Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Alex Rodriguez: Will He Lead the League in Suspensions?

By Doug Miller

New York Yankees Third Base Alex Rodriguez was suspended through the 2014 season and All-Stars Nelson Cruz, Jhonny Peralta and Everth Cabrera were banned 50 games apiece. On Monday, the Major League Baseball organization disciplined 13 players over drug tests, the most players punished since the Black Sox scandal nearly a century ago.

The hardest penalty was reserved for Rodriguez, a three-time most valuable players and baseball’s highest-paid player. His suspension covers 211 games. Rodriguez has until Thursday to appeal his case. If he does, he will remain eligible to play until a decision by the arbitrator. Rodriguez admitted four years ago that he used performance-enhancing drugs while with the Texan Rangers from 2001 to 2003 but has repeatedly denied using then since. He was suspended under both the drug agreement and labor contract.

Major League Baseball said that the penalty for his drug use was performances-enhancing substances, including testosterone and human growth hormone over the course of multiple years. His penalty under the labor contract was “for attempting to cover up his violations of the program by engaging in a course of conduct intended to obstructed and frustrate the office of the commissioner’s investigation.” The other 12 players have already agreed to their 50-games penalty.

The suspensions are thought to be the most at once for off-the-field conduct since 1921, when Commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis banned eight Chicago White Sox players for life for throwing the 1919 World Series against Cincinnati. They had been suspended by the team the previous year and were penalized by baseball even though they had been acquitted of criminal charges.

Alex Rodriguez was the lone holdout. Baseball’s drug agreement says the appeal hearing shall start no later than 20 days after the filing of the grievance, and the arbitrator’s decision will be 25 days after the hearing starts. However, the schedule can be altered by agreement of management and the union.

Should Rodriguez take the deal or appeal his case to the Major League Baseball Board and the court? If he had taken the deal, would he be only suspended for 50 games rather than 211 games? If not, did the MLB make a good decision by suspended Rodriguez for 211 games?

After Alex Rodriguez gets his suspension, what are the Yankees going to do with him? Are the Yankees going to release him or keep him on the team? Another question for the Yankees is are they going to pay him while he is not playing? If the owners of the Yankees do not pay him, he, could sue the team for not paying him. The Yankees hope that they can work a deal with Rodriguez about the money.

Doug Miller is a junior at St. Thomas Aquinas College and I am on the STAC Track Team. My major is Communications Arts. When I am not at school or at track practice, I am hanging out with friends and play three other sports: basketball, baseball, and soccer.

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