Saturday, January 11, 2014

Alex Rodriguez suspension decision released - 162 games ( full regular season ) and post season ban for the upcoming season set by Independent Arbitrator Frederic Horowitz ..... 60 Minutes will interview Anthony Bosch ( formerly of Biogenesis ) and MLB COO Rob Manfred - discussion of the case against A- Rod...... meanwhile A- Rod plans to head to Federal Court to seek an injunction !








New York Post covers 60 Minutes interview.....



Bosch says A-Rod took PEDs in dugout, threatened his life

The gum was loaded.
Biogenesis founder Anthony Bosch says he provided Alex Rodriguez with “gummies” — lozenges laced with testosterone — that were taken orally before or during games and undetectable by drug tests in the clubhouse afterward.
In a “60 Minutes” interview that aired Sunday night, Bosch said he received $12,000 a month in cash from the Yankees third baseman to provide him with banned performance-enhancing drugs. But when the relationship soured — amid an investigation of Biogenesis — Bosch said he received a death threat. Rob Manfred, the chief operating officer for MLB, said that threat came from a Rodriguez associate.
Bosch indicated he obtained an assortment of banned PEDs for Rodriguez beginning in 2010, including insulin-like growth factor 1, human growth hormone, peptides and the testosterone-filled gummies.
“[Gummies] are so small you could literally while sitting in the dugout take it, put it in your mouth and people could think it’s sunflower seeds or … a piece of candy or a piece of gum, for that matter,” Bosch told interviewer Scott Pelley.
“Now, all of a sudden, his levels of testosterone are higher. It gives him … more energy. It gives him more strength. It gives him more focus. And in combination with the growth hormone, that combination would make playing the game of baseball a lot easier.”
As for the death threat, Bosch said he was asked by an associate of Rodriguez’s to move to Colombia, where he would be paid at least $20,000 monthly, until the Biogenesis investigation blew over. When Bosch refused to move, he says his ex-girlfriend received a text message in Spanish threatening Bosch’s life.
“I don’t know what Mr. Rodriguez knew,” Manfred said. “I know that the individual involved has been an associate of Mr. Rodriguez for some time.”
Bosch said he’s certain Rodriguez knew about the request he move to Colombia.
“Nothing happens without Alex’s approval,” Bosch said. “I used to be in that inner circle. And nothing happens without him approving.”
Rodriguez on Saturday had most of his 211-game suspension upheld by independent arbitrator Fredric Horowitz, but will now fight his 162-game ban in federal court. Rodriguez’s lawyer Joe Tacopina said a court filing will come on Monday, as Team A-Rod seeks an injunction that would at least temporarily restore the player’s eligibility.
Bosch also said he gave Rodriguez specific instructions on how to provide a urine sample to MLB drug testers.
“You want to start the test and then introduce the urine cup into the stream,” Bosch told Pelley. “And what you want to capture is the middle of the stream, not the beginning or not the end of the stream. That was extremely important because most of the metabolites are either in the beginning of the stream or at the end of the stream.”
Beating the drug tests was “almost a cakewalk,” according to Bosch.
Bosch said he sometimes injected Rodriguez with performance-enhancing drugs because the Yankees third baseman was afraid of needles. Bosch added that Rodriguez became well-versed in the performance enhancing drugs he received.
“Alex cared. Alex wanted to know,” Bosch said. “He would study the product. He would study the substances. He would study the dosages because he wanted to achieve all his human performance or in this case, sports performance objectives. And the most important one was the 800 home run club.”
MLB investigators found evidence of hundreds of text messages between Rodriguez and Bosch. “60 Minutes” said it had 500 of the texts, but none included names of drugs.
The MLB Players’ Association issued a statement Sunday night, blasting Bosch’s “60 Minutes” appearance. Commissioner Bud Selig and Manfred also appeared in the segment.
“It is unfortunate that Major League Baseball apparently lacks faith in the integrity and finality of the arbitrator’s decision and our Joint Drug Agreement, such that it could not resist the temptation to publicly pile-on against Alex Rodriguez,” the statement read. “It is equally troubling … Tony Bosch, MLB’s principal witness, is appearing on the program with MLB’s blessing.”
According to the statement, the MLBPA will consider filing a grievance over the matter.
In a statement, MLB fired back.
“It is ironic that the MLBPA is complaining about MLB’s participation in this program given that Mr. Rodriguez’s lawyer is also participating in the show,” the statement said.
“As to Mr. Bosch’s appearance, he is not controlled by us and is entitled to speak however he chooses about his interactions with Mr. Rodriguez.”









A- Rod determined to burn through more of his money by running to Federal Court - where else  have we seen someone so dedicated to burning money ?












It's not about the money It's about sending a message

It's not about the money  It's about sending a message - It's not about the money  It's about sending a message  burning joker



MLBPA considering legal options against MLB for the Alex Rodriguez suspension 60 Minutes show

Patrick McDermott
Get your popcorn ready.
The "60 Minutes" show in which MLB executive Rob Manfred, arbitrator Fredric Horowitz, and principal witness Tony Bosch appear to discuss Alex Rodriguez's recent 162-game suspension is set to air tonight, and the MLB Players Association is not happy about it. They released a statement regarding the episode and their anger is obvious:
It is unfortunate that Major League Baseball apparently lacks faith in the integrity and finality of the arbitrator’s decision and our Joint Drug Agreement, such that it could not resist the temptation to publicly pile-on against Alex Rodriguez. It is equally troubling that the MLB-appointed Panel Arbitrator will himself be appearing in the "60 Minutes" segment, and that Tony Bosch, MLB’s principal witness, is appearing on the program with MLB’s blessing.

MLB’s post-decision rush to the media is inconsistent with our collectively-bargained arbitration process, in general, as well as the confidentiality and credibility of the Joint Drug Agreement, in particular. After learning of tonight’s "60 Minutes" segment, Players have expressed anger over, among other things, MLB’s inability to let the result of yesterday’s decision speak for itself. As a result, the Players Association is considering all legal options available to remedy any breaches committed by MLB.

Throughout this process the Players Association has repeatedly shown it is committed to an effective drug program that is strong and fair. And as we indicated in our statement yesterday, although we do not agree with the arbitrator’s decision, we respect the process and will act accordingly. We believe the other involved parties should do the same.
It's pretty crazy that MLB could not even wait a weekend to further make a spectacle of the whole ordeal, and MLBPA leader Tony Clark and his colleagues have every right to be upset about it. Sure, players probably don't like A-Rod all that much, but if MLB is apparently allowed to do a character assassination of A-Rod, it gives them free reign to do it against any player. The MLBPA recognizes the dangers of such precedence, and even though they accepted A-Rod's 162-game suspension without much noise, watching MLB do a victory lap on national TV and attempt to act as the game's white knights despite their own sketchy legal methods throughout the whole process is too much to handle.
With A-Rod threatening to take his case to federal court, such a public display can only add merit to his case, no matter how unlikely it is that the suspension will be changed. Between that case and MLBPA potentially seeking legal action (which could have ripple effects on the next Collective Bargaining Agreement in 2016), this story is far from over.

Quick Update

According to Joel Sherman, MLB responded to the MLBPA:
We have notified the Major League Baseball Players Association on numerous occasions that we intended to respond to all of the attacks on the integrity of our Joint Drug Program. Those attacks continued yet again yesterday with Mr. Rodriguez's statement. Out of respect to the grievance process and at the request of the MLBPA, we waited until a decision was rendered to make our response.

It is ironic that the MLBPA is complaining about MLB's participation in this program given that Mr. Rodriguez's lawyer is also participating in the show.
>As to Mr. Bosch's appearance, he is not controlled by us and is entitled to speak however he chooses about his interactions with Mr. Rodriguez.
Of course, columnist Andrew Marchand was quick to note that A-Rod's side only agreedto appear on the segment when it was clear that there would be any representation in his favor otherwise. So much for that counterargument, MLB. Yay, pissing contests! They also noted that they did not control Bosch's appearance on the show. Thoughts, Craig Calcaterra?
"Look, we paid his legal bills, expenses, gave him security and "bought" "documents" from him, but we have NO control over him at all."






NY Post.....

http://nypost.com/2014/01/11/a-couple-of-wins-but-one-big-loss/

( Is there such a thing as a pyrrhic loss ? If yes , A- Rod has sustained one ! )


A couple of wins, but one big 

loss for A-Rod

Alex Rodriguez’s camp has vowed to press on in its legal fight, to get to federal court to go after Bud Selig, the Yankees, Yankees doctors, perhaps the union and maybe others.
But in the immediate aftermath of Fredric Horowitz’s ruling that A-Rod will be suspended for 162 games, it is hard to see him as anything but a colossal loser in this. Of money, which he has spent oodles of to try to save his name and game. And also very possibly of his career.
Without a court upset that overturns a legitimate arbitrator’s decision, Rodriguez is not going to be eligible to play before 2015. At that point, he will be 39, turning 40 in July. He will have played little in 2013-14. He still will have two hip surgeries in his recent past. And, perhaps most vitally, he will have this stain and this ugly fight as part of his record.
Will the Yankees really take him back at that point? Or will they consider it addition by subtraction to just let him go and see if they can counter-sue to get as much of the $61 million they owe Rodriguez from 2015-17 as possible? And would any other team dare touch him, even for the minimum salary? Maybe there is a club desperate enough for the carnival, hungry to sell tickets.
But that is what A-Rod would be reduced to in the near future — a sideshow as much as a baseball player. Once viewed as among the greatest players ever, Rodriguez could find that his actions with illegal performance enhancers might have spruced his numbers and burnished his bank account. Ultimately, though, it led to his ouster from the sport he does indeed love. Led to him becoming a punchline and punching bag, a sad cautionary tale.
It could very well be that Sept. 25, 2013, vs. the Rays was Rodriguez’s last game.
The winners also are obvious: Bud Selig and the Yankees.
The commissioner’s office went after Rodriguez with fervor. There certainly is place to wonder if they went over an acceptable line in how they pursued this case, particularly in paying for some information and teaming up with Biognenesis Ground Zero, Anthony Bosch. The leaders of the sport are going to have to examine if this is the best way to govern.
But ultimately their questionable tactics led to unquestioned results as far as punishing the Biogenesis gang, 14 in all.
And they got their big fish — Rodriguez, a player they felt was not only a user of illegal performance enhancers, but a serial user who acted as if the rules did not apply to him, who acted as if he could lie and mislead with impunity, who seemed to be playing catch-me-if-you-can.
This should send a powerful message that central baseball can prosecute and succeed without a failed test, and they will risk all the potential embarrassments and questions of their actions to do so.
As for the Yankees, they get out of a great deal of Rodriguez’s contract for the 2014 season. Because the penalty was for 162 games, not 183 days (what is considered a full season), the Yankees still will be charged
$3,155,737.70 toward their luxury-tax payroll. But that means they got out of $24,344,262.30 of the $27.5 million that is the annual charge for A-Rod for luxury-tax purposes.
It means they still have some chance to get under the $189 million threshold, particularly if they are unable to sign Masahiro Tanaka. But it also now means if they go over the threshold, the penalty will be far less and they have A-Rod’s 2014 salary back to do with what they want.
Of course, even with this chapter closed, the book is not finished. Rodriguez’s spokesman has said A-Rod is planning to come to spring training, though there remains uncertainty over whether the Yanks must let him in and — if they do — whether they have to allow him to be a full participant.
At this point, however, it reveals the worst thoughts about A-Rod — that he cannot tolerate the idea of irrelevance. That he does not mind distracting all those teammates he claims he loves to satisfy his own agenda. After all — without long-shot success in court — it is not as if he would be preparing for the 2014 season.
The world learned Saturday that the season is lost to Rodriguez. And so, perhaps, is any future baseball career. He has instead been reduced to the big loser in his own circus. Not long ago, he was in the discussion for greatest player ever. Now it is the greatest, what? Cautionary tale? Joke? Waster of talent and money? For this ruling means A-Rod loses far more than just a year of baseball.

http://yankees.lhblogs.com/




Plenty to say in the wake of latest A-Rod news

It seems we never run out of things to write and say about Alex Rodriguez. Even though we’ve long suspected that some sort of suspension like this was coming, the news of a 162-game ban — plus the playoffs — still sparked plenty of any number of story angles ranging from the practical (what to do at third base) to the theoretical (has A-Rod played his final game) to the hypothetical (what the Rodriguez legacy might have been) to the judgmental (was this a good day or a bad day for baseball). For tomorrow’s paper, I wrote a column about my sense that Rodriguez is clinging to the Steroid Era, almost as if he should get away with this stuff because players in the past got away with it. In this case, unprecedented punishment might be a good thing.
But obviously I’m not the only one writing about the Rodriguez situation. Here are a few links to stories you might have missed.
Alex Rodriguez• The New York Times has a goodquestion and answer about the process that led to Rodriguez’s season-long ban.Speaking of the Times, two of the best in the business were up to their usual standards in writing about Rodriguez today. Tyler Kepner looked atRodriguez’s enduring status as a player who generates attention for right and wrong reasons, and Dave Waldstein explored the ways the Yankees might react to A-Rod salary relief.
• Speaking of Yankees reactions: Wally Matthews wonders if it’s time for the Yankees to simply release Rodriguez and pay his full salary to make him go away. It’s a question far more complicated than simply saying the Steinbrenner family should bite the bullet and get rid of him. That part is much easier said than done.
• ESPN’s legal analyst, Lester Munson, says Rodriguez has little chance of having his suspension overturned in federal court. Munson wrote: “Federal courts are reluctant to review and to second-guess arbitration awards. The rationale for arbitration is that it is a fast and accurate method for resolving disputes and avoids the delays and the expense of conventional litigation.”
• Jon Morosi says that baseball was able to defeat Rodriguez, but it was a “hollow victory at the end of a lousy week for the sport.”
• Mike Vaccaro watched an airport full of people basically mocking Rodriguez as the suspension news scrolled across their televisions, and Vaccaro felt sadness about the whole thing. “People are entitled to cheer this if they want, they can feel good about a posse getting its man, about the humbling of an arrogant star. That’s fine. But some are also entitled to feel lousy about how this turned out, to be saddened what we saw all those years wasn’t what we thought we were seeing, and baseball forever seems to be played in the shadow of the ancillary.”
• And, by the way, if Rodriguez wants to keep playing next year, he has an offer from the Long Island Ducks.


http://yankees.lhblogs.com/2014/01/11/random-thoughts-day-clarity-without-closure/


Random thoughts on a day of clarity without closure

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Misc on Jan 11, 2014 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post
Alex Rodriguez• While working on a column for tomorrow’s paper, I keep coming back to the idea of lessons learned. Baseball’s outside observers — whether fans or media — have become cynical. We’ve stopped blindly trusting what we’ve seen on the field, and we ask more questions now. Baseball’s front office has become aggressive, trying to make up for its lack of action two decades ago. There’s an acknowledgment that the league must do more, and it’s doing that. The Players Association seems happy to let that happen, recognizing that its own integrity is being put to the test, and the players themselves seem to have — for the most part — cleaned up the game. Steroids are no longer a laughing matter met with a wink and a nudge. Then there’s Alex Rodriguez, who seems to have learned nothing. It’s become nearly impossible to believe he’s innocent, yet he can’t believe that world isn’t willing to let him off the hook.
• I have absolutely no idea whether a judge would be willing to step in and block this suspension. It seems as if this process has gone through all of the proper and agreed-upon channels, and I’ve been told the legal standard for blocking the arbitrator’s decision should be incredibly high, but I’ve also been told that it’s impossible for even a legal expert to give a strong and reliable opinion without reading through the contract, the CBA, the details of the decision, etc. In other words, it’s hard if not impossible to get a firm and particularly valuable opinion right away. What we know for sure is that Rodriguez is going to try to go that route. Is it grasping at straws? Seems that way, but after the past 12 months, anything seems possible.
• A source in Rodriguez’s camp has confirmed that he’s planning to be with the Yankees in spring training. It seems unclear whether the league or the team can block him, but the fact Rodriguez wants to go at all says plenty about his handling of the situation. I completely understand wanting to be there — I firmly believe Rodriguez loves baseball and wants nothing more than to keep playing — but he also talks all the time about wanting what’s best for his “brothers” in the clubhouse, and his arrival in spring training most certainly would not be what’s best for the team. Unless a federal judge overturns the suspension, I honestly can’t come up with a reason for Rodriguez to show up that’s not entirely selfish.
• Is there any chance Rodriguez is innocent? I guess, but it’s incredibly difficult to believe it. His name was found in the same documents that other players have acknowledged as being accurate records of PED purchases. I’m sure Rodriguez is right and Anthony Bosch is a sleazeball, but that’s pretty unavoidable in the world of illegal drug trafficking. The fact other players issued similar denials, but ultimately admitted guilt, significantly hurts Rodriguez’s case. As does the fact he’s lied about this exactly same issue in the past. Every time MLB Network airs part of that Katie Couric interview, it feels all too familiar.
Alex Rodriguez• The most interesting part of Rodriguez’s statement: “This injustice is MLB’s first step toward abolishing guaranteed contracts in the 2016 bargaining round, instituting lifetime bans for single violations of drug policy, and further insulating its corrupt investigative program from any variety defense by accused players, or any variety of objective review.” That’s pretty clearly an attempted rallying cry, meant to generate support form his fellow players, but I can’t imagine it will work. In fact, if contracts become non-guaranteed based on steroid use, I think some players would be all for it. The MLBPA is the most powerful players union in sports, but some of that power could go away if it starts spending too much time defending PED users.
• For their $189 million goal, the Yankees got exactly the Rodriguez suspension they needed, but that’s probably not going to be enough. Getting beneath that luxury tax threshold was going to require a series of dominoes falling in exactly the right way. When the posting system was changed, one of those dominoes went off line. You could argue that the Derek Jeter setbacks caused another badly falling domino, creating the need to spend even more money on infield depth. Bottom line, even with Rodriguez off the books, the goal of $189 million seems like a long shot if the Yankees want to build a team that can confidently contend.
• What to do at third base? I still think the Yankees will go after some sort of right-handed platoon player — Michael Young or Mark Reynolds make the most sense — to pair with Kelly Johnson. I also wonder if the Yankees might be able to trade Ichiro Suzuki and go with only four true outfielders on the roster (Gardner, Ellsbury, Soriano and Beltran) while treating Johnson an infielder/outfielder and carrying yet another infielder to further mix and match at second and third. Might be nice to make a move for an everyday player at one of those positions, but unless Stephen Drew is willing to do it, I just don’t see that sort of answer being available. Pitching is a far more pressing need at the moment.
• If Jeter is willing to play third base — opening the door for Drew to sign as an everyday shortstop — I’m totally on board. I thought that should have happened last year, and I certainly believe it makes sense this year. But the Yankees say that’s not in the cards.





















http://www.pinstripealley.com/yankees-news/2014/1/11/5299642/alex-rodriguez-suspended-steroids-evidence-anthony-bosch-60-minutes/in/5062745







Alex Rodriguez suspension: MLB's evidence to be presented on 60 Minutes Sunday night


Patrick McDermott
Biogenesis clinic owner Anthony Bosch and MLB COO Rob Manfred will appear during primetime to hash out details of the case against A-Rod.
The world will get a look at the details of MLB's case against Alex Rodriguezthat led to his 162-game suspension Sunday night on 60 Minutes. Biogenesis "doctor" Anthony Bosch will appear with MLB's chief operating officer Rob Manfred to shine light on the details that led to the suspension, including witness testimony and uncovered text messages.
According to CBS's press release about the broadcast, Bosch's claims against Rodriguez include the following:
-He personally delivered banned substances, including testosterone, insulin-like growth factor 1 and human growth hormone to Rodriguez at least a dozen times and Rodriguez paid him $12,000 a month in cash.
-He personally injected Rodriguez because "Alex is scared of needles, so at times, he would ask me to inject."
-Rodriguez's mission was to hit 800 home runs and that the Yankee slugger asked him for what he gave MLB superstar Manny Ramirez, a former Bosch client
-Text messages obtained by 60 Minutes between him and Rodriguez indicate that at times they communicated daily about the substances the slugger took on his "protocol"
-Says Rodriguez associates intimidated him to try to prevent him from cooperating with MLB in its investigation of the Yankee third baseman.
The counter to that, of course, is that Bosch was on the verge of being sued by MLB himself before he came to an agreement in which he received money and protection in exchange for his testimony. For a guy in a bad situation, it's not impossible to believe that he might have fudged the truth a bit to save himself. Unfortunately for Rodriguez, other players involved have admitted that there was at least some truth to Bosch's claims, validating the sketchy clinic owner enough to assume that what he says is still able to hold at least some water.
Rodriguez was given an opportunity to be interviewed by 60 Minutes, as well, but did not respond to the offer.
It's unlikely that information too far beyond what is already known about the case will come out in the segment tomorrow night, but the fact that MLB is already taking it to television is somewhat surprising. Rodriguez's team of lawyers intends to file for an injunction against arbitrator Fredric Horowitz's decision of a 162-game suspension on Monday, likely indicating that this long process is still in the early stages. The chances of having federal court overrule Horowitz's decision are not in Rodriguez's favor, but A-Rod was already suing MLB anyway. The long legal battle between these two sides is far from over.


http://www.pinstripealley.com/2014/1/11/5298482/alex-rodriguez-suspension-162-games-yankees/in/5062745







Alex Rodriguez suspended for 162 games



Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

We've been waiting for a long time to hear what is going to happen to Alex Rodriguez, and today is the day. A decision has finally been made by independent arbitrator Frederic Horowitz and the verdict is guilty. As punishment, Alex Rodriguez will receive a 162-game ban to keep him out for the entire 2014 season. It's a small victory for Team A-Rod, knocking the suspension down from 211 games, though that was unlikely to be enforced. This is a major victory in Bud Selig and Major League Baseball's fight against steroids and A-Rod.
As it stands now, the Yankees are set to save $27 million in taxable dollars against the 2014 budget. According to Joe Sherman, they will only have to pay $3,155,737.70, since the suspension is for a full season, not a full year. A-Rod will not be able to collect his $6 million on home run bonus money either, so it's looking very likely that the Yankees end up getting under the $189 million budget after all.
According to Jon Heyman, the suspension is 162 games, plus the playoffs, so A-Rod would not be able to play at all in 2014. Right now, A-Rod would still be eligible for the playoffs, if the Yankees can make it this year, but, even with a verdict, we haven't heard the last of this legal battle. Rodriguez has long been expected to to challenge a guilty verdict in Federal court, where his team of lawyers would file an injunction against his suspension in order to allow him to play in spring training and the regular season.
Rodriguez has issued a statement about the verdict and how he plans to continue to fight it:
"The number of games sadly comes as no surprise, as the deck has been stacked against me from day one. This is one man's decision, that was not put before a fair and impartial jury, does not involve me having failed a single drug test, is at odds with the facts and is inconsistent with the terms of the Joint Drug Agreement and the Basic Agreement, and relies on testimony and documents that would never have been allowed in any court in the United States because they are false and wholly unreliable. This injustice is MLB's first step toward abolishing guaranteed contracts in the 2016 bargaining round, instituting lifetime bans for single violations of drug policy, and further insulating its corrupt investigative program from any variety defense by accused players, or any variety of objective review.
I have been clear that I did not use performance enhancing substances as alleged in the notice of discipline, or violate the Basic Agreement or the Joint Drug Agreement in any manner, and in order to prove it I will take this fight to federal court. I am confident that when a Federal Judge reviews the entirety of the record, the hearsay testimony of a criminal whose own records demonstrate that he dealt drugs to minors, and the lack of credible evidence put forth by MLB, that the judge will find that the panel blatantly disregarded the law and facts, and will overturn the suspension. No player should have to go through what I have been dealing with, and I am exhausting all options to ensure not only that I get justice, but that 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 being used to unjustly punish me.
I will continue to work hard to get back on the field and help the Yankees achieve the ultimate goal of winning another championship. I want to sincerely thank my family, all of my friends, and of course the fans and many of my fellow MLB players for the incredible support I received throughout this entire ordeal."
Here is the MLBPA's statement on the matter:
The MLBPA strongly disagrees with the award issued today in the grievance of Alex Rodriguez, even despite the Arbitration Panel's decision to reduce the duration of Mr. Rodriguez's unprecedented 211-game suspension. We recognize that a final and binding decision has been reached, however, and we respect the collectively-bargained arbitration process which led to the decision. In accordance with the confidentiality provisions of the JDA, the Association will make no further comment regarding the decision.
Translation: That sucks for you, A-Rod, but you're on your own from here.
So we might have a verdict, but this story is long from over.



http://www.pinstripealley.com/yankees-news/2014/1/11/5298844/alex-rodriguez-suspension-file-suit-injunction/in/5062745








Alex Rodriguez suspension: Joe Tacopina plans to file suit



Mike Ehrmann

A-Rod's legal battle continues!
We have been waiting since November, since the appeal hearing ended, to hear a decision about the suspension of Alex Rodriguez for his part in the Biogenesis fiasco. Now the verdict is in and A-Rod has been suspended for 162 games and the entire 2014 MLB playoffs. That's an entire year of baseball. Team A-Rod was able to knock off 49 games from the original 211-game ban, but Major League Baseball was still the victor.
It's been long thought that A-Rod would challenge any suspension over 100 games by filing an injunction in Federal Court in hopes of reversing any kind of ruling. Upon the announcement of the suspension, A-Rod confirmed as such and he plans to fight independent arbitrator Frederic Horowtiz's final decision. His lawyer, Joe Tacopina,will file a suit on his client's behalf on Monday and the long A-Rod legal battle will begin anew.
It's believed that any Judge would be reluctant to go against a collectively bargained agreement, but Rodriguez could potentially make a case that there is no precedence for 162 games. Horowitz clearly bought MLB's attempt to establish a long history of steroid use, however, given the reduced sentence, he likely didn't buy the allegations that the former MVP impeded the investigation into Biogenesis. Still, if 162 games is just a made up number, maybe there is a case to be made in court.

Any continuing legal battle will essentially become A-Rod vs. MLB, as the MLBPA issued a statement on the heals of the official announcement saying they disagree with the suspension, but respect the final decision. In other words, they're done standing up for their player, so now it's entirely up to him to continue his fight for the right to play.

The reasons for Horowitz's rulings won't be made public knowledge, unless the case goes to court, and then everything would be opened up for everyone to see. We would know why Rodriguez was suspended and what information he based his decision off of. By continuing his fight, A-Rod risks outing some potentially damning evidence against him, so prepare for anything that could possible come out of something like this.

Right now the Yankees will only be charged $3.2 million against the $189 million budget, instead of the full $27 million, since Rodriguez has been banned for 162 games, not a full year. Still, not having to pay the $25 million salary he was owed in 2014, along with the $6 million home run bonus, is a big deal for the Yankees and hopefully they can use it elsewhere, like in signing Masahiro Tanaka.