Update: A-Rod’s appeal hearing concludes

Update: Yankees have interest in Joe Nathan
Thursday Night Open Thread

7:26pm: According to T.J. Quinn, the two sides have until December 11th to put together summary briefs and respond by the 21st. Only then will Horowitz get busy with his ruling. So yeah, throw that whole 25 days thing right out the window.

6:40pm: Via Ken Davidoff: The appeal hearing for Alex Rodriguez‘s record 211-game suspension concluded today. Arbitrator Frederic Horowitz now has 25 days to hand down a ruling, meaning the latest it can arrive is Monday, December 16th. That said, this whole thing hasn’t gone according to the schedule outlined in the Join Drug Agreement. The ruling could come down later. Either way, Horowitz can uphold, overturn, or reduce the suspension.

Update: Yankees have interest in Joe Nathan
Thursday Night Open Thread
  • I’m One

    This is good news. The sooner the decision comes down, the better. Hope plans are in place for at least 3 possible outcomes (50 games, 100 games, 162 games). Be ready to move, Cash! (and Hal too, I guess, based on the GM meetings.)

    • jjyank

      Yup. Sooner the better. Let’s get this over with and just focus on what the 2014 team will look like.

  • Robinson Tilapia

    I’m sure the events of the past two days are bound to work in Alex’s favor. *snicker*

  • Dr TJ Eckleberg

    Seems like there’s a decent chance the Yankees will know where they stand with Alex by the Winter Meetings (December 9-12).

    • Dave

      Mighty hopeful of you there… If he takes the full 25 days, that would be past the winter meetings. I would love a next week ruling too, but that’s unlikely.

  • Dave

    Since AROD has vowed to appeal this entire process in Federal court, what are the implications for the Yanks? I find it hard to believe any Federal court will overturn an “independant” arbitrator’s decision as part of an agreed upon contract (CBA). Even if they did, MLB will undoubtedly appeal that decision too so that could take well over a year.

    I really don’t see any chance AROD is playing next season with how this process has gone. I despise the bum, but AROD is getting shafted in this hearing and will almost certainly lose big.

    Good for the Yanks — will look bad for baseball when his lawyers reveal all…

    • Need Pitching & Hitting

      How is ARod getting shafted in this hearing?

      • Dave

        Not being able to question Selig is absurd and a huge issue IMO. While I think AROD is guilty as hell, there is no reason Selig shouldn’t have been made to testify. Even if he comes in and says “I don”t know”, “I don’t recall”, “No comment”, etc. — he should still be allowed to question the sole person who issued the penalty at the center of these hearings. It’s just crazy that the arbitrator did not enforce the subpoena for him to appear.

        I honestly think this is just the tip of the iceberg. AROD is not going to freak out and make himself look like a moron during the case of just one issue. Once his lawyers break silence (and subsequently violate the CBA again) and reveal all, AROD still may be guilty, but MLB will look bad with him.

        • Need Pitching & Hitting

          I don’t see how Selig’s testimony is at all relevant.

          The purpose of the hearing is to determine 1) if ARod committed any punishable offense, and 2) what the appropriate penalty would be.

          Since Selig has no firsthand knowledge of ARod’s behavior, his testimony would be completely useless with regard to the first aspect.
          As for the appropriate punishment aspect, it’s the responsibility of MLB to justify the punishment during the hearing. It’s their right to choose whoever they want to make their argument. I fail to see how Manfred arguing the punishment is justified shafts ARod in any way. What difference does it make who makes the argument on behalf of MLB?
          I don’t see how Selig would have any relevant information to add that couldn’t/wouldn’t already be provided by Manfred and the MLB lawyers.
          I also fail to see how Manfred making the justification instead of Selig harms ARod in any way. Either the justification holds up before the arbitrator or it doesn’t. Who makes the argument shouldn’t matter.

          • Dave

            Part of AROD’s argument is that MLB, Selig in particular, has some person agenda against him and that they went through extraordinary measures to buy evidence against him. The decision process behind coming up with a 211 game suspension out of thin air (clearly there is no precedent for that random number) and his logic for paying as much as they did for evidence against a single player. The only reason MLB is getting away with protecting Selig is because the arbitrator doesn’t have to abide by typical rules of law which would allow AROD’s attorneys to subpoena Selig — even just to show malicious intent.

            Whether anyone other than AROD and his defense team think there is value to Selig’s testimony or not is irrelevant really. If he feels Selig’s testimony would help his case, he should have been able to subpoena him.

            • Need Pitching & Hitting

              But whether Selig has a personal agenda against ARod, or how much or why they paid for evidence, or whether ARod was singled out, is completely inconsequential to whether or not ARod committed the infractions and what the appropriate punishment for those actions are. Those are the only questions that matter in this hearing.
              MLB has to make it’s case for why 211 games is appropriate. That’s part of the hearing. Selig’s thought process really doesn’t matter. What matters is whether the punishment is appropriate and justified under the JDA and CBA, which is a question for the arbitrator to decide and for the 2 sides to argue.
              As for not having to abide by the typical rules of law, defendants in traditional court aren’t allowed to just call anybody to testify. The witness has to be able to provide some relevant testimony to be allowed by a judge, where it’s up to the judge to decide, as it was up to the arbitrator to decided. No judge would allow a defendant to just call anybody and everybody just to distract and delay.
              I realize part of ARod’s argument is Selig has some personal agenda against him. But that is completely irrelevant to the purpose of the hearing, which is likely why Selig’s testimony wasn’t compelled.

              • Dave

                The hearing is clearly not that simple or it would be have been over long ago. Showing malice brings into question the validity of the evidence against AROD and therefore is pertinent. They are not calling “just anybody” in — they are calling the sole person who came up with punishment being question. Your opinion of that testimony is again irrelevant — if AROD’s defense team thinks it can damage the evidence being used against him, they should have been able to call him in. Arguing that a judge would have done the same is crazy — clearly you don’t have a good pulse on how that process works in the actual legal system. Very rarely will a judge no enforce a subpoena for someone to at least appear. If they don’t find the questioning relevant, they may stop that, but almost always the witness must appear to allow whoever is calling them to make an argument.

                Arguing this any further is clearly futile — you have it in your mind that the testimony would be useless. AROD will undoubtedly appeal this in a federal court on a variety of legal grounds and this will go on for quite some time.

                • Need Pitching & Hitting

                  We’ll have to agree to disagree.
                  I doubt the appeal in federal court will go anywhere.

                  When final point I’ll make is that ARod wouldn’t need Selig’s testimony to bring into question the validity of the evidence used against him. Selig didn’t provide the testimony or evidence used against him. Bosch, his associates, and the investigators did, and Arod’s team would have had ample time to cross examine and call into question any of them. Calling Selig’s motives into question would accomplish nothing because he didn’t provide any of the testimony or evidence against ARod. Showing Selig was malicious in intent wouldn’t show the other witnesses were lying, or that any evidence was fabricated.
                  As for the judge, if a defendant subpoenaed the district attorney (essentially the equivalent role to Selig’s in this process) to testify in a criminal trial, where the DA wasn’t a witness to anything, do you think a judge would actually allow the testimony?
                  I find that highly unlikely.
                  Any testimony Selig could possibly give wouldn’t change the fact of whether or not ARod did what was alleged, or whether the punishment is justifiable under the CBA and JDA.
                  The fact that this hearing has gone on so long probably played a role in the Arbitrator not wanting to delay even further by offering redundant testimony about the justification for the suspension.
                  I’m sure ARod’s team made their case for why Selig needed to testify.
                  Apparently, the Arbitrator, as is his right, determined his testimony to be redundant, unnecessary, or irrelevant, which it appears he had cause to do.
                  I fail to see how following the collectively bargained process and abiding by the decisions of an Arbitrator in that process is ARod being “shafted”. There is no reason to believe at this point that the Arbitrator has been anything but impartial.

                  • I’m a looser baby so why don’t you kill me?

                    Your argument would hold much more water if the degree of suspension Selig handed down conformed to some easily explainable rationale or formula taken from the CBA. Since, as you point out repeatedly, the second part of the arbitrator’s job is to determine whether the punishment fit the crime, not forcing the single person who made up a number out of thin air to explain where this came from literally makes no sense. IOW the arbitrator isn’t starting out in a vacuum. Selig’s number, and thus his rationale for it, are absolutely in play and he should’ve been called to explain it.

    • Tom K

      Yeah, when they reveal all of the evidence that may actually be in their favor. If they had this great evidence, why didn’t they produce it at the hearing itself? Because it probably would have been crucified under cross is the only reason I can come up with.

      • Dave

        We have no idea what they presented or didn’t present as long as everyone is actually listening to the confidentiality agreement. A key piece of evidence, Selig’s rationale for issuing a 211-game suspension, what not required to show up and be cross examined. To me, that speaks a lot to MLB’s case and how “independent” the arbitrator really is.

        Don’t get me wrong, I still think AROD is guilty as all hell — just that he is entitled so some resemblance of a fair hearing which I have doubts this was…

        • Need Pitching & Hitting

          MLB has to justify the punishment. That’s there responsibility in the hearing (along with proving the allegations). Who made the decision (and even why) doesn’t really matter. What matters is whether the punishment fits the crime. They don’t need Selig’s testimony for that. It would be a redundant waste of time designed just to distract from the issues at hand.

        • BFDeal

          Not only is Selig’s rationale not a key piece of evidence, it’s not even evidence. Selig’s testimony has no bearing on whether Arod committed an infraction or not.

    • Caballo Sin Nombre

      The suit in Federal court is not an appeal of the process; it’s just a lawsuit. It won’t impact ARod’s suspension in the slightest. What it could impact is whether he gets monetary compensation to offset his lost pay.

  • Need Pitching & Hitting

    Apparently, the decision may not come until January.

  • Crink

    The only way the Yankees can move forward this off season is to assume A-Rod will be on the team next year. It sounds like to me A-Rod will get at most 50 games. Sucks for the Yankees, but that’s how they gotta do it.

    If they’re re-signing Cano and signing a pitcher they probably can’t do too much else. May have to trade for 200 of those 400 innings. Get ready for Chris Stewart, Year 2.

    • Need Pitching & Hitting

      I would think 50 games is the absolute minimum he’d get.
      He’ll likely get at least Braun’s 65 games, and quite possibly more.

      I doubt ARod would have thrown the hissy fit he did yesterday if he felt he was likely to just get 50 games or less.

  • IronHorse

    Dave-if you are Arod what questions are you asking Selig? also Selig is not the Sole person to come up with the 211 games,its baseball making the case not Selig..soon as ARod hired Tacopina you knew that he was never going to tell the truth and just try to distract from the truth and not testify, when you dont have the evidence or facts on your side pound the table and storm out…

  • qwerty

    The judge will overturn the suspension, no one can resist the charm of Arod.

  • Captain Turbo

    He’ll get 50 games at most. Wouldn’t surprise me if the suspension is overturned. MLB has conducted themselves atrociously through this whole fiasco.

  • King of Fruitless Hypotheticals

    I just watched a federal arbitration get appealed in a state court and a federal court, one from each side of the arbitration. Injunctions are cheap, folks, and court dockets are PACKED. Very possible Arod goes the federal route and we find out he’s really going to be suspended in May, or whatever other date is more inopportune…