The Latest on Alex Rodriguez and Biogenesis

Mailbag: Smyly, Kemp, Beckett, Braun, Lowrie
What Went Wrong: CC Sabathia

The appeal of Alex Rodriguez‘s record 211-game suspension is scheduled to resume on Monday, so let’s round up the latest news courtesy of Ken Davidoff, Steven Marcus, Mike Fish, and Joel Sherman:

  • When the hearing resumes, it will continue for ten consecutive days if necessary. They won’t take weekends off and will work right up until Thanksgiving in order to get this thing wrapped up. Arbitrator Frederic Horowitz is expected to take three or four weeks to hand down a ruling once the hearing is over.
  • A-Rod will miss a scheduled interview with MLB on Friday because he’s sick and stuck in California, unable to travel according to doctor’s orders. It’s nothing serious and it will not delay the proceedings next week. The interview is required before he can take the stand, however (convenient timing, no?).
  • Rodriguez, commissioner Bud Selig, and Yankees team president Randy Levine could all be called to stand to testify at some point soon. MLB is likely to try to prevent Selig and Levine from talking, however. I guess that’s something they’re allowed to do.
  • The Florida Department of Health says MLB impeded their investigation of Biogenesis chief Anthony Bosch by purchasing stolen clinic documents earlier this year. The documents were originally intended for DOH, so the state was forced to limit the scope of their investigation and Bosch’s eventual punishment ($5,000 fine that was reduced to $3,000). Long story short: MLB said too bad, their investigation was more important.
  • Even if A-Rod is suspended for all or part of next season, he could still be around the team in Spring Training. The Joint Drug Agreement says a suspended player has all the rights of a regular player except he can’t play in regular season or postseason games. One of those rights is Spring Training, apparently. If the Yankees try to stop him from showing up to camp, A-Rod could file a grievance and create even more headaches. What a world.
Mailbag: Smyly, Kemp, Beckett, Braun, Lowrie
What Went Wrong: CC Sabathia
  • blake

    I’m to the point in this thing where I really don’t even care about the details anymore and am cheering for the outcome that helps the Yankees the most…..which clearly is for all or most of the 211 game suspension to be upheld (at least 162 games of it).

    Maybe that’s not fair for Alex but this isn’t a trial in the court of law….it’s a baseball hearing I’m past tired of hearing and reading about it and feel like both sides are pretty much slime…..

    Ideally Arod would get 211 games and enough dirt would come out on Selig that he retires in shame….

    • Vern Sneaker

      That is pretty much exactly how I’ve come to feel. A-Rod and MLB both suck. I wish they’d simply disappear forever. It’s totally annoying and mostly boring to me at this point.

    • mt

      I agree – I want this to be over so bad.

      I fully expect Alex to try to get an injunction to stop any type of suspension if he gets suspended for any length of games (even if its is only 50). He has gone this far and I don’t see him backing off.

      However, I am not an attorney but I don’t know why a court would grant him an injunction on a matter that was negotiated as part of his union’s labor agreement with MLB. Without an injunction that immediately stops the suspension, I would think a regular lawsuit by his lawyers against the suspenion would take a long time (years?) to be heard.

      At this point, worrying about the worst (since this whole thing has been so bizarre) I wonder if there’s is any way Yanks can be prevented from reaping the salary savings benefit in 2014 if he gets suspended. I guess the only way they get screwed is if some court does grant Arod an injunction. I would think any credit to Yankee payroll would then be delayed, endangering the $189 million goal.

      At this point as long as Yankees get credit for his salary in the constrined 2014 luxury tax year, I don;t care if he at some later point wins his current lawsuits against MLB or Dr. Ahmad or even the potential one he probably will find a way to fil against Yankees – that will all play out (I don’t think he will win these but who knows?)

      • mt

        typos: “constrained” 2014 luxury tax year

      • Stuart

        So, in short, this could all conclude, and A-Rod could play anyway.

      • Stuart

        I’m an attorney so I’ll give it a shot. Part of my job is termination appeal hearings for municipal employees, and this is very similar.

        There’s a rule in the all that requires an organization to follow its own rules. A-Rod could reasonably (from a legal perspective) argue that if his eventual suspension as determined by Horowitz is more than 50 games, it is in contravention of the CBA and thus against MLB’s rules (it’s a standard called “arbitrary and capricious”).

        He does, however, have to do the hearing first (it’s required as “exhaustion of administrative remedies”). At the hearing, if I were A-Rod’s attorneys (and thankfully I’m not), I’d argue that the 211-game suspension violated the CBA – solely to make my record for a court proceeding. If you win, great. If not, you sue for an injunction saying the result is arbitrary and capricious and “against the manifest weight of the evidence.”

        And if he did that, I think there’s a reasonable shot he’d get at least a temporary restraining order allowing him to play. Why? Because the standard for an injunction is “irreparable harm,” and he can say reasonably that because he doesn’t get to play until the court rules, he is losing playing time (and loads of salary, specifically, PERFORMANCE-BASED BONUSES) that he can’t get back later. So if the court issues a preliminary injunction or TRO, he could play until the trial. And that could take years.

        So, in short, he could be suspended for all 211 games, sue, and play all of next year at full salary.

    • J.R.

      I actually think the 50 game suspension is the right move. This is his first violation where it was punishable and that’s what is agreed to in the CBA.

      Also, having Arod for 112 games would be great, he is still a top ten 3rd baseman.

      • blake

        Alex “might” still be a top 10 3B if he could be healthy….the problem is that a healthy Arod probably doesn’t exist anymore but for fleeting moments.

        He came back in 2013 and was pretty good for about a month until be broke down and was terrible all of September. I think healthy Arod is a mirage…..a hypothetical that really doesn’t apply to real life.

    • Laz

      depending on health I’m not convinced that highest is best for team. He is still our best option at 3B by far, no one in fa is close either. Sure the money is available, but will they spend it, you still have plan next year too.

  • TWTR

    Selig has harmed MLB’s rep as much as any PED user, if not more.

    • Algernon Blackwood

      Agreed, but he does have a pretty sweet wig.

  • Yankee Parothead

    I don’t get why he is REQUIRED to be interviewed by MLB before he testifies. I can’t blame him fo rnot doing so, especially when they have leaked that they will suspend him again if they don’t like what they hear from him, you know it is a trap.

    I agree with Blake that this has gotten ridiculous on both sides and I wish it would just go away. A-Rod isn’t innocent, but Capt Ahab Selig has gone way over the top is his attempts to get Moby Rodriguez. It feels like he wants to make A-Rod pay for the fact he couldn’t/didn’t do anything to Bonds or Clemens so A-Rod should take the penalty for all 3 as well as anybody else who every used PEDs.

    I think A-Rod should be treated like all the other players who violated the rules. I just don’t buy that he is the worst offender ever.

    • blake

      Selig is totally doing all this to try and re-write his legacy from “the guy that allowed the PED era to happen” to “the guy that cleaned up the sport”……this is all about him IMO.

      He should know that fans aren’t stupid and that 20 years isn’t going to be forgotten because you finally got tough on Alex Rodriguez…..

      I’m all for people being treated fairly….and based on what we know it does appear Arod is being singled out here but I’m just so tired of it. He could have taken the deal and didn’t….then started suing everybody and dramatizing the whole thing.

      I’m sick enough of both sides that I just want wants best for the Yankees…..

      Baseball isn’t going to be able to fully heal from this steroids stuff until Selig is gone…’s too personal for him and he’s too self involved to move on.

      • JCK

        Why would he take a deal that would cost him ~$30 million when you just conceded that it looks like he is being treated unfairly? A 211 game suspension isn’t much a “deal.”

  • CashmanNinja

    I just want him gone. I’m glad for what he’s done for us, but he brought ALL of this on himself…several times. So I’m hoping the suspension is upheld and then he’s bought out. The Yanks would basically pay him to go away and no other team will pick him up for any amount because of the shit storm that would follow. The media has proven they can be quite a distraction when certain players join new teams (see: Tebow, Tim). So A-Rod is basically fighting for his career, but I don’t think he’ll win. I think he’ll get his money, but I don’t think he’ll get his team — or any team for that matter. He needs to just pull a Barry Bonds and disappear from the spotlight, which would be the ultimate punishment since A-Rod thrives on any sort of attention, positive or negative.

    • qwerty

      Pay Arod to go away? lol. The yankees couldn’t possibly buy the amount of publicity Arod is generating for them right now. He’s on every back page. By all rights, no one should even be talking about the yankees right now, but Arod and by extension the Yankees have been in sporting news all season and offseason due to one man, Arod. You get rid of him you can pretty much kiss all the publicity train goodbye. Not to mention, you lose all the press of him breaking future home run records, and his eventual retirement tour.

  • pat

    TEAM AROD all the way. I hope this drags out as long as possible and becomes not only a black eye, but a festering open wound for MLB. Hey Bud, you can’t erase a decade and a half of rampant steroid abuse by trying to crucify one guy. Bud knew it was going on, players knew it was going on, managers knew it was going on and the press knew it was going on. Where were all these writers who grandstand now and want Arod executed, back in the 90’s when dudes were showing up to ST 30lbs heavier and absolutely shredded? Oh wait, they didn’t say jack shit because baseball was in it’s heyday and newspapers were being sold, and columns being read. They turned a blind eye to try and keep the good times going. Now they’re all writing articles about how scummy the “cheaters” are and all this garbage.

    Screw Bud and the MSM too.

    • TWTR

      I agree on the merits, but from the perspective of being a powerless fan, the longer this drags on, the longer it may take for Hal to sign big checks, so dragging this out could make the 2014 season kind of suck.

      • mustang

        “Hal to sign big checks, so dragging this out could make the 2014 season kind of suck.”

        THIS and as fan its all that matters.

  • John

    I’m not tired of it. It’s truly entertaining to see the lengths both sides will go to win. MLB and ARod are playing dirty with each other because THEY HAVE TO. I mean, Arod’s slippery lawyer/pr teams are pulling out all the stops (paid latin group protests, news leaks, I’m sick so i’m talking) trying to build a public position to their cases in the court of law, not necessarily the arbitration. MLB has to keep up! News leaks, news leaks and more news leaks!

    In the end, I feel like the the arbitration is rigged anyway (MLB Win). He’s going down but probably not at 211 games.

    Facts are facts: He did something against the JDA and tried to hide it.

    Facts are facts: MLB played dirty because there was a lot of dirty play trying to cover this up. They took it too far

    All of this should equal 162 games.

  • yankeeinexile

    Maybe I’m missing something, but isn’t it a pretty big deal that MLB impeded a US government investigation? Can’t the DOH pursue legal action against MLB? Will they?

    • chrisF

      I’m not an attorney and I don’t know enough about the case, but if that’s proven to be true then it’s possible Horowitz could simply dismiss the documents (and Bosch’s testimony) as evidence if they both purchased them illegally and impeded a government investigation. I don’t know how likely that is or what the evidence is, but I think there’s a possibility.

      Isn’t it ironic how MLB attacks A-Rod for “impeding the Biogenesis investigation”, and then when it gets out that they themselves impeded a government investigation it becomes “OH BUT IT WAS NECESSARY”!

      I don’t think A-Rod is innocent, but I think it’s becoming increasingly clear that this is a witch hunt because A-Rod is the game’s biggest name. If this was Francisco Cervelli that they had the “mountains of evidence” against, he’d have still gotten only 50 games and it would’ve been it.

      • Stuart

        I’m an attorney (see above). It depends on whether the hearing follows the rules of evidence or not. If it’s an informal mediation-type hearing, then Horowitz can see whatever he wants to see, and he’s under no obligation to consider how they were procured (although if I were A-Rod’s attorney I’d make a ton of hay of that on cross-examination). If A-Rod sues, which is the nightmare scenario, then theoretically his camp could bring a motion in limine to exclude those documents. But that would be years away from consideration.

        As far as the impeding an investigation goes, I’m a civil attorney and not a criminal one. But I am fairly certain that yes, MLB could be charged with obstruction of justice under the relevant statute and case law. However, I rather doubt a prosecutor would bring that case, and there is no obligation to charge anyone with anything in the U.S. (it’s called “prosecutorial discretion”).

  • ropeadope

    MLB is more important than the Florida Department of Health? Does the Governor and District Attorney of Florida agree with this assessment?

    • Havok9120

      They might agree that the reward of pursuing the case isn’t equal the expense of doing so.

      • ropeadope

        You may be correct. With funds so tight at the State Government level, they may have breathed a sigh of relief. But then they can’t really bellyache at MLB stepping on their toes (and I don’t know to what extent that is or isn’t happening). We need some on the spot Florida reporting. Kramerica Industries, where are you?

        • Havok9120

          Plotting how to foil an arson investigation in St. Pete.

  • chrisF

    The longer this case goes on the worse MLB looks. Do I think A-Rod took steroids? Yea, he probably did. But the fact that MLB has taken it to these kind of lengths where they think teaming up with criminals, paying for stolen evidence and impeding a government investigation is acceptable is completely ridiculous to me. I’d rather see A-Rod get off completely free than to see a national business in MLB engage in these kind of tactics. They’re supposed to represent what’s “right”.

    If you could guarantee me that Hal’s wallet this winter will not be affected by the A-Rod arbitration (in other words, he’s gonna spend whether he has him or not), then I’m now 100% rooting for A-Rod now. I know he took steroids and frankly I don’t care anymore. But if baseball took part in criminal activity to incriminate one player, then they can’t be allowed to get away with that. What sort of precedent does that set?

    • Stuart


    • blake

      the problem is that Hal’s wallet will 100% be affected by what happens with Arod and so will the Yankees…..they have basically said as much. If he gets suspended all season then thats 33.5 million more they can spend in 2014…..that’s a significant amount.

  • Captain Turbo

    I’m all for A-Rod beating this and playing out his contract. Because the Yankees signed that albatross contract and they should have to stick with it. If they get out of it, they might be tempted to keep signing bad deals ::cough, cough, Cano!:: Maybe it hurts the Yanks in 2014 but if it knocks some sense into management’s collective head, I’m for it.

    • CashmanNinja

      So you’re hoping the Yanks get screwed? This wouldn’t just be a 1 year thing…this would hurt the team for SEVERAL years. Yes, they were dumb to sign him to that contract, but hoping the team gets screwed over makes you a pretty pathetic fan. Plus it’s not like they won’t have to pay A-Rod. They will have to keep paying him for the remainder of the contract, but saving the $$ for next year would be HUGE … and then he can be bought out.

      • Captain Turbo

        No, I’m hoping that it knocks some sense in management. I’ve been a fan since ’74.

        • CashmanNinja

          And I’m sure they’ve already learned their lesson for not bidding against themselves — hence why I think they’ll be adamant with not going past 8/$180 for Cano (same contract they gave Teixeira). I think that’s the absolute farthest they’ll go — and should go. He shouldn’t get $200 mil and definitely not the $300 mil he was asking for. But either way you’re hoping the outcome is the Yankees wind up screwing themselves, so that kind of makes you one pessimistic “fan”. And saying you’ve been a fan since doesn’t mean you’re a GOOD fan. I know plenty of fair weather fans who claim they’ve followed a team for a long time, but in reality they only follow them when they do well.

          • Captain Turbo

            The Yankees screwed themselves, as you so colorfully put it, when they signed the A-Rod contract. I simply think they should live up to it and, hopefully, grow wiser by doing so. I’m thinking long term, not next year. And you absolutely no idea what you’re talking about as far as who constitutes a good fan.

            • CashmanNinja

              A good fan wants what’s best for their team. Saying you hope A-Rod wins basically insures that the next few seasons will be similar to this current season. They won’t have the money to make many moves, nor will they be able to pump out viable replacements from the farm system. A-Rod’s suspension would give them $30+ mil to work with right away. That’s a McCann and Garza right there. If A-Rod’s suspension is overturned then we basically get neither. I’m sorry, but I’m the kind of fan that wants my team to…you know…win. Not do poorly just so I can be a “told you so” kind of guy. They learned their lesson and the one who made the decision isn’t even the decision maker anymore — Hank Steinbrenner. Have you noticed how since then Hal has basically taken over and you never hear about Hank anymore? Well it’s because of the whole A-Rod situation. He went over the front office’s head and signed him to a dumb deal. That wasn’t a Cashman move. So why should the entire organization be punished over 1 stupid member of the family?

              • Captain Turbo

                I want what’s best for the team and I want them to win so by your metric I’m a good fan. But I’m thinking beyond next year. If having to swallow this contract makes them smarter in the long run, I’m for it.

              • mustang

                “I’m sorry, but I’m the kind of fan that wants my team to…you know…win. Not do poorly just so I can be a “told you so” kind of guy. ”


            • mustang

              Im sorry, but a “good fan” doesn’t want failure even for year to teach management a lesson.
              I’m not sure, but I get this strange feeling that Hal and company already know that they fuck-up in the A-Rod signing.

              • Captain Turbo

                I guess we’ll find out when and if they sign Cano.

          • Jimmy

            I’d point out that he’s on a Yankees website deep into the offseason after a mediocre season. Odds are that he(she) is a relatively devoted fan.

        • TWTR

          It’s not about sense, it’s about timeframes.

          While some of us would like to see a multi-year plan implemented featuring patience with young players as well as smart signings, the Yankee brass cares more about profits, ratings, and attendance, which requires fielding a team that appears to be capable of making the playoffs every single year, even if it means foregoing the chance to build a better team over time.

          That often requires overpaying aging veterans, both in terms of money and years.

          Maybe at the margins, they will be a bit smarter in the length of contracts they offer. If Cano gets more than six years, however, then probably not.

          A great farm system could serve both goals, but to this point there is very little reason to think that they will be able to accomplish that any time soon.

          • Captain Turbo

            Well said.

          • DickM

            What he said.

          • mustang


  • Newman

    Someone wrote ‘facts is facts,’ ironic because we have no facts at all, just a carefully orchestrated summer of leaks presented to us as both sides sought to gain some sort of advantage in an invisible process. So facts ain’t facts.

    As long as people are making stuff up, I was wondering, looking at A-rod’s career arc, a young wunderkind, whether there was ever a time he was not ‘supplementing’ his talent. I was wondering if he is in fact a chemical creature formed from the git go by the best science had to offer. Think about the era when he was raised; high school athletic departments were rife with the juice. Would this burning bright baseball god have been immune?

    It explains perhaps why he’s so very much prickly about the subject. Is it possible the essence of it all is the guy cannot exist without his precious juice? Is it also possible cranky old Bud Selig knows as well as anybody how deep this enhanced A-rod goes? Was his A-rodness created by baseball itself to rule the roost, sell the tickets, fill the coffers of the immortal game?

    And in the end does it make sense that two conspirators, in a final picque of unshared interest, at last tear each other apart in a desperate attempt to spin the truth from here to the stars?

    • Holy Ghost

      I doubt it. He didn’t need the juice in High School. Young men produce more than enough Testoserone naturally.

      A-Rod didn’t really bulk up until he got with the Rangers. Before that he had a build similar to Jeter’s. With the Rangers he was built like a First Basemen. So I believe him when he says he didn’t use the juice before Texas.

      Like Bonds, I don’t have a doubt that A-Rod was naturally talented and didn’t need the juice. He would’ve been a Hall of Famer without it. It’s a shame that his career will be overlooked because of the drug use.

      • DickM

        I saw A-Rod from the first row, next to the on deck circle. He was on the Mariners, standing in BP next to Buhner, Griffey, and Edgar.

        It was like the Don Imus routine with Bernard, “which doesn’t belong and why”?

        The answer was Griffey. The other 3 were straight out of the WWWF.

  • mustang

    I understand (although I may not necessary agree) with the pro-ARod anti-MLB stand on this. What I find completely and ridiculous stupid is some fans stand of ” hope this drag this out” or ” I hope he doesn’t get suspend at”.

    I’m a YANKEES FAN what’s best for my team going forward is to see this wonderful human being get suspend so I don’t give shit about anything else because this is the only thing that well effect my team.

    Hindering the team I follow to prove a point that won’t really make any difference at the end doesn’t seem like very logical thinking.

    • Captain Turbo

      All real fans know the term is “Yankee fan.”

  • MannyGeee

    Yeah, everyone (in the media, not here) seems to be burying the real illegal activities ON BOTH SIDES such as buying and tampering with evidence AND witnesses, and keeping A-Rod the drug abuser as the true villain.

    Kangaroo Court, man….

  • mustang

    I don’t really care if the Yankees suck next year or the damage it might cause going forward just as long as management learns their lesson and MLB looks bad.

    Yours truly,

    The dumpiest Yankees fan in the world.

    • mustang

      I don’t really care if America suck next year or the damage it might cause going forward just as long as the other side (republican or democratic) learns their lesson and they look bad.

      This logic works for everything!!!!!

  • David Brown

    One thing that is dead wrong is the idea that Arod is innocent just because Selig is wrong, and he should have the charges dropped over that (if it is proven he took PED’s it does not make him a good guy). It’s not like the bad Prosecutor or Cop whose unethical behavior would take his liberty away, it is about money not freedom. If Horowitz wants to send a message and essentially “Bitch Slap” Selig he could could give Rodriguez 1> but < 50 Games( which I think is the likely outcome), but the only way Rodriguez is truly exonerated is if that number is zero. If the number 50 Games is the actual outcome, I do not see Rodriguez pushing the issue, and he will probably take his medicine ( knowing he basically got a slap on the wrist and still must return to the Clubhouse and Yankee Stadium ( particularly as it relates to Randy Levine). But if he gets zero, then he might very well sue MLB and everyone involved as a way to collect Attorney Fees and Damages, and have a pretty strong case ( based on the Horowitz Decision). Under that scenario, the “so called Yankee Fans” who want him to win ( those who are not Red Sox or Met trolls in disguise), may end up regretting this because 2014 may be about Lawsuits instead of Baseball. I would be shocked if he gets away Scot free, anymore than if he gets 100 or more games.

  • RetroRob

    I believe A-Rod is guilty. Yet my dislike for how MLB has handled this and their thug-like tactics has me rooting for A-Rod. I also want him on the team next year. This was a dreadfully boring team last year with about the only exception was when A-Rod showed up.

    • Betty Lizard

      A-ROD 4EVR

      • ropeadope

        Teacher, is the “A” in the above phrase a long or short vowel? Because it kinda changes the interpretation.

        Has your new semester started?

  • Pat D

    If Selig doesn’t have to talk in front of the arbitrator, that’s bullshit. Fuck Levine, the less he says the better. But wouldn’t we all love to see Selig squirm a lot?

    Also, can the Florida DOH sue for obstruction of justice against MLB for their actions?

  • Patryk

    Why is it taking so long?

  • DickM

    I think A-Rod gets between 50 and 100 games. Which is what he deserves.

    Regardless, we need a reliable third baseman. Even if A-Rod is here all year, he needs a caddie.

  • Eselquetodolosabe

    For as much as A-rod has become The Sports World’s Whipping Boy, The Yankees are just as culpable. I can’t believe that they hadn’t a clue about PEDs; before, during and after their latest contract negotiation (I’d prefer massacre to negotiation). As such, there’s an overwhelming sentiment that wants NY to rid itself of that albatross contract. He’s no angel, but The Yankees should’ve known better. Let’em eat the contract, maybe that’ll teach’em.

  • Farewell Mo

    The only thing I hope for is that this case results in the mutual destruction of Arod and Selig.

    As a Yankees fan, they’re MUCH better off next year with Arod suspended so I hope he at least gets 150 games.

    Selig is an asshole, Arod is a lying, cheating piece of shit.

    That’s about it in a nutshell.

  • Bronx Bombers23

    Just go away A-Rod…forever.

    THAT is the one thing you could do to truly help the Yankees, and baseball.