MLB Suspends Alex Rodriguez Through 2014 Season; 12 Others Get 50 Games

Major League Baseball suspended 13 players today for violations of the Joint Drug Agreement based on evidence collected in its investigation of Biogenesis, the now-shuttered “anti-aging” clinic run by Anthony Bosch.

Jhonny Peralta (Tigers), Nelson Cruz (Rangers), Everth Cabrera (Padres), Francisco Cervilli (Yankees), Jesus Montero (Mariners), Antonio Bastardo (Phillies), Jordany Valdespin (Mets) and Sergio Escalona (Astros) were suspended for 50 games and agreed to forgo the appeal process, and will begin serving their suspensions immediately. Minor-league players Fernando Martinez (Astros), Jordan Norberto (free agent, formerly with the A’s), Fautino de los Santos (Padres) and Cesar Puello (Mets) also agreed to 50 game suspensions. All but Norberto will begin their suspensions immediately. Norberto’s suspension will become effective when and if he signs a contract with another team. This is a first JDA violation for each of these players.

The suspensions of Bastardo, Valdespin, and Escalona came as a big surprise, as there had been no previous reports linking those players to Biogenesis or performance enhancing drugs.

Melky Cabrera (Blue Jays), Bartolo Colon (A’s), and Yasmani Grandal (Padres) were not suspended for a second violation. All three players tested positive last season and served a 50-game suspension. They were said to be connected to Biogenesis.

MLB took the most drastic action against Alex Rodriguez. The league suspended Rodriguez for the remainder of the 2013 season (49 games) and all of the 2014 season, for a total of 211 games. The suspension will be effective as of Thursday, August 8.

In announcing Rodriguez’s suspension, Commissioner Bud Selig invoked the Joint Drug Agreement and the Collective Bargaining Agreement. The full statement from MLB reads:

Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig announced today that third baseman Alex Rodriguez of the New York Yankees has been suspended without pay for the remainder of the 2013 Championship Season and Postseason and the entire 2014 Championship Season for violations of the Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program and the Basic Agreement.

Rodriguez’s discipline under the Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program is based on his use and possession of numerous forms of prohibited performance-enhancing substances, including Testosterone and human Growth Hormone, over the course of multiple years. Rodriguez’s discipline under the Basic Agreement is for attempting to cover-up his violations of the Program by engaging in a course of conduct intended to obstruct and frustrate the Office of the Commissioner’s investigation. The suspension, which will become effective on Thursday, August 8th, will cover 211 Championship Season games and any 2013 Postseason games in which Rodriguez otherwise would have been eligible to play.

Under the terms of the Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program, Rodriguez’s suspension will be stayed until the completion of his appeal if Rodriguez files a grievance challenging his discipline.

Yankees manager Joe Girardi indicated Sunday that Rodriguez would be in the lineup when the Yankees take on the White Sox in Chicago on Monday night.

In the weeks leading up to MLB’s suspension of Rodriguez, there were reports that Selig was considering invoking his powers under CBA Article XI, Section (A)(1)(b) to suspend Rodriguez for life to preserve “the integrity of, or the maintenance of public confidence in, the game of baseball.” If Selig had done so, Rodriguez would not have had the right to appeal the suspension to the arbitrator, as the “integrity of the game” provision gives the commissioner final say on the matter.

I raised concerns about Selig using this provision in a post entitled “Is Selig Preparing To Use The Nuclear Option?” Many others did, too. Ultimately, the threat of a lifetime ban was seen as nothing more than a heavy-handed negotiating tactic to force Rodriguez to accept a lesser punishment if he agreed to forgo an appeal. In fact, the threat was hollow, because Selig had previously promised the Major League Baseball Players’ Association that he would not invoke Section A(1)(b) while the current CBA was in effect. Attachment 1 to the CBA is a letter from Selig to MLBPA Executive Director Michael Weiner that states:

I understand that the Players Association has expressed concern that the Commissioner might take some action pursuant to Article XI(A)(1)(b) of the Basic Agreement which could negate rights of Players under the new Basic Agreement. While I have difficulty seeing that this is a real problem, I am quite willing to assure the Association that the Commissioner will take no such action.

After threatening the nuclear option proved unproductive, Selig was said to be considering suspending Rodriguez for life under the “best interests of baseball” clause of the CBA. Under that provision, found in Article XII, Section B, “[p]layers may be disciplined for just cause for conduct that is materially detrimental or materially prejudicial to the best interests of Baseball including, but not limited to, engaging in conduct in violation of federal, state or local law.”

Reports suggested that Selig leaned toward using the “best interests of baseball” clause because it would give the league flexibility to impose a very long suspension, and one that would keep Rodriguez off the field while he appealed. Section C of Article XII requires “prompt compliance” with discipline imposed under Section B, meaning that the player must serve the suspension even if he files a grievance.

In the end, Selig invoked both the JDA and the CBA, but is permitting Rodriguez to play while his appeal is pending. In doing so, Selig gave Rodriguez something he wanted – to get back on the field – but gave himself something more important – the breadth of the “best interests of baseball” clause.

A 211-game suspension based solely on the JDA might have been difficult for Selig to defend before the arbitrator. Section 7(A) of the JDA states:

A player who tests positive for a Performance Enhancing Substance, or otherwise violates the Program through the possession or use of a Performance Enhancing Substance, will be subject to the discipline set forth below. (emphasis mine) 1. First violation: 50-game suspension; 2. Second violation: 100-game suspension; 3. Third violation: Permanent suspension from Major League and Minor League Baseball.

Michael Weiner, the MLBPA executive director, hinted at this possibility during an All-Star break press conference. Weiner was quoted as saying that suspensions for “non-analytical positives” under the JDA were not limited to the 50-100-lifetime regime, despite the plain language of the agreement. Some have suggested that the phrase “or otherwise violates the Program through the possession or use of a” performance enhancing substance is ambiguous because the terms “use” and “possession” aren’t defined. Others have argued that evidence that a player purchased PEDs merits stronger punishment than does a positive test, because a purchase shows the player intended to use a banned substance. Under the JDA, a positive test leads to an automatic 50-game suspension for a first time violation, even if the player can prove the PED was in his system accidentally.

Reports Sunday night suggested that Selig would suspend Rodriguez for 211 games, in part, because Rodriguez allegedly interfered with the league’s Biogenesis investigation. Previous articles reported that Rodriguez tried to purchase Biogenesis-related documents with the intent to destroy them. It’s not otherwise known what evidence MLB has of Rodriguez’s effort to obstruct the investigation.

It’s not at all clear that the Joint Drug Agreement authorized the Commissioner to suspend a player for 211 games based on evidence the player purchased PEDs and that he tried to impede the investigation into his use.

We’ve already addressed section 7.A. Sections 7.F.  and 7.G. may also have come into play.

Section 7.F. is entitled “Participation in the Sale or Distribution of a Prohibited Substance”. That section states:

A player who participates in the sale or distribution of a Prohibited Substance shall be subject to the following discipline:

1. First offense: At least an 80-game but not more than a 100-game suspension, if the Prohibited Substance is a Performance Enhancing Substance, or at least a 60-game but not than a 90-game suspension, if the Prohibited Substance is a Stimulant or a Drug of Abuse.

2. Second offense involving a Performance Enhancing Substance: Permanent suspension from Major League and Minor League Baseball . . . .

Just as with the terms “use” and “possession,” the JDA doesn’t define the term “sale.” It’s unclear if Section 7.F. is intended to apply only when a player himself sells a PED to another player, or is broad enough to encompass a player’s purchase of PEDs. If MLB is relying on this provision, we can expect Rodriguez’s attorneys — and perhaps the union — to argue vigorously on appeal that a player’s purchase for his own use shouldn’t trigger this section. After all, most players who “use” or “possess” PEDs purchased them in the first place.

Section 7.G. leads to even murkier waters. That section, entitled “Other Violations” states in subsection (2):

A Player may be subject to disciplinary action for just cause by the Commissioner for any Player violation of Section 2 above not referenced in Section 7.A. through Section 7.F. above.

Section 2 is the provision that outlines all of the Prohibited Substances (Drugs of Abuse, Performance Enhancing Substances, and Stimulants) and details what players are permitted to do and not do with these substances. The first sentence of Section 2 reads:

All Players shall be prohibited from using, possessing, selling, facilitating the sale of, distributing and/or facilitating the distribution of any Drug of Abuse, Performance Enhancing Substance and/or Stimulant (collectively referred to as “Prohibited Substances).

Again, notice the absence of the word “purchase” in that sentence. Under the language of the agreement, players can be punished for using, possessing, selling, or distributing a banned substance, but not for purchasing one.

There’s also nothing in either Section 2 or Section 7 that says anything about MLB investigations into a player’s use, possession, sale or distribution of PEDs. Yes, Section 7.G.2. gives the Commissioner the power to discipline a player for “just cause” but only when a player otherwise violates Section 2. That’s a much more narrow “just cause” provision than the one in the CBA, which gives the Commissioner the power to suspend a player whose conduct is materially detrimental to baseball.

So Selig used the JDA and the CBA, but we don’t know how he reached 211 games. Was it 100 games for a first and second violation for “use or possession” under the JDA plus 114 games for prejudicing “the best interests of baseball”? Was it 50 games for a first time violation for “use or possession” plus 100 games for a first violation for participating in the sale and distribution of PEDs, plus 64 games for prejudicing “the best interests of baseball”?

In the end, it appears that Selig decided to suspend Rodriguez for the remainder of this season and all of next season because he liked the optics and with the hope that the arbitrator will uphold the punishment in full, or trim it down only slightly, on Rodriguez’s appeal. But unlike league officials, arbitrators must confine their decisions to the language of the agreements. If the language is ambiguous, the arbitrator can hear testimony on the negotiations leading to the agreements to try to flesh out the parties’ intent.

Rodriguez’s appeal is expected to be heard by the arbitrator in the next few weeks. MLB will bear the burden to prove by a preponderance of the evidence (more likely than not) Rodriguez violated one or more provisions of the JDA and CBA and that the suspension was justified under those agreements. In addition to challenging the length of the suspension, Rodriguez is sure to challenge MLB’s evidence, much of which is tied to Anthony Bosch and the original whistleblower, Porter Fischer. Rodriguez’s attorneys will undoubtedly attack the credibility and motive of these witnesses, as well the authenticity and reliable of any Biogenesis-related documents they turned over to the league.

Rodriguez’s appeal will be conducted in a private hearing before the arbitrator. MLB must turn over to Rodriguez and his attorneys all of the evidence it’s relying on to support the suspension. But there is no obligation that either MLB or Rodriguez make that evidence public. Indeed, a suspension under the JDA and any ensuing appeal are supposed to be confidential. Perhaps no provision of the JDA has been violated more times and with such vigor than the confidentiality clause. So we can expect many more “leaks” as the matter moves from the Commissioner’s suite to the arbitrator’s office in the coming weeks.




Print This Post



Wendy writes about sports and the business of sports. She's been published most recently by Vice Sports, Deadspin and NewYorker.com. You can find her work at wendythurm.pressfolios.com and follow her on Twitter @hangingsliders.


99 Responses to “MLB Suspends Alex Rodriguez Through 2014 Season; 12 Others Get 50 Games”

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.
  1. meh says:

    As much as I want the game to be clean, I really don’t like the Arod suspension. Melky also tried to beat the system last season, and created fake evidence in an effort to thwart investigation, and he went unpunished. As far as I know there is language in the JDA that allows Selig to punish players interfering with an investigation, I would rather he kept to that language than invoking the CBA, it’s a little too Roger Goodellian.

    +48 Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Brian says:

      Melky actually FAILED his drug test, and was judged by the 50-100-lifetime procedures. The lying & deceiving part really has no impact on the punishment. As for the Biogenesis news, Melky can’t be suspended a second time for the same crime.

      On the other hand, A-Rod did not fail his drug tests. A-Rod’s suspension does not follow the 50-100-lifetime pattern.There’s no fixed punishment structure for ‘lying’ and ‘deceiving’.

      MLB is really just making up the penalties as they go.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Bob M says:

        Are you really trying to argue that Melky attempting to deceive about his PED use is different than AROD attempting to deceive about his PED use?

        Vote -1 Vote +1

    • TKDC says:

      This is a good point, but it could also easily be made about Melky’s lack of extra punishment. It seems that both players did things other than possess/use PEDs that were wrong.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  2. Ryan Braun says:

    So if Colon, Melky and Grandal don’t get suspended again, I guess I can’t get suspended again either!!

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  3. Well-Beered Englishman says:

    Suspended Players Cool Name Power Rankings
    14. Alex Rodriguez
    13. Ryan Braun
    12. Nelson Cruz
    11. Fernando Martinez
    10. Jesus Montero
    9. Jhonny Peralta
    8. Jordan Norberto
    7. Everth Cabrera
    6. Cesar Puello
    5. Francisco Cervelli
    4. Antonio Bastardo
    3. Sergio Escalona
    2. Fautino de los Santos
    1. Jordany Valdespin

    +35 Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Ludwig von Koopa says:

      I’d put Bastardo at #1, personally… he sounds like a cheesy Zorro villain.

      +20 Vote -1 Vote +1

    • pft says:

      Wonder what the sum total for their 2012-2013 WAR is. Too lazy to calculate, but I suspect the owners savings per WAR (prorated for suspended period) to be well north of 5 million. Meaning they did good financially here.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

    • geefee says:

      I still maintain that his name is “Faustino.”

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  4. I just want to stop talking about this, except as it relates to, “Holy Crap, Texas just lost Nelson Cruz, how are they going to make the playoffs”.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  5. Richie says:

    12 guys have now said “yeah, the documents are correct and I’m pleading guilty”. Doesn’t that rather blow that legal stratagem out of the water? Why didn’t Braun try it then?

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Spencer D says:

      I don’t think that really matters. The findings have to be judged on an almost purely contextual basis.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  6. Lord BatCat says:

    Sooooo, the one question I don’t feel is completely clarified is: will A-Rod be allowed to play during the entirety of his appeal process?

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  7. Marjinwalker says:

    Wendy…
    Were you surprised that it looks like no one besides Rodriguez plans to appeal?

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Kevin says:

      The only person who might do it because of a play off race, Cruz, is also a free agent at the end of the year. It makes more sense for himto be available for the beginning of his new contract than try to serve some of the suspension then. It would greatly decrease his market value.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  8. ramsey says:

    As long as we’re arbitrarily tripling suspensions for extra-bad people, can we suspend Braun for 150 games too?

    +11 Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Cidron says:

      why? he found a legal loophole in the system and used it. If you were on trial, isnt that what you pay your lawyer for? As a result, he was found not guilty, therefore, he didnt recieve a ‘first’ suspension (let alone a second that precedes the 150game).

      Arod, if what is said is correct, not only did it to himself (‘roids, hgh, etc), but also recruited others to Biogenesis, and at other times, blocked, frustrated, and impeded investigations by his deliberate actions.

      Braun cooperated (this time around). Arod, far from it. Heck, he is the only one thus far to state that he is appealing the process, (which is kinda reminiscent of Clemens and his stance in his trials, all the arrogance and such).

      Yes, Melky did set up a fake website to help deceive investigators etc. But, some readings have it that his agent did it, rather than him. And others have left that agency for more ‘scrupulous’ ones recently. Which makes me wonder if it was done with Melky’s instruction, or on their own.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Nathan says:

        I see what you’re saying, but in general, I just have to say, I’m really tired of people comparing PED cases in baseball with actual legal cases in the U.S. They are not the same thing.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

  9. JuanPierreDoesSteroids says:

    As a Rangers fan, I don’t hold any hard feelings towards Cruz for accepting the suspension. The man has to put the best interests of his career and his family first. I just wish he had try something else- ANYTHING else- to come back from that illness.

    Oh well, the Rangers don’t need him anyways. We have Craig Gentry to step in for him. They have Craig Gentry to step in for him! Three cheers for UZR!

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • JuanPierreDoesSteroids says:

      Hmmm. It appears that I was so excited about Gentry, that I typed the same sentence twice. I don’t blame myself, Gentry is the hypest of the hype.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

    • MDL says:

      The other FG article about the bans made the interesting point that since the beginning of the 2011 season Cruz has accumulated 3.8 WAR in 391 games while Gentry has 5.9 WAR in 246 games. So there’s that.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  10. Cidron says:

    Question. The Yankees don’t actually have to activate A-Rod once he is eligible to come off the DL, do they? What is their incentive to actually activate him? Why should they? I am sure that they can conjure up a reason not to (and given that A-Rod already called them out on that about 10-14 days ago, why not). Let him sit in Tampa, or NY not on the team, while the appeals process works its way. Then once it is denied (seriously, does anybody believe it will be upheld?) the Yankees can proceed from there..

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Roger says:

      A-Rod would have the right to file a grievance through the union for that, from what I understand. Very rare case.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Simon says:

      I think it’s entirely likely that the result will be a significant cut in the suspension unless there is real evidence that A-Rod did things that are much worse than the likes of Braun and Melky. Also, even old, broken A-Rod is probably an upgrade on whoever is impersonating a third baseman on the Yankees at the moment. And the Yankees can’t really afford to do anything else that will diminish their already flickering playoff hopes.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Baltar says:

      I don’t see how this gains the Yankees anything. They would have to pay him while he’s still on the DL missing games.
      I hate that not having to pay A-Rod next year will help them with their goal to get under the luxury tax limit.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  11. bookbook says:

    For a 38-year-old player, a 1.5 year suspension essentially is a lifetime ban, right? Other than the $60 million, I suppose. It’s not like any team is going to hire the guy as a bench coach down the line.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Roger says:

      He’s under contract through 2017 and intends to come back. If he can’t physically come back, he can still Mo Vaughn the Yankees to death collecting his paychecks.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Cidron says:

        Mo aint got nothing on Bobby Bonilla, who is STILL being paid by the Mets

        Vote -1 Vote +1

        • szielinski says:

          The Mets offered Bonilla the We’ll Pay You Later deal. They could have paid Bonilla his $5.9M. But the Mets also wanted to defer payment.

          I recall reading somewhere that Wilpon and the Mets financed this contract by investing money with Wilpon’s good friend, Bernie Madoff! The NY Mets — throwing good money after bad for many decades.

          Vote -1 Vote +1

        • FeslenR says:

          don’t forget Saberhagen too.

          Vote -1 Vote +1

        • Alexander Nevermind says:

          Can we please stop bringing up the Bonilla deal as shorthand for bad contracts or LOLMets? It is deferred money. It makes total sense when taking the time-value of money into account.

          Vote -1 Vote +1

        • Jason B says:

          “It makes total sense when taking the time-value of money into account.”

          Rather, it MIGHT make total sense depending on the discount rate applied, and what the inflation rate actually turns out to be. You can’t just say it always makes sense and is the correct thing to do in every case (nor the wrong thing to do in every case).

          Vote -1 Vote +1

    • NATS Fan says:

      Cardinals could hire him as a hitting coach!

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  12. Roger says:

    One thing I don’t get is, why make the suspension effective Thursday rather than immediately? It’s not like they’re going to get his appeal done by Thursday, and the offense has already happened.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Bobby Ayala says:

      Perhaps that’s a tactic to try to convince him NOT to appeal? If a-Rod’s suspension started today he’d only have a few hours before today’s game to make a decision. This way he has a few days to feel the full weight of the press, the fans, and his fellow players. Maybe Jeter and Mo sit him down tonight and say “man up and take your punishment.”

      Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Cidron says:

      my understanding is that the Friday game thru the rest of season totals 50 games for most of the teams (with suspended players). Or, put another way, Suspend on Thursday, for rest of season, (but not post season for those that qualify).

      Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Wendy Thurm says:

      Under the agreements, suspensions become effective 3 days after the player is notified.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  13. ZB says:

    I’m not trying to defend A-Rod’s use of PEDs, but I’m wondering: if it’s okay for MLB to buy evidence against players then why isn’t it okay for the players to try to buy (or outbid them for) that evidence as well?

    I feel like as soon as they made the acquisition of evidence a business transaction that they opened it up to competition and can no longer complain if somebody else wants to make an offer. Instead he’s being suspended in part for doing exactly what MLB did.

    Way to set an example Bud.

    +13 Vote -1 Vote +1

    • AK7007 says:

      It’s really a case of both sides being in the wrong, but one has “moral high ground” because, america’s pastime. Hopefully Bud will retire sometime soon and we can move on from the pettiness. Sure, some guys are cheating and breaking the agreed upon rules – punish them for that, and negotiate additional rules if you no longer want evidence to be a purchasable item – but don’t punish a guy for playing the game you set up.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • stretchfest says:

        Retire? Old bitch is gonna John Paul 2 the shit out of that office. Get all senile then die. Then he’ll be replaced by a former Hitler youth.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

    • The Boomer says:

      Plus, wasn’t the evidence in this case A-Rod’s personal medical records? I am not defending A-Rod, but if my employer was trying to buy my medical records, I might have a problem with that.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

    • pft says:

      Especially when the guy was selling them to the media. I would not want my medical records disclosed, so Arod probably does not like it either and has the means to stop it.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Stuck in a slump says:

        Does it count as medical records when the person overseeing your treatment has no medical degree or really training?

        If you went to see a witch doctor who kept notes, would these also be considered your ‘medical records’? Bosch didn’t practice medicine, he practiced chemistry and portrayed himself as a doctor when he wasn’t one.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

        • TKDC says:

          If a doctor sells you cocaine, are the records of those sales “medical records”? Now how about a run-of-the-mill drug dealer? This wasn’t “medicine,” it was illegal drugs.

          Vote -1 Vote +1

        • Stuck in a slump says:

          Well, when used properly the drugs were medicine, but they were being abused, so they weren’t medicinal. But You’ve helped make my point clearer:

          Bosch wasn’t a doctor, and he didn’t give Rodriguez drugs for medical purposes so any notes and information in his file shouldn’t be considered part of his medical records.

          Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Richie says:

      Well, if the prosecutor pays an informant to rat on me, that’s legally OK. If I pay the same guy to shut up, yeah that’s illegal.

      If I found out an employee of mine paid somebody to shut up about whether he sold customer lists or something, I’d can him.

      Granted, I understand defending Bud Selig constitutes a capital crime around here.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • TKDC says:

        Yeah, get your easily understandable common sense out of here, there is a pariah to massacre. Bud Selig can do no right. This investigation was bound to fail and he would look foolish. Now it is an overreach. Had he done nothing he would not care about steroids. No matter what he can’t win, and this is from someone who really, really wishes Bud would retire.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

  14. O'Jones says:

    So far all talk of responsibility falls on the players, and obviously they are responsible for their own bodies. However, so many of these players were/are represented by ACES, and many of them are/were borderline major leaguers. They’re not the only ones to profit by making real deals in the majors, so do the agencies. does MLB have any recourse against an agency that may be pushing their players into this?

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Richie says:

      I think MLB can decertify ACES.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Roger says:

        The union handles certification/decertification, not MLB. The union investigated ACES after the Melky scandal but nothing stuck. They blamed a “contractor” and canned him. It is starting to look suspicious, isn’t it?

        Vote -1 Vote +1

  15. Barry Bonds says:

    New York need a DH?

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  16. Jonathan says:

    Would Horowitz actually consider the fact that other players accepted suspensions without appeal as evidence that Bosh etc is creditable? It seems that the motivation and circumstances surrounding other players suspensions/appeals would be separate from Arod’s case.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • AK7007 says:

      I would hope not. Their cases should be considered separately – and I for one don’t take confessions to be proof that somebody is guilty (although it is highly likely in the case of professional athletes who know full well their options, so exactly this case) – there is also the possibility that a person could confess to avoid the risk of harsher punishment even though they hadn’t cheated. There is reason to believe that MLB was threatening harsher punishment for players who didn’t accept the deal and forgo appeals.

      It is a pretty shady tactic, if you ask me. At minimum, MLB withheld the suspensions until it was most opportune – either take it without appeal and lose the end of the season, or fight and lose a bunch of time next season. It’s a better deal to just lose the end of the season if you think you are likely to lose your appeal.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  17. Bab says:

    I might be going crazy Wendy, but it seems like some of your A-Rod suspended game calculations don’t add up to 211.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  18. JS7 says:

    I guess $500 million can’t buy integrity.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  19. Cheats hvae to pay says:

    Now erase their stats from the MLB history books.

    That is real justice.

    -16 Vote -1 Vote +1

  20. Slats says:

    Banned Pete Rose for life so do the same to this clown.

    -19 Vote -1 Vote +1

  21. JJ says:

    I still can’t believe Braun got 65 games. He threw everybody and their mother under the bus during his first debacle. He lied and he betrayed everyone. A collector lost his job because Braun is a Fraud. Yet he got a slap on the wrist. He should be right there with A-Rod and 200+ games..

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • chuckb says:

      Maybe if ARod had approached Bud the way Braun did and negotiated his sentence then maybe he could’ve gotten it down to 65 also. But probably not, because he’s ARod.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

    • AK7007 says:

      The collector lost his job because he was unable to adhere to procedure and gave Braun an opportunity to invalidate the test. Look at it from MLB’s point of view – you think you have a positive test, the public finds out, and then suddenly you don’t because your employee screwed up – would you fire the employee that effectively gave Braun an out?

      And as an aside, I don’t know that I would get all worked up extra (beyond the fact that they were cheating) about a player lying about taking steroids – that’s kind of the whole point of the suspension. Any player taking PEDs is presumably also lying about taking them. I’m not sure we should be punishing them extra, the lying was kind of included in the originally negotiated penalty of 50 games.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  22. James says:

    I admire what Evan Longoria had to say:

    Today is a sad day for MLB,the fans of this great game, and all players who may have been negatively affected by others selfishness…Ultimately, although today will be a day of infamy for MLB, it is a tremendous step in the right direction for the game we love.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  23. Blurs says:

    Sadly….the biggest criminal in all of this , again gets off scott free – in fact, this actually makes him look good…..Hey…BUD SELIG…..look in the mirror you POS….this is ALL your fault…you turned a blind eye….you let PED usage get so rampant…..if anyone deserves a lifetime suspension from baseball it’s you BUD SELIG…..you’re a joke of a commissioner and as a human being……

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Bud Selig says:

      Thank you for addressing me in this internet comment section that you knew I would read. I will take your words to heart and do some real soul-searching.

      +28 Vote -1 Vote +1

  24. Chone Figgins says:

    Fantasy advise: drop A-Rod.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  25. chuckb says:

    What really makes no sense about the arbitrariness of ARod’s suspension is that Bud alleges that there has been “possession and use” of “numerous forms of PEDs” over “several years.” But where’s the evidence to support such an outrageous allegation? It’s certainly not found in ARod’s positive drug tests.

    This is pretty clearly a first violation, subject to a 50 game suspension, just like the others. It’s obviously a bad day for baseball when it has to suspend 13 players for violation of the drug policy, but it’s particularly bad when its commissioner has acted so capriciously by conducting the “investigation ” with absolutely no transparency whatsoever.

    Bud has violated baseball’s trust and also deserves a lifetime ban.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • pft says:

      Buds going to have a problem with precedence here. Melky attempted to mislead investigators and did not get punished. Braun only got 15 games by taking the case to arbitration, and winning, despite being guilty of using steroids. Other players have been suspended for buying steroids as well. Grimsley in fact got raided by Feds for distribution of HGH and was suspended for only 50 games.

      Also, Arod should not be punished for the inefficiencies of the MLB testing program (double suspension for PED use, 100 games), and in fact it is his negative tests that is Arods best defense if the evidence Arod bought steroids is limited to Bosch saying so.

      Regardless of the loopholes in the language, the key really is what the players thought they were agreeing to in the JDA. I doubt they agreed to an unlimited term of suspension of PED’s and thought it was fixed at 50/100/life. I expect them to eliminate any such loopholes in the next round of talk, and Weiner should not have conceded this point if he indeed did so.

      Whether or not Arod can get a fair arbitration hearing given the last arbitrator was fired for ruling against MLB, I have no idea

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Simon says:

        Braun got 15 games for annoying MLB, and he may well have got away with that if he had taken it to the arbitrator.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

    • jfree says:

      Actually the penalty for violating the law here (possession of these controlled substances) is one year in jail – for each specific offense. Plus up to five years in jail for obstruction of justice (and who knows how many specific instances of obstruction there are here).

      Personally, I think ARod should join the 350,000 other Americans who are currently in prison for non-violent drug possession charges. Why does MLB get some special exemption from the law?

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • pft says:

        Arod would say he believed these were legally prescribed by a physician, and he never obstructed any Federal investigation.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

        • Richie says:

          Yeah, there was no legal investigation of any kind regarding the players themselves, was there? Otherwise ARod would be in deeper doodoo than facing a suspension. Presuming he did conspire to destroy documents.

          Vote -1 Vote +1

      • IHateJoeBuck says:

        There is also no evidence linking him to the possession of these drugs.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

  26. Chone Figgins says:

    Fantasy tip: drop A-Rod.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  27. Joel says:

    So in effect, MLB saved the Yankees ~$27 million?!

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  28. Rage McTinyballs says:

    /uh-oh

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  29. tomholzy says:

    So if the suspension is 211 games, Rodriguez appeals and plays the rest of this season, arbitrator denies appeal in offseason, does Rodriguez have to miss the first 49 games in 2015 to get to 211 games?

    It seems like the ‘suspended through end of 2014 season’ headline doesn’t work if Rodriguez does appeal, which it certainly seems like he will.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Deelron says:

      It appears that is how it would work, but the arbitrator could make a decision to change it to say, 100 games (the amount someone suspended for a second time would normally get).

      I’m not sure it really matters a whole lot, if he has to miss an entire season I imagine it’d be career killing.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  30. JDB says:

    So the regular season is officially named the Championship Season? That’s preposterous!

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  31. david says:

    so, what nobody seems to talk about is that the yankers dont have to pay him next year and could easily get under the mandated 189 million cap to reset the tax break now. I wonder if the comish is also working for the yankers in this deal.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  32. adohaj says:

    Rationalize it all you want Bud, either way it makes no sense…unless the yankee’s are writing you checks.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  33. theroundsquare says:

    Quick question for Wendy if she makes it back here, lawyer to lawyer. With players like Cruz and Peralta suspended as of 08/31, how is it that they would be eligible for the playoffs despite the suspensions ending before the postseason? Are they still somehow on the 25-man even though they’re suspended? Thanks to Wendy and anybody who can provide an answer.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Dan J. says:

      They’re on the restricted list. When their suspensions end, they can be activated, just as someone coming off the DL is.

      It’s absurd that Cruz or Peralta could return for playoffs and get the big stage to possibly earn big FA contracts. The other 50-gamers sit out meaningless games while their teams are out of the playoff race.

      Current penalties are way too light to be a true deterrent. Melky Cabrera’s contract last winter showed that.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  34. Hurtlockertwo says:

    ARod loses about $36 million. You would think he would hire some serious lawyer help to save some of that cash? The Yankees must be dancing in the streets, $36 million saved would buy some serious fill ins for a 3B well past his prime.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>