A-Rod Gets Punished

August 8, 2013
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If a baseball player fails a drug test, he gets suspended for fifty games. That’s about half the season. A second offense is a little more harsh, with the penalties ranging from a hundred games (about a whole season) and a lifetime ban. There are exceptions to this rule, as there are exceptions to any other rule. Sometimes, the exceptions are subjective, like when a player appeals for his suspension, meaning that he can try to prove that his test was false and the suspension will be lifted.

Brewers’ outfielder Ryan Braun tested positive for PEDs in 2009 but successfully appealed and wasn’t charged. In 2013, he yet again failed a drug test, but since it was his first offense, was charged with sixty five games. Former San Francisco Giant, Melky Cabrera was suspended in 2012 for fifty games, as was Oakland A’s pitcher Bartolo Colon. All three of these players tried to obstruct their penalty and initially didn’t cooperate with the MLB. They all lied, they all admitted to taking drugs long after the damage was done. Yet, now Braun is gone, Cabrera is in the Toronto Blue Jays starting lineup, and Colon is playing just as well as he did last year when he was on steroids.

Alex Rodriguez has long been one of the more hated players in the sport. After a fantastic 2009, the Yankees signed him to a monster deal through 2017. He had hip surgery in 2012 and has yet to play in pinstripes. He may never step foot on the field as a Yankee ever again. But why? Although he admitted to using drugs in 2009 for the 2002 season, he served no penalty. He underperformed majorly in the 2012 playoffs and was benched for a few games. Now, to make matters worse, A-Rod has been caught using PEDs from a Miami clinic. As a first time offender, logically his ban should be fifty games, maybe a little bit more since he’s been using for a while and has lied to just about everybody.

Doesn’t that make him like Braun? Both lied, both got caught, both have no credibility in the game anymore. But Braun accepted a sixty five game suspension, with no questions. A-Rod is going to fight commissioner Bud Selig till the end, which is why a lifetime ban may be likely. A-Rod is being charged with obstruction of the truth, using PEDs, and angering Selig. The last one is not a punishable crime, obviously, but one to avoid nonetheless.

A-Rod has never been on the top of a Yankees fan’s list for favorite player. He’s always been the guy that no one wants, but he’s still here because the Yanks owe him over $100 million. He’s got four years left on his contract, but for every fifty games he’s suspended, the Yankees save a modest $7 million. Of course, any fan would want him off the field because the Yankees don’t need another slumping player. But then the Yankees would be paying him to sit and do nothing, much like they are now.

A-Rod will appeal whatever ban he gets. He doesn’t want to be suspended at all because he loses money and he loses more of his reputation. If A-Rod can somehow find a less public path and just talk, tell his side of the story with no interruptions, then the world can justly decide his punishment. But now, one of the more prominent figures in PED history is about to be charged with an unfair lifetime ban. Selig has gone too far, but there’s no easy way out for him. Multiple sources have already confirmed the A-Rod ban through the 2014 season so if Selig goes back on his word, he loses his reputation as commissioner. But if he suspends A-Rod for a longer period of time even though A-Rod was accused of the same crimes, Selig will lose his reputation. There’s no easy way out of the drama. Every day there is a new twist, a new turn.

Monday could very well be the D-Day of baseball. The face of PEDs is changing. If A-Rod unjustly gets banned from baseball without pay, the Players Union will step in to help him fight that ban. It’s unlikely that Selig will allow A-Rod to play while he’s appealing. Monday, A-Rod is going to Chicago. And there the circus will follow him, led by the biggest clown of all, Bud Selig.

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