Jan
11

Arbitrator upholds 162-game suspension; AROD set to sue

By

Barring further court action, Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez will be suspended for the entire 2014 season for violating MLB’s Joint Drug Argument, arbitrator Fredric Horowitz has decided. Horowitz has upheld A-Rod‘s ban but has reduced MLB’s penalty from 211 games to 162 (plus any Yankee playoff games). Essentially, A-Rod was allowed to play out the 2013 part of his suspension while appealing, but the initial penalty has been upheld.

Rodriguez has issued a statement vowing to appeal the suspension in federal court, but his faces long odds as federal courts are reluctant to overturn arbitration rulings absent obvious factual issues, gross misconduct on the part of the arbitrator or if the award was based on corruption, fraud, or undue means. Even then, courts grant broad discretion to arbitration rulings, especially those that arise out of collective bargaining arrangements.

A-Rod released his statement on Facebook, and our own Mike Axisa runs down the background of the Biogenesis/A-Rod scandal in his post on CBS Sports. Here’s what Rodriguez had to say:

“The number of games sadly comes as no surprise, as the deck has been stacked against me from day one. This is one man’s decision, that was not put before a fair and impartial jury, does not involve me having failed a single drug test, is at odds with the facts and is inconsistent with the terms of the Joint Drug Agreement and the Basic Agreement, and relies on testimony and documents that would never have been allowed in any court in the United States because they are false and wholly unreliable. This injustice is MLB’s first step toward abolishing guaranteed contracts in the 2016 bargaining round, instituting lifetime bans for single violations of drug policy, and further insulating its corrupt investigative program from any variety defense by accused players, or any variety of objective review.

I have been clear that I did not use performance enhancing substances as alleged in the notice of discipline, or violate the Basic Agreement or the Joint Drug Agreement in any manner, and in order to prove it I will take this fight to federal court. I am confident that when a Federal Judge reviews the entirety of the record, the hearsay testimony of a criminal whose own records demonstrate that he dealt drugs to minors, and the lack of credible evidence put forth by MLB, that the judge will find that the panel blatantly disregarded the law and facts, and will overturn the suspension. No player should have to go through what I have been dealing with, and I am exhausting all options to ensure not only that I get justice, but that players’ contracts and rights are protected through the next round of bargaining, and that the MLB investigation and arbitration process cannot be used against others in the future the way it is currently being used to unjustly punish me.

I will continue to work hard to get back on the field and help the Yankees achieve the ultimate goal of winning another championship. I want to sincerely thank my family, all of my friends, and of course the fans and many of my fellow MLB players for the incredible support I received throughout this entire ordeal.”

For MLB, this suspension is largely unprecedented. The JDA allows for a 50-game ban for an initial failed test, but it also grants the commissioner power to suspend a player for “just cause.” Horowitz has apparently upheld a broad grant of power in this “just cause” provision, and ARod’s suspension becomes the largest in MLB history over PED use, suspected or otherwise.

For the Yankees, this leaves a gaping hole on the left side of the infield. Already filled with old or fringe players, the infield has no third base anchor, and the remaining free agent market is weak, to say the least. (Just say no to Michael Young.) The team will get to save $25 million of A-Rod’s salary, less a $3 million signing bonus, but I’d rather see a better team on the field than Plan 189 or more money in the Steinbrenner family’s pockets. The gap his bat leaves in the lineup is significant as well, and the team is, as currently constructed, worse without A-Rod than with him.

The Players’ Association, meanwhile, issued a statement as well: “The MLBPA strongly disagrees with the award issued today in the grievance of Alex Rodriguez, even despite the Arbitration Panel’s decision to reduce the duration of Mr. Rodriguez’s unprecedented 211-game suspension. We recognize that a final and binding decision has been reached, however, and we respect the collectively-bargained arbitration process which led to the decision. In accordance with the confidentiality provisions of the JDA, the Association will make no further comment regarding the decision.” They are, in effect, washing their hands of this mess and, it seems, ceding power to Bud Selig and the Commissioner’s Office. That’s a risky move.

Some fans who despised A-Rod will rejoice; others who loved him, warts and all, and loved watching him hit will not. It’s not a good day for baseball though as shady dealings and PED use remain in the headlines.

Categories : STEROIDS!

364 Comments»

  1. I'm One says:

    Now the real circus begins.

    • Gonzo says:

      When he takes this to court, it’s going to look bad that he didn’t take this process more serious. The Feds are going to want to see that he genuinely exhausted CBA process. Oh well.

    • KD says:

      The circus, I’m afraid, will be performing every day at 3rd base.

    • radnom says:

      If by that you meant the Yankee’s 2014 infield, I agree.

      If you mean his laughable legal injunction against the CBA, then no.

      • Caballo Sin Nombre says:

        There are really two legal issues here. One is, can MLB legally bar him from playing? Since this is an operational issue internal to baseball, decided by an arbitrator under negotiated rules, I do not think any court will consider whether to override this. The second issue is whether Mr. Alex Rodriguez, private citizen, has a right to the $25M he is owed under a contract freely entered between him and MLB. A corporation cannot just abrogate a contract, and it seems to me Mr. Alex Rodriguez has the legal right to challenge whether the arbitrator followed due process as defined under the CBA, subject to US contract and labor laws.

        • radnom says:

          Any neither legal issue has much in the was of legs. We are in agreement regarding the first, and as for the second – The MLBPA is satisfied that the process was properly followed in this case. There is zero evidence to assume otherwise.

        • Contract is with the Yankees, a partnership, not MLB. And corporations abrogate contracts all the time.

        • lightSABR says:

          His contract is subject to the CBA and the JDA, and his pay can be reduced in accordance with those agreements.

          The only remaining question is not whether Horowitz was right, but whether he abused his authority under the agreements that allowed him to arbitrate. And unless A-Rod can find pictures of Bud Selig handing Horowitz a bag of cash, the answer to that question is almost certainly no.

          A-Rod has no case.

          • Coolerking101 says:

            Everyone should read lightSABR’s comment. It is 100% dead on accurate. Everyone but Arod seems to realize it is game over. I will simply add that Joel Sherman claims that if Arod goes to Fed Ct, the arbitrator’s decision will enter the public record. I don’t think that is accurate as he can file under seal, but if the decision goes public I assume all the evidence discussed therein will destroy whatever credibility Arod has left.

    • Shawn Rodriguez says:

      Too bad the Yanks don’t have Brandon Laird anymore. When I watched him at both spring training and when they brough him up I liked his power potential if given a full year I bet he would hit 20-25 with solid def. I just read he won a Rawlings Gold Glove in the minors at 3B. He is with the Royals now, not sure how he got there but I sure would like to see him fight for the job at spring with us instead of KC and he is young and cheap. Maybe they will let Adams have a try. He can hit too. Let’s not go and get an old guy who is hurt like Kevin was. Stay under 189 and go get the free agent pitching next year with no tax penalties.

    • Anyone hear John Kruk on Sportscenter just now. Sounds like he doesn’t know what he s talking about. Facts wrong, bad job Krukie. On the other hand Roger Cossack knows his field.

  2. mustang says:

    YESSSSS!!!

    I feel like just paroled!!!!!

    Going out for drinks to celebrate tonight.

    FREE AT LAST
    FREE AT LAST
    THANK GOD ALMIGHTILY IM FREE AT LAST!!!!

  3. Need Pitching & Hitting says:

    Need a 3B…

    • lightSABR says:

      “Hi, Stephen. This is Brian Cashman. So… that stuff I said a few weeks back about us not wanting to sign you… you didn’t take that seriously, right?”

  4. Pinkie Pie says:

    Here we go….

  5. Gonzo says:

    Wait a sec! I was told by many people that there is no way that this would be over 50 games with a minute possibility of it being 100 games.

    Oh well, move on to the next story. Yawn.

  6. Mickey Scheister says:

    Bullshit! Completely unprecedented and inconsistent with previous punishment levied by MLB. I thought it would be a max of 65 games. All this without a failed drug test, total crap.

    • CashmanNinja says:

      I think it’s the fact that A-Rod tried to buy all of the evidence and then get rid of it. Plus I don’t think it would have just been HIS evidence; I think it would have been evidence that implicated others as well — thus screwing MLB’s entire investigation. I think that’s why MLB wanted A-Rod gone in the worst way.

      But you know what? Braun got off light as well. He lied constantly AND got that dude fired. And Nelson Cruz got off light. Melky got off light. Colon got off light. All of them got off light. Because 50 games is NOTHING; especially when you make so much freaking money. A full year is a bit more than just a slap on the wrist. It’s an entire season…think of players who would do anything to be able to play another full season again. It’s a lot and A-Rod will hate this in the worst way because he does love playing the game.

      I have no problem with this though because A-Rod was in the wrong here. That’s not saying Selig is exactly Mr. Innocent, but the fact of the matter is that Selig is at least *trying* to clean up the game…a little…even though he opened the door for it in the first place. But these players now know the consequences and continue to use PEDs anyway. Why feel sorry for them? That’s like a person driving drunk and getting away with it; then trying the next night and getting arrested or into an accident. If you tempt fate long enough then bad things will happen. A-Rod and company have continued to constantly get around the rules that were put in place and now they must face the consequences of their actions.

      • Cool Lester Smooth says:

        That dude didn’t do his job. They had to fire him.

      • Preston says:

        50 games is not light, it is the collectively bargained penalty and it is harsher than the penalty in any other sport. A-Rod offered to buy documents, but MLB actually bought those documents, kettle calling the pot black. Ryan Braun repeatedly lied, Cabrera set up a fake web site. If MLB wants to make interfering with an investigation an additional punishment put it in the CBA. This 162 game penalty is the direct result of the fact that Shyam Das was fired after an unfavorable ruling against MLB for Braun. Horowitz wants to keep what is probably a fairly lucrative gig.

        • Need Pitching & Hitting says:

          He can be fired by MLBPA as well.
          He was likely to be fired regardless of the outcome.

          • Gonzo says:

            Yeah, he gone. Most likely. Although Shyam Das had a string of pro MLBPA rulings before he was canned. I think this was too big though.

            He probably ruled without prejudice since he knew he was gone no matter what.

            • lightSABR says:

              I wonder whether MLBPA will fire him. It’s not like A-Rod made any friends at the union with the way he handled this, and remember, MLBPA saw the evidence against him, which we haven’t. They may be as persuaded as Horowitz.

            • Coolerking101 says:

              Disagree. Horowitz has been highly respected. Given MLBPA’s statement, it’s unclear if they have a real problem with the ruling. They said what they needed to say to save face, nothing more. Moreover they made clear they will not back Arod any further.

              • Gonzo says:

                We’ll see. The MLBPA didn’t back A-Rod in this case because they wanted to, they had an obligation to defend him. With this ruling that obligation ended.

                I think the MLBPA will get rid of him. I’m not saying it’s 100% mind you.

        • TCMiller30 says:

          50 games isn’t light, but it’s not crazy either.

          In the NFL, you get a 4 game suspension (25% of the season).
          In MLB, you get a 50 game suspension (31% of the season).
          In the NHL you get a 20 game suspension (24% of the season).
          In the NBA you get a 10 game suspension (12% of the season)

          When you bump it up to the 2nd offense, both NHL (73%) and NFL (100%) have stricter punishments than MLB too (62%)

          It’s definitely the strictest of the sports, but it’s not like it’s some unprecedented amount of games compared to other sports. I’d say all leagues are right on par with each other except for basketball. But I hate basketball, so whatever.. Haha

          • lightSABR says:

            The NBA also has this ridiculous rule where you know you won’t be tested more than three times in the season, so once you pass your third test, bring on the juice!

    • Need Pitching & Hitting says:

      The allegations went beyond what any other player has been alleged to do. It would make sense that the punishment would be inconsistent, because the entirety of what he’s being punished for is different.

  7. TheRealGreg says:

    ARod can try to bring it to court, but Rosenthal just said that it would be hard to get it in because this process was a collective bargained process

    • IRememberCelerinoSanchez says:

      Courts generally don’t overturn arbitration decisions, absent evidence of fraud, incompetence, etc.

      When the arbitration is part of a collective bargaining agreement, courts are even more reluctant to intervene.

      The Supreme Court ruled unanimously (that is the super conservatives agreed with the liberals, which doesn’t happen much) last term upholding arbitration.

      So unless A Rod knows something that we don’t, he has next to no chance of winning in court.

      • Gonzo says:

        It doesn’t help that he walked out on it at one point.

        • Mikhel says:

          He walked out when he was not allowed to do… what?

          That is something that COULD work in his favor if he can demonstrate he wasn’t given a fair treatment to allow him to present proofs.

          • Gonzo says:

            How could walking out prove that he used the arbitration process to his defense fully?

            Since you baited the question, you tell me why he walked out.

  8. Matt Nokes says:

    Now he can sue for an injunction and we can drag this out longer. Is Nunie ready to play third?

    • D$1184 says:

      I’m sure now that’s official that A-Rod won’t be using a 25/40 man roster spot for at least most of 2014 (even if A-Rod somehow wins his appeal, it’ll be tied up in courts for months), the Yankees will go out and sign a Mark Reynolds/Michael Young type to play third.

  9. Sal says:

    About Time, should have banned him from baseball, No T “team” in A-rod !! he makes Pete Rose look like a HOFer

  10. Greg says:

    Everyone is happy and I don’t get it. Now yankees will defintely go below 189 and their team will suck. They don’t pursue tanaka IMO that very hard. They’ll sign a better a cheap veteran pitcher and some other cheap trash like michael young and then they’ll suck. So while everyone is all excited I don’t see it as good news. And I could be wrong who knows well see

    • TheRealGreg says:

      What draws you to that conclusion?

    • CashmanNinja says:

      The 189 plan is done. They basically can’t fill out the roster unless every left over position is a minimum/washed up scrap heap player. You don’t just drop all that money/draft picks on Beltran, Ellsbury, and McCann to suddenly not go all in. That’s what we call wasting money. The reason fans should be happy is because this is a full year salary that the Yankees don’t have to pay so now they can spend MORE. This could be the difference between getting Tanaka and not getting Tanaka because they have a little more financial flexibility (with the $$ saved for this year). Hell, maybe they go out and get a closer now and start working on the bullpen. The fact of the matter is now they have more wiggle room…that extra spot on the 40 man roster will also be very nice.

      • dkidd says:

        i hope you’re right, but i’ll be worried until the moment they hit 190

      • Need Pitching & Hitting says:

        I hope you’re right, but:

        They basically can’t fill out the roster unless every left over position is a minimum/washed up scrap heap player.

        You mean guys like Brian Roberts and Matt Thornton?

        Just saying…

        • CashmanNinja says:

          Matt Thornton is far from a “washed up” player. I think he’ll be a vital part of the bullpen — sort of like this year’s Shawn Kelley. And Roberts, well…I don’t have any faith in him to stay healthy, but in the event that he somehow does manage to stay healthy then I have a feeling people will be quite pleased with his production. Plus I think this also means we could actually go for a closer. Balfour, Rodney, etc.

          • Need Pitching & Hitting says:

            Point is they’ve been filling holes cheaply.
            Thornton isn’t quite washed up, but he’s definitely a declining veteran.
            Given the cost of going over the cap, in terms of current and future luxury tax payments, direct payroll, and loss of market disqualification rebates, I could definitely see the Yankees deciding it’s not worth the cost for mid-tier or lower players. They might decide it’s worth the cost for Tanaka, but I’m not sure they’d go over just to sign relievers or second tier starters, regardless of need.

            • Mikhel says:

              Who were better to acquire and fill that hole? It was either giving the $28-30 mill/year Canó asked the NYY or acquire… who?

  11. dkidd says:

    like a zombie, 189 rises from the dead…

    • radnom says:

      I think it all rides on Tanaka now. I think they are willing to blow it up for him, but there is always a chance another team will do something nuts and end up with him.

  12. TWTR says:

    If the Yankees spend the money, ok. If not, this is an even bigger sham.

  13. Frank says:

    Love the way MLB is raining on the NFL today. Goodell must be pissed.

  14. Old Man says:

    This affair reeks of corruption. The Yankees lost a key player and as much as people love hating on A-rod there’s no baseball joy to losing his bat & glovve

    • TWTR says:

      I smell hypocrisy more than anything else.

      • lightSABR says:

        Right – the managers and execs who presided over the steroid era aren’t being locked out of the Hall. And though I hardly call it hypocrisy for Selig to try to clean up the game for the sake of his own image, it’s not particularly flattering to watch, either.

    • Preston says:

      Bottom line is our best option for 3b in 2014 just got taken off the table.

    • stuckey says:

      You are suggesting MLB is conspiring to take Arod’s salary off the Yankees books?

      Are are they conspiring against the yankees to take his bat out of the line-up?

      Be specific about exactly this reeks of corruption?

  15. nope says:

    I’m a labor lawyer. Trust me, no federal court is going to enjoin much less overturn the arbitrator’s decision.

    • lightSABR says:

      Right. There’s lots of uninformed nonsense about this going around. This is game over, and any lawsuit that happens from here is about PR, not winning.

  16. Heisenburger says:

    Jeter needs to be moved to 3B and the Yankees need to sign Drew, Tanaka, Balfour, and Arroyo.

    Of course Jeter’s ego is too big to be moved. God forbid one of the worst defensive SS in baseball is moved to 3B at 40 years old coming off two ankle injuries.

    • lightSABR says:

      I’m getting really sick of his prima donna act myself. Nobody works harder for the team, and I appreciate that, but he’s not worth what we’re paying him, and his ego is a massive pain in the neck.

      • Heisenburger says:

        Jeter at 3B just makes too much sense for this organization, I guess.

        And now he’ll bat second (even against RHP) instead of Gardner while Gardner’s fantastic on base skills and speed is wasted at the bottom of the order.

        • lightSABR says:

          And with Jeter’s awful groundball percentage, he really needs to be batting ninth, where he’s less likely to ground into a double play.

    • WhittakerWalt says:

      I think he’d be even worse at 3b. It’s the hot corner, after all, and he does not move well to his left.
      His bat would look worse there, too.

      • Heisenberger says:

        Honestly, that’s hard for me to believe (Jeter’s defense being worse at 3B).

        Regardless of our personal speculation, the question is…would you rather have a left side of the infield of Johnson and Jeter (3B and SS respectively) or Jeter and Drew. In my opinon Jeter and Drew is a better left side of the infield both offensively and defensively.

  17. MC says:

    Lots of crazy comments on the net (including here) the last few days. I read on ESPN and MLBTR that many fans “didn’t” want to see him suspended, mainly due to the fact the Yanks would be saving salary dollars and “because they deserve to be stuck with the contract”. Some of the most horrible logic out of fans. Whats good for their own personal interests and horrible for the game, was to many fans, the right answer.

    That being said, this is in fact the right call. I thought long and hard about this. I should first be on the record stating that on several occasions I stated on here that he was never going to get less than 100 games. Furthermore, suspending Alex for the full 162 game season makes sense for many reasons. Should he have received less games and come back and actually produced, well, great for the Yanks, I guess, but then the criticism from everywhere would have been “he cheated again” “this isn’t right” — something along those lines. If he hit 20 homers and batted .280 people would be pissed and question the leniency of the suspension. Furthermore, it would have been a distraction from baseball. By opening day, there will be new stories, so this will soon drop off the charts. Anyway you look at it, no answer was the right answer for this situation. The only and most intelligent answer however, was having him away from the game for a full season and this, was by far, the wisest choice by the arbitrators.

    • MC says:

      ..and another thing, which is somewhat related is how people constantly continue to state that the “$189MM” Luxury Tax guidelines won’t be met. That the Yanks will still soar past it. I disagree entirely and have again, been on the record all offseason saying so. Now, considering this news, I am even more confident that the Yanks will remain below $189k. The Yanks have a fine team as it is. They can make a few minor tweaking here and there and I am of the belief the Tanaka will in fact not be signing with the Yanks, mainly because the cost might get out hand. They do have payroll space for him and it’s really unknown what that is. We’ve all over-estimated what their current payroll really is at the moment. I read a report a couple months ago in Bloomberg business or something about the uniqueness of calculating team payrolls and the Yanks actually have a some space. I have no idea what, but if I took a guess, it’s now somewhere in the range of $15-$18mm, which in theory is enough for Tanaka. For those who think he’ll get $20mm per year, I disagree. We’ll see.

      • Need Pitching & Hitting says:

        The Yankees current roster would land less than $10M short of the luxury tax payroll threshold. It would likely finish only about $5M short with no further moves.
        Most of the luxury tax player calculations are very straight forward and easy to calculate.

        • MC says:

          Your comment makes no sense. You contradict yourself on dollar figures, which further proves my point that no one really knows how much money they have left to spend.

          • Need Pitching & Hitting says:

            I didn’t contradict anything.
            I gave a range of $5-$10M, with closer to $5M being more likely.
            They are at $150.24M for the 13 signed players (including Roberts).
            They have 5 arbitration eligible player projected to make $14.8M.
            Benefits were at about $10.8M for the last 2 years, likely to be at least $11M for 2014.
            Pre-arb players and 40-man roster players and routine roster moves will add at least another $4M with the current roster.
            That’s about $180M of the $189M already, without any earned bonuses, and without ARod still possibly counting for a few million against the cap.

            • lightSABR says:

              Right. Staying under means they stop making deals immediately and kiss the playoffs goodbye for next year. I don’t think they’re going to do that.

          • trr says:

            They have as much money left to spend as they care to spend

      • I'm a looser and a trader baby so why don't you kill me? says:

        Lulz. Yeah, a fine team. If by fine you mean .500.

      • lightSABR says:

        The Yanks do not have a fine team as is. We have a third-place, might-snag-the-second-wildcard-if-everything-goes-perfectly team as is. Have you looked at our infield? How about our rotation?

  18. Dan says:

    Hahaha it’s so funny how some idiots actually thought he would get 50 games or less.

    I have some magic beans for sale message me for a great offer!

    • TWTR says:

      You do realize that the rules stated that 50 games was the appropriate punishment, right?

      • Gonzo says:

        Why was it the appropriate punishment? Do you have the evidence?

        • TWTR says:

          You’re missing the point for the sake of your snark.

          This is A-Rod’s first offense. The rules state that should be a 50 game suspension.

          It’s really that simple.

          • stuckey says:

            You’re choosing to be willfully ignorant.

            An arbitrator who has seen ALL the evidence and heard 11 days of testimony, and who is at the whim of both MLB AND the Player’s Union has now mostly upheld MLB’s case.

            So basically you’re down to whomever doesn’t agree with you, despite you knowing LESS than anyone, is wrong.

            Get over yourself.

            • TWTR says:

              Holy crap, you’re such a prig.

              What happened to the last arbitrator who decided for a player? Thanks for playing.

              • stuckey says:

                MLBPA has the option of making this the last case this arbitrator ever hears for MLB disputes.

                Your belief/faith-based argument pretty much blows up right there.

                • TWTR says:

                  Actually, it doesn’t because the best predictor of future behavior is past behavior and all Horowitz has to do is look to the recent past to see what MLB might do.

                  • Need Pitching & Hitting says:

                    And all he has to do is use common sense to realize the MLBPA might do the same thing.

                    I’d imagine Horowitz realized there’s a good chance he’d be fired regardless of the outcome, making it all the more imperative for him to make a just and rationally supported decision so it doesn’t affect his livelihood outside of baseball.

                    • TWTR says:

                      If you are faced with two parties who can impose a consequence, and only one has already imposed that consequences, it’s reasonable to think that that one is far more likely to do it again.

                    • Need Pitching & Hitting says:

                      It’s reasonable to also not ignore the extreme likelihood of the other party doing the exact same thing.
                      Unless you have some actual evidence of bias beyond mere speculation based on what happened to a different arbitrator in a different case, it’s really not worth discussing.

                  • stuckey says:

                    So to you, because in the past OTHER arbitrators haven’t been used again, this serves a irrefutable, conclusive evidence Horowitz would and could not issue a favorable ruling?

                    You’re essentially accusing this person of being corrupt despite know nothing about him?

                    Are you also suggesting Horowitz’s career as an arbitrator is general is over if he never hears other MLB? That he’ll be in an unemployment line come next week?

                    This post doesn’t require any priggish commentary.

                    The cynical ridiculous craziness of it speaks for itself.

                • TWTR says:

                  You are not making any sense, prig.

                  • stuckey says:

                    Given what you’ve clearly demonstrated is your thought process, I have little doubt that for you this is true.

                    • TWTR says:

                      Everyone who reads your posts here knows that you suffer from a case of terminal self-righteousness. You can’t debate issues without some neurotic psych game.

                      You have been called on it repeatedly.

                    • stuckey says:

                      So you’re 100 YOU’RE “right” about the case against Alex Rodrquez. YOUR’RE 100% convinced because it doesn’t match YOUR conclusion not only that the process if flawed, but the man who heard the case is corrupt.

                      And I’M “self-righteous”?

                      Every word you post on this issue if based entirely on your own self-righteousnes. That you’re the only one who’s come to the RIGHT conclusion.

                      I’m fine being called out by hypocrites.

                    • Deep Thoughts says:

                      Girls, girls….you’re BOTH pretty!

              • Need Pitching & Hitting says:

                Arbitrators can be fired by both sides.

              • Gonzo says:

                You do realize that Shyam Das ruled in favor of the MLBPA/Player many times before he was dismissed after the Braun case, right?

          • Need Pitching & Hitting says:

            50 game suspension for first offense PED usage.

            He was alleged to have done other things beyond just PED usage.
            Hence the longer suspension.

            • TWTR says:

              Yet he never even tested positive, which should have been a countervailing factor even if you grant “other things.”

              • Need Pitching & Hitting says:

                Why?
                Being able to beat the test doesn’t justify a reduced suspension. All of the other non-positive test players took 50 games for just PED usage. If there were other proven wrongdoings, the suspension should have been higher than 50 games. The exact amount beyond 50 games will always be subject to debate, as there are no specifically proscribed penalties for the other allegations.
                All that matters is what they could prove he did.

                Prove first time PED usage? 50 games automatic.
                Prove other infractions? More than 50 games.

                • TWTR says:

                  Fundamental fairness. Do you really believe that A-Rod is a singularly bad actor especially in the context of Selig’s complicity in the PED era?

                  I don’t.

                  • Need Pitching & Hitting says:

                    Not sure what that has to do with beating the test.

                    Of course he’s not a singularly bad actor. What matters is if his suspension is justified by the JDA/CBA according to what allegations could be proven.
                    An independent arbitrator, who had access to all of the evidence, arguments, allegations, and testimony, ruled a full season suspension to be fair under the JDA and CBA based on all of that information.

                    • TWTR says:

                      The point of the test is that is or should be the most important indicator of a transgression, not some “evidence” gained/bought from a worse actor.

                      What matters most in any proceeding is precedent, and there is none to support this type of ban.

              • I'm a looser and a trader baby so why don't you kill me? says:

                If nothing else is shows how far ahead drug use is than testing. Not that that’s a surprise.

              • You are entitled to an opinion, but preferably a well informed one which yours is certainly not.

              • Giambi Juice says:

                That’s like saying someone should be punished less for robbing a store if you can’t find his DNA in the store but saw him in the surveillance tapes. More than one way to prove a fact.

          • Gonzo says:

            No snark. You have no clue what the evidence was and no clue what other charges were levied against A-Rod. If you have all that information please come forward and share. We’ll be happy to see it.

            You want precedent? Braun was suspended for 65 games. Precedent set.

          • BamBamMusings says:

            Actually, this is his 2nd offense assuming he only offended 1 additional time since 2004 by his own admission.

            Now if there was evidence of repeated use across multiple seasons, then that would be his 3rd, 4th, and 5th Offense! So he really should’ve been banned for life.

      • lightSABR says:

        50 games for a first-time user. How many for obstruction? How many for recruiting players for the clinic?

        Using wasn’t his only offense.

  19. Reg says:

    Can’t we please cut this loser now.

    Good riddance.

    • MC says:

      You can’t. But I do agree with a write up Olney made a couple weeks ago about Arod likely not playing another game in a Yankee uniform. We’ll see, but my money is that the Yanks release him in the offseason of 2014/15. At that point; he’ll be owned about $61MM, which the Yanks might just actually write off. It wouldn’t be terribly surprising to see him traded at that point also to a team like the White Sox for example, with them picking up $15mm ($5mm per), just to give the Yanks some minimum relief, but that’s best case scenario. I’ll admit, Arod at $5mm per for 3 years isn’t terrible for a few teams.

  20. steves says:

    If I were advising Al today here is what I’d tell him.

    1) Fire your advisors.

    2) Don’t piss away any more money on legal fees.

    3) Protect the $60 million or so that the Yanks still owe you.

    4) Start writing the mea culpa book and cash out the movie rights while the iron(y) is hot.

    • D23 says:

      Agree. He is going to end up losing more $ the way he keeps going and going to make himself more of a fool.

    • BamBamMusings says:

      How about, STOP MAKING A FOOL OF YOURSELF AND GO BE A FATHER TO YOUR 2 KIDS. Instead of dirtying yourself, the game, and spending all your time building a circus, you should be spending your precious offseason time watching your kids grow up.

      What a selfish guy.

  21. Mike Myers says:

    The owners of all baseball teams are the real winners. If this is the first step to being able to void contracts….wow. It could look like football eventually..

    • The Other Mister D says:

      Please, connect those dots for me. How does a player voluntarily using PEDs, recruiting other players into the same clinic, and attempting to obstruct MLB’s investigation being banned for one season lead to the loss of guaranteed contracts?

    • Pasqua says:

      I am a union worker, so I sympathize with concerns such as these, but really, you still need to have evidence to justify termination, and it sure as hell looks like the evidence was there in this case. The reality remains: don’t do illegal shit, and you will get paid; do illegal shit, and you might get caught and punished.

    • Lets go Yankees says:

      Huh?
      Whose voiding contracts? Thanks for your input Joe Tacopina!

  22. Betty Lizard says:

    So sad.

  23. JGYank says:

    I’m watching mlb network right now… Suspension is for 162 and postseason. Arod said he is taking it to federal court. The union strongly disagrees with the decision but they respect the process and decision. So it sounds like Arod will go to court without the backing of the union. If the court takes up his case we could still see him on the field but that’s unlikely since it’s part of the CBA.

    So what 3b do we go get? Reynolds young? Johnson will probably platoon with whoever we get.

  24. RALPH GEE says:

    Is it Derek Favre or Brett Jeter????I mean really,Im a yankee fan a long,long time and have watched beloved yankees get treated poorly on the way out…..not like Jeter is at Marianos level and even Mo bowed out gracefully.We are not under appreciating No.2 but enough is enough….Bernie,Posada,etc were all part of this run so come on Jeet look in the mirror and dont have a Sopranos ending…….PLEASE.

  25. steves says:

    Well, the good news is, Randy Levine gets his bonus (and it doesn’t count against the cap!).

  26. FIPster Doofus says:

    I’m not happy. If A-Rod’s not going to be suspended for life, thus getting his contract off the books forever, I’d rather have him on the field. He’s still a decent player, so the Yankees just lost a useful third baseman on a team devoid of useful infielders.

    • radnom says:

      Blame Arod for blatantly breaking the rules. It is his fault he won’t be on the field next year, and i’m tired of reading him claiming otherwise directly lying to all of his fans.

    • lightSABR says:

      Right. This sucks for the Yankees, and anyone who thinks otherwise is crazy.

      Well, it sucks for the team, that is. Maybe not for the front office, if they’re still dreaming of $189. But in that case, they’re morons. Too much lost revenue from not making the playoffs.

      • Lets go Yankees says:

        If there’s 1 thing this ownership family has proven, its the desire to spend money on a winning product! If anything, A-Rod has been standing in the way of that!

    • Albearrrr says:

      Whose to say there’s no addition by subtraction here? Maybe with the distractions he brings to the clubhouse gone, the rest of the team can now pickup the slack..

  27. Mr RSU says:

    Love the tag STEROIDS!

  28. Macho Man "Randy Levine" says:

    The thing about this that continues to trouble me is that we have absolutely no idea what evidence was used against him. Sorry, but I’m not going to take MLB’s word on good faith that what ARod supposedly did was so terrible, considering all the stories about what they did.

    If the union doesn’t back ARod, that will be a sad situation, because then ARod’s doom and gloom comments about the league taking things away from the union are more likely to occur. These idiot players need to remember that they have a union for a damned good reason.

    • Cool Lester Smooth says:

      Yeah, this whole thing has been incredibly questionable, even if the MLB does have evidence.

      • Gonzo says:

        I’m not positive but the evidence isn’t supposed to be leaked to the public. Didn’t A-Rod’s team have a fit when some stuff was leaked to the public?

        This was bargained to keep evidence out of the public. I clearly remember Tom Glavine speaking about testing and saying the players were against it because they didn’t want anything leaked to the public. The players are just as afraid of the public as you think other people are.

        This isn’t a court of law.

        • BamBamMusings says:

          Yes they did have a fit!

          I don’t see why anything needs to be made public. Are we then going to be entitled to know what the evidence was that led to an arbitrator ruling on the salary in every arbitration hearing? This isn’t a public hearing.

      • Gonzo says:

        If you have a problem with the process, you should be just as pissed of with the players as you are with the MLB.

        • Macho Man "Randy Levine" says:

          I favor transparency. If neither side wants that, fuck both of them, quite frankly.

          But I’m also the kind that will generally side with the employees vs. the bosses.

          • Gonzo says:

            At least you admit you have a bias.

            • Macho Man "Randy Levine" says:

              Considering the way I’ve been constantly dicked around by invisible higher-ups throughout my adult life (and before that, too), yea, I don’t think it’s a completely unreasonable bias.

              • Gonzo says:

                Without out knowing your circumstance, I’ll stay out of judging your personal experiences. Letting past experience become a bias/prejudice is generally considered a bad thing when judging someone though.

    • cashjr says:

      I’m also bothered by this, but it really still works both ways. We don’t know how weak or strong the evidence was. That’s why I’ve been getting such a kick out of anyone who had such strong opinions of what would or should happen – I’m mean how could anyone be so sure either way not really knowing the evidence?

      However, because the arbitrator does know and suspended him for a year (assuming of course the arbitrator has some integrity), I’m now thinking they really did have a lot of evidence (even if they didn’t get it in the best way). Also Arod’s tirade at the hearing indicated he didn’t think things were going well. But we just don’t know right now whether this is fair or not.

    • Dan says:

      Well, hopefully A-Rod will sue so the report will be published. That’s what I’m rooting for.

  29. Slu says:

    Sad day. The team is worse without Alex. And there really is no realistic addition out there to replace his expected contribution. And since I don’t care about Hal’s wallet, saving money means nothing to me, unless they put it back into the team.

    • FIPster Doofus says:

      I completely agree.

    • stuckey says:

      How many games did a non-suspended Alex Rodriquez play in 2013?

      • FIPster Doofus says:

        Forty-four, and he was easily the Yankees’ best 3B of the many they used last season.

        • stuckey says:

          There is an argument to be made now that the Yankees KNOW he won’t be an option for any of the 162 games (an advantage over this time last season), Yankees will have more time and knowledge to find production out of 3b that may match or exceed the 162 games of production of which Arod contributed 44 games to.

      • I'm a looser and a trader baby so why don't you kill me? says:

        Far fewer than the healthy ARod was likely to play in 2014.

    • Lets go Yankees says:

      It isnt about saving money, its about running a franchise! The Steinbrenners have been the best ownership family in sports. You should try rooting for the Mets a season or two. Then you’ll have a legitimate complaint about pocketing money!

  30. Dicka24 says:

    While it’s a good ruling for the Yankees in many ways, I do think that the suspension is truly unprecedented by MLB standards. No failed drug test as someone above mentioned. I’m curious to see how his attempt at a federal court appeal goes. I don’t blame him for trying. We may not have true closure on this for a while.

    From a Yankees standpoint, does this immediately free up a 40 man slot for Brian Roberts?

    In all honesty, the best result for the Yankees would have been a 150 game suspension. That way, Arod would have had a chance to play before any potential postseason started.

  31. Gonzo says:

    So does Frederic Horowitz ever oversea another MLB labor case? The MLBPA is going to can his ass, right?

    I’m sure he realized that he was gone either way.

  32. Mykey says:

    It’s so odd reading other baseball fans’ reactions to this. To many it’s all about punishing the Yankees, not A-Rod. As if the Yankees get special treatment here. Like if A-Rod were on another team and got suspended then his salary wouldn’t be wiped off.

  33. John C says:

    I hope the MLBPA removes Horowitz as arbitrator to protest the decision just as MLB removed Shyam Das to protest his Braun decision.

    I am appalled by the manner in which MLB “collected” supposed evidence for this case including purchasing stolen documents and interfering with a pending state investigation. PED crimes are not for MLB to investigate. PED crimes should be investigated only by appropriate state and federal police agencies.

    Other than for pure entertainment value, I truly hope Rodriguez follows through on his federal suit against MLB. MLB has shown itself to be a criminal organization that considers itself above the law. I want to see the auto leaser Selig squirming on the stand talking out of both sides of his mouth.

  34. billyball says:

    confusing post here. I thought this riveraveblues website for the most part was cherishing the idea the Yankees could save significant money with arid suspension and sign Tanaka and now it appears the Yankees are gonna be a mess without him, LOL??????

    Really River ave blues?
    Really?

    • FIPster Doofus says:

      They were going to try to splurge on Tanaka with or without A-Rod.

    • MartinRanger says:

      Not really. Mike has been pretty consistent in not really caring about the ‘integrity’ of the game, and explaining how the Yankees can’t get out of A-Rod’s contract. Mike’s always been a bottom-line production guy in this case – and the bottom line is that even a washed-up A-Rod would be able to outproduce Mark Reynolds.

      The other problem is that Brian Roberts is almost certain to get hurt, meaning that Johnson would slide to second base (and maybe NunEE, but none of us wants that). So Reynolds/Young will be getting 400 ABs easy.

    • mike c says:

      it’s because a-rod is one of “axisa’s guys”

    • lightSABR says:

      There are two reasons many of us think this is bad for the Yankees:

      1) It makes $189m a possibility, and $189m is bad for the team’s chances of winning. Why should we care about Hal’s wallet?

      2) There are no third-base options available at any price whom we can expect to perform as well as A-Rod would have next year.

      What’s so confusing about that?

  35. Joe says:

    Move nova to padres for headly. Trade Gardner and nuno to cincy for Bailey. Sign tanaka and Balfour , and away we go.

    • FIPster Doofus says:

      What use would Nova be to the Padres? They already have enough starting pitchers.

    • Pasqua says:

      That would weaken an already weak (and integral) facet of the team. That’s plugging up a hole in the hull of the boat by ripping off another part of the hull.

  36. Need Pitching & Hitting says:

    Arod intends to be at spring training.

    That should be fun.

    • FIPster Doofus says:

      I’m sure the Yankees will do everything in their power to prevent that, maybe even going so far as to release A-Rod. Doing so wouldn’t count against the luxury tax this season. They’re not going to want their spring training overrun by a circus.

  37. Get Phelps Up (looking for a new name) says:

    I don’t see how 162 should include any playoff games, especially considering how Melky, Cruz and Peralta were allowed to come back for the playoffs.

    • Bill says:

      Yea, but having no regular season or minor league action to prepare. You really want ARod in the lineup of a playoff game with only simulated ABs to prepare himself?

      The Giants didn’t even play Melky and he was in line for a batting title that year and only missed 50 games.

      • Get Phelps Up (looking for a new name) says:

        No, I don’t think the Yankees would or should play him in the postseason in that case, but this sure seems to support his argument of an unjust punishment.

    • Bill says:

      Its nice to see ARod get what he likely deserves here. On the flip side you hate to see Selig win. He’s the biggest villain in the whole steroids era, but continues to deflect blame off himself. If the league had accepted blame for turning a blind eye for so many years instead of going on a witch hunt to place blame on the players as a day like today would’ve been a victory for the league and step in the right direction of true justice. Instead you have a corrupt man winning his case against another.

      While I know he has little chance of doing so, I’m hoping ARod wins his case against the league and Bud gets his.

      Baseball won’t be fully right again until a new commissioner takes the league in a direction that is good for the game and not individuals. I’m praying the next commissioner comes soon and he’s nothing like Bud, but unfortunately that’s highly unlikely.

      • I'm a looser and a trader baby so why don't you kill me? says:

        I agree with everything you said except the first sentence. Until/unless I see all the evidence, as well as how it was gathered, have a sense of the integrity (or lack thereof) of the sources, etc. then I will always suspect the arbitrator of having tried reeeeeeally hard to walk the line so as not to get fired by either side as opposed to ruling from a sensible, neutral pov. (I think the PA fires him anyway…we’ll see).

  38. D23 says:

    Regarding comments between Braun lying and ARod never failed the drug tests. First of all Arod admitted he used steroids and promised to the Yankee organization, MLB, and to those that look up to him that he will never do it again. Still he tried to go find something that will work knowing that it is in violation with MLB Drug rules. Fault the guy, not the Yankees, not the MLB, and not the arbitrator. He put himself in this position and as far as I am concerned has hurt us fans and the Yankee organization. When you put on the Yankee uniform, you go about as professional as you can be. He didn’t. So yeah his bat will be somewhat missed but we need to move on…Regardless if we go under or over $189, this team is going to compete.

  39. stuckey says:

    This situation just serves as further evidence we live in a largely belief-based culture, rather than an empirical-based culture.

    Despite a lack of evidence despite a lack of transparency, despite a lack of exposure to to more than 2 weeks of hearings, fans formed BELIEFS in what they thought happened or didn’t happen, and BELIEFS in what ruling would come down, based on their beliefs.

    So now the decision comes down, and the person who’s professional life and experience and accomplishments has led them to a path to see all the evidence we have not, hear all the testimony we have not, consider all the issues we probably don’t even all fully understand, and make a decision, despite have NO REASON whatsoever to doubt the integrity of this person, it makes NO difference.

    Our BELIEFS still rule. Now we have to believe the process was corrupt and the arbitrator was in on the corruption, and/or didn’t fully understand the factors of the case like we did.

    NO amount of evidence changes what we CHOOSE/WANT to believe.

    This the MLB baseball equilivent of carbon dating, the belief that science is wrong or intentionally misleading and that rocks really aren’t hundreds of millions of years old.

    Sad.

    • I'm a looser and a trader baby so why don't you kill me? says:

      Yeah, except for the fact that the arbitrator has more incentive to try to toe the line so as not to get fired by either side than he does to rule from a sensible and neutral pov.

      • stuckey says:

        The reason why there is arbitration at all is because there is a market for arbitration. The process has been shown to work, or at least be acceptable to enough disputing parties to continue to be a process parties use.

        You’re not just casting doubt in THIS decision, you’re casting doubt in the entire process in general.

        And the market tends to have ways of weeding out things that NO one feels is ever truly fair and always inherently illegitimate.

      • The Other Mister D says:

        Toe what line? The union’s or the commissioner’s? The arbitrator’s incentive is to be perceived as fair by both sides of the case, which means being “sensible and neutral”. From what the player’s association said today, I don’t think they have any problem with this arbitrator.

        • forensic says:

          The MLBPA had already pretty much washed their hands with this situation months ago. It’s not surprising in the least what they said and how they’ve acted/reacted.

          • vicki says:

            they have to be concerned with precedent. unless they’ve been assured this is a singular case.

            i wonder if the “commissioner’s discretion” will be addressed next cba.

        • I'm a looser and a trader baby so why don't you kill me? says:

          Toe the line precisely as I described – so as not to be fired by either side. And he did that:

          MLB got a victory – a big fat suspension, even if lower than initially thought.
          The PA got a (small) victory – a reduction from 211 to 162.

          Might he have walked the line finely enough to keep the job? We’ll see. I still think the PA cans him.

          My point – and yes, it’s about binding arbitration in general, not just here – is that if it’s a lucrative, ongoing gig (as it is here) as opposed to a one off, the person has incentive to toe the line rather than make clear win/lose decision.

          If he kept it 211 games, he’d get fired. If he made it 0 or even likely 50, he’d get fired. He has more incentive to try to manage right down the perceived middle.

    • vicki says:

      (*whose professional life and experience…)

      why can’t we believe malfeasance goes deeper than horowitz? history tells us the people with the power will yield it to maintain the status quo. and most corruption never sees the light of day.

      strictly speaking, those of us who haven’t swallowed the public statements (of either side) to this point are supposed to suddenly be satisfied at this arbitrary (intended) point?

      • stuckey says:

        Where is the evidence of ANY of that in this case? Or do we just believe EVERYTHING is tainted by corruption?

        I mean if we’re looking for malfeasance to explain how an admitted PED user might have done so again, seems like strange bedfellows to me.

        Not sure I see any point if we’re just using a housepaint brush to color the world corrupt in general.

        Okay then, what’s the point of focusing in on it in case.

        Under this worldview, Alex Rodriquez’s actions might have been more insidious than we even know.

        • vicki says:

          but the world is corrupt in general. bless your heart if you don’t think so. i console myself with the belief (yep) in slow, sometimes glacial, progress. and the edmund burke quote about the triumph of evil and good men doing nothing.

          and i’m asking why you insist people come around to your way of thinking now? why should this decision impress if we think the system is busted? but then, you’re someone who can advocate for an “empirical-based culture” with a straight face.

          • stuckey says:

            That there is corruption in the world and that the world is corrupt are two different arguments. I’d agree wholeheartedly with the former.

            And I don’t “insist” anyone come around to my way of thinking. Reason I don’t do that is because I have to means to enforce it.

            I make arguments. I’m not more or less convicted or more or less direct in expressing it as many regulars here. So I fail to see the issue.

            But back to the question at hand, and to continue to make the same point I’ve been making all along. If the argument is EVERYONE is corrupt and EVERYTHING is tainted bu corruption, then internal logic dictates that applies to Alex Rodriquez and his advisers and legal team as well.

            Nihilists don’t get to pick and choose. Choosing Arod’s side in this fight, picking ANYONE’s side in this fight is inconsistent for someone who believes everything is corrupt NOTHING is genuine.

            So why are we on Alex Rodriquez’s side again?

            Because EVERYONE is corrupt?

            Or are we arbitrarily pointing fingers at MLB and the arbitrator?

            • vicki says:

              i’m no nihilist. i’m a rationalist and a sometimes skeptic. until the first pitch is thrown, when i’m a kid again. and i’m on the rod’s side for the same reason i’m a yankee fan. because i like him and it suits me. sure, call it arbitrary.

              • stuckey says:

                I don’t have to, you already did.

                A rationalist would agree that choosing to believe everyone is the process is corrupt but Arod, with the reasoning being you’re a Yankee fan who likes him and it suits you, is irrational.

                An irrational BELIEF, which of course was my point in the first place.

                You’re welcome to believe what you will. Trust me I’m well reserved to the fact that many people prefer belief to ration, as well as the fact nothing I say will cure anyone of their leaning.

                But implying I’M naive is an interesting angle to take.

                • vicki says:

                  no, i call myself a (lay) rationalist (casually; i’m not here to present a monograph on the subject) because i can infer truths about reality without proving or experiencing them.

                  i originally stepped into your conversation to question your logic; it was random. but you steered the argument away from that. i do think you’re naive. but when it comes to good old fashioned trolling you’re as sophisticated as they come. and ultimately it’s on me for engaging.

                  • stuckey says:

                    You stepped in to accuse MLB of corruption later admitting it was mainly due to you personal regard for the admitted PED user you were fond of and not based on any specific evidence to back your accusation.

                    The world is corrupt was your response.

                    Interesting how repeating people’s arguments back at them is considered trolling.

                    • I'm a looser and a trader baby so why don't you kill me? says:

                      MLB *has* been known – factually – to be corrupt, and in fact there current leadership is the leadership presiding over said corruption.

                    • I'm a looser and a trader baby so why don't you kill me? says:

                      *the* current leadership.
                      Autocorrect fail.

                  • I'm a looser and a trader baby so why don't you kill me? says:

                    Yup. Well said.

  40. RetroRob says:

    Unfortunately, as a Yankee fan, this most likely hurts them in three ways:

    First, they would have been a better team in 2014 with A-Rod’s bat in the lineup and him playing 3B compared to the alternatives.

    Second, they will still owe A-Rod more than $60M after 2015. Sitting out a year will greatly diminish his skills, which will hurt the Yankees in following seasons.

    Third, it might unfortunately get the Yankees to thinking about Plan 189 again. Instead of increasing the likelihood of signing Tanaka, perhaps it will decrease it.

    • Poconos Adam says:

      …and add to that Rob, that he will be at spring training, attract all sorts of bad attention, drive everyone crazy with legal discussions and speculation….

      I miss talking about actual baseball.

      If you were Tanaka, would you want to come to this team — with this circus? No way. When Tanaka signs elsewhere, people will say it was about money, but I imagine the Yankees being a total zoo will also play a negative role in his decision making.

      • Betty Lizard says:

        Since when were players, health, contracts and suspensions not part of “actual baseball”?

        And doesn’t every team have its share of drama? Some more than others but for me, that’s part of “baseball.”

        • vicki says:

          you said it, betty.

          ps. this fan will arrive at spring training the first week of march, as i do every year. my most ardent hope is i’ll get a mardi gras of a glimpse of alex, before his long, maybe everlasting, lent.

        • Poconos Adam says:

          I wasn’t talking about players, health, or contracts I was talking about arbitration ruling on suspensions, legal manuvering, appeals, counter appeals, playing games with the media to character assassinate the various persons in the situation, etc.

          If you think that is what “actual baseball” is — then I guess this is all good with you.

          I’d rather be talking about the team’s chances of competing, the lineup, the pitching, etc. But hey, that stuff isn’t as sexy and controversial…..so, back to 24/7 ARod for the next two months!

      • forensic says:

        If you were Tanaka, would you want to come to this team — with this circus? No way. When Tanaka signs elsewhere, people will say it was about money, but I imagine the Yankees being a total zoo will also play a negative role in his decision making.

        Like the Dodgers and the endless REAL law issues of Puig, Mattingly complaining about his prior contract, etc…

        Or the Mariners and their inability to pick a President, and the articles about the utter dysfunction of their entire front office, and the terrible results of the organization as a whole, despite one absurdly overpaid signing this offseason…

        • Poconos Adam says:

          You really think either of those situations you mentioned are even remotely close to the ARod story? This is one of the best players in the history of the game fighting for his legacy and taking on the league, the team, other players, the MLBPA, anyone he can grab at/punch at.

          You think he’s reading about Puig’s DUIs in the Yomiyuri Shimbun?

          • forensic says:

            You talked about A-Rod and issues off the field and how it might affect Tanaka. Those are all off the field issues that he and his agent will know about that could affect Tanaka’s decision.

            He’s also reading about how Matsui loved his time here and got a full retirement ceremony despite having played for other teams afterwards. He’s also reading about how Kuroda only wanted to play for the Yankees if he decided to come back.

            Frankly, I don’t think any of this other stuff will make much difference either way, but the good goes along with the bad.

            • Poconos Adam says:

              Hey — I HOPE I am wrong and that Tanaka does indeed listen to the Yankkes cadre of current and former Japanese players.

              I guess I am just so damn sick of the ARod story and was hoping we’d be back to non-legal baseball talk in 2014.

              Oh well.

              Maybe 2018…or whenever that contract finally runs out.

      • D23 says:

        Well that’s true but if Tanaka signs with the Yankees, I am also thinking that the circus could be better for Tanaka meaning that the circus could take the attention away from him momentarily. Just another thought. Secondly, while ARod has to be with the team he could be placed in the minor league fields with the minors. I got a feeling that the Yankees, once they determined who they finalized their roster, he will be released and the Yankees will have to eat up $61M.

    • stuckey says:

      Were I the Yankees, I tell Arod if he plans to come to spring training, bring a catcher’s mitt, a 1st baseman’s mitt and a outfielders’s mitt and be prepared to go on EVERY roadtrip.

    • D23 says:

      While I agree with you on the first comment however I respectfully disagree with the last two.

      The year off may do him good physically and mentally. He can focus on regaining strength, his health, and agility. He wasn’t really able to fully recover from his hip surgery. The guy’s baseball skills has already diminished mainly due to his health. Would he have a solid season this year, possibly but mentally what he has gone through this off-season has to be exhausting. I honestly do not think he was ready for the entire season with the media and fans hounding on him. And it is not good for the Yankee players as well.

      This gives the Yankees a little more flexibility in the payroll plans regardless the way you look at it. A-Rod’s contract/salary was a huge albatross. Just my two cents. Regardless, we all have to root for our Yankees whoever they put on the field.

  41. RetroRob says:

    I wonder how much warning MLB had this was coming today. I ask because I flipped on MLB Network figuring they might have a break-in on the news, surprised to see the entire crew, all dressed in suits, were there. They had to have hours warning, maybe even yesterday.

  42. eric jagielo says:

    Hey guys,

    I’m better than Reynolds or Young. Let me prove it!

    • I'm a looser and a trader baby so why don't you kill me? says:

      I wouldn’t mind. We’re a .500 team at this point anyway.

    • Brian C. says:

      You hit .260 in rookie and low-A ball with a very high swing-and-miss rate, appearing over matched at times. Show us that near MLB-ready bat we heard about before you were signed and maybe we’ll see you later in 2014.

  43. Reg says:

    This is the best outcome for the Yankees and their fans.

    Good riddance Aroid

  44. forensic says:

    Boooo!!! This sucks, though unfortunately, it’s not surprising at all.

    Essentially, A-Rod was allowed to play out the 2013 part of his suspension while appealing, but the initial penalty has been upheld.

    That’s not really true, essentially. If the initial penalty was upheld, then he’d still be suspended for 211 games. You don’t get credit for no time served. The suspension was reduced, it just happens to end at the same point the prior one would’ve.

  45. Hardcore Yankee Fan says:

    Could they sign Tanaka on a 15 year $150 million contract to get under the $189? It would be a great contract for Tanaka and they could give him opt out rights after years 2 and or 3, etc. That would give him security, as well as huge upside as a young free agent if he performs, as well as possibly getting the Yanks under $189.

    • RetroRob says:

      Tanaka wouldn’t have an interest in that. He’ll be able to get $120M over six years, give or take, from some team, and then hit the free agent market again when he was still only 31. Sure, he might bomb and never see another contract, but that’s a good risk to take when you’ll have $120M banked already. A 15-year contract locks him p his entire career, plus the one-time gain for the Yankees in 2014 wouldn’t be worth the 15 year investment on Tanaka if he bombs, or gets injured.

      • forensic says:

        And even on the 6 year, $120 million contract, he could still get an opt-out in there after maybe 4 or 5 years, which lets him hit the FA market again, if he chooses and is great, for another enormous contract at just 29 or 30 years old.

    • The Other Mister D says:

      I suspect the commissioner’s office would veto that contract because it would be a clear attempt to get around the tax.

  46. mustang says:

    “It means they still have some chance to get under the $189 million threshold, particularly if they are unable to sign Masahiro Tanaka. But it also now means if they go over, the penalty will be far less and they have A-Rod’s salary to do with what they want.”

    I think the last line is most important. Many have been saying well if the Yankees are going over the limit they might as well go all the way over and here is my counter to that:

    1- The Yankees this winter have spent on what they felt they needed and have had limits on there spending i.e. Cano.

    2- What’s left out there? Drew? Relievers?
    Drew is left-handed and plays SS not much of a fit on a very lefty team with a need for 3rd basement. Yes, I know about the ? on Jeter but for around 4 for 48 (got the number from MLBTR) I will pass maybe if it was a lot less.
    If we learn anything about the Yankees and relievers is that they can figure that out cheaply. Signing relievers to big money is never a good idea.

    3- Money is money. The Yankees got hit with a 28 million tax bill in 2013 I’m sure they didn’t like it and would love to erase it or lessen it not increase it.

    I think the theme is clear if a move makes sense they will do it, but this idea of going nuts if they are over the 189 limit doesn’t fit there current DNA.

    • mustang says:

      One last thing let just say things go south again like they did last year. The closer they are to 189 makes it easier to trade 1 or 2 players and get under without having a full all out fire sale.

    • forensic says:

      Weren’t you just saying a week or two ago how great it would be if they signed Stephen Drew because it’s another guy on a FA list they could say they added?

      I could be wrong, but I don’t think I am.

      • mustang says:

        No, I don’t think so. I think I add him as a possibility on a long list of Yankees free agent signings. I think I was making the point on how Yankees fans are never happy. To be clear I don’t think they will or should sign him or anywhere near 4 for 48.

  47. Grit for Brains says:

    Great…it’s 2014, the whole 189 thing was ridiculous with or without A-Rod, this team should be willing to have a payroll well north of 200 every year given their revenues. The WSJ piece on the impact of the bad year proves it and they look/looked stupid for trying, in my opinion at least even if that’s not worth very much.

    Now that I got that out of me, can they please just sign S. Drew by the end of the day.

    • Mets need him a lot more than we do, at least in my opinion. We already have 3 SSs on the roster, 2 that can play it, one we call Nunie. All the Mets have is Ruben Tejada, who doesn’t do a damn thing and Wilfredo Tovar, who will be in AAA probably next year.

    • stuckey says:

      The the WZJ piece account for the fact Yankees attendance and YES ratings have been on the decline for 4 straight years?

      • lightSABR says:

        Hello, belief-based friend. Yes, attendance and viewership were declining before last year, but if you look at some of those facts you’re so fond of, you’ll find out that last year it was much worse than the previous three, despite having Mo’s farewell tour to suck people in. Also, it turns out that missing the playoffs costs the Yankees about as much revenue as plan 189 would save them.

        • stuckey says:

          It comes as little surprises a year in which many of the Yankees big names all went down with injury, and their record wasn’t as strong as it’s been in recent year, that the decline would accelerate.

          But a trend is a trend, and decline began independent of all the issues of last season.

          The point being, the argument that throwing MORE money at their payroll was going to reverse what’s clearly a issue that requires examination and addressing is a dubious one.

          At BEST, you can argue that greatly accelerating spending would simply slow down the decline to some unknown degree, and that’s hardly the ideal solution.

          There is NO long-term future in that model.

          The NY Yankees should be examining how they do business and why fans enthusiasm began to wane IMMEDIATELY following their 2009 title.

          An idea worth considering is that as the ‘core’ stars all begin to fade and move on, maybe what drives attendance and ratings ISN’T necessarily 96 wins at ANY cost.

          Maybe the 4m attendance figures and high ratings wasn’t something you can duplicate just by throwing free agents at it?

          Some fans assume the larger fanbase moves as they do, and everyone will be greatly enthused by a AL East leading team. I’m not certain that’s a astute assumption.

  48. So, can we start throwing at Melky Cabrera, Jhonny Peralta, Nelson Cruz and co.’s heads because we don’t like what they stand for? Or will Brian O’Nora eject a Yankee and not a Red Sox because he is a horrid ump?

  49. forensic says:

    The 2nd worst part of this all might the neverending Stephen Drew comments that will now ensue/continue.

    • mustang says:

      When did they stop?

      • forensic says:

        That’s why I had continue in there. They had slowed down a little (like the Brandon Phillips comments), but there was always a small portion who refuse to let those things go.

        Now that number will increase exponentially.

    • vicki says:

      probably not second worst. maybe top five.

    • Grit for Brains says:

      Right, because who would want the Yankees to sign the best available infielder anyway.

      • forensic says:

        That’s more a factor of the available infielders than a factor of his ability. He’s got complete bust potential, especially on the absurd contracts that Boras is still looking to get him.

        He’s been bad and injury prone for a couple years, then goes to Fenway and has one big half of a season (fueled mostly by Fenway) and people suddenly want to spend big on him, all to add another guy who can’t hit lefties to this team. Not to mention he’s never played a position other than SS in his career, same as Jeter who won’t be moved.

      • vicki says:

        in this case, best available just means the smallest pile of dog shit.

        stipulating that he is, in fact, the best available.

      • Chip Rodriguez says:

        They did. His name is Brendan Ryan.

  50. forensic says:

    A-Rod should grow a beard. I heard somewhere that that makes you lovable and infallible.

  51. Pasqua says:

    While I don’t have a problem with the suspension in and of itself, I don’t see how it helps the Yankees in any way whatsoever. They will likely end up over the sacred $189 anyway, get destroyed in luxury tax, all while fielding a modestly competitive team that is not really a championship threat (something akin to this past season). That’s the worst of both worlds, in my opinion — no financial relief, and a questionable product on the field.

  52. Mike says:

    Another case of the MLB’s bias against us. Clemens, Pettitte, and now Arod.

    Why don’t they just admit they don’t want us to win.

  53. forensic says:

    “The New York Yankees respect Major League Baseball’s Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program, the arbitration process, as well as the decision released today by the arbitration panel.”

    Panel? It wasn’t a panel, it was one guy.

    • Need Pitching & Hitting says:

      Technically a panel of 3 people voted on the arbitrator’s decision. They voted 2-1 in favor of the 162 game suspension.

      • forensic says:

        With MLB COO and MLBPA General Counsel as the other two. Almost no matter the decision, it was going to come down to one person’s choice with a 1-1 vote from those two guys.

        • Need Pitching & Hitting says:

          I agree. Just saying it technically is a panel.

          I do wonder if there would be some # of games that would have led both MLB and MLBPA reps to vote no.
          How low would the suspension have had to be reduced to get Manfred/MLB to vote no?
          Was there a number of games the MLBPA would have voted yes to?
          Would say a 65-game proposal have gotten both to vote no?

  54. Joseph says:

    FWIW, Dan Levy of Bleacher Report just said on CNN that Yankee fans should be high-fiving over this decision for the 25 mil. it will give the Yanks to spend on other players. Possibly adding Tanaka, Drew, Balfour, and others sounds pretty good to me. How the 189 mil. situation plays into all this remains to be seen.

    • forensic says:

      You’re not getting those three players for anywhere close to $25 million per year.

      They would’ve spent on Tanaka either way.

      Taking his bat out of the lineup makes a much bigger dent in the production than anything Drew could even dream of bringing.

      • Joseph says:

        Perhaps it allows the Yankees to up their offer for Tanaka. Drew would be nice for 3rd this year and slide over to SS next, when ARod is back and Jeter might be gone. BTW, Tim Kurkjian just reeiterated on ESPN how this could help NY for the reasons mentioned.

        • forensic says:

          I think Drew will end up being a huge mistake for whatever team may end up giving him multiple years at moderately big money, along the lines of the eventual Cruz deal, Jimenez, and maybe even Granderson (I could also see Santana potentially being that depending on what Stadium he ends up in). And, in my opinion, Ellsbury goes in there without saying too.

      • Dan says:

        But you act like it’s a bat we can count on. How many games could we actually pencil him in for next year if he wasn’t suspended? 81? And we’re not talking about 2007 A-Rod; he’s still a bit above average as a hitter, but he’s not an all star anymore. So we’re talking 81 games of 110-115 wRC+ with him. Hardly a gaping whole (even if he’s better than whatever alternative they get).

        • I'm a looser and a trader baby so why don't you kill me? says:

          That’s a monstrous supposition in your part. I’ll take the over on games and production.

  55. Deep Thoughts says:

    The Yankees are sure keeping it short and sweet:

    http://web.yesnetwork.com/news.....;oid=36019

    Probably couldn’t say more with that canary stuffed in their mouth.

  56. BN says:

    Although he faces long odds in federal court, it is quite possible that he will receive a temporary “stay” until the decision is made by a judge. That decision could take many months. So it is very possible that Arod will play part of the season and the Yankees will have to pay him when he plays. This could cost the Yankees dearly in terms of their self-imposed salary cap. They will likely hold of on any signings until they see if he receives a stay from a federal court. Hopefully that decision will come soon. This case could stretch well into the summer.

    • Coolerking101 says:

      Disagree. Why would a lower court decision take months? There will be no evidentiary hearing. Just briefs on both sides. It’s not like it’s rocket science either. A-Rod basically has no way of proving a likelihood of success on the merits and it’s unlikely he will be able to prove irreparable harm. I don’t see a judge staying anything, let alone granting a TRO. It’s over, A-Rod just doesn’t want to believe it.

  57. Dick M says:

    I have 3 thoughts on this, not all related.

    As a first time offender, I still don’t see how he gets more than 50 games.

    He leaves a giant sized hole at 3B. Last year we had the worst production at the position of any team in baseball. Get ready for more of the same.

    The Yanks now have no excuse for not getting Tanaka and another pitcher like Garza. (In fact if they lose out on Tanaka and play the less than 189 mill game, then we need to stay away from the park and the TV.)

    • Coolerking101 says:

      We haven’t seen the decision, but we can assume that the arbitrator ruled that the evidence indicated he was juicing over an extended period of time, thus he was deserving of a penalty greater than the normal 1st offender penalty. Also, the leaks suggested ARod attempted to destroy evidence and recruited others….so increasing the penalty for such conduct makes sense.

    • cr1 says:

      The instant a poster claims Al is a first time offender it is clear he’s guzzling the Tacopino coolaid as fast as he can swallow.

      Best case is when he leads off with this nonsense, so you know right away that there is no point in reading further – unless you’re another coolaid-head.

  58. Grover says:

    I am expecting Jeter to quickly announce he will play third for the good of the team and further cement his legend in Yankee lore.

    • forensic says:

      HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHA!!!

    • Heisenberger says:

      In order for that to occur, his ego would have to substantially decrease by say…150%.

      But hey, let’s run an already terrible defensive 40 year old shortstop coming off two ankle injuries at the most important infield position instead of simply sliding him over a few feet to a position of need that requires less range, less arm and signing Stephen Drew in the process to man shortstop until we can develop a viable internal option. Makes a TON of sense!!!

      • Chip Rodriguez says:

        Drew at SS when you have Ryan? Drew’s not that good a hitter outside Fenway, and doesn’t have the range and speed that Ryan does.

    • Mike says:

      Jeter is still a very good SS.

  59. EndlessJose says:

    There was a panel and MLB COO Rob Manfred was part of it.Just like the Mithcell report where George J.Mitchell was a director for the Red Sox and didn’t name any major Boston players(World Series MVP’S Ortiz and Ramirez) it’s a huge conflict of interest.

    Yes A-Rod has a lot of smoke around him but the investigation and how MLB went about doing shady dealings is quite scary and A-Rod should appeal in federal court.

    • forensic says:

      The MLBPA General Counsel was also on it. I think the MLBPA was basically done with A-Rod months ago, but there was at least a modicum of evening out the ‘panel’ with just Horowitz supposedly being the unbiased one.

      • Dan says:

        Ya, the panel ruled 2-1 in favor of the 162 game suspension. Horowitz is unbiased and was appointed by both the MLB and the MLBPA. The MLBPA appointee voted against the 162 game ban.

    • BFDeal says:

      The panels are always comprised of a representative from MLB, a rep from the player’s association, and an independent arbitrator, so there’s no great conspiracy or conflict of interest here. Just standard operating procedure.

  60. Kiko Jones says:

    I just want to see the evidence. All of it. I want to see what merits a 162 game suspension without a positive drug test.

  61. Ace says:

    I’m looking forward to watching A-Rod play in Spring Training.

  62. nope says:

    I am happy about the suspension, even recognizing it leaves us worse off in the short term. I’ve said this before, but having A-Rod is a continued embarrassment to the Yankees organization and fans, and I personally find that having him on the team takes something away from being a Yankee fan. I will get much more satisfaction winning without Alex than with him, even if it takes another year or two. I can’t even watch the 2009 postseason anymore knowing that Alex carried us to the championship and was juicing at the time (yes, I know other players also did it). I am glad he is gone for the season and hope the Yankees finally cut ties with him in 2015. I understand others look at it strictly from a performance perspective, but I am just tired of the guy and the embarrassment he brings to my favorite team. I don’t want him associated with the Yankees anymore, period.

    • Kiko Jones says:

      How do you see the Yankees cutting ties with Rodriguez? I seriously doubt A-Rod is going to retire and leave $60m on the table. Will the Yankees cut him or give him $25-30m buyout? Doubtful. He’s sticking around even if it’s out of spite.

    • I'm a looser and a trader baby so why don't you kill me? says:

      I’m not embarrassed for my favorite team. I am however mortified by MLB, Selig specifically.

  63. lou says:

    So about that Yankee infield? Are the Yankees going to decide and go with a cycle of misfits this year? After Tex and MC Yankees are pretty much up with question marks. Second base is who? Brian I get hurt blowing my nose & Can Jeter even play SS if he can’t who will? What about the gaping hole at 3b now?

  64. Farewell Mo says:

    Couple of thoughts here.

    Arod got what he deserved. I think it’s very likely he never stopped using PEDs starting in or around 2001, his apology in 2009 was BS and justice was served making an example out of him.

    Obviously, the evidence against him must have been quite compelling compared to Braun and the others for the 162 games to hold up

    All ths crap about the unseemly manner in which MLB obtained their evidence was nothing more than a distraction away from just how egregious Arod’s transgressions really were. If the choice was between using stolen evidence they paid for vs. letting Arod walk, MLB did the right thing.

    I think he’s played his last game in the majors. The Yankees will surely release him after his suspension ends especially since hes suing them and their team doctoe and I think he’ll likely be blackballed from MLB. I could see a Japanese team sign him for some publicity though.

    This is a great day for the Yankees if they can finally run the Arod circus out of town on a rail.

    • Kiko Jones says:

      Um, what about the $60m left on his contract? Are the Yankees just gonna eat that?

      • Farewell Mo says:

        Um, damn straight they’re gonna eat it. That money is already lost.

        • I'm a looser and a trader baby so why don't you kill me? says:

          Lulz. If there is no better option at 3B there’s no way they swallow the $60mm and treat it as “lost.” It’s sunk, but not necessarily lost. Not the same thing. At all.

  65. Kosmo says:

    A-rod will never play another game wearing a Yankee uniform and IMO his career is over. Yanks will buy out the rest of his contract of 60 million and that will be the end. Oblivion.
    In the meantime NY cannot possibly enter the season with a Nunez/Johnson 3b platoon. Yikes ! Time once again to check in on the Padres for Headley or maybe the Brewers for Aramis.

    • I'm a looser and a trader baby so why don't you kill me? says:

      You honestly believe that if there is no better option for 3B the. Yanks will simply swallow $60mm? Seriously?

      You really think they have so much pride/integrity/whatever? Seriously?

  66. stuckey says:

    Let it be said definitively now.

    Bud Selig and MLB didn’t put the NY Yankees and Alex Rodriquez in these respective positions.

    The arbitrator didn’t put the NY Yankees and Alex Rodriquez in these respective positions.

    Alex Rodriquez put he NY Yankees and Alex Rodriquez in these respective positions.

    Buck stops with him.

    Of all parties HE had the most control. Bud Selig and the arbitrator couldn’t touch him if he just try to bend or break the rules, regardless of whatever opinion you have of the rules.

  67. PunkPitch says:

    He should start a band with Michael Pineda, and call it the “Coulda Woulda Shoulda Club”. Drop the lawsuit BS, and chase ho’s in Key West for the balance of the season. Problemo solved.

  68. RetroRob says:

    So the Long Island Ducks have invited A-Rod to play for them in 2014. Let’s play along and assume for a moment that A-Rod would like to do that, even for a month or three.

    I’m pretty sure the Yankees would have to approve it, which they no doubt won’t. They’ll probably claim they don’t want him to risk injury since he’s under contract. Yet having him play in competitive games, even for the Ducks, is a way to help keep him in baseball shape and slow the erosion of his skills. They should be in favor of that. If they reject his request, and then turn around and cut him later this year, he could sue them saying their actions were designed to damage his playing MLB again.

    He can also request to play in Spring Training. Manny Ramirez did it while he was suspended.

    A-Rod won’t be playing for the Yankees in 2014, but the circus and the story is far from done.

    • Farewell Mo says:

      Hes under contract with the Yankees so he can’t play anywhere unless they approve it or they release him.

      The only thing he’s playing next year is beer league softball. Maybe.

      • I'm a looser and a trader baby so why don't you kill me? says:

        Independent leagues are not bound by nor do they typically respect MLB provisions (unlike say Japan’s league which does).

    • Farewell Mo says:

      After his antics suing the Yanks and their doctors and the fact that MLB wants him gone and the union has essentially washed their hands of him, he’s done. Game, set and match.

      Maybe you can watch him play in Japan,on a reality TV show or on a Jose Canseco celebrity boxing card.

  69. Holy Ghost says:

    I think we may have already seen A-Rod’s final game in pinstripes.

    While I don’t think the 162-game penalty is justified for a first offense without a failed drug test(everyone else got much shorter penalties), he wasn’t getting off without a suspension simply for the fact that he dealt with Anthony Bosch. Even if A-rod got no banned substances from Bosch, he should’ve exercised better judgement in who he went to for help.

    It seems like the MLB is making an example out of A-Rod to deter other players from violating the drug ban. But he put himself in this position so it’s tough to feel much sympathy for him.

  70. cashjr says:

    I wonder what happens to the $30M of those HR incentives if the yanks simply release him? May make sense for the yanks to cut a deal now or simply release him. Sure, they’ll have to pay him $61M (maybe less if they can cut a deal). But they won’t have to pay any of the incentives (some of which are sure to hit if he plays 3 more years).

    ARod also benefits by being released. This way he can play for the Ducks or another independent and keep in some sort of baseball shape. Then be a free agent next year and can maybe hook on with someone. Yanks win by minimizing payments and eliminating circus. I bet (hope) something like this happens before Spring Training. In fact Arod may be trying to push it by threatening to go to ST. Or perhaps not, its also possible Arod would love the chance to be interviewed every day in ST, possibly even more than a $60M buyout. Crazy.

    • RetroRob says:

      If they cut him they are responsible for paying the remainder of his contract, all $61M, and that includes the incentives if he was to sign with another team. Imagine the Red Sox signing A-Rod to be their DH and he hits #660 against the Yankees, who would then have to write a check for several million dollars to the Red Sox to pay A-Rod’s HR incentive clause!

      There is no reason for A-Rod to cut a deal that will save the Yankees money. He is going to collect every last dime, as he should. The Yankees could try to sue him, yet that lawsuit would have as much chance as A-Rod’s attempt to overturn today’s ruling. Not to mention the Players’ Union won’t allow that to happen, and the incalculable damage it would do to the Yankees trying to sign new free agents. Sure, come to the Yankees, but just keep in mind they might sue you and try to void your contract at some later date.

      He also will be in Spring Training. That’s his right under the CBA.

  71. Captain Turbo says:

    It’s a shame that the MLB under Selig has reached this level of corruption. And it’s more the shame that people here are defending their actions.

    • stuckey says:

      What evidence do you possess that Alex Rodriquez was innocent of the charges against him?

      What evidence do you possess that proves arbitrator Fredric Horowitz is corrupt?

      • Kiko Jones says:

        He didn’t fail a test. So, I want to see the evidence. Forgive me for not wanting to believe Bud Selig, which to me is akin to believing George Mitchell’s assertion that he truly found no evidence of Red Sox PED use. (Hello Manny! What’s up, Papi!)

        I don’t believe A-Rod, I don’t believe Bud Selig. But I believe in evidence. Tangible, legit evidence. Anything else is bullshit.

        • Farewell Mo says:

          Cut the conspiracy theory bullshit.

          All the evidence was presented in arbitration and he was handed the longest suspension ever for PED usage. Obviously, the evidence shows he’s as guilty as sin. The fact that you haven’t seen it is irrelevant.

          • Kiko Jones says:

            Why is it irrelevant? It might be irrelevant TO YOU but I don’t give a damn what YOU think. Notice that I don’t believe EITHER SIDE. Since when is wanting to see evidence “conspiracy theory bullshit”? Especially when there is NO FAILED TEST. B/c you hate A-Rod, whatever MLB says is good enough for you? So you believe no Red Sox did PEDs either like the Mitchell Report says?

            Here’s the deal: Why not PROVE to the world that the big bad A-Rod CHEATED buy showing ACTUAL PROOF? I’m gonna believe Bud “Looked the Other Way When It Was Convenient” Selig? WHY?

            Again, I DON’T BELIEVE EITHER SIDE: A-Rod is a confirmed prior user, Selig is a hypocrite gone legacy fishing. Which one am I going to trust? You can go on praying to St. Bud, but NO ONE in this saga is clean. Which is why, again, I want to see proof.

            If MLB’s word is good enough for you, I’ve got an ocean and a bridge I want to sell you.

            • stuckey says:

              Bud Selig ultimately didn’t hand down the suspension. The arbitrator did.

              Bud Selig and MLB’s “word” is no longer relevant, unless you have grounds to accuse the arbitrator of being a corrupt liar.

              And what you fail to understand is the case against Alex Rodriquez could be as embarrassing and condemning as enlightening. You assume MLB won’t release the evidence as some means to cover something up, but it would be mostly unprecedented, and as likely damaging to Arod as helpful.

              MLB’s ruling has mostly been confirmed by whom MLB and the MLBPA has agreed is an impartial arbitrator.

              YOu don’t get the ruling you want and THEN release the details to embarrass the loser.

              No of us are owed anything. That you don’t give a damn that someone thinks you are not entitled to what you think you are doesn’t change the fact you aren’t entitled to anything.

              • Farewell Mo says:

                Thanks, I Couldn’t have said it better myself.

                Some people just feel compelled to defend Arod ad nauseum painting him as the victim while vilifying MLB regardless of the facts.

                • I'm a looser and a trader baby so why don't you kill me? says:

                  Right because MLB is such a clean, upstanding organization.

                  • stuckey says:

                    This argument boils down to MLB completely fabricated the case against Alex Rodriquez and the arbitrator was too stupid to know the difference. That he fell for a completely fabricated case, that Alex Rodriquez’s team was apparently unable to break down.

                    Anthony Bosch is now beginning to talk publicly about details.

                    Wonder how long it’s goingg to take for those screaming for “evidence” begin doubting the evidence they asked for.

                    I strongly suspect very few of these people want to examine the evidence, they want the opportunity to casr doubt on it, whatever it may happen to be.

        • Need Pitching & Hitting says:

          You noticed that everbody else took the suspension right?
          Did they do that because they were clean?
          Doesn’t that rather lend a ton of credibility to at least the accusations that ARod used PED’s?
          Did you really think ARod was constantly texting Bosch (not a nutritionist) for “food” advice?
          An independent arbitrator with access to all of the testimony and evidence decided it was enough for 162 games. That’s pretty damning.

          • Kiko Jones says:

            I noticed players accepting 50 game suspensions not 211 game suspensions.

            The suspended players were likely guilty but did they have the money to finance this kinda fight? Also, you know plenty of people settle while innocent b/c in MANY cases it’s less expensive than to prove your innocence, right?

            Lending credibility to an accusation and PROVING something are 2 different things. I don’t get it: what is wrong with wanting to see proof and avoiding assumptions, no matter how damning? Isn’t PROOF the most damning of all? Then, why not show the evidence and remove all doubt?

            I’m flabbergasted how people don’t feel the need to see proof. I wonder if they would react the same way if it were one of their loved ones: “Well, they say he’s guilty, so he is. I don’t need to see evidence.” Yeah, right.

            And btw—not that I should even have to bring this up, but that’s the conclusion people first jump to—wanting to see the evidence is NOT a belief in A-Rod’s innocence. In a cesspool like this one where you have drug dealer, a confirmed prior PED user, and a commissioner who has a reputation/legacy at stake, the only truth is unmitigated evidence. Anything else is he said/she said nonsense.

            • stuckey says:

              “I’m flabbergasted how people don’t feel the need to see proof.”

              Since you’re apparently distrustful of ALL parties, where is your dog in this fight?

              What compelling reason is there for you to see proof when you claim not to have a rooting interest.

              And I doubt most but a few people would ACTUALLY absorb all the evidence – meaning reams of brief and exhibits and full transcripts of two weeks of testimony.

              I’ll ask you fairly outright, are you genuinely saying you’d approach the evidence as closely as the arbitrator did?

              • Farewell Mo says:

                He’d rather insinuate that the arbitrator may have corrupt or in Selig’s back pocket, the charges against Arod trumped and who knows what about the players association’s tepid response, maybe they were in on it too, rather than accepting he was guilty as hell, cheated longer than anyone else, obstructed the investigation and was completely deserving of his suspension.

  72. Jorge Steinbrenner says:

    I’m way late to this dance.

    I imagine I probably have followed Alex more than most on here. We were high school contemporaries and, while I never saw him play, I’d always read about him in the papers. I thought it was awesome to see a kid my age, from my town, just so quickly to the majors. I was so happy when he became a Yankee, and I always cheered him. I still enjoy watching him play, but fine it incredibly sad to see what he’s become out of the decisions he’s made. Yes, I expect the worst out of what we still don’t know about Alex. It is what it is.

    The proper penalty was probably 50 games, but my guess as to what the arbitrator would rule was what we got today. Pretty much 211 with time served. I guess I should be upset, but I’m not. I choose what self-righteous battles to fight, and I don’t feel much sympathy for whether someone who still makes what he’s made in life will be able to hit a ball with a stick next year. I care more about my not thinking he’s physically capable of playing even a half season without breaking down, and the idea of him being the best option they could find at third probably being a mirage. While I got enjoyment out of him as recently as last season, the Alex I cheered for so much is long dead.

    I hope the team invests the money they just got back well. I hear there’s this pitcher from Japan….

    • Farewell Mo says:

      the Alex I cheered for so much is long dead

      The saddest thing IMO is that the Alex we cheered for was nothing more than a fraud the whole time.

      • Jorge Steinbrenner says:

        I don’t share that opinion.

        • Farewell Mo says:

          He admitted he used steroids 2001 through 2004. The Biogenesis evidence apparently showed he used steroids 2009-2013. There seeems to be a very distinct possibility he never stopped using steroids since his Ranger days and has been using them pretty consistently for at least the last 12-13 years.

          What do you call someone who for the majority of their career was drug enhanced?

          • Holy Ghost says:

            Alex is alleged to have gotten HGH from Biogenesis. As far as I’m aware of, none of the players involved are alleged to have gotten Steroids from Biogenesis. There’s no evidence that A-Rod used Steroids after 2003 when he failed a drug test. The MLB has a pretty good testing system in place for Steroids. The jury is still out for HGH and they didn’t start testing for HGH until recently. Despite this, A-Rod hasn’t failed a test since 2003.

            HGH is not like Steroids or Testosterone. It doesn’t build strength or make you run faster. There’s really no evidence that HGH enhances performance. It’s banned in pro sports mainly because of the health risks and the fact that it’s illegal.

            One of my pet peeves is when people don’t differentiate between the different substances.

  73. Roy-Munson says:

    What a circus. I get that the yanks are a lesser offensive force with Alex off the the team but… Did anyone actually expect Alex to play more than 60 or 70 games this year? . Regardless of suspension? I mean GeorgevW Bush was president the last time ARod played a full season. Let that sink in…..Hopefully they add tanaka and another starter ( my preference is garza or Maholm). Sign Reynolds and Balfour and be done with it. 34 days till spring training!!!!

  74. OldYanksFan says:

    I don’t think Alex is a bad guy at heart.
    I don’t think he’s stupid either.
    I just think that his personal (abandonment)issues constantly has him taking bad advice from people who are ultimately looking after themselves.

    On one hand Alex is a HUGE man. Famous athlete, super rich, chick magnet, a star.
    On the other hand, he is internally still a little boy, looking for a parental figure to love and guide him.

    I like ARod, I just believe he is neurotic and damaged. Hating him for that is like hating someone because they are disabled. Alex has spent his whole career with his foot in his mouth. Between that, and his (1st) huge contract, there are many who need to hate him. I just feel compassion for him.

    There is a large population of people like ARod. Look at Lindsey Lohan.. or Miley Cyrus (and there are many others). They have everything in the world. The potential to have as fine a life as anyone could dream of, yet continually make bad decisions, and jeopardize what they have.

    When MLB first called him to the mat, if he was truly contrite, he may have gotten off with 100 games. Maybe he have could agreed to be banned until the 2014 ASB, and donate the remainder of his 2014 salary to the Jimmy fund.

    Instead, he found yet more handers (lawyers), who ‘supported’ him, and felt that they could find holes in MLB’s case, and minimize the damage. I mean, lawyers got O.J. Simpson off…. why not ARod?

    So once ARod was in for a penny, he was in for a dollar. And now we (and he) are at where we are at. It’s sad. I do believe Selig went overboard in trying to make Alex and example… but that there was wrong doing on ARod’s part.

    We know MLB has some shitty people. They have been wife beaters, DUIs, and other serious dysfunctional behavior. Yet they get less attention than an ARod taking off his shirt, or kissing himself in the mirror.

    I am bothered that so many rejoice at ARod’s fall from grace.
    Paul Walker was killed because his buddy was driving 100 MPH. Now Puig was just caught driving 110 MPH. LaRussa, and many others, put people’s lives in jeopardy by driving drunk. These guys (and many others) got one or two days of bad press, and then it’s done and forgiven. But ARod has inspired hatred for over a decade now.

    I don’t excuse what ARod has done.
    I believe he cheated.
    But I also believe that what ARod has done, has been done by hundreds of others.
    Since amphetamines have been illegal in MLB for years, the greatest players in MLB history have also cheated. The cheaters number in the thousands.

    But the lynch mobs are only concerned with ARod.
    So now Alex is on the Cross, and Baseball is pure again.

    • forensic says:

      Is that all you got? ;-)

      Sorry, couldn’t resist…

    • D23 says:

      I do agree with you he basically gets a bad rap and according to many, he is a great guy to interview in talking about baseball and only baseball. But outside of baseball as you said he spent his career with his foot in his mouth. Whether he was self absorbed, was concerned about his identity or whatever but I agree with you he was damaged and neurotic.

      My biggest complaint on A-Rod is when you play for the New York Yankees and have the biggest contract in MLB, you should represent yourself in a professional manner and honor the contract. Personally I do not think he truly respected the New York Yankees. While he love playing for them, he just appeared to be making poor decisions that are scrutinized. I am not talking about his womanizing and personal affairs but the way he put himself in situations where he should not be in, such as underground high stake poker games, his infatuations with finding “drugs” or “substances” knowing that it was against the Baseball rules. And while he may have been a great teammate who comes in to play, he however never seem to be good mentor nor set a good example to his teammates. Think of Cervelli, and Melky and potentially Cano (though he was smart enough not to be involved) and how he potentially got them linked with the substance. What did Luis Sojo, Mo and few other teammates when he first came up? Payback to the community by taking him to the Children’s Hospital. While I believe he would be helpful with his bat in 2014, I just feel that he is a true Yankee. Just my opinion…

      • D23 says:

        Sorry meant to refer Cano when “he first came up” when several teammates took Cano under their wings…

        • OldYanksFan says:

          “… and how he potentially got them linked with the substance.”
          Dude… ARod simply said “Hey… I got a bag of some primo buds. You interested?”
          EVERYONE likes to turn their friends onto something good. That’s why PEDs spread like wildfires.

          Anyone that has gotten involved with PEDs did so because THEY wanted an advantage. And why not? Look at all the other users. Almost ALL have benefitted… even those that got caught.

          Melky got a big payday. So did Perralta. Cervelli jump started a MLB career. And of course, all the current unknown users with 8 figure contracts. Almost all the PED users got fame (or infamy?) from their usage. Most made millions, or tens of millions. Is Cano using? He got $240m. If so, do you think he is pissed at ARod?

          I’ll bet there are still hundreds of players currently using something. There are still many MiLB guys using.

          This has been going on since the 70′s, if not earlier.
          ARod is simply one of many, many users.
          PEDs is a long standing culture in MLB.
          Everyone using is taking a calculated gamble, and for the vast majority of users, that gamble has paid off.

          It’s just that ARod has a talent for making a mountain out of a molehill…. getting caught and making it snowball.

    • Dr. TJ Eckleberg says:

      Other than the weird Alex-as-Jesus reference, I think this is awesome. Well said.

      • OldYanksFan says:

        There is no Jesus comparison meant. More of a sacrificial lamb sort of thing. I mean, ARod has been ‘crucified’ for the ‘sins’ of many PEDs users before him, and those (many) players currently using.

        Whether you agree with the term of the suspension or not, I think we can all agree that Bud desperately wanted to make an example of ARod.

        • stuckey says:

          Perhaps, which make it all the more ridiculous Alex Rodriquez allowed himself to be made an example of.

          Just the pure stupidity of his actions doesn’t allow me to sympathize.

    • stuckey says:

      “But the lynch mobs are only concerned with ARod.
      So now Alex is on the Cross, and Baseball is pure again.”

      Until 2015, when he can return and stand to collect better than $60m dollars.

      The purity you argue people are seeking is temporary, at best.

  75. TopChuckie says:

    I didn’t read all the comments, but I did a search for “injunction” and didn’t see this, couldn’t ARod seek an injunction allowing him to play while this is tied up in the courts? His argument could be these are playing days he will never be able to get back in the event one day a court finds in his favor. Thus his whole strategy could be to tie this up in court battles, and continue to play, as long as possible, with the hope of tying it up, and playing, until he is physically unable anyway. At which point, ideally for him, he will have played as much as he would have otherwise, and gotten paid to play as much as he would have otherwise, therefore, at that point he could just drop his case.

  76. stuckey says:

    http://espn.go.com/new-york/ml.....sch-claims

    “Bosch said he thought the suspension was deserved, according to a spokeswoman.”

    • Holy Ghost says:

      The suspension is deserved for all the players who dealt with Bosch while knowing his reputation.

      I just don’t agree with the length of the suspension. But the MLB apparently has a different set of rules and consequences for A-Rod…

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