A-Rod is going nowhere.
Sure, barring some kind of surprise reversal from his threatened federal lawsuit, Alex Rodriguez won’t be on the field this season. On Saturday, arbitrator Frederic Horowitz reduced MLB’s 211-game suspension of Rodriguez for his performance-enhancing drug use to 162 games and the 2014 post-season – as if the Yankees, if they made the playoffs, would be itching to welcome A-Rod to the clubhouse. It’s still the longest penalty ever handed down to a baseball drug cheat, and a win for Major League Baseball, which didn’t want him playing this season. (Rodriguez has denied using performance-enhancing drugs connected to the Biogensis clinic, which supplied them to other major leaguers, including disgraced former National League MVP Ryan Braun).
But Rodriguez hasn’t hired all those pricey lawyers to sit on the sideline. “I am exhausting all options to ensure not only that I get justice, but that the players’ contracts and rights are protected through the next round of bargaining and that the MLB investigation and arbitration process cannot be used against others in the future the way it is currently used to unjustly punish me.”
A federal suit would unseal Horowitz’s explanation for his ruling; if the public gets a good look at all the damning evidence, A-Rod’s reputation may take a further hit, if that’s even possible. Expect the requisite media blitz, in which the third baseman continues to rail against his arch-nemesis, MLB commish Bud Selig. A-Rod might shout all season: what media outlet wouldn’t give him the platform to make his tired case? A-Rod feels Selig has singled him out for rogue prosecution, to secure his legacy as “the man who fought the good steroid fight.”
There’s some truth to A-Rod’s “why me?” protestations. All these egos are juiced. But the blame-game doesn’t matter for baseball fans. Rodriguez will pester the 2014 baseball season, like a fly buzzing above the barbecue. Do your best to ignore him.