a bit.

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  16. Alec Trev says:

    So, I clearly have not been keeping up with this media circus, so hopefully somebody can clarify this up for me.

    I was under the impression that ARod got the extra games not due to PED accusations, but rather due to interfering with/obstructing the investigation. Everybody who agreed got the base 50, plus 15 to Braun for lying, then Arod got a bunch more for obstruction and didn’t get any games knocked off for accepting the punishment. And as to “why didn’t they suspend Braun 211 games then”, I thought it was because MLB can’t legally go all out after Braun for “escaping justice” because he did so on “legal grounds” however questionable, whereas ARod illegally tried to obstruct the law.

    Now, based on some comments in here, it seems clear that I am mistaken. Can somebody clear this up for me?

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    • Cidron says:

      Braun accepted 65. To tack on another 150ish would be akin to double jeopardy. Not so much accusing/trying him twice for the same charge, but punishing him for it, twice. Besides, Braun only used a legal loophole, as opposed to outright interfering with the process in a manner to impede it, mislead it, and alter its course.

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      • Alec Trev says:

        That’s what I thought. They couldn’t punish him for winning his appeal because he did so legally, so he was just being nailed for being linked to Biogenesis and was never going to get as many as Arod who interfered illegally. Plus, Braun accepted his punishment (like everybody but Arod), which likely knocked it down a bit.

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    • Steve says:

      Yes, of course Melky also obstructed his investigation by creating a fake website where he supposedly purchased tainted supplements from.

      The extra penalty for that obstruction was zero point zero games.

      I know A-Rod is one of the all time biggest douches, but can we all at least pretend to be objective?

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  17. Cidron says:

    If A-Rod ‘wants to face his accuser’ (his reasoning to get Selig up on the stand), didn’t he already get that, as its MLB that is his accuser. Selig is merely ‘the face’ of MLB offices. By having his lead investigator and other officials, MLB offices were well represented already.

    Also, if I am a no-show for my court date (any or all) for pretty much any reason (which includes throwing a tantrum), I am pretty sure that the judge is not inclined to decide in my favor.

    Two strikes A-Rod. One more and see ya in 2015, if then.

    Oh, do the Yankees get any financial flexibility if the decision favors MLB (and doesn’t favor A-Rod)? Or, are they still on the hook for his contract, length and cost.

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    • Peter R says:

      Yes, if Arod is suspended all of next season the Yankess get 33 million of financial flexibility due to his contract and a home run bonus in his contract he will likely reach next season.

      Mike Axisa over at the fantastic RiverAveBlues has been breaking down payroll all year and his latest covers the whole Arod deal (and the different suspension length options).

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  18. Hurtlockertwo says:

    If ARod retires in Jan 2015 do the Yankees still owe him the rest of his salary?

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  19. RC says:

    “In other words, Rodriguez will have to show that Horowitz was so in cahoots with MLB that it led to a fraudulent or biased proceeding. Perhaps Horowitz’s decision not to force Selig to testify will be enough to meet that standard. Perhaps, but not likely.”

    I don’t know that its that unlikely. The fact that MLB fired the last arbitrator because he ruled against them doesn’t paint them in a good light, the fact that most of the evidence for Arod’s suspension was obtained illegally, and basically destroyed a federal investigation doesn’t paint them in a good light, and the fact that Selig was the one that made the decision and yet was not allowed to be called does not paint them in a good light.

    What I get from that is basically that the entire arbitration process is a sham, and I think it would be very easy for a judge to be swayed into thinking that Horowitz isn’t an impartial party. His predecessor got fired for making the wrong decision.

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