You know you did something really wrong when you receive a one-year suspension and it’s actually a reduced sentence. That’s the situtation for Alex Rodriguez who on Saturday learned that he will be suspended 162 games for using performance enhancing drugs, down from the 211-game suspension he was originally facing.
Rodriguez had been hoping for more of a reduction, like all the way down to zero. So he’s naturally not satisfied with the ruling. A statement has already been released by the Yankee third baseman:
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.
So the federal courts will get their turn now. I’m assuming those proceedings will take longer than the length of the suspension, so I doubt we’ll be seeing A-Rod in 2014 regardless. This could be it for A-Rod, who is battling time as much as he is Bud Selig.
Needless to say, getting into the Hall of Fame one day will be an uphill climb for A-Rod, the guy who was once hailed as the potential true untainted home run king. But at least he has his awesome art collection.