Mark Cuban Defends A-Rod, Thinks MLB Is 'Bud Selig's Mafia'

Joe Giglio@@JoeGiglioSportsContributor IAugust 9, 2013


In one word, followed by a lengthy explanation to Jay Leno on The Tonight Show, Mark Cuban summed up his thoughts on Alex Rodriguez's 211-game suspension.

Citing policy and due process, Cuban went on to explain that, while Rodriguez probably does deserve punishment for breaking the joint drug agreement, 211 games seems "personal" and over the top.

Furthermore, dating back to his failed attempts to purchase both the Chicago Cubs and Texas Rangers, Cuban described Major League Baseball as "Bud Selig's Mafia."

Defending Alex Rodriguez isn't a popular avenue to travel down right now, but Cuban has never been afraid to speak his mind, especially when taking on the leaders of professional sports in this country.

While his remarks about Selig's Mafia conspiring to keep him out of Major League Baseball's ownership circle may have come off as petty and personal, it's hard to argue with Cuban's comments on A-Rod. Until baseball fans are shown exactly what evidence Major League Baseball has on Rodriguez to justify a 211-game ban, the A-Rod suspension comes across as personal. In other words, the sport seems to be using Rodriguez as an example.

Public outcry, aside from due process defenders like Hardball Talk's Craig Calcaterra and the New York Post's Ken Davidoff, is clearly against Alex Rodriguez. He's never been a fan favorite, even in New York, despite two Most Valuable Player awards and a World Series championship in pinstripes.

Unlike Barry Bonds, Rodriguez isn't liked in his home park. Thus, few fans are screening the process Major League Baseball used to nail Rodriguez with a suspension.

On Monday, A-Rod took the podium in a New York Yankees uniform for the first time since last October. Instead of an admission of guilt or vehement denial of use, he spoke of due process and brushed away inquiries about his alleged performance-enhancing drug usage.

Of all the Cuban quotes to Leno, the most prescient and truthful was the unfairness surrounding Rodriguez's fame and high-salary standing in the game impacting his suspension in comparison to other offenders.

"How much money a player makes should have nothing to do with the way you treat them," Cuban said.

It's true, but in this case, the truth doesn't always take precedent.

From the start of the Biogenesis fiasco, the investigation and search by Major League Baseball into what happened with Tony Bosch and the anti-aging clinic in Miami has been a case study in how Bud Selig's priorities have changed over the years.

In the mid-1990s, baseball, led by Selig, turned a blind eye toward what was happening to the game. Now, with Selig's tenure coming to a close and his legacy a constant talking point, an ideological shift has taken place within MLB's headquarters.

Steroid use will not be tolerated, even if the collectively bargained rules are compromised.

You can call Cuban spiteful in light of baseball's attempts to keep him out of the ownership circle, but in this case, the Dallas Mavericks owner may be 100 percent correct.

Selig is handing down PED punishment with an iron fist. If an arbitrator upholds the 211-game ban for Rodriguez, the power of the commissioner's office will continue to grow.

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