Alex Rodriguez and the best case scenario

(Streeter Lecka/Getty)

(Streeter Lecka/Getty)

At some point very soon, perhaps even today, MLB will announce the rest of the suspensions stemming from their investigation into the South Florida performance-enhancing drug hub Biogenesis. Ryan Braun was the first casualty last week, mostly because he was willing to cut a deal and not file an appeal. Other players won’t go down as easily, and among those other players is Alex Rodriguez.

Bill Madden, Teri Thompson, and Michael O’Keeffe reported yesterday that MLB either has (or will) offer A-Rod a deal that would require him to sit out the rest of this season and all of next season. If he doesn’t accept that settlement, the league will attempt to use the mountains of evidence they have apparently obtained to ban him from baseball for life. Various reports indicate Alex will not agree to any kind of settlement and instead go through the appeals process and challenge the league head-on.

As far as the Yankees are concerned, a lifetime ban would be the best case scenario. Not only would they rid themselves of a big distraction, but they would be off the hook for the remaining four years and too-many-millions left on Alex’s albatross contract. That’s the best case scenario, but the best case scenario and most realistic scenario are not the same thing more often then not. As despised as A-Rod is, the union won’t let the league end their highest paid player’s career without a failed drug test and without a fight. It sets an awful precedent. There would surely be an ugly and lengthy legal battle.

Instead, the most realistic best case scenario for the Yankees might be a 250-game suspension, which is essentially the number of games he would miss by being suspended for the rest of this year and next. However, that 250-game suspension would be best served not this year and next, but next year and the year after. That would save them a huge, huge chunk of money against the luxury tax threshold — a suspended player’s salary does not count towards the luxury tax calculation, nor do they occupy a 40-man roster spot — which would be more helpful in 2014 and beyond than it would in 2013.

By sitting out the rest of this year and next, the team would save approximately $37.1M in real dollars. That’s A-Rod’s salary plus the luxury tax hit for the rest of this season. If he sat out next year and the first 50 games of 2015, they would only save $31.5M or so, assuming they actually get under the $189M luxury tax threshold. Five and a half million bucks is a ton of money, even to a multi-billion dollar company like that the Yankees, so they’d prefer the suspension to happen as soon as possible to save the most money. The alternative would be to save $6.5M or so against the luxury tax threshold in 2015.

Here’s the thing though: the Yankees don’t get the choose. They’re just along for the ride. Since A-Rod is reportedly going to fight any suspension, it’s unlikely said 250-game would start this year. Several players are likely to appeal, meaning the process could take a while. Weeks if not months. Think of it as slowly peeling off the band-aid rather than pulling it off. Because of that, it would take something very unexpected — like, say, another quad injury — for Alex to not return to the team in 2013. Instead of saving a few extra million this year, the most likely scenario shaves cash off A-Rod’s future luxury tax hit. That’s an okay trade-off, at least in my opinion.

I truly believe the Yankees are doing all they can to delay A-Rod’s return to the team in hopes of … I don’t know. Maybe they don’t even know. I guess in hopes that he would get banned and not return to the team ever? It’s clear the two sides don’t trust hate each other, and the club probably doesn’t want to deal with the day-in, day-out aggravation even if he improves their lineup. And improve their lineup he would; it’s hard to believe Alex would be worse that New York’s current third base situation, which is the least productive in baseball.

Unless he a) gets hurt again, b) has his appeal moves to the front of the line, or c) surprisingly decides to settle, A-Rod is going to return to the team at some point soon whether the Yankees like it or not. Under the best case scenario, they would have to begrudgingly sit through another 50 or so games of him this year, when he could help push them into a playoff spot. He could be gone for a year and a half after that, potentially even forever. It would be easier for the Bombers to financially swallow releasing A-Rod or buying him out in the middle of 2015, when the suspension would expire and he’ll be almost 40. That’s the best of an awful situation.

Categories : STEROIDS!


  1. Cool Lester Smooth says:

    I gotta say, all the dickery and delays the Yankees have been engaging in to avoid A-Rod coming back makes them look much worse than if they were just playing the fucking game.

    Honestly, why would you sign with the Yankees at this point unless they absolutely blow other teams’ offers away? All they’re proving is that they will not have your back and will try to fuck you over as soon as things start to go south.

    • A once promising prospect that failed to hit 17 homers a season because he didnt want to use steroids says:

      i agree, i think the yankees will see a hit from players wanting to sign with them

      • steve (different one) says:

        I disagree. The reaction to Braun could not have been more clear. The tides have shifted and MOST players want a clean game (of course there are still guys bending the rules).

        My guess is that Alex Rodriguez is the single most hated player in MLB by his peers (Braun being #2 now) and railroading him won’t really have any consequences.

        To be honest, as recently as a few weeks ago, I would have shared these sentiments, but the reactions to Braun has changed my mind. Look at the comments from guys like Greinke and Sherzer. Sherzer is talking about voiding contracts for PED users and he is the union rep for the Tigers! These comments do not jive with the perception here and they are right from the players’ mouths.

        • Mister D says:

          I want to make a Scherzer and “seeing eye to eye” joke here but its not coming together.

          (Also, players in the 90s would have been very staunchly against PEDs as well because that’s the opinion you’re supposed to give to the public. They’d also be staunchly against cheating on significant others. To think players are serious now because three dudes gave hard interviews is silly. Lip service.)

          • LK says:

            Completely agree. All the players claim they want a clean game. If Palmeiro wagging his finger at Congress taught us anything it should be that what these guys say in public has no bearing on their actual conduct whatsoever.

            I’ll believe the players want the game to be clean when we start seeing guys rat on their teammates for using PEDs. Until then, it’s all BS as far as I’m concerned.

            • steve (different one) says:

              But this doesn’t jive with the facts. The facts are that the player’s union has agreed to stricter and stricter testing with harsher and harsher penalties.

              Short of “ratting out” players, how is that not backing your words with actions??

              The current penalties are VERY costly and would have been unheard of 10 years ago.

              This mess will probably cost A-Rod anywhere from $15-30M.

              • Tim says:

                Melky was cheating for a year and half before he got caught. Based on his defense of creating a fake website I don’t think it takes a rocket scientist to cheat.

                I’m still a believer that there are several cheaters. The media only chases guys down in the streets when they are unpopular. Ortiz tested positive in 2003 and whenever questions are raised the media goes after the accuser not the accused.

              • Mister D says:

                But are they net costly? If you believe PEDs improve play, does Melky ever see his post suspension contract as a clean player? Its like paying taxes on the lottery; you lose a large sum of money, but its on a far larger amount you didn’t have before.

                • steve (different one) says:

                  Yes, obviously this is complicated, and I don’t want you to think I disagree with most of what you are saying in this thread.

                  But 10 years ago, Melky NEVER gets caught because there is no test at all, and he gets a 4-5 year deal for a higher AAV after his “break out” year.

                  Depends how you look at it and define “costly”, I guess.

                  I agree though, the “math” worked for Melky under the current paradigm.

              • Jonathan says:

                The entire testing scenario is an absolute joke and put in place by Selig to try and have his tenure end as a PED crusader when it was him that almost single-handedly allowed it to go on for over a decade. He’s probably hoping the average fan doesn’t have a clue what’s really going on and it seems to be working. They forgot he let it happen so they could make more money. And everyone seems to forget that VERY VERY rarely do guys get caught for steroids in testing. They’re taking things that we haven’t even heard of and there isn’t even a test for or stuff like HGH that requires a blood test. It’s only when their drug dealer gets caught and turns into a rat to save his own ass that we hear about this in almost all of the cases. The testing is an absolute joke. BALCO/Biogenesis/The Mets guy/Clemens old trainer etc are the way guys get caught for this stuff.

                • steve (different one) says:

                  Except they ARE testing blood for HGH now.

                  That was my point. Testing blood would have been unheard of 15 years ago.

                  • LK says:

                    And yet, despite the “mountain of evidence” that A-Rod used a litany of PEDs, he beat every single one of those tests. Guys are still getting away with it. Agreeing to testing that doesn’t actually prevent use and making a few comments to the press isn’t enough to make me think the players’ stance has changed in any meaningful way.

              • LK says:

                The players have agreed to testing and penalties because the owners demanded it and the media has made it such a controversial issue. Certainly there are players out there who want the game to be clean; I don’t think players’ public comments have any bearing on whether or not that is the case.

            • Mister D says:

              People accepting comments at face value is just so amazingly, stupidly pervasive. Schilling gives good quotes and immediately the (rest of the) media is willing to anoint him as patron clean saint of the PED era. Scherzer, Greinke and Schumaker come out strong, so they must be very clean and their comments are indicative of what players as a whole think. These guys say what the public wants them to say because if they don’t say what the public wants them to say the public will kill them. Facts don’t factor.

          • steve (different one) says:

            Agree to disagree. The fact that Scherzer is his teams’ union rep and is outright saying that players who get caught should lose their contracts is significant to me, and represents a total sea change from the 90′s when the players union fought testing tooth and nail and would NEVER EVER publicly take any position where a player forfeits a single dollar from a signed contract.

            Now, is this the official union stance? Of course not. Will it ever happen? No, I don’t think so.

            But my point is that the attitude being expressed by Scherzer is so starkly different from the tone in the 90′s, it is like night and day.

            JMO though.

            • Mister D says:

              How about you wait to believe that one after the union actually agrees to voided contracts, not after a nice soundbite?

              • steve (different one) says:

                I am not arguing that it will happen. I explicitly said it would not.

                What I am arguing is that there has been a change in the players’ attitudes. Is that every player? No, there are still plenty of guys who are cheating. But I think there are MORE players that want stronger testing now than there were 10 years ago. This seems pretty obvious to me based on what the union has approved.

                • Chris Z. says:

                  If 10 years ago the current testing and penalty for failing a test was very unlikely then why would a player having his contract voided be so unlikely say 10 years from now?

                  I believe clean players, specifically the stars want this the most. It would take so much pressure off of guys with big contracts to not have to answer questions about roids. It would make their deals seem legit.

                  I could even argue that teams would pay MORE for big priced free agents if they know any positive test allowed the team to back out of the deal.

                  • Mister D says:

                    I would argue the MLBPA would (rightly) fear the downside of this, which is anything from a false positive to a witchhunt like this to something like a Steinbrenner-vs-Winfield situation. Discretionary voiding of contracts (which is all the teams will go for so they don’t lose a guy on a deal they like) should scare the hell out of the players and the league.

                    • Cam says:

                      Yup. This is my exact problem with a possible lifetime ban. It opens a bad can of worms. You wonder will the Angels find a way to void Pujols’ contract one day?

                  • LK says:

                    “I could even argue that teams would pay MORE for big priced free agents if they know any positive test allowed the team to back out of the deal.”

                    I don’t think this would happen. In order for a team to be willing to pay more because of this, they’d have to believe that a lot of players are on PEDs (otherwise it just wouldn’t matter that much), and that the testing is going to catch the players who are (otherwise the teams wouldn’t actually be protected by this). The problem is if you believe the first part, the second part isn’t true, at least at the moment.

    • Jacob says:

      Meh, I doubt anyone really cares too much about how the Yankees are treating A-Rod to the extent that they would take 18 Mill over 3 years from another team rather than 19 Mill over 3 years from the Yankees.

      • Robinson Tilapia says:

        No, I do think they’re keeping tabs. I just think they’ll keep bigger tabs on what all the dirt is on Alex when it becomes public.

      • Cool Lester Smooth says:

        It would take more than a 6% difference in salary to want to deal with the Steinbrenners’ shit.

        • Robinson Tilapia says:


          We are nowhere near the kind of reasons guys wouldn’t come here in the 80′s. Nowhere near it.

          Just my opinion, though.

          • Cool Lester Smooth says:

            But being better than the 80s is not the same thing as being a desirable work environment.

          • A.D. says:

            Tend to agree, pushing AROD on his return when he did at least complain of stiffness in his thigh doesn’t seem like such “Steinbrenner’s Shit” or would be that different if he was playing anywhere else.

        • Laz says:

          It often comes down to places you would accept. Playing in NY that 6% salary is a deficit over playing in Arlington, just because NY is so expensive.

    • Robinson Tilapia says:

      Yeah, but Alex is going to wind up looking like the even bigger dick in the end. One is going to dwarf the other. I wouldn’t worry there.

      • Cool Lester Smooth says:

        Eh, he’s a liar and a cheater, but he’s not at Braun levels of dickishness. I mean, he was trying to be as good at baseball as he could possibly be, not hurt the team in some way.

        What’s frustrating is that it would have been so easy for the Yanks to take the high road and come off smelling like roses, but instead they’ve decided to take this shit personally and try to fuck with Alex as some sort of payback.

        • steve (different one) says:

          We have no idea what evidence MLB has on Alex that the Yankees have seen.

          I find it 100% plausible that the Yankees’ position will look entirely reasonable when we learn what they know.

          I think the only place the Yankees will end up taking a PR hit will be on sites like this where it is our (myself included) natural inclination to blame everyone but our favorite players first.

          I mean, look at what you said above:” I mean, he was trying to be as good at baseball as he could possibly be, not hurt the team in some way.”

          I am not a huge anti-steroid crusader, but even I can see that this type of justification is pretty weak (and I probably have used similar arguments myself over the years).

          The bottom line is that he is probably going to be suspended for a long time. That “hurts the team” on the field (if not in Hal’s wallet). The team, and fans, have a right to be pissed. At A-Rod. They need him now, and he isn’t playing because of a gigantic mess of his own making. This isn’t some baseless anti-ARod conspiracy by the FO. He f’ed up royally.

          • JLC 776 says:

            I agree – the nature of the evidence is what will ultimately shape the perception part of this story.

          • Mister D says:

            … as someone who entered the league when ownership was still complicit in the entire PED affair. Its not as simple as “old habits die hard”, but you have to imagine the knowledge of how to use and that your competition was and still is using is part of the equation.

    • JLC 776 says:

      Based on the (outward) reactions from other players and managers to Braun, I don’t think anyone is going to take ARod’s position over the Yankees position – assuming the ‘mountains of evidence’ include actual evidence.

    • Brian in MA says:

      I think its an embarrassment to all involved, ARod, NYY, MLB. The Bronx Zoo looks to have returned.

      You sign with the yankees because (usually) they are a good team, and will compete, and up until these arod shenanigans, they mostly treated players pretty well. It was a good place to play. You had to shave you’re beard, but it was good. I think ARod is the exception, not the rule here. Guys like Swisher, Sabathia, Martin, and Tex all say they like playing here (at least publicly).

      • Mister T says:

        I still consider this as a witchhunt. Like it or not, the guy has never fail a MLB drug test. Where’s your legal base to do so? Even if the evidence it’s not pure hearsay (see Mitchell Report), it doesn’t matter. You did not obtain it by your current drug program. I’m with Goldman on this: even if PED’s were all this that they say they do, you still have other issues to comply; otherwise, all of them will be Bonds or Clemens. At some point we all gonna have to make peace with the fact that it’s not 1890 anymore. Medicine progresses. We all take advantage from it. Yesterday was PED’s. Today’s HGH. Tomorrow, who knows?

        • Mister D says:

          Pick any three players who started in the 90s and work tirelessly to find PED dirt on them and you’ll get atleast one hit. Witchhunt is the right word because it wasn’t just some general investigation, it involved the two guys MLB wanted the most.

  2. Vinny S. says:

    Not to mention the money they’ll save if he doesn’t reach the home run milestones.

  3. A once promising prospect that failed to hit 17 homers a season because he didnt want to use steroids says:

    where is tonya harding when you need her?

  4. AnthonyD says:

    How is a 150 game suspension = the rest of this year and all of next year?

  5. A.D. says:

    If it’s this year and next isn’t is more like a 200 game suspension? Or are we assuming that A-Rod gets “this year and next” down to 150?

    On the lux tax, does it knock out the time missed from the AAV of his contract? (where A-Rod would be less of a burden for the remainder of his contract but still a burden next year) or does his AAV stay the same but basically the money doesn’t count for the length of the contract where the payer is suspended? (where he’d just be less of a burden next year)

  6. Dave Miller says:

    I’m struggling with the math here. How is a 150 game suspension going to keep him out a year and a half? Maybe I’m just missing something.

    • Robinson Tilapia says:

      I think Mike’s mixing up his suspension types. It doesn’t sound to me like they’re talking 150 games. They’re talking more a Braun-type suspension dictated by season length.

      We shall see.

      • Frank says:

        If A-Rod were to accept the rumored “deal” today, and be out for the remainder of this season and all of next season, he will serve effectively a 219 game suspension.

        Maybe MLB and A-Rod will meet somewhere closer to a 150 game ban, assuming he appeals and drags this out through the end of this season and then, in the end of that process, agrees to miss effectively the 2014 season – which is what I think most likely happens.

        • jsbrendog says:

          if he challenges it there is no deal. it goes to the arbitrator’s decision. if he appeals and thinks he is gonna lose why would mlb deal? if he appeals and thinks he is gonna win why would he deal with mlb?

          • Dan says:

            They could deal up to the time when they got to an arbitrator. MLB could say lifetime ban. A-Rod could appeal, and then before it got to the arbitrator they settle on 150 games.

            Or MLB has to know if a ban for life is upheld by an arbitrator, A-Rod will sue. They could settle that lawsuit and have reducing the suspension be part of it.

            • jsbrendog says:

              you either didn’t read what i said or i didn’t articulate it well enough.

              if arod challenges and it goes to arbitration if mlb feels they will win why would they let him accept a deal? they will win and bring it down on alex. If alex feels he is going to win why woudl he settle? he wouldn’t

              once he appeals there will be no turning back unless something random happens.

              • Dan says:

                Because there is still risk involved. When parties go to court, the proper amount to settle on is generally what they’d actually be entitled to, discounted for the risk of losing. So if you want $1,000,000, and there’s an 80% chance you win, you should settle on $800,000.

                Here, it’s a little tricky because of the lifetime ban (that makes the calculations a little weird). But let’s say MLB is going for 220 games (remainder of this year, and all of the rest). There’s no way the chance an arbitrator would uphold it is 100%. If they think they will win, but it’s like a 70% chance, they should settle at around 150-160 games.

                If they’re going for a lifetime ban, which is like 5 years, and maybe has a 20% chance of being upheld, they should settle at 1 year.

                For MLB, it’s not a big deal if they lose–they just wind up with egg on their faces and lots of legal fees.

                For A-Rod, there’s nearly $100 million at stake. So if there’s a 20% chance, that he’s banned for life, he should settle on losing $20 million, which is about 1 season.

        • Tim A says:

          MLB will have too justify the length of suspension too an arbitrator, based on the guidelines within the CBA JDA. If they try, and invoke Commissioners justice, even without a guideline, they still must justify the length of the suspension too the arbitrator. I know people will hate too hear it, but until we see what infractions they are bringing against them, and how the arbitrator starts ruling appeals, in terms of length, and validity of the claims. We don’t know much, and this is all early posturing by the sides, not really representative of the end result. What they say, and what it ends up being on appeal are two different things. Also Braun went after the tester, and actually failed a test, which may have acted as proof beyond paper work in his case. Arod will appeal the appeal won’t happen immediately, and the Yankees will have too bring him up, or tell the truth why they won’t soon. Thats life, get ready for a long long wait, and expect legal challenges to ensue should the league mostly win an appeal.

  7. Eddard says:

    What Alex should do is not take the deal, appeal the suspension and play out the rest of the year. After the season drop the appeal, work out a buyout with the Yankees and retire.

    • RBC says:

      I think this is A-Rod’s plan. Even if A-Rod does get the banishment, he wants to at least play on the field again even if its for the last time.

  8. nsalem says:

    I think what was meant was one year plus 50 games. I’m sure it will be corrected shortly.

  9. Robinson Tilapia says:

    Want to talk about what will undoubtably be one of the strangest and most uncomfortable moments in Yankee history? Alex’s first home at-bat, if and when that ever happens.

    Just get this shit over with.

    • JLC 776 says:

      I just want to know what music gets played as he walks to the plate…

    • RetroRob says:

      I think if it happens this year with the suspension pending it will be very uncomfortable. If he just takes his medicine and comes back next year, it will probably be less so.

    • steves says:

      As this all closes in on Alex I hope he doesn’t get to the point of having an OJ white bronco moment. He should, for his own mental well-being, get out of the limelight, take a deal that preseves as much of his salary as possible, and enjoy, as best he can, the rest of his life. Although it’s hard to see any positive baseball scenarios for Alex at this moment, one day, when the truth and full breadth of the steroid era is finally known, perhaps their will be even some redemption down the road for the really great players who got sucked into it just like Selig, the owners and especially the fans did.

    • steves says:

      As this all closes in on Alex I hope he doesn’t get to the point of having an OJ white bronco moment. He should, for his own mental well-being, get out of the limelight, take a deal that preseves as much of his salary as possible, and enjoy, as best he can, the rest of his life. Although it’s hard to see any positive baseball scenarios for Alex at this moment, one day, when the truth and full breadth of the steroid era is finally known, perhaps there will be even some redemption down the road for the really great players who got sucked into it just like Selig, the owners and especially the fans did.

  10. Joe R says:

    In one paragraph you say that its better for them monetarily to wait and have him suspended next year. Then right after in the next paragraph you say theyd save more and be better served with an instant suspensions. Which one is it?

    • cheddar says:

      I was wondering myself. I thought maybe it was just me having a case of Monday brain.

    • Ed says:

      It feels like he’s mixing up two suspension lengths – “150 games” and “entire season + about 50 games”.

      The ideal time for him to be out is the 2014 season. If he’s going to miss part of another season, 2013 is better than 2015.

  11. Darren says:

    If the Yankees are able to void Alex’s contract, there’s no winner. You might think you, as a fan, came out on top because of the extra payroll flexibility, but do you really want to support the Yankees’ unmitigated hyprocisy in order to achive that benefit?

    I fail to see how that is the “best case scenario,” even for Yankees fans. I’d rather the Yankees suffer through another 10 years like this one than have that kind of corporate, hypocritical bullshit come out on top. As if the Yankees didn’t know he was juicing when they signed him to a deal that would pay him $20mm when he was 42. Give. Me. A. Fucking. Break.

    • Robinson Tilapia says:

      I’d rather win more championships.

      • Darren says:

        So, if you knew 100% for sure that the Yankees knew that ARod was juicing and encouraged him to do so, and that Selig knew that McGwire and Sosa were juucing, you would still root for MLB and the Yankees to come out on top in this charade?

        I can’t think of one single thing Alex has ever done wrong to Yankee fans, other than sucking in the playoffs for a few years. And considering how much this site harps on small sample sizes, you would think that’s a forgiveable sin.

        I guess I always the centaur, Madonna, shirtless posing stuff was annoying, but not really offensive. Waaayyyy less offensive to me than the Yankees’ hyprocisy.

        • Cool Lester Smooth says:

          I don’t think anyone’s rooting for anyone to “come out on top.”

          All of this shit is fucked up. I root for the uniform, though, so I’m not going to hope that the Yankees suck for 10 years rather than see someone who cheated at baseball receive the punishment he knew he was risking when he chose to cheat.

        • Robinson Tilapia says:

          I understand what you’re saying, but I’m not allowing myself to mentally go down that route.

          This is just more cut and dry for me. No matter what happened before, I want whatever is happening to Alex to just happen.

          I then want the Yankees to move on and win another six gillion championships.

          • Darren says:

            In that case, I think the best case scenario is:

            1. MLB issues a statement that their investigation was compromised due to improper evidence gathering and, therefore, MLB will not be suspending Alex in connection with Biogenesis. Selig steps down early and admits he’s a used car salesman liar. Paul Giamatti takes over as commissioner.

            2. Alex comes back on August 3rd, hits pretty well this year as a combo third basemen DH, and we win the WS on a walk off grand slam by Jeter.

            3. Alex fully recovers by next year, continues to hit pretty well for the next 2 or 3 years, and retires 1 or 2 years early to spend more time with Lourdes Ciccone on a horse farm in Texas.

            Jagielo takes over in 2015 and is the next Mike Schmidt.

            We all live to see Girardi wear # Gazillion+1 on the back of his uni.

        • trr says:

          Let’s be honest. A-rod’s days as a big-time player are over.
          I know he’d be better than the AAA players we’ve been running out there this year – that says more about them than about him. Anyone expecting premium production from the man is just living in fantasy land. He’ll be just an average major leaguer at best. Would we take that this year? Of course!

          Going forward….well at some point (2016?) the team’s just gonna bite the bullet and release him due to his ever declining production.

        • Jim Is A (Bored) Peckerhead says:

          I’m pretty sure RT said he wants to win more championships.

          That can happen in a lot of different ways; one of which is ARod being back and productive.

          • trr says:

            I hope we’re all on board with that, Jim.

            Personally, I’m sick to death of this whole thing

            • Jim Is A (Bored) Peckerhead says:

              I do too, yet sometimes I wonder.

              I’m sick of it as well; I just wish MLB had waited until they were actually going to do something. Dragging it out like this is a pain.

        • Kiko Jones says:

          I’m with you, Darren: Selig, the writers and the teams are all hypocrites. (Big Mac’s andro was in plain view, for Pete’s sake!) Sadly, steroids—or rather, the insane display of baseball prowess by those on PEDs—saved the game after the ’94 strike. That’s the unfortunate truth. But no one had a problem counting the loot. So how is it only the players are penalized? Selig and the writers get to act all holier than thou while the teams play dumb? Bullshit.

          • Mister D says:

            And yet Selig will someday go into the Hall despite presiding over the entire steroid era. Amazing, huh?

    • Cool Lester Smooth says:

      Call me crazy, but I would just rather see the team play well.

      Because, you know, I’m a Yankees fan.

      • yankeeparrothead says:

        I couldn’t agree more. I don’t hear anybody saying they should take down Whitey Ford’s Jersey becasue he scuffed baseball’s or (god forbid) Thurman Munson’s because he was once caught using a corked bat, or any of the others who used amphetamines, or cheated in other ways over the years. I am a Yankee fan and I will always root for the team to win.

    • Jim Is A (Bored) Peckerhead says:

      Nah, no breaks. Not even of the fucking variety.

    • steve (different one) says:

      As if the Yankees didn’t know he was juicing when they signed him to a deal that would pay him $20mm when he was 42.

      I don’t think this is a given at all.

      It seems embarrassingly naïve in retrospect, but it stems from whether or not you believed he was clean when he was hitting 36 HRs as a rail thin 20 year old. If you did, then nothing in his career seemed unnatural. He got older, filled out, moved to a HR friendly stadium in Texas, etc. The arc wasn’t so improbable.

      What is more likely now is that he has been juicing since HS and everything we thought we knew about him was BS. But it took us 6 years to get from the signing of that contract to now.

      • Darren says:

        Even if they believed he was clean at 20, how could they have possibly beleived he was going to be worth $20mm at age 42? I remember all the blather about him being in such great shape, etc., but I mean, come on.

        • steve (different one) says:

          Sure, that was dumb. But we knew that.

          But that’s not the same thing as saying they knew he was juicing and still gave him the contract. I have to think a big part of justifying the contract was marketing the “clean” HR record, and if they knew, that part doesn’t really make sense.

        • Ed says:

          They didn’t. They also didn’t expect his health to start declining immediately. They thought he was going to gradually decline from the MVP level he was at. Fangraphs estimates 2007 A-Rod as being worth $39.5M. If you’ve got that as your baseline, you’re underpaying him in the early years of the contract and overpaying him at the end, ideally balancing out.

    • Tim says:

      I like watching baseball, and preferably well played baseball. I don’t really care who gets what money between the Yankees and Alex. At the end of the day they can both stuff their mattress with cash and I can’t. The best case scenario as far a team quality is concerned would be with Alex’s contract off the books so that money could be used to replace him more efficiently. If I was concerned with the morals of both parties I was watching I would go to Church.

  12. LK says:

    The funniest part of all this? By any objective evaluation of his career, A-Rod should have his number retired and go into the Hall of Fame wearing a Yankee cap.

    • trr says:

      Could happen one day.
      Who knows how future HOF voters will veiw this era?

      • hey now says:

        If A-Rod ever gets into the HoF, I’ll eat Ben Kabak’s hat.

        0.00% chance of that ever happening. He’s that despised.

        • Mister D says:

          If I could guarantee we’d live through a generation or two, I’d take that bet. At some point the fainting couch won’t be needed and objective people will realize that greenies were PEDs and no one really gives a shit about those so who really cares. The greats will, some day very down the line, Lex will get in.

        • Rob says:

          That is, if Ben doesn’t eat it before season’s end…

  13. your mom says:

    If Arod is healthy they should be paying & playing him. It’s not his fault he was offered a ridiculous 10 year contract and signed it. True, he’s a lie and a cheat but that’s besides the fact. If they want to make the playoffs they should be focusing on other shit like trading for offensive help.

    • trr says:

      This is pretty much it in a nutshell. They have to pay him period.
      They need to play him until someone better comes along. This too will happen, not this year, maybe not next year (but who knows?) but one day in the not too distant future…

    • steve (different one) says:

      For all we know, Selig is TELLING the Yankees not to activate A-Rod because suspensions are coming. Would anything surprise you at this point?

      Seems far fetched, but a few weeks ago I wouldn’t have believed there was such thing as a 65 game suspension.

    • RBC says:

      I agree with everything said. I think that A-Rod should be suspended, but the Yanks still gotta pay him. If the Yanks were dumb enough to offer that kind of money, they should be responsible for paying it.

      • JMK says:

        In theory, I agree with you. However, I’m pretty confident his contract has clauses that dock pay for suspensions. It’s pretty standard in sports and a lot of drugs (my employment contract, for instance, states that any conviction can result in loss of salary).

        You could easily turn it around and say, “If A-Rod was dumb enough to sign the contract knowing a PED violation would result in huge monetary losses, he should forfeit the money.”

      • steve (different one) says:

        I disagree. If the other teams don’t pay their suspended players, the Yankees shouldn’t have to pay A-Rod.

  14. themgmt says:

    Clearly, there are only 100 games each season. I’m not sure why commenters are having trouble with the math.

  15. JD says:

    Mike, you are leaving off all the “goodies” the yankees get when they are under the $189M threshold next year. Lots of incentives besides saving on luxury tax. Also, with the savings of $25M next year, we can add players who are actually GOOD. Perhaps entice Kuroda one more year.

  16. RetroRob says:

    Best case scenario for A-Rod would be to get this out of the way and accept the 150 game suspension immediately. That way he could return mid-way through 2014 (like the others here, I’m not following Mike’s math on why 150 games will eat up 2014 and part of 2015) and hope his skills aren’t too dulled by basically missing a season-and-a half (all of 2013 and half of 2014.)

    It’ll be interesting one way or another.

  17. mt says:


    I have a BIG question here – I thought I read somewhere that the MLB arbitrator cannot reduce or add to suspensions – he can either agree with level of MLB’s suggested suspension whteher 50 or 100 or in this case, a supposed lifetime ban or 2) set it aside completely if the player wins his appeal or if arbitartor feels suspension is too long for the “crime” committed. In other words, if Arod appeals, arbitrator has no mechanism to reduce a lifetime ban to 200 games or 150 games or whatever. If MLB goes with lifetime ban, arbitrator either agrees or makes it zero.

    IF that is true (a big if), is there a risk that MLB will overreach with a lifetime ban? Faced with agreeing to a lifetime ban an arbitrator may hesitate to agree with that precedent (especially with no failed test and a lot of lifetime ban would be for lying and “obstruction” where one may argue a fine would be more appropriate. This is all uncharted territory especilaly with penalties for lying and obstruction.

    My big question is whether arbitrator can choose something in the middle – if he has the only choice of agreeing with a lifetime ban or setting a suspension aside completely, do Yankees actually have a risk that after appeal Arod gets no suspension at all (and therefore Yanks get no savings)???. I hope I am wrong but I thought I saw that yesterday about arbitrator.

    (I think an arbitrator no matter how in deep with Bosch Arod may be proved to have been will hesitate before agreeing to a lifetime abn on baseball’s highest paid player.)

    • KeithK says:

      You might be thinking about salary arbitration. In a salary arb case the arbitrator must either select the team’s figure or the player’s figure. There is no in between. This encourages teams and players to not overreach with their submitted figures.

      I don’t think this kind of rule applies to discipline. Plenty of players have had suspensions reduced in duration over the years. Admittedly the cases I am thinking about are not PED cases (rather for brawls, beanballs, etc.) but I would think the same rules apply.

      • KeithK says:

        That said, I do agree that it’s pretty unlikely to make a lifetime ban stick. If MLB pushes for one they’re likely to hurt their overall case with the arbitrator.

      • Gonzo says:

        You are correct. The arbiter can can change a punishment that he/she feels like is correct punishment.

      • mt says:

        Thanks – you are right – brawl and beanball suspensions have been reduced or modified all the time but I did not think that those went to an outside arbitrator (the Commissioner’s office just reduces some of their original penalties on appeal, I thought)

        I just wondered whether there was something specific to drug related discipline and drug-related arbitration (similar to the “can only choose one or the other figure” salary arbitration.)

        As far as I know the only one to appeal a drug related suspension was Braun who got discipline completely set aside but that made sense since arbitrators apparently agreed with his “chain of custody” technicality so in effect there would be no “failed test” and no cause for any days suspension.

  18. JLC 776 says:

    Shitty contract and PEDs aside, I will still watch the 2009 WS video and smile at all of those dramatic, late-game HRs and clutch base hits.

  19. yankeeparrothead says:

    I am not sure the Yankees are of one mind on this. It strikes me that the Steinbrenners and Cashman disagree on many things. While I agree that Cashman and A-Rod hate each other and are pretty much at war. I am not sure Hal & Hank see it the same way. Remember Cashman did not want to re-sign him but the Steinbrenner brothers overruled him (as they seem to have done a lot lately). It strikes me as reminiscent of the George-Billy spat over Reggie.

  20. yooboo says:

    A couple questions..

    ?1 Arod being kept on DL this year saves us how much?

    ?2 If a player is announced to be suspended, does it have to wait until he becomes eligible from DL to serve the suspension?

  21. Mister D says:

    As a side note: This whole voiding the contract thing is stupid and very obvious a case-by-case thing. If Trout or Machado get caught tomorrow, you think their teams will want to void any contractual rights they have?

    • Chris in Maine says:

      This is why it makes sense to give the team the option of voiding the contract as opposed to just haveing the league automatically voiding it.

      • Mister D says:

        So they can decide how much PED benefit the team can accept?

        • Cliff says:

          The idea is that the player should not benefit from his cheating by being able to go out and get a better contract than the one he already has, if his current contract is below-market even in light of the cheating.

          • Mister D says:

            I get that its not a zero sum game, but this feels more like an out for the teams than a penalty for the players.

  22. jim p says:

    The stories in the Daily News a while ago had it that MLB thought A-Rod
    a) has been cheating for a number of years
    b) has been lying for a number of years
    c) has actively tried to impede investigations of his PED use.

    The first two were only sentences in passing, but still there in, I think, Madden’s first story in July on the topic.

    If they have overwhelming evidence of all three points this goes past PED issues and into “detrimental to the reputation of the game” territory. Which alone can get you banned from the game. Pete Rose.

    If these things are true, it would also explain why MLB seems really determined to get A-Rod gone.

    As far as appeals: this isn’t a court of law which will be trying A-Rod, so the assumption that appeals process will take months seems unfounded to me. MLB has their evidence (or doesn’t have it); they’ve shown it to the other side, or at least the most damaging parts of it according to reports. I don’t see why A-Rod/MLB couldn’t be in front of the arbiter in a week or two after MLB’s ban.

    I suspect, again from reports, that A-Rod knows the ban-hammer is going to come down heavy. And that goes a long way to explaining the recent hamstring drama. If he can make it on the field, complain that he can’t play, get doctors to agree, then he’s out of here with all his money (or, I think, 80% for injury-forced retirement).

    But that has to happen before his suspension.

    • LK says:

      “I don’t see why A-Rod/MLB couldn’t be in front of the arbiter in a week or two after MLB’s ban.”

      As someone who has worked on a couple high-stakes arbitration cases, I would be absolutely SHOCKED if this were the case, particularly if A-Rod sees a benefit to delaying the process to play as much as possible in 2013.

      • JMK says:

        Yeah, I’ve done reporting on high-stakes arbitration cases. I’d be very surprised to see an arbitration case heard in 2013. These are very complex legal processes.

    • Dan says:

      It took Braun months to get to arbitration, and that was just for a 50 game ban and a failed test. Alex would definitely draw this out, especially if his whole career and all of his money is at stake.

  23. TCMiller30 says:

    Is anyone else secretly hoping that the MLBPA fights this, and no one gets suspended other than Braun because he accepted the deal early? Haha It’s not going to happen of course, but I just think that would be really funny.

    • trr says:

      Could be that nonody else gets suspended this year, but why would anyone want to see this whole ugly mess dragged out? They’ll get most of them, as you’ll see. A-rod? Who know?

      Me? I just wish this whole thing would go away….

      • Mister D says:

        Because sometimes what’s right beats what’s easy. These players didn’t fail tests, MLB hunted them down under impossibly shaky procedure.

        • Gonzo says:

          …MLB hunted them down under impossibly shaky procedure.

          Do you know what procedure that was? I don’t even know what evidence they have let alone what the procedure was at this point.

          • Mister D says:

            Well, what has been reported is buying evidence (one of the things they’re most furious that Alex tried to do) after stalking a former employee. I think the first is fact, the second is report. But the general “they’re looking to issue 1,000 games of suspensions based on the word of a guy they previously tried to discredit because he eventually told them what they wanted to hear” is enough of an indictment of procedure, no matter the rest of the details.

            • Gonzo says:

              I don’t know how they came about their evidence. They used their lawsuit against him very well. Isn’t that what DA’s do all the time? Cooperate or else you are going to be charged to the fullest extent of the law?

              You don’t know if they are suspending solely based on the word of a guy they previously tried to discredit because he eventually told them what they wanted to hear. It seems like you are following the reporting on this so you should know that there is “a lot” of evidence against A-Rod. If “that guy” is just a corroborating part of the evidence or the cornerstone, you and I have no clue.

              • Mister D says:

                I don’t doubt there is “a lot of evidence” on Rodriguez just like I don’t doubt the guys in the Mitchell Report had used. And they didn’t get suspended. And we all derided that report because of the procedure, which was the same “walk down one street and rely heavily on one person who has incentive to tell you what you want to hear”. I bet there’s “a lot of evidence” on Ortiz too, if MLB decided to doggedly follow someone linked to him and force that person to chose personal ruin or cooperation. And I bet they could do the same to Brandon Phillips or some Brandon Phillips type, but they aren’t because they don’t have a vendatta against Phillips (types) because those guys aren’t Braun and Rodriguez. Fail a test, get suspended under the terms of the CBA and you’re not going to see me here whining.

                • Gonzo says:

                  This is part of the CBA too. Just because you want to focus on part of the CBA doesn’t mean you can ignore the rest of it. Even the head of MLBPA admitted it to be, so I don’t what your beef is with that.

                  There was information available to the public and they followed up on it. If there was information on Brandon Phillips, I think they would have followed up on it. I’m not naive enough to think this is the only anti-aging clinic out there helping athletes. I just realize that this one was made public by the Miami New Times and therefore forced the MLB’s investigation.

                  The Florida situation and DUIs are a different subject altogether and should be contained in a separate discussion.

              • Mister D says:

                (And just to broaden the scope, this being A BIG F’ING DEAL while the Florida situation and DUIs are shrugged off merely adds to the flat out dumbness of it all.)

              • LK says:

                I think what they did is very similar to what DAs do, and that’s exactly why I have a massive problem with it. A private organization attempting to suspend on of its employees should not be behaving like law enforcement, under any circumstances.

                • Gonzo says:

                  I disagree. They used the system that was available to them. They do not have subpoena, nor do I think they should have it, but their behavior happens ALL THE TIME in business to compel people and companies to behave/act a certain way.

                  • Mister D says:

                    Does “the system” say that they’re allowed to purchase documents but players aren’t? More honest to say they used an umbrella clause to justify their actions versus followed the agreed upon system of testing.

                    • Gonzo says:

                      According to the CBA, yes. With the advancement disguised PEDs, fast-acting PEDs, and masking agents, yes the MLB has the right to go beyond the testing process.

                      That seems like something the MLBPA rep would have mentioned in his press conference. Seems like it would be the first thing he mentioned.

                  • LK says:

                    Really, organizations file frivolous lawsuits against individuals, then agree to drop the lawsuits and indemnify the individual against suits from the organization’s employees in exchange for testimony against said employees ALL THE TIME? Can you point to a few of these examples that happen so frequently?

                    • Gonzo says:

                      It happens with builders all the time. It’s a joke among the community that it’s easier to communicate through attorneys. Not in the specific circumstances you outlined but to induce a specific response that is beneficial to the plaintiff.

                      I’m unaware of any lawsuits against Bosch from players at this time, so I can’t comment on the part of your statement.

                    • Gonzo says:

                      Also, it seems to me that you have more of problem with buying of evidence rather than whether or not the evidence is factual. I would argue that your priorities should be the other way around. He’s not a doctor so there isn’t a HIPAA infraction.

                    • LK says:

                      There haven’t been any lawsuits against Bosch by the players, but MLB has indemnified him should any occur.

                      “It’s a joke among the community that it’s easier to communicate through attorneys. Not in the specific circumstances you outlined but to induce a specific response that is beneficial to the plaintiff.”

                      Communicating through attorneys doesn’t seem to be at all analogous to MLB’s actions in this case. The rest of what you say is too vague for me to tell whether it’s even relevant to the question of whether MLB’s actions conform to the actions of other businesses or not.

                    • Mister D says:

                      Sure, that’s a true statement. I don’t care much about PEDs so when the prosecutors use what I perceive to be unethical means to punish what they perceive to be unethical behavior, I get annoyed. Perhaps the genesis of our disagreement.

                    • Gonzo says:

                      Ok, the MLB did go above and beyond to protect Bosch. That much is clear. However, if it was just Bosch’s testimony against the players, then the players case would be easier to defend. In essence, the MLB made their case tougher by bending over backwards for Bosch, right?

                    • Gonzo says:

                      You say unethical means, and all I think about is if it was sooo wrong, it would be illegal.

                      If it’s not illegal, than let’s deal with the fact on hand. We don’t know much of the fact on hand, so I don’t really have an opinion on the matter.

                    • LK says:

                      I think that if evidence is obtained illegitimately, it may not be possible to verify with accuracy whether the evidence is factual or not. I think MLB had an agenda with this investigation such that they have compromised its integrity.

                    • Gonzo says:

                      I think that if evidence is obtained illegitimately, it may not be possible to verify with accuracy whether the evidence is factual or not.

                      So if you are able to verify it, what then?

                    • Gonzo says:

                      Also, illegitimately obtained seems to be an ethical issue with you not a legal one.

                    • Mister D says:

                      Well, that could get blurry too if MLB helps protect Bosch if the feds go after him, right?

                    • Gonzo says:

                      The reports were that the MLB had to work with Bosch because the government had no interest in his case. That’s because the feds would have been able to use subpoena power to uncover the information the MLB wanted.

                    • Mister D says:

                      And that’s all cool with you?

                    • Gonzo says:

                      I’m agnostic to it. The facts are the facts, and I don’t know what they are yet.

                      Doesn’t look like they broke the law, so should I really care that much about it?

                    • Mister D says:

                      I think you should, yes. Consider that Steinbrenner was suspended two years for paying someone to dig up dirt on Winfield. Does the fact that the dirt digger here is complicit really change matters all that much?

                    • Cam says:

                      “That’s because the feds would have been able to use subpoena power to uncover the information the MLB wanted.”

                      This is my main problem with MLB’s investigation. Why didn’t they coordinate their efforts with the Feds? They would’ve had cold hard cases against all the PED users. Also, the league would’ve looked a lot better instead of taking the sleaze route and paying the guy dealing the substances.

                    • Gonzo says:

                      Mister D, yes there is a big difference. The MLB was investigating one of its rules being broken repeatedly. They were actually looking for something. Had they singled out one player to target for no apparent reason then yes I would have an issue with it as would the MLBPA.

                      Cam, from what I heard, the MLB was dying for the feds to get involved. When the feds showed little to no interest, they had to go in a different direction.

                      Call your congressman if you wanted the feds involved. That’s not the MLB’s problem.

                    • Mister D says:

                      So because Steinbrenner didn’t know what he was looking for and MLB did, the other facts lining up doesn’t matter? Doesn’t feel right.

                    • Gonzo says:

                      Yes there is a difference. “Find something on this guy so I can blackmail him and smear him because I don’t like him or the contract I agreed to with him.” Is much different.

                      Just because it doesn’t feel right to you doesn’t do anything for me. It makes me think you have a prior bias forcing you to come to a conclusion. I’m not saying you do, but it seems like you had your mind made up beforehand.

                    • Mister D says:

                      But MLB is effectively blackmailing the players, that’s what you seem to not understand / care about. They’re threatening worse suspensions than their CBA outlines, under the justification of some umbrella “or anything else we choose to do” clause, in order to get players to waive their right to appeal. Its blackmail by authority and still blackmail.

                    • Mister D says:

                      (Prior bias, sure. I’m almost always biased against authority and towards the lower level interest when there’s an instance of the authority using their authority to take action the lower level wouldn’t / couldn’t be able to do in response. And again, this isn’t “PED suspensions are bad” … I don’t care, but I accept the testing and the suspensions that result. This is basically saying MLB has the right to do whatever they want so long as they eventually meet some arbitrary burden of proof. Ends justifying means, and I don’t agree with it at all.)

                    • Gonzo says:

                      I don’t think blackmail is applicable at all in this case. The MLB is letting the cat out of the bag. They aren’t threatening anything except punishment. Blackmail usually entails another piece. Something the ballplayer would like to keep secret. There are no signs of that yet. If the MLB was saying to Braun, “hey we found out about your chronic adultery and…” Then I would agree totally.

                      They are saying you are guilty of this. We are seeking X amount of days as punishment. We rather you own your culpability, so we are open to a plea deal. This is pretty basic form or bargaining not blackmail.

                    • Gonzo says:

                      I’m not saying that the MLB can do whatever they want. I’m saying that they have not, to my knowledge, broken the law or a CBA guideline on how to investigate this situation. If you feel like they shouldn’t be allowed to do something, what am I supposed to say to that? I feel like people shouldn’t be allowed to a lot of things. So what.

                    • Mister D says:

                      I wouldn’t use the term blackmail if MLB were offering 25 to avoid the standard 50.

                    • Gonzo says:

                      I’m saying, you shouldn’t use the term blackmail in this case at all.

                      Also, your threshold of 50 games is outlined in the JDA. According to the MLPA (AKA Michael Weiner), this case does not fall under the JDA. Therefore, your threshold of 50 games is just an arbitrary number.

                    • Mister D says:

                      It may not be a direct application, but “1st suspension for a PED offense” has a standard of 50 games (or less). Baseball’s numbers are far more arbitrary in the big scheme (which, again, is PED punishments).

                    • Gonzo says:

                      Again, the 50 games is under the JDA. This does not fall under the JDA.

                    • Mister D says:

                      Let’s say Colon gets no further suspension from Biogenesis because its determined he already served for this penalty. Then will you agree “different than the JDA” is mere semantics rather than a true difference of offense?

                    • Mister D says:

                      And lets further question whether it would be amazing coincidence if a lot of players got suspension right around the 50 games less mark while the two biggest targets got more than that despite all being in the same offender bucket? That’s why I’m ok calling it blackmail. Uneven standards applied to players of the same case.

                    • Gonzo says:

                      I will go by what the MLBPA has stated. The same MLBPA that has its members interests in ind first and foremost.

                      Like I said, you are using the term blackmail inappropriately. There’s nothing I can do with that. We are speaking different languages.

                    • Mister D says:

                      Ok, lets scratch blackmail and say MLB is “using their authority and dual role as prosecutor and jury to attempt to coerce Rodriguez into accepting an unprecedented punishment (for an offense with prior established precedent) under threat of an even more extreme level of unprecedented punishment”. Which is obviously not blackmail. Fine.

                      (Unless you really believe Rodriguez is unique inside the Biogenesis case and deserves more punishment. And that Braun won’t end up with the longest or second longest suspension of the group for no other reason than daring fight back the first time. Which you might, I don’t know. But if you do believe that Rodriguez and Braun are being singled out in a group of similar offenders, this should bother you.)

                    • Gonzo says:

                      The MLB is using the authority bargained for and agreed upon by the players and owners.

                      The punishment is not unprecedented. It has happened before. Most notably are Joe Jackson and Pete Rose.

                      I don’t believe A-Rod should or shouldn’t be suspended more or less than anyone else in the case. I don’t have all the information and, unless you’re holding out on me, neither do you.

                      Also, I don’t know if they are singling them out and neither do you. It’s a theory that you’ve produced out of thin air and not out of the evidence or facts.

                      I also don’t believe that Braun was singled out because he fought back. I think the MLBPA would have made a stink about that if that were the case. We don’t have the evidence or the facts about Braun’s case at this time, so to say that he was punished because of this or that is fruitless at this point.

                    • Mister D says:

                      Well then whatever happens must be right. If Braun and Rodriguez are suspended for > 50 games each, perhaps far greater, that must be based on the evidence. And if the rest of the players are suspended for the same amount of time, but less than Braun and Rodriguez, it must be because they all committed the same, lesser crime. Once it plays out, we can rest assured the right thing happened!

                    • Mister D says:

                      And Rose and Jackson are not comps for Rodriguez, Guillermo Mota is a comp for Rodriguez. Gambling on baseball is the cardinal sin, I think every fan accepts that. You gamble or fix, you’re done, it doesn’t matter who you are. Using PEDs, once or more than once, and not disclosing this is something that couldn’t be any less unique. The only thing unique would be the punishment.

                      (Curious that every time a player is hunted, its a great player. You never hear about the commissioners office going insane trying to find out if Guillermo Mota violated for a 3rd time, do you? But I’m sure they do.)

                    • Gonzo says:

                      I’m not saying that either. I am saying that we should have better information (ideally perfect information) that what we have now before we start going nuts.

                      Making definitive statements based on what “feels” right or wrong in this case this early with as little information we have is silly.

                      Save your wrath until then.

                    • Mister D says:

                      It doesn’t take a very creative or conspiracy seeking mind to say “its suspicious the two active players known to be among the biggest targets of the commissioners office are looking at suspensions longer than the other 15-20 guys involved in the same case”. To not say that is to ignore logic (and, really, precedent knowing how hard they chased Bonds and Clemens).

                    • Gonzo says:

                      We won’t see eye to eye on this. You already made up your mind and that’s that. Nothing will change your mind. I’d rather wait for more information.

                      First it’s how they got the information, and now it’s they are singling them out. Something tells me that you would’ve found something wrong no matter what.

                    • Gonzo says:

                      And yet Clemens and Bonds were never suspended by the MLBN.

                    • Gonzo says:

                      Both the MLB and the MLBN actually.

                    • Gonzo says:

                      A-Rod’s lawyer just said no deal was offered to them. So much for your “blackmail” theory.

                    • Gonzo says:

                      A-Rod’s lawyer said the MLB has not offered a deal. I guess they weren’t “blackmailed” then, right?

                    • Mister D says:

                      And an hour later we’re finding out its because they want to take a PED offense, circumvent the agreed upon process and negate his right to a stay during appeal. But keep saying this is all fine and not the result of an almost impossibly biased commissioner’s office.

                    • Gonzo says:

                      Are they looking to circumvent or are they looking to use another part of a the agreed upon CBA.

                      Everything you say has a bias that is impossible to ignore.

                    • Gonzo says:

                      And I never said anything is fine. I’m saying I don’t know enough to not be fine. You are the one pulling facts out of your ass.

  24. OMG! Bagels! says:

    I think that other players don’t see themselves in Arod’s position so I can’t see them hesitating to wear pinstripes over this situation.

    Alex Rodriguez is, and always has been, an outlier. Alex had natural ability to be a first ballot Hall of Famer but he let his insecurity obscure that and tried to enhance what talent he was born with. Stupid stupid move, but one that clearly demonstrates his desire to be accepted and larger than life. He has had so many “scandals” and has been tabloid fodder so often, that I can’t see other players thinking “Oh if they could do that to Arod, they will do that to me.”

    People have long thought Alex to be a headcase and I can’t see any MLB player comparing themselves to him and letting the current distancing by the Yankees influence their decision to play here. Playing here is about the pressure and the bright lights, big city with all the pluses and minuses that accompany that. The only thing they’re going to take from the Arod debacle is, “If I decide to play for the NYY, can I handle it?” So many can’t and other players have been vocal about the fact that they couldn’t play here. I don’t think the Yankees current behavior toward Arod changes that as the major factor in their decision to come here or not.

    • mt says:

      I agree that whatever “petty” treatment of Arod by Yanks that players may feel has gone on will be dwarfed by disgust of what he did to himself with his own reckless behavior with PEds/Bosch-

      Unfortunately I think a bigger reason for FAs not coming to Yankees (in addition to “fear” of bright lights in big city) is the actual projected quality of the team as the core retires – didn’t Cliff Lee say something about Yanks being old when he signed with Phillies?

      If Hal wants to stick to $189 mm plan, our future FA offers will not trump other teams’ by signiifcant amounts (like Sabathia’s and second Arod deal’s did) so the projected quality of the team may be a factor.

      I just thought of this: if you were a free agent offensive player, making choices of teams, knowing that Mets have ace Harvey, Wheeler, Sondegaard (spelling?) on horizon ,and possibly other pitchers taht will be on your side, would you rather take a chance on the Mets as they supposedly significantly ratchet up salary next year or the Yankees? let’s say, suppose Yanks could fit Brian McCann or Shin Soo Choo into $189 mm budget (with Cano known to be returning, say?) and both Yanks and Mets made them a great monetary offer, which team would they prefer for next four or five years?

      • Mister D says:

        Cliff Lee said the Yankees were old when the Phillies were older.

      • LK says:

        It’s just like last offseason – none of us can fault Swisher or Martin for wanting to play for contenders like Cleveland and Pittsburgh instead of an also-ran, right?

      • JMK says:

        Most players would take the higher offer, period. Considering the window for wages is about 15 years (on the high end), the money is almost always the determining factor.

    • Robinson Tilapia says:

      Welcome back!

  25. Ben says:

    As several pointed out, your math is off. 150 games would be less than a full season. You are speaking of one full season plus additional 50 games.

  26. Tim says:

    Even though he doesn’t appear to be going into the hall (I think he should), that was funny. I laughed a little.

  27. Bavarian Yankee says:

    activate him, bench him and only allow him to enter the field in a blowout loss in the 9th. Only fielding, not batting of course. That would be awesome :D

  28. Dick M says:

    The Yanks clearly don’t want A-Rod back. In 2013. Maybe it’s an insurance thing. Or maybe they wanted to “time” the suspension announcement so that it “hit” while he was disabled. Again, possibly an insurance/money angle. But they haven’t handled it well.

    They should have let him come back when he wanted to. let the chips fall where they may. These chips will fall in their favor when it comes to the real prize, ie, A-Rod is off the books in 2014 which will help big-time with the 189 mill lux tax deal.

    Why they are fartin around with the 2013 stuff is just more mis-guided and bad PR by a poorly run org that has more resources than most but is losing the “management” game in a big way.

    • RBC says:


    • steve (different one) says:

      Again, I think we are misreading the PR angle from the POV “here” vs. the general public/media.

      I doubt most people care if the Yankees are messing with A-Rod, he is basically universally reviled across the country and will not generate much sympathy.

      When his suspension is announced, NO ONE will be talking about his little quad/2nd opinion controversy. It will be instantly forgotten and the suspension will be the #1 sports story everywhere.

    • JMK says:

      By virtually all accounts, the team was ready to activate A-Rod until he told them of an injury and refused to play. Two doctors later diagnosed a Grade 1 Quad Strain, confirming the injury.

  29. Chris says:

    I look forward to ARod being out of baseball so he may continue his Jose Canseco-like path through life, which I hope contains celebrity boxing matches, a mayoral push for a city in another country, bizarre twitter rants, and a spot on Celebrity Apprentice.

    • RBC says:

      Not likely. Even if he’s banned, he’s still got like $100M in the bank.

    • Kiko Jones says:

      Because unlike Canseco,

      a) he’ll leave the game with boatloads of cash; and
      b) he’s talked about leaving the spotlight once he retires,

      it’s highly unlikely you’ll ever see A-Rod in any of those scenarios.

  30. OldYanksFan says:

    I’m gonna guess and say that the LEAST ARod will get is 150 games.
    If I’m ARod, I tell Bud to make it a whole season, starting in 2014.
    This gives him a chance to play some now (a last hurrah?) and help the team this year (which I’m all for), and gives the Yanks a $20m+ deduction for 2014.

  31. Hall and Nokes says:

    If he gets banned, will he get banned in a Yankees cap?

  32. JU says:

    When did baseball seasons become 100 games long? How exactly would a 150 game ban keep him out this yr nd next?

  33. sak says:

    How ridiculously naive that anyone thinks a legal battle from A-rod’s lawyers and the Players Association wouldn’t be successful.
    Please excuse my common sense for recognizing that Selig & MLB’s self-righteous and late “investigation”, is fraught with illegalities itself.
    No criminal case evidence standards are being followed here. Why?
    - Because MLB is attempting to claim under guise or assumption of “special authority” that however and whatever they claim to be evidence… is fact.
    - There is no true judicial, nor even law enforcement body at work here.
    MLB is representing this kangaroo court as valid and binding.
    Baseball’s “Antitrust Exemption” will be the real and only “albatross” hanging around anyone’s neck… COUNT ON a legal battle to threaten MLB’s ability to cope with unprecedented negative response by the public. And, COUNT ON the Players Association to indeed oppose further suspensions.

    • Mister D says:

      100% yes. And MLB has to be banking on the union applying pressure to the players to just make this go away versus actually firing back.

    • Cam says:

      “Baseball’s “Antitrust Exemption” will be the real and only “albatross” hanging around anyone’s neck…”

      I completely agree. Its really time for Congress to again address this, especially when it seems as if MLB was somehow able to supercede the state of Florida (and possibly Feds??) from investigating and charging Biogenesis with dealing illegal ‘roids.

  34. JMK says:

    I personally don’t care if A-Rod juices or doesn’t. From a purely pragmatic perspective, I hope he’s banned so the team can recoup that $100 million left on the contract.

    • Mister D says:

      Atleast you’re being honest. I’m sure well more than half of the people pretending this is heartfelt PED outrage would be arguing the other side if MLB decided to investigate our minor league system and was going to take half our top prospects out for the year.

      • LK says:

        We would find out really quick whose outrage is genuine if it turns out someone like Jeter/Pettitte/Cano is one of the unreleased names.

        • Mister D says:

          Or Mariano???

          (Just kidding, MLB would never go after him. He’d be far more protected than even Ortiz.)

        • Robinson Tilapia says:

          PEDs, on their own, wouldn’t bother me. They never have.

          It really is a different animal with Alex, though. It’s the charade and lies, the gross amounts of money he’s made.

          If it were any of the others, I’d be angry at them for putting their teammates in the position they’d be putting them, but they wouldn’t have the exasperating track record with me Alex has.

    • Gonzo says:

      The best case scenario is that he plays well this year while appealing and is banned for life in the offseason, no?

  35. John C says:

    God, what was the Players Union thinking back in 04 when they wouldn’t let Alex renegotiate his contract in order to go to Boston?

  36. I think this post’s headline should read “Alex Rodriguez and the second best case scenario”.

    I think we all can agree that a lifetime ban is the best case…however unlikely that is.

    I really feel the lifetime ban case is similar to Pete Rose. The lying and possible attempt to interfere with the investigation all coupled with him appealing and not accepting the penalty will make MLB go for blood.

    I, for one, hope get gets a lifetime ban. Granted they don’t have a real replacement at 3rd (and this year’s FA pool isn’t that great), I just this to get out from the contract would be amazing.

  37. Phil says:

    Call me crazy, but I actually think it’d be a little sad to lose someone who is arguably one of the best players of all time to a lifetime ban.

    • Mister D says:

      It absolutely would. I could be wrong, but the list of players banned for life (and not reinstated) is all or almost all ones who gambled on baseball or fixed games. Rodriguez would be dinged for something that, literally, a thousand other players have also done. Its insane, its obviously with biased, and yet people are ok with it.

    • Robinson Tilapia says:

      I’d be sad to lose someone who I’ve followed for most of his career and was a part of some special moments for my team. I’d probably feel some loss over never being able to witness what I thought was going to be a special moment in history moving forward.

      I’m also counting on being pretty fucking furious as to what he actually had his hands in once it’s public.

    • RetroRob says:

      It certainly would not be the best way to go out.

  38. Big Pharma Phrank says:

    there needs to be more research an development on safe performance enhancements. If PEDS (or recreational drugs for that matter) were safe, helped athletes and the general public recover faster from injury and perform better without damaging side effects, that would be considered progress, not cheating.

    • KD says:

      Taking any physician prescribed medication to aid the healing process while on the DL should absolutely be legal. Andy, for example, did nothing wrong in my book.

  39. handtius says:

    I have to say, I’m kind of disgusted by the way most people are reacting to this. People are talking about a life time ban and how it’s good for the teams budget without even considering that you’re ending a players career. Yeah, it’s possible Alex has cheated, but the man has loved the game since he was a kid and people are ok with banning him even though, thousands and thousands of other players have done the same thing. The only reason people are out for blood with him because of his paycheck. If any one of us were offered that sum of money to do what we loved, there is not one that would turn it down. Yeah, he’s a weird dude, but who cares. You don’t have to like the person to like player he is. If Alex is as guilty as espn is painting him, then ok, he should be suspended for breaking the rules, but only to what the rules say. He’s never failed a drug test or proven to have taken anything without coming out and admitting it, so he should be given the appropriate ban and be allowed to continue to play as any other player will be.

    • Betty Lizard says:

      Well, I’m with you. So that makes two of us . . . .

      FWIW, I’m in favor of drug tests for everyone on the 25 man roster, and very very frequent drug tests, and penalties for failing them. But I cannot support MLB’s strangely selective prosecution, er, persecution.

    • OldYanksFan says:

      I agree. 162 games, all served in 2014, would be great for the Yankees and make MLB look very serious.

      I don’t want, and don’t think MLB has a case for, a lifetime ban.

      However, aside from doing PEDs, there are reports that:
      1) He tried to interfere with the MLB investigation by buying info/people
      2) He invested with Bosch/tried to help Biogenisis
      3) May have been using PEDS for years…. including 2009, and maybe lying when he confessed and then said he was clean.

      I don’t think this 150+ games we hear about is just for using… and lying repeatedly.

      We should find out soon, but we don’t yet know the depths of shit ARod has gotten himself into.

    • KD says:

      I agree with you. These A-Rod haters are full of crap. A-Rod did not hold a gun to Steinbrenner’s head demanding that contract. The steinspawn should honor it.

  40. Manny's BanWagon says:

    Bottom line is Arod did this to himself. Twice.

    He was forgiven the first time but now, he deserves whatever heinous punishment comes his way.

    The Yankees are absolutely 100% in the right hoping he’s banned for life.

  41. Math Major says:

    This article hurts my head.

  42. Nathan says:

    I really wish he would just retire. But everyone knows that he’s going to draw it out until the very end.

  43. DirtyWater says:

    NY Writers should probably read the fine print before getting fans all excited about a cash windfall.

    A suspended player’s salary is only held up until the first 60 days of being off roster. After that the player gets payed and it counts.

  44. Dan says:

    The most A-Roddy thing in the world would be if he appeals a suspension by going against the advice of his attorney and then gets banned for life. There’s a decent chance this is about to happen.

  45. Jarrod says:

    There is no chance (like, zero) that MLB bans A-Rod for life. Even if they tried A-Rod would fight it and win. You can’t have a suspension system that allows for bans of 50 games, 100 games and then life and then ban someone for life who has never failed a test while the system has been in place. Quite frankly it is embarrassing for MLB and shows piles of prejudice.

    This is coming from someone who would love to see A-Rod’s contract torn up for the sake of my team….but that certainly doesn’t make it right.

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