Alex Rodriguez's appeal finally has a resolution, and it's not one the slugger was hoping for, as he was suspended for the entirety of the 2014 Major League Baseball season. As you might expect, Twitter was absolutely ablaze with reactions upon hearing the verdict.
First, the news, via
New York Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez will be suspended for the entire 2014 season, as an independent arbitrator upheld the majority of a 211-game suspension Major League Baseball assessed him in August.
The Saturday ruling by Fredric Horowitz will cost Rodriguez $25 million in salary, and cast considerable doubt over the All-Star's career. Rodriguez will turn 40 during the 2015 season.
Not surprisingly, Rodriguez was less than pleased with the verdict. Here's a portion of the statement he released, via Nightengale:
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.
In the immortal words of one of the Internet's favorite memes: You mad, bro?
He also noted in the statement that he would take the case to federal court. There is risk in doing so, however, as Joel Sherman of the New York Post notes:
Told if A-Rod seeks to vacate in fed court then Horowitz's decision becomes public. And since it is 162gms, that is probably not (cont)— Joel Sherman (@Joelsherman1) January 11, 2014
going to be a positive document from Rodriguez. So remember that if A-Rod continues case there is risk for him too #Yankees— Joel Sherman (@Joelsherman1) January 11, 2014
And as T.J. Quinn of ESPN tweets, it's certainly no guarantee that A-Rod will get this case to federal court in the first place:
For ARod to get this to court he has to show that arb process fatally flawed, he didn't get due process & possibly union failed its duty.— T.J. Quinn (@TJQuinnESPN) January 11, 2014
A-Rod's legal troubles may not just be initiated by his own defense, as Buster Olney of ESPN notes:
It'll be interesting to see whether the NYY mount their own legal counterattack if they believe A-Rod violated terms of his deal beyond PEDs— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) January 11, 2014
For what it's worth, not everyone completely disagrees with Rodriguez's stance. ESPN's Bomani Jones, for one, agrees with A-Rod on some fronts.
and, while i think he was on the juicy juice, i think rodriguez is right about a lot in this. fight em, alex. FIGHT!— Bomani Jones (@bomani_jones) January 11, 2014
Craig Calcaterra of Hardball Talk agrees with Jones:
For as bad a chance I think A-Rod has, I don't endorse the 162-game suspension. I think it's arbitrary and contrary to the JDA/CBA.— Craig Calcaterra (@craigcalcaterra) January 11, 2014
On the other hand, as Jon Morosi of Fox Sports notes, many of A-Rod's complaints don't necessarily represent the opinions of the MLBPA:
Important: Fear of the elimination of guaranteed contracts is coming from Alex Rodriguez, not the MLBPA.— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) January 11, 2014
That being said, the MLBPA did not agree with the ruling, as Tim Brown of Yahoo! Sports passes along:
Union: "The MLBPA strongly disagrees with the award issued today in the grievance of Alex Rodriguez."— Tim Brown (@TBrownYahoo) January 11, 2014
While this saga seems far from over, it seems unlikely Rodriguez will play for the New York Yankees again. This suspension will ultimately be held up, more than likely.
He is still under contract for the 2015, 2016 and 2017 seasons, however, so the real question is this: Will we ever see Rodriguez suit up for an MLB team again? Or will he choose to retire after this lost season?