Are you sick and tired of hearing and reading about Alex Rodriguez, yet? Major League Baseball PED situation is only going to get worse before it gets any better. The newest situation between ARod and the New York Yankees is just the tip of the iceberg of how ugly this will all get. According to Rodriguez’s attorneys, the Yankees purposely misled ARod about his injuries in order for him to consider retirement way before his contract expires. The benefit for the Yankees is that they wouldn’t need to pay the remaining $86 million in salary and a potentially another $30 million total in incentives connected to his home run milestones.
So where are we going with this, you ask. This situation between ARod and the Yankees, and the PED scandal within the MLB, isn’t going away anytime soon. For as much as people dislike ARod, he is entitled to a fair trial, but it’s difficult to root for a player who has openly admitted using PEDs and then is connected to PEDs usage again.
As much as non-Yankees fans love to hate the Yanks, they have to feel somewhat bad for the other 24 players on the team. It’s almost as if a player sides with ARod, they are shoving it in the team’s face. On the other side of the coin, if they side with the team, they risk alienating a teammate they need, like it or not.
There’s something to be said that ARod is being made an example of by MLB Commissioner Bud Selig and his cohorts. Isn’t it weird that ARod gets a 211-game suspension, while everybody else named in the report gets suspended for the rest of the current season? Sure, the other players just accepted their punishment and were done with it. However, Rodriguez had every right to fight his suspension just on the grounds of being unfairly sentenced compared to the others.
A year-and-a-half suspension seems arbitrary when anything above 100 games in the current collective bargaining agreement is a ban from baseball. Selig is hell bent on getting Rodriguez out of the game for good, even if it means going through the backdoor to hit him without a positive test. That doesn’t pass the smell test, even if the Yankees wish it were so.
Team president, Randy Levine fought back against the allegations that the club hid MRI results, by calling out ARod’s legal team:
“It is pretty sad that any lawyer would make such ridiculous statements … If they continue, all parties will be held accountable.”
Gloves are officially off for both sides and it will be an old fashioned beat down over the next few months and that couldn’t be worse news for MLB, and ultimately its fans. It’s the fans who lose out in all of this, as they are the ones who pay player’s salaries (with major help for television contracts). The only real way of getting rid of PED usage in the MLB is to hit players with a sizable fine.
The problem with the system now is that there really isn’t any disincentive for using PEDs. Players can make a ton of money fast, get caught, and leave baseball a multi-millionaire.
Selig’s legacy is dangerously becoming one mired with PED usage and not one remembered for bringing Interleague play and four Wild Card spots to the game. Selig is in the twilight of his commissioner years, and unfortunately for him, people tend to remember how you finish, not how you start. This ARod saga will be remembered for a long time, and Selig will be every bit a part of it.