Update: Ruling for A-Rod’s appeal not expected this week

Mailbag: Trading Brett Gardner
Thursday Night Open Thread

Jan. 2nd: It is unlikely Horowitz will announce his ruling today or tomorrow, reports Mike Puma. A-Rod‘s camp has not yet been notified of a forthcoming decision and nothing is expected to “come from out of the blue” this week. Sounds like it’ll be next week at the earliest.

Dec. 23rd: Via Bob Klapisch: MLB expects the ruling from Alex Rodriguez‘s arbitration case in early January, perhaps right after New Year’s. The appeal hearing ended a little more than a month ago. The Yankees appear to be waiting for the ruling before making any more infield additions, so, needless to say, the sooner the ruling is handed down, the better.

Mailbag: Trading Brett Gardner
Thursday Night Open Thread
  • TWTR

    Free A-Rod.

    • Betty Lizard

      Third base NOW!

      (Looks around for her bell bottoms and Country Joe and the Fish album)

      • I’m One

        Couldn’t find Country Joe but did find my original Woodstock triple album (with Country Joe on it, of course).

        • Betty Lizard

          That’ll do nicely.

          • ropeadope

            Give Me An F (not talking grades, professor).

        • ropeadope

          Did you make it to Times Square? Meet up with Mr. Fish? Cotton Candy?

  • Circle K

    Why does Derek Jeter hate Alex Rodriguez again? I need a laugh.

  • cooolbreeez

    How about a suspension length poll? I’m going with 50. I’d say 0 but odds are the arbiter gets fired if he comes up with that.

    • Mandy Stankiewicz

      My guess is they split the 211 right down the middle:
      105 games. It doesn’t make sense, and I think 50 is the right move but it’s Arod and MLB, it doesn’t have to make sense.

      • Laz

        Honestly I still don’t see that happening. IMO Selig doesn’t really have a valid argument of how he arrived at the 211 number. Just remember that the arbitrator can be fired by selig or mlbpa. Mlbpa may not like Arod, but they won’t like $33M coming off of payroll.

      • Poconos Adam

        Zero sense. I agree Stank.

      • Caballo Sin Nombre

        105.5 games. He gets to play the second game of the double header on the last day.

    • vin

      Isn’t the 2nd offense 100 games? I know he’s never actually been caught, but since he admitted using PEDs previously, I think they’ll take that as strike 1, and the Biogenesis as strike 2.

      I hope he gets 0.

      • Darren

        I’m gonna go out on a limb and say that ARod will get the total number of games he deserves. It rhymes with hero.*

        *NOTE: AROD is probably guilty as a motherfucker, but all of the evidence is either circumstantial or plenty of doubt exists as to the veracity of it.

        • radnom

          The 10 other players who accepted suspensions without appeal based on the same evidence would disagree.

          • Laz

            But is you follow the rules then it kind of acknowledges that arod should be charged as 50 games if he guilty, not 211.

            • radnom

              Those rules only apply to failed tests. The CBA is ambiguous on penalties for non-failed test related suspensions (and it does explicitly allow them) Even Weiner admitted as much. Please stop repeating this misinformation.

              • Caballo Sin Nombre

                No, the 10 other players accepted 50 game suspensions. You can’t equate that to what ARod was offered, especially if it was “based on the same evidence”, per your statement.

          • Holy Ghost

            The players who accepted their suspensions don’t have the financial resources to wage a long legal fight with the MLB like A-Rod. Plus their reputations and careers are salvageable whereas A-Rod doesn’t have anymore bridges to burn.

            A-Rod may have used PEDs but the evidence that has been leaked so far is pretty weak. I don’t see how the suspension holds up if it’s mostly based on speculation…

            • radnom

              The players who accepted their suspensions don’t have the financial resources to wage a long legal fight with the MLB like A-Rod.

              You don’t a $250MM contract to appeal a suspension. Almost every player in baseball history who has been suspended has appealed.

              Have you read the New Yorker article? Bosh’s testimony is backed up by email and phone records. Evidence doesn’t get much better than that.

              • Holy Ghost

                “Have you read the New Yorker article? Bosh’s testimony is backed up by email and phone records. Evidence doesn’t get much better than that.”

                I read the New Yorker article and disagree. The information in the text messages is speculative and the fact that A-Rod never failed any drug tests around the time he was supposed to be treated with PEDs by Bosch throws cold water on the speculation. Bosch’s response on why A-Rod never failed a drug test is that he was “that good”. Please! He’s not even a real doctor.

                I wouldn’t put it past Bosch to have been giving A-Rod placebo treatments and not real PEDs. He seems like that type of guy. A conman.

                It certainly seems like A-Rod was not really talking about “Food” in his text messages with Bosch but it’s speculation to assume that they were discussing PEDs.

                The evidence the MLB has against A-Rod isn’t very strong which is why they want to talk to A-Rod’s cousin now…

                • radnom

                  Except Bosch has a reputation amongst many athletes for supplying PEDs in an effective way and only a small percentage of his clients actually got busted. Thats why so many pro athletes were getting treatment from a shady non-Doctor. There is no reasonable doubt Arod would be involved with this guy for any other reason.

                  The limb you’re out on is getting really thin.

                  • Holy Ghost

                    It doesn’t matter what Bosch’s reputation is. If all they have against A-Rod is suspicious text messages then the MLB doesn’t have a strong case. They basically suspended him based on suspicion not any actual proof that he used PEDs.

                    I personally don’t care if he comes back to the team next season. I just feel the MLB doesn’t have a strong enough case to justify the suspension.

      • Caballo Sin Nombre

        He admitted he failed a test that MLB was supposed to have kept confidential, but somehow got leaked. No, that doesn’t count as strike 1, as MLB already knew about that, and has previously agreed doesn’t count.

    • lightSABR

      50 games as a first-time offender, plus 50 games for recruiting other players to the clinic, plus 50 games for obstructing the investigation. Plus 12 games for making a circus of the hearings?

      Or rather, that’s the worst punishment I can see coming down. I don’t know how strong the evidence is on recruiting and obstruction, but if it’s more than 50 games, those accusations will likely be the justification for punishing him worse than a normal first-time offender.

      • RetroRob

        I’m confident that his suspension will be reduced, yet all that means is the arbitrator could suspend him for the entire 2014 season, which would be a 49-game reduction from the original ruling.

        A-Rod is guilty, but his crimes are minor compared to Bud Selig and MLB.

        • JB Early

          Agreed on Bud Sel-out & MLB. They will drag this out to hurt the NYY ability to sort out their roster as long as possible. Guilty or not, with the exception of a WS, Alex Rodriguez has been a drag on the team. And while I wouldn’t want anyone innocent to be accuse much less punished, I’m sick of this charade.

    • Ed

      CBA calls for 50 for first time offense for using, and 80-100 for distribution.

      Assuming they do have proof he was recruiting players or otherwise involved on the business end.

      Braun’s suspension sets the groundwork for at least 15 games for interfering or whatever you want to call it.

      So I see 130 as a minimum and 150 as likely. I wouldn’t be surprised if a little more got tacked on, but the full 211 seems high.

    • dalelama

      Hopefully 362.

    • Joe

      Arb gets fired if it’s 50 anyway

  • BC-203

    Oh please for the love get this over with already…. Forget “Free AROD” — free all of us from any more of this mind-numbing saga…

    • TWTR

      Did you read Sherman’s recent column?

      Because as one member of the organization said to me, “We either have to be under $189 million or up over $200 million or more. Think how dumb it would look if we worked for a few years to get under $189 million and we didn’t and we were at like $192 million and just missed. Either we go under or way over.”

      So if they are “stuck” with A-Rod’s contract (where are they going to find a better 3B at this point), they are far more likely to spend without a conscience.

      Free A-Rod. Free him now.

      • BC-203

        How about rooting that AROD gets the 211 and we get under 189… Apparently you think the Yanks are going to continue to pay 25-30-40-50 million in luxury/comp-balance taxes forever — eventually we are going to need to get under to reset the % amount… This year is our best shot as long as AROD actually gets suspended…

        • TWTR

          Without a minor league system churning out good, cost-controlled players? No way.

        • RetroRob

          Why would I root for Plan 189? The Yankees are making a ton of money thanks to the market they are in and the support of their fans. Their payroll should be over $300M now based on where it was a decade a go.

          I don’t want more money in the Steinbrenner’s pockets. I want them to spend.

          Free A-Rod because that will encourage them to spend by forcing them over Plan 189.

          • BC-203

            Whether you root for it or not, it is going to happen. The question is when — the tax structure is not sustainable long-term for an owner. Our team, with or without AROD, is honestly just above average at best this year so this would be the ideal year to just say screw it and hit the reset button. Continuing with the 200+ million this year, where no FA left (unless Tanaka is posted) really warrants any major contract, would just delay the inevitable for little added value to the team.

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

              False. That’s your take, but unless your last name is Steinbrenner OR you have first hand knowledge of the org’s books, you know nothing. Also, if a $250mm – $300mm payroll (all in, inclusive of penalties) results in WS/playoff teams more than not, my guess is that it pays for itself.

              • BC-203

                Nobody needs first hand knowledge of the ledger to comprehend any business owner would love an extra $50 million in their pockets. Perhaps George is still fresh in your mind, but Hal is much more a business man than a baseball owner.

                Sure, you can argue a WS win would more than make up for that extra payroll, but you can’t possibly think AROD and any of the remaining FA’s (aside from Tanaka) would makes us any more likely to win it this year. I mean seriously — perhaps you are infatuated with AROD or something, but do you really think he is going to bring any benefit to the Yanks in 2014?

                With nobody left worth picking up, one can only hope we can sign Tanaka, maybe Drew, lose AROD and get under the 189 all in one season. That makes the business side (Hal) happy and still gives us the best shot we have of winning this year.

            • Ed

              If anything, the evidence we have suggests they could go higher. Payroll has been fairly steady for about a decade now, despite revenues increasing drastically league wide.

              The new leaguewide TV contract kicks in soon as well, which is estimated to give all teams another $25m a year.

              The new CBA drastically limits what they can spend on amateur players, leaving more money to be spend on the major league payroll.

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

        Agree but it seems that at least a few of the moves we would’ve liked have already come off the board.

    • Betty Lizard

      Speak for yourself, BC.

      The saga’s the only thing interesting in baseball right now for some of us.

      • BC-203

        Quite certain you are in the minority if you actually find this saga interesting…

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

          Bzzzzzt. Thanks for playing.

  • J

    Why does it take so long for a decision. It could be written in a day or two. The delay is not fair to the Yankees.

    • Poconos Adam

      Because it is hardly about the “decision” — it’s about MLB making people wait — showing their “power”….and probably lining up every opinion they can find to make sure the case is ironclad, or presented in the best possible light….

      …stop thinking this is about facts! :)

    • http://RiverAve.Blues Joseph

      Look at the Supreme Court. There is some wisdom in thinking long and hard about how this should turn out.

  • OldYanksFan

    I say an 85 game suspension.

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

      I think 81.

  • New Haven Yank

    How about the entire season. Such much of this case has been kept quiet. The evidence must be overwhelming. Forget first or second offense. They have the compelling evidence that we don’t even know yet. All the other players accepted their punishment and moved on. Alex and his press agents and handlers and posse blew the media up with accusations. Doesn’t matter what anyone thinks about Selig. He is not the one who lured and procured for the clinic, despite knowing all too well that he would get caught. Selig’s character is not the issue. That perhaps will be discussed later. It is time now, however, to put Arod down for at least 162 games.

    • http://RiverAve.Blues Joseph

      Other players got just 50 games and are much younger than Alex. Huge difference. As far as compelling evidence, we don’t know, regardless of what you’d like to think. And Bud Selig was a bigger enabler of steroid use than ARod ever was.

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

        +10000000000000000000 on your last sentence.

  • Surftaco

    The 211 game suspension will be upheld and if Arod decides to go through with the court case it will open past positive tests that have yet to be revealed. Baseball will then use that as ammunition for the lifetime ban…total salary off the books, end of story!

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


  • Brian

    There’s no way arod gets suspended MLB has no proof on anything! If Alex admitted to it before, he would admit to it agian.

  • Holy Ghost

    The suspension will probably be overturned…

  • scooter10

    Innocent until proven guilty. That’s the law. Unless he has failed a drug test, I don’t see how he can be suspended. My prediction is 0 games, which will be a huge black eye for Selig.

  • Kiko Jones

    The Yankees need to forget about the $189m mark.

    For starters, as others have pointed out here, you only win on the cheap if your farm system kicks ass. The Yankees’ sadly does not. So, let’s get down to brass tacks, shall we?

    Right now, if you include A-Rod’s $27.5m for 2014, the Yankee payroll is at $209m. Let’s say he gets the full 211 or even 162-game suspension. The payroll comes down to $181.5m. “Hooray!” says Hal. Not so fast, bub. You think you can get another starter, reliever and infielder with that other $7.5m?

    It’s a pipe dream. At least, as far as 2014 is concerned. Yeah, that checkbook will remain open for a while, folks.

    • Mike

      We have a good farm system.

  • TWTR

    They need an arbitrator who has less on his plate.

  • EndlessJose

    The arbitrator knows the answer and it’s weird why he is taking so long.A-Rod if suspended will help this team but if he get a 50 game or less than the team will be hurt.

  • stuckey

    Again, there is a bunch of missing the forest for the trees here.

    The simple, straightforward question that should be answered is this one:

    Assuming like anyone involved in or observing MLB that Alex Rodriquez was aware of the climate surrounding Bud Selig and PED’s, and the scrutiny HE’d be under specifically considering he previously admitted to PED use but was never disciplined and that he’d possibly be approaching one of the games most hallowed all-time records, did he knowingly take, try to cover up his use, and possibly even recruit other players into the use of PEDs?

    One can argue over the minutia of this process and its fairness all day, but Arod HAD one avenue open to be CERTAIN he would not subject himself to the whims of Selig, MLB, an arbitrator and perhaps the US court system… and that option was to steer clear of PEDs entirely.

    Any reasonably thinking person has two options here – 1.) You can believe Rodriquez is completely innocent and his being framed; or 2.) you can believe he’s likely guilty of something and are HOPING he gets “acquitted” anyway, for whatever reasons you want to justify that to yourself.

    Regardless of what subjective interpretation you have of policies or the rules or your very incomplete knowledge of the evidence at hand, ONE fact remains – unless he’s being framed AROD is solely responsible for putting himself and the Yankees in the position of having Selig and/or a arbitrator make important decisions about their next 2 seasons for them.

    How that’s defensible is beyond me.

    • TWTR

      This is a gross oversimplification. There are the issues of proof and proportionality of punishment, which are probably what is occupying the time Freddy Horowitz can afford to give this case.

      • stuckey

        Sorry, anyone not willing to simply state ‘I think he’s innocent’ or ‘I think he’s guilty of something’ are hiding behind “proof and proportionality.”

        The former is a valid position. Is it yours?

        Unless one holds that ONE position, one has no cover. It’s entirely clear that for the many of the people who believe he IS guilty of something the DEGREE of Arod’s guilt and MLB’s ‘fair’ response has become the ENTIRE focus of the discourse.

        That he’s perhaps guilty of conduct he KNEW would subject himself and the Yankees to the whims of others seems to be an afterthought for some reason.

        Question: WHY is that an afterthought?

        Why is WHETHER he’s guilty LESS a focus than the ‘proper’ ramifications of his guilt?

        • TWTR

          You can choose to inhabit any moral universe you choose, but back here on Earth in the US of A, what process is due is a central principle of our jurisprudential tradition, which is reflected in virtually every CBA in existence.

          I don’t even think guilt is the right word to use to describe the allegations against A-Rod, whether or not they are true.

          I think the more accurate way to view it is that he may or may not be a rule breaker.

          As such, proof and proportionately are central to any finding of fact that gives rise to a sanction.

          • stuckey

            Again, forest… trees.

            So committed are you to not answering a simple question, you’re entirely overlooking my point.

            I have little interest in the choice of guilty or rulebreaker terms. But then neither are you.

            The point is “proof and proportionately” and due process are byproducts of the core issue – do you think he knowingly did something placing himself and his team at the whim of the subjective interpretation of OTHERS in regards to rules, policies and the bounds of authority?

            Simply answering this exceedingly straightforward question is NOT mutually exclusive to SUBSEQUENT questions of due process and proportionate discipline. But my POINT (again, missed) is that you and others are trying to make it mutually exclusive.

            There is absolutely NO reason you can’t simply state whether or not you think he ‘broke a rule’ in premeditated fashion.

            • Mr. Roth

              I don’t think people are overlooking your point. I think they are ignoring it because it doesn’t make any difference in the appeal process.

            • TWTR

              I don’t care what he did because the detection/public release of names/prosecution (as well as the accompanying baseball official, media, and fan disapprobation) of rule breakers has been so selective, and the process of such is being administered by co-conspirators of the PED Era, who lined their pockets with the fruits of the tree that they now deem to be poisonous.

              Here are Bud the Hypocrite’s comments to Ortiz after winning the World Series MVP:

              “His performance both on and off the field is something that we’re all very proud of,” said Major League Baseball commissioner Bud Selig.


              So my answer is: I don’t know and I don’t care.

              • stuckey

                So Alex Rodriquez has not broken the rules and placed the NYY ability to compete in jeopardy because OTHERS have broken the rules too?

                The internal logic of that sort of reasoning is familiar to me. My 7 year-old uses it all the time. Apparently in her mind she didn’t do anything wrong if her friends did it too and they weren’t caught.

                Similarly she refuses to answer simple questions she doesn’t like the answer to.

                Its always remarkable off ALL the teams in ALL of sports how Yankees fans embrace victimhood so eagerly.

                Painting EVERY player that has performed well over the last 20 years as likely bending or breaking the rules (but not being caught) is also a cop-out. I bring that up because I can cite dozens of players who contributed significantly to the Yankees winning culture who we don’t require us justifying away their conduct like we do Arods.

                Bud Selig or no Bud Selig, I’m not sure why I can’t compare those players and ask why Alex Rodriquez couldn’t conduct himself like Bernie Williams did.

                Some of you folks are choosing very strange and questionable battles.

        • Mr. Roth

          I think he’s innocent of offenses that would warrant a 211 game suspension.

          Is that an acceptable stance for you, Mr. Self Righteous?

          • stuckey

            IF he’s guilty of offenses that warrant a 50 game suspension (or 25 for that matter), is that not Alex Rodriquez compromising the NY Yankees ability to put the best team on the field for 32% of the 2014 season?

            That’s neither a moral stance or self-righteous. Its a statement of fact.

            I suspect the majority of you believe that Alex Rodriquez KNOWINGLY put himself in a position to compromise the NYY Yankees for NO LESS than a 3rd of a season.

            Which is why making him the victim here (“free Arod) is so questionable.

            • Mr. Roth

              Of course it hinders the Yankees ability to put the best team on the field. Most people aren’t arguing that point, dude. I’m saying his punishment is excessive, considering the punishments of others in similar situations (Ryan Braun, for example).

              So according to your logic, consider this analogy.
              A man (let’s call him Alex), who provides income for his family, joins a crime ring that steals cars. The crime ring get busted, and all the members, except Alex, are sentenced to 5 years in jail. Alex gets the death penalty.

              Are you saying you would argue that Alex deserves it, because if he wanted to help his family he never would have joined the crime ring?
              Nevermind the fact that his punishment is obviously excessive. No one should rally around this guy, who will be killed for his crime, while other similar offenders will simply do 5 years?

              Yeah, of course the example is a little extreme. But I’m sure you see my point.

              • stuckey

                I understand the point you’re trying to make, but in context, I’m mostly responding to people who don’t want to see him suspended at all (“free Arod”)

                In YOUR analogy, people are arguing that because the others guys got 5 years, and perhaps because some of the methods used to indict the crime ring were dubious, this man shouldn’t serve ANY sentence at all despite his guilt and that little attention is being paid to the fact this man in did fact commit crimes.

                I’d also remind everyone what WE know about the
                ‘fairness’ of suspension in comparison to others in largely speculative. I’m pretty certain MLB is arguing Arod did ADDITIONAL things to warrant the additional suspension.

                Are you suggesting all evidence is public enough for all of us to determine whether that’s the case or not?

                I’m also saying at worst Arod’s punishment will still leave him the opportunity to earn $35-40, which he will collect from the NYY, despite removing himself from competitive baseball for the majority of 2 seasons.

                This is not even mentioning he may well be the cause of this own health issues the last several years and likely however many games he’s eligible to play moving forward.

                Yes, I think I can make the distinction between punitive sentences of death or imprisonment with salary and I think I can fairly choose not to sympathize.

  • David Brown

    It is simple: Innocent or Not Guilty based on Preponderance of The Evidence Zero Games. Guilty: Some level of Suspension. I do think it is entirely possible that Horowitz wants to have a verdict that if appealed by Rodriguez to a Court will stick, so he is taking his time, and coupled with the fact that Selig and MLB do not exactly have their hands clean, it will not be the entire Season (let alone 211 Games). I also think it will not be the other extreme alternative (ZERO Games), that would set a dangerous precedent when dealing with PED Cases. I will say > = 50 Games but < 81 Games.

  • bobby D

    I am so sick of waiting for this ruling! Then you know his lawyers will take it to Federal Court and we won’t get an answer on that for another month. This has to really hurt the Yanks ability to figure out their budget for 2014. Enough already give us the answer tomorrow. Horowitz has had ample time to go over this a million times!! Prediction: 75 games.

    • TWTR

      If A-Rod is suspended and then decides go to federal court for injunctive relief, that issue (the one that impacts the Yankees’ spending plans) would likely be decided relatively quickly. The underlying issues will take much longer to resolve, assuming a settlement isn’t reached.

      • David Brown

        The reality of the matter is that if Rodriguez gets less than half the Season, the odds will decrease that he actually sues. Keep in mind, Courts do not like getting involved in Arbitration Processes that were Collectively Bargained, and that is something his Attorneys must know. The only exceptions are Bias or a Violation of some element of Law.
        The only fair compromise solution is that Rodriguez get paid his entire Contract by the Yankees, less any Suspension Dollars, but in return, he drops all Lawsuits, retires from Baseball, and the Yankees do not have to take a “Cap Hit” on his Contract.

      • RetroRob

        I am not a lawyer, nor do I play one on the Internet, but I have difficulty seeing the courts stepping in when there is an arbitration process in place. Both sides agreed to the process, so it’s rare for actions to occur and/or overturn an arbitration ruling.

        Yet A-Rod’s camp knows this. They know there is little chance the entire suspension will be removed. They know they have little chance in getting a court to overturn the ruling.

        Yet they have a plan. That’s the more interesting part. These are not rookies. They have a roadmap. Challenge the antitrust exemption? Any basis for that?

  • RetroRob

    If it comes next week the timing could be interesting with the HOF vote also supposed to be announced next week. Pretty sure MLB doesn’t want to mix the two of them together, yet I doubt they have any control over it!