A-Rod not planning to make plea deal with MLB, could face lifetime ban

Update: Yankees talking to Cubs about Alfonso Soriano
Williams, Refsnyder have big days in Tampa win

Via Bob Nightengale: Alex Rodriguez is not planning to cut a deal with MLB regarding the Biogenesis investigation. Ryan Braun accepted a settlement and has been suspended for the rest of the season. Jim Axelrod reports Alex could face a lifetime ban — I assume MLB will try to treat each piece of evidence as an “offense,” allowing them to skip over the 50 and 100-game suspensions — but that won’t happen without a massive legal battle. For the sake of self-promotion, here’s what I wrote about the situation earlier.

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Update: Yankees talking to Cubs about Alfonso Soriano
Williams, Refsnyder have big days in Tampa win
  • barry

    This is just akin to a “negotiation”… no way he gets a lifetime ban

    He has 100 million dollars to protect… worst comes to worst he’ll swallow it and take a full season ban or something

    Plus, Arod is a fan of the game, the guy goes home and watches the west coast games for crying out loud…. no way he’s getting banned for life it would kill him

    • JLC 776

      I agree – this is classic anchoring. It’s like watching Boras posture a free agent.

      • Dan

        Yea, you’re absolutely right.

  • Now Batting

    I wonder if MLB is even offering a plea deal.

  • http://twitter/TheRealJeromeS Jerome S.

    The players union would have to start showing interest if the MLB gave A-Rod a lifetime ban. It could set a troubling precedent for future offenders.

    • Pasta Stumbling Sojo

      It would set a precedent, but I’m not sure why it would be troubling.

      • Mister D

        I believe it would be because it would circumvent the rules agreed upon with the union in the CBA. ARod would certainly not agree to a lifetime ban voluntarily. What would be the point? Its not like he faces jail time. Lifetime ban takes away everything MLB can take from him, so what’s the point in agreeing?

        The union would also be reluctant to let one of their largest contracts (one again voluntarily entered into by all parties) essentially be nullified by a third party.

        Remember, ARod really has just ONE violation here. While he ADMITTED to using PED’s after the ban was put in place, his USE (or admitted use) came BEFORE the ban and the establishment of any penalties. Therefore, this violation should really count as his first violation (and even that is questionable as he has not failed a drug test). If MLB tries to claim that repeated visits to the clinic or uses of PED’s before getting caught each count as separate violations, it would basically open the door to slamming every violator with lifetime bans, since most probably wouldn’t be caught after their first use.

        • flamingo

          I’m not a lawyer, nor am I very familiar with the terms of the JDA, but is there even a first violation here? A-Rod didn’t fail a drug test.

          • flamingo

            Yikes, and you mentioned that in your comment as well. Sorry, I didn’t catch that.

            • Jack P

              “I believe it would be because it would circumvent the rules agreed upon with the union in the CBA.”

              That ststement is false, in the CBA, Bud Selig has the power and is not limited to the 50/150/ban policy.

  • jim p

    How many times does a player have to get caught betting on his team’s games to get a lifetime ban?

    • Evan3457

      Theoretically?

      Once.

    • Jeff C

      Was he even playing at that point?

  • Hall and Nokes

    This isn’t happening, unless the MLBPA has ceased to exist without letting anyone know about it.

    My theory of the moment: a proposal is in the works for Alex to serve a ban for 2013 and part of 2014 and return as a member of the Marlins. MLB, the Steinbrenners and Loria are on board but Alex needs to be scared into it.

    • http://twitter.com/matt__harris Matt :: Sec110

      let me guess…traded to the Marlins for Stanton?

    • trr

      Survey Says: No.

    • Dan

      MLBPA is not defending PED users anymore. Have you heard anything about what Weiner said about the whole Biogenesis scandal, or what the players said following Braun’s suspension? They hate him, even in his own clubhouse. All that MLBPA will do if Alex doesn’t settle, is make sure he has a right to appeal the suspension, and that he’s represented. And that’s it. The arbitrator will then decide his fate, and whatever he says goes.

      And if it goes to arbitration, there are 3 representatives: MLB, MLBPA, and the neutral arbitrator. Based on what all the clean union members are saying, it wouldn’t be shocking if the MLBPA’s own representative voted to uphold the suspension.

      • Jimmy McNulty

        That’s just according to Buster Olney who is more worried about giving red meat to the donk ESPN viewers/readers/listeners than actually doing reporting. However, I could see the players just saying “fuck him let him go” but based on the other reports I’m hearing of perhaps bigger names than A-Rod juicing I wouldn’t be shocked to see the PA defend A-Rod nor would I be shocked if the PA offers A-Rod as a sacrificial lamb.

        • Dan

          This is according to multiple baseball writers from multiple news organizations. ESPN, Yahoo, Foxsports, CBS Sports. There’s no way they all have the same ulterior motive, unless there’s some massive media conspiracy against steroid users.

          • Jimmy McNulty

            They’re all going off of Olney’s report. I mean this story is six hours old, I’m guessing we should wait until I dunno, maybe tomorrow before we take it as gospel. Though anecdotally no one is defending him.

            • Dan

              Jeff Passan tweeted last night: “Word out of the Brewers clubhouse almost universal: They were glad Ryan Braun got suspended. He straight-up lied to teammates. They’re mad.” No way that’s based on Buster’s report. Did you ever think, that maybe it echoes it because, you know, it’s true?

              • Esteban

                Their on the record words say something else…
                http://www.jsonline.com/blogs/.....36161.html

                • Jimmy McNulty

                  While I am a notorious son of a bitch, I wasn’t trying to be a dick to Dan or say that he’s full of shit or anything. I mean I’ll believe either story at this point. I find it almost impossible to believe the Brewers didn’t know he was juicing. However, I could see an outrage too. Flip a coin man.

      • Hall and Nokes

        It’s not so much defending the player as it is defending the CBA they just negotiated. If the league is going to take this aggressive a stance, the union doesn’t have much of a choice but to fight it.

    • Dan

      All indications are that the MLBPA is done representing steroid users. Have you heard what Weiner said about the Biogenises scandal? Or have you seen how the clean players reacted to Braun’s suspension? They hate him, even in his own clubhouse. They’re pissed at the users because they take away clean player’s dollars and at bats, and they paint the game in a horrible light. MLB has the best testing of the major American sports, but public perception is that it’s the worst program.

      All the MLBPA will do if Alex doesn’t settle, is make sure he has the right to appeal, that he’s represented, and make sure the evidence supports 3 offenses. And that’s it. Whatever the arbitrator says will go. If Alex has been involved with the Biogenesis clinic for a long period of time and received multiple shipments, or helped distributed them, or hooked up other guys with the clinic, or obstructed the MLB investigation, he’ll be gone. And the MLBPA won’t have much of a problem with it.

      Also, there are 3 arbitrators: one for MLB, one for MLBPA, and one neutral. Based on the feelings of the union members, it wouldn’t shock me if the MLBPA arbitrator voted to uphold the suspension in the face of overwhelming evidence that Alex was involved with the Biogenisis clinic in a manner that constitutes 3 offenses.

    • Jimmy McNulty

      My theory of the moment: a proposal is in the works for Alex to serve a ban for 2013 and part of 2014 and return as a member of the Marlins. MLB, the Steinbrenners and Loria are on board but Alex needs to be scared into it.

      Normally I’d say this is the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard but the Marlins are an absolute dogshit franchise with zero semblance of a commitment to winning. This would allow the Marlins to say “hey we raised payroll!” It makes the Marlins a story again, and it allows MLB to punish A-Rod with close to the severity of a lifetime ban (a season and a half), yet at the same time the PA gets a “win” by still representing A-Rod.

      • Hall and Nokes

        The Marlins’ continued existence is the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard of–I don’t see how this can be dumber than that.

        • Jimmy McNulty

          It makes sense in a “it will never sort of happen” type of way because it’s too outside of the box.

  • NakedMoleRat

    Squeak! I love how people always talk about how aroid is a big-time fan, a student of the game. How do we know this? Because he said so? He’s been so honest through his career I guess there’s no reason to question this often mentioned, and IMHO crock of mole rat feces. Squeak!

    • Esteban

      Because there’s lots of evidence of all the time he’s put into to training etc. And for PEDs to work, you actually have to work out too.

      • NakedMoleRat

        By that logic, big papi, Manny, et. al, must be student’s of the game too. I’m half joking, but don’t most players that make it to MLB and sustain success, with or without roids, train hard? Maybe it’s just me, I just don’t buy into him being anymore of a fan of the game than the next guy. I buy into him being a fan of himself. He probably watches (watched?) so much Sportscenter and such to see if he was shown or mentioned. Dude’s full of crap.

  • Justice

    of course it will set a precedent…that players like Arod aren’t going to get away with what he is doing to the game by constantly inviting other players to cheat just because he can. The guy is a magnet for controversy and was involved with his cousin, then with that canadian doctor and now this ? He might be a “gifted” player but he must be very stupid to be caught in all of this over and over again.

  • Justice

    As for MLBPA….People say that they will fight for Arod, what about if they are not interested ? I have said many times that MLB went soft on Braun since he is only losing 65 games, about 3.2 million, and a year were he have missed plenty of time on the DL and his team is in last place.

    My theory is that MLB will take it easy with all of the other players on the list as long as the MLBPA agrees to let Arod take the fall for all of this. Selig’s big target here is Arod.

    The players have already agreed in wanting tougher punishment for the cheaters so it’s not like the MLBPA will have much of an issue.

  • Bill

    A lifetime ban or forced retirement is the ideal scenario for the Yankees. It’ll never happen, but we can always dream.

  • Steinbrenner’s Ghost

    ARod tried to purchase evidence to destroy evidence and obstruct an investigation which gives MLB enough of a foundation to go for a lifetime ban.

    • Captain

      the same evidence that MLB purchased to build their cases. seems like they did the same thing Arod tried to do so why should he be punished for that?

  • mike c

    and to think just a couple of years ago writers on this blog were calling derek jeter an albatross. hahahahaha

    • Tyrone Sharpton

      my favorite player growing up, but i don’t think i’d mind seeing a lifetime ban for him

  • Carlos Danger

    This surprises me and I think it’s misinformation. If Alex is really facing a lifetime ban, there’s no way he doesn’t at least talk with MLB at all. It makes no sense at all, even for him. There’s way too much risk involved not to listen.

    He probably leaked this to try to get MLB to offer a smaller suspension.

    • Justice

      What exactly does Alex gain by leaking this stuff ?

      1) he is not going to gain any support by either fans or players.

      2) what leverage ? if MLB has evidence MLB has nothing to lose

      MLB already met with Arod and Arod didn’t cooperate, MLB is under no obligation to negotiate with him.

      • Carlos Danger

        If he is really negotiating with MLB (or he has in the past, or MLB has approached him about settling), then this leaking to the media shows that he’d be willing to make this as painful a process as possible and drag it out as long as possible. That’s important for baseball to know if they’re looking to cut a deal.

        MLB does have stuff to lose–after Braun I, they have to be worried about going to any appeal if there’s any doubt in their case. And there could be a lot of negative publicity in this process drawing out, no matter what the income. Even going from a lifetime ban to 50 games would be embarrassing.

        Because Braun settled, MLB is left looking like the good guy: they had so much shit on Braun that he settled for more than 50 games. Why would they risk a publicity hit, after that success?

        • Justice

          Because publicly people don’t believe that MLB is serious enough about their intentions to send a clear message to PED users. During any arbitration hearing MLB will disclose every piece of evidence they have against Arod, including every “intersting” story, again, MLB stand to lose nothing other than take another public hit if they go soft on Arod.

          If is true that MLB has a lot more evidence on Arod than Braun then it must mean that they have evidence that he did more than just using PED, maybe they have evidence that he helped finance some of the operation as well, if so then MLB has every right to ban him for life, specially if he was also a distributor and connected some of those players to Boesch.

          MLB’s reputation doesn’t suffer, since the entire process is all about reconstructing the faith of the fans by cleaning the game.

          • Justice

            In my opinion, when sources are saying that MLB has a lot more evidence on Arod than on Braun i think they don’t mean they have 20 more texts or 10 more calls than Braun on record, I think they mean they have evidence of him doing more than just using PED.

            As I mentioned before, maybe he also helped Boesch financially with his clinic, maybe he distributed or help Boesch connecting with other MLB players as well. Put all of that together and obstruction and attempt to destroy evidence and this has to be serious enough for a life time ban.

  • Manny’s BanWagon

    Cashman and Company are surely praying to the baseball gods that he be banned for life. Any sane Yankees fan should be doing the same.

    That extra $25 million per year could surely be spent on someone or someone’s better than a broken down Aroid

    • Preston

      It’s hard for me to wish that on the guy. But, yeah. Best scenario, A-Rod comes back this season plays mediocre baseball to vastly upgrade the team and help us make the playoff push. Banned, or suspended so long that it doesn’t matter after the season, Yankees get an upgrade at 3b elsewhere and save a ton of money in the process.

  • Matt s

    I don’t think he’ll get that lifetime ban, but even if he just gets a year he may want to retire after this. I know it’s hard to walk away from that much money but, he’ll be what 39 years old coming off a 2 year hiatus and trying to play with 2 surgically repaired hips. He’ll get boo’ed everywhere, including at home. And he’ll probably stink due to age and the layoff so he won’t even be able to defend his legacy. At least the Yankees will save a little bit of money of that horrid contract.

    • Bill

      No shot he walks away unless he claims he’s unable to play (collects insurance). He’ll either get banned for life or limp his way through the rest of the contract. He’s already used to booing, he knows Yankee fans hate him and many of his teammates do too. If he cared about his reputation and his name enough he would’ve walked away already. This guy is in it for the long haul come hell or high water.

      • Justice

        exactly

        If he really cared about what others think of him he would had left the Bronx years ago when fans were booing him at every at-bat. I doubt he could care less about fans or players or doing what’s best for the game. A person that constantly cheats have no morals, he is only in it for himself.

    • Justice

      I pretty sure that the last 6-7 years in the Bronx have made Arod immune to getting booed at home.

  • adjusts batting gloves

    I’m no A-Rod apologist, but this entire process offends my sense of fairness. Before any evidence was presented, MLB had leaked ‘rumors’ to journalists, who proceeded to convict A-Rod based on anonymous sources. There has never been any presumption of innocence. It became a version of “When did you stop beating your wife?” Now, if it’s true that MLB is seeking or threatening a lifetime ban, they seem to be changing the rules of PED testing on the fly, to suit their interests. Is evidence tampering an additional charge? Is that covered under the agreement with MLBPA? Of course there’s a kind of poetic justice in having a special set of rules for a player who tried to play by his own special set of rules, but baseball is a game of rules, not a game of poetic justice. Strikes are not arbitrarily added to an at bat because the umpire missed a call in a preceding at bat. Baserunners are not awarded an extra base just because they ‘hustled’ down to first, and so on.
    To make it seem that A-Rod is a worse offender than Canseco, Clemens, Bonds, McGwire, Sosa, Bud Selig’s own Ryan Braun, and then all the other roiding small fry is to introduce a false distinction into the PED program and to make a mockery of the very thing that the PED program is supposed to be there to restore to the game: i.e. fair play.
    He now steps off his high horse.

    • Justice

      They are not exactly changing any rules, there is a section in the CBA that calls for baseball to suspend players based on evidence. I think the MLBPA president already spoke about that special clause last week.

    • Paco Dooley

      A-Rod offends my sense of fairness. He ‘earned’ his massive new contract on the back of cheating. He won MVP awards through that same route. Just because the others got away with something doesn’t mean you don’t punish the offenders.

    • MUIDATS EEKNAY

      Amen. And you know why A-Rod isn’t even as bad as those guys you listed? Because he FREAKING ADMITTED IT. I can understand wanting to throw guys like Braun under the bus because they vehemently lied about not using, but A-Rod didn’t do that. Sure, he’s kind of an asshole, but by all accounts he’s still an excellent teammate. And yeah, it’d be nice to be rid of his big contract, but for the sake of actual justice, it makes no goddamn sense for A-Rod to be made the scapegoat based on nothing.

  • pat

    I don’t care what anyone says. I like Arod and I hate to see him get a lifetime ban from baseball. Fuck all these sacrosanct baseball writers acting like this is the first evidence of cheating they’ve ever encountered. Arod was better than everyone already and steroids just magnified it like Barry in a time when everyone else was juicing.

  • brian

    I would still be sad if Arod really HAS played his final game for the Yankees… yeh he’s not worth the money but I never get wrapped up in player salaries

    It’s not like with Jeter… where admittedly if Jeter all of a sudden retired after another setback I’d be drunk for a week… but still I wanna see Arod play some more

    • Jimmy McNulty

      He’s similarly lousy, with one third of the legacy, and much more detrimental to the team.

  • Jimmy McNulty

    Meh. There’s worse things that could happen to the team, like having to pay A-Rod’s contract, for instance.

  • greg

    Maybe AFraud can share a cell with Madoff.

    • Lukaszek

      Along with Lohan, Berkowitz and Milosevic

  • radnom


    I assume MLB will try to treat each piece of evidence as an “offense,” allowing them to skip over the 50 and 100-game suspensions — but that won’t happen without a massive legal battle

    Why do you keep repeating this? Weiner is on record as explaining that only failed tests are subject to the 50 and 100 game suspension rule. This is a different category of offense, and the punishments are determined on a case-by-case basis.

    There will be a battle, but the claim that MLB needs to treat each piece of evidence as an “offense” is totally nonsense.

  • Steinbrenner’s Ghost

    People say the Players’ Union will fight hard if ARod receives a lifetime suspension.

    But how? It’s not as if the Union will strike over ARod and PEDs.

    Sure, they’ll hire some lawyers, but that’s no big deal.

  • Cliff

    A lifetime ban would have to be based on obstruction. I could see that, if they could prove he tried to destroy evidence. I’m not entirely sure why that would be worse than Melky concocting a Dominican website and making MLB representatives fly out to the DR, but I can’t see lifetime for drug use or lying.

  • Justice

    The Union could look at the best interest of the game and let MLB have their man for the sake of letting the rest of the guys take a softer penalty.

    Also, I’m not sure if this has been discussed but maybe there is evidence that Arod heloped Boesch financially with his clinic, out of all the people Boesch could had asked for money to help pay for a lawyer he asked Arod. There is probably more than just a buyer-seller relationship between them. If he was helping with the distribution and financing then I doubt MLB wants to make a plea deal with him.

  • forensic

    I’m just so tired of all this shit. MLB is really hurting themselves, in addition to the players, with all this dragging on and on.

    Suspend people, don’t suspend people. I don’t even care anymore, just get it done and move on.

    • https://twitter.com/AngeloInNY Angelo

      Pretty much how I feel at this point.

  • Dalek Jeter

    At this point, what the fuck ever. I’m with forensic here. You won MLB, congrats, you did it. using the shadiest methods possible you nailed A-Rod and Braun to the fucking wall. Hooray. Do you really have to do this public ass tea-bagging. The kids that play COD have a better definition of fair play and are better winners than you. Either suspend them or not, just keep it behind closed doors until you’re ready to actually announce anything.

    • Jim Is A (Bored) Peckerhead

      Yup. This.

  • RobA

    If baesball actually suspended ARod for life, even if the appeals failed, he would almost certainly challenge baseball Golden Goose….the anti trust exemption that only baseball (and no other sport) has.

    MLB cannot allow anyone to even THINK about challenging this in court, because most legal experts I’ve heard on the subject agree that, if challenged, it would probably be struck down.

    Sure it’d be a big understaking, but if MLB takes $100 million out of ARods pocket, you’d better believe he’d do it.

    • Evan3457

      I don’t think A-Rod has standing to challenge the Anti-trust exemption in court.

      But he does have standing to challenge the commissioner’s powers, if he or his lawyers feel due process wasn’t observed in the investigation/suspension.

  • Gonzo

    Hank is hoping that a lifetime ban will mean that Hal will let him out of his cage.

    • Gonzo

      Actually, I bet Jay Z is hoping too.

  • Pat D

    In a perverse way, I can’t wait to see this happen because ARod will take them to court and then all of MLB’s shady laundry will become full public knowledge.

    The obvious problem is that people will be on MLB’s side.

    Yep, just remember folks, PED’s in baseball is the worstest thing ever conceived in the history of mankind!

    But PED’s in football? Eh, who gives a fuck?

    • Jimmy McNulty

      The citizens of Wisconsin deserve a true hero like Clay Matthews!

    • Gonzo

      In all likelihood, it won’t reach the court you or I would use. Don’t get me wrong things would definitely leak like they are now, but it probably wouldn’t be the public spectacle like you want.

      There is a CBA and things get dealt with a certain way because of it.

  • Kiko Jones

    So, after this round of suspensions are handed out, can we focus on Selig and the press’ involvement in PED enabling/cover up/willful “ignorance” during “The Steroid Era”®?

    Players are the only ones to take the fall for this mess when EVERYONE in baseball—MLB, ownership, agents, writers etc, etc, etc—all benefited when it happened. And the ones now getting all self-righteous—MLB and the writers, in particular—had previously LOOKED THE OTHER WAY. That’s right, THEY LOOKED THE OTHER WAY. When baseball was in the dumps with the public after the ’94 strike, attendance was in the crapper and folks who did attend games threw dollar bills at the players, they were desperate. Along come instances like Big Mac and Sammy with their HR duel exciting the crowds again, and even tho they knew what’s going on, THEY LOOKED THE OTHER WAY. (Big Mac had steroids in his locker in open view of EVERYONE, for Pete’s sake.)

    I don’t think one group should solely pay the price while others not only benefited but now get to act all high and mighty. For Selig and the press to position themselves as the guardians and saviors of the game when they willingly enabled—in the case of the former—and went along with rampant steroid use but now adopt a holier than thou attitude—this year’s HoF voting being a prime example—is nothing less than a travesty of the first order and they should all be accountable for it. In other words, I call bullshit.

    Also, this seems all about condemning and ostracizing the superstars not all guilty players. JC Romero was the setup man for the 2008 World Champion Phillies and was found guilty of PED use and summarily suspended in the off season right after that WS. Did you see any furor or hubub from the press or the fans? Nope. When a previously suspended player signs with a new team (say, Marlon Byrd with the Mets) are the local scribes up in arms over it? Does a team captain (in this case, David Wright) demand his GM not sign a cheater? Nope. So, it seems like selective prosecution in terms of dismantling a player’s reputation. Of course, MVPs like Braun and Rodriguez are of a different caliber, but how ’bout Andy Pettite? No grief for his HGH use. (One local writer praised him effusively for his “honesty”.) This is what we’re dealing with.
    But here’s the bigger issue: until the penalties for PED use are severe, it’ll keep happening. Why? a) we reward results, and b) it pays to cheat. That deal Melky Cabrera got from the Jays AFTER his suspension says it all right there.
    [/longassrant]

    • jsbrendog

      no, mcgwire had andro, a then legal over the counter substance from gnc visible in his locker. not actual steroids