BREAKING: Arbitrator reduces Alex Rodriguez suspension
Despite New York Yankees 3B Alex Rodriguez’s claims that Major League Baseball “had nothing” and that his legal team “crushed it,” case arbitrator Fredric Horowitz ruled that the league and Bud Selig were within their rights to suspend Alex Rodriguez, but reduced that suspension to 162 games. The suspension is a result of the Biogenesis Clinic case investigation found that he had received Performance Enhancing Drugs (PEDs) along with 11 other players. The suspension was longer than others (50 games) because of significantly more evidence in Rodriguez case. Bob Nightengale of USA Today tweeted just after the news broke:
Arod gets 162 games
— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) January 11, 2014
Arbitrator Fredric Horowitz has ruled that Alex Rodriguez will be suspended for the entire 2014 regular season as well as 2014 postseason.
— MLB (@MLB) January 11, 2014
Because of the reduced suspension, the Rodriguez camp may not seek an injunction and/or pursuit in Federal Court to further delay the implementation of the verdict (i.e. let him keep playing). There had also been a chance that Rodriguez would seek a reduced penalty for not further delaying the verdict, however I don’t think he could get much lower than 162 and I don’t see that as very enticing for MLB, they were looking for more. According to ESPN, Rodriguez appears to want to keep fighting:
Alex Rodriguez says he’ll continue to fight suspension in a statement. “No player should have to go through what I have been dealing with.”
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) January 11, 2014
Either way, it appears Rodriguez is running out of legal maneuvers, and will likely be suspended for the 2014 season (including playoffs), with eligibility just before his 40th birthday on Opening Day in 2015. Rodriguez continues his assault on the MLB home run record book sitting at 654 career, but with only 41 HR hit after his 35th birthday, he seems to be running out of juice (pun intended).
This decision frees up some cash (about $27M for 2014) for the New York Yankees to further pursue Japanese free agent Masahiro Tanaka, who is meeting with half the teams in baseball to sign and play this next 2014 season.
– David Whitlock