Aug 6, 2013; Chicago, IL, USA; New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez (13) hits a single against the Chicago White Sox during the eighth inning at U.S. Cellular Field. The White Sox defeat the Yankees 3-2. Mandatory Credit: Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports
Rodriguez’s camp appealed the record 211-game suspension, and arbitrator Frederic Horowitz isn’t expected to rule on the appeal until November or December. That means Alex Rodriguez will play the rest of this season. If the Yankees were to make the playoffs (a scenario that’s looking unlikely here on August 7), Rodriguez would be able to suit up for that as well.
The other 12 players, suspended for 50 games for their first violation, accepted their punishment, and will sit out the rest of the regular season. A-Rod, supposedly the most egregious violator of the league’s drug policy, will be allowed to play the rest of the season.
Did his camp have the right to appeal the suspension? Yes. A 211-game suspension is unprecedented, and comes across as arbitrary. MLB will have to demonstrate how they came up with the number of games. According to their existing policy, a first time offender will be suspended for 50 games, a two-time offender will be suspended for 100 games, and a three-time loser will be banned for life. Technically, A-Rod has never failed a single drug test.
In 2009, he admitted to using PEDs during the “loosey goosey” days of the early aughts when he was in the steroid-infested clubhouse of the Texas Rangers. This time, he was linked to the Biogenesis anti-aging clinic by a report in a Miami newspaper, and the testimony of Tony Bosch, the owner of Biogenesis. So, it will be interesting to see if MLB can make the suspension of A-Rod stick.
In the meantime, Rodriguez is allowed to continue playing, while the rest of the players serve out their suspensions. It doesn’t seem fair.
Of course, if A-Rod’s appeal fails, it might only serve to push the suspension back. In that case, the Yankees third basemen might miss all of next year, and the beginning of 2015.