Alex Rodriguez and MLB are waging a war of words leading into the arbitration case that determines whether A-Rod’s 211-game suspension stands.
MLB COO Rob Manfred was unsparing, to say the least:
"This latest, sad chapter in Mr. Rodriguez's tarnished career is yet another example of this player trying to avoid taking responsibility for his poor choices… Mr. Rodriguez's use of PEDs was longer and more pervasive than any other player, and when this process is complete, the facts will prove that it is Mr. Rodriguez and his representatives who have engaged in ongoing, gross misconduct."
But A-Rod should be suspended 50 games. No more.
Under MLB’s drug policy, A-Rod is a first-time offender. He has never been suspended before. Rodriguez tested positive during MLB’s survey testing in 2003, but that was not subject to penalty, nor can it be used to designate A-Rod as more than a first-time offender moving forward. 2003 = freebie.
A-Rod’s link with Florida’s Biogenesis clinic is undeniable. He has not flunked a drug test since MLB’s PED policy began its penalty phase, but discipline may be levied for a non-analytic positive. Guilt can be determined by evidence and documentation.
A-Rod is guilty, but only for the first time. Any attempt by MLB to extend his suspension beyond 50 games is arbitrary and capricious.
The old and crusty purists might be chapped because PEDs have destroyed the grand old game.
But if you’re concerned about right and wrong, be concerned at every level. Identify this sham for what it is: An attempt by MLB to aid the New York Yankees by bum-rushing A-Rod out of baseball, thus saving the Yankees $86 million in salary plus the potential for $30 million in home-run milestone bonuses.
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