The suspension we all knew was coming and have waited for was finally handed down by Major League Baseball, and with that also comes one of the most historic falls of a professional athlete we’ve ever seen before.
Alex Rodriguez, third basemen of the New York Yankees, has been suspended until the 2015 season — 211 games to be exact, for his involvement in the Biogenesis PED scandal. This tainted image of Rodriguez has come full circle and to many fans he is now the biggest liar in the history of the game.
Baseball is making a statement with this suspension and if it hasn’t completely removed itself from the steroid era, it has so with this decision. Twelve other players were suspended along with Rodriguez but none come close to what Rodriguez got. In fact, the player who was suspended the most games other than Rodriguez, Ryan Braun of the Milwaukee Brewers, was suspended for only 65 games.
So why was Rodriguez suspended for this length? Because not only is he guilty of more wrongdoing than any other player suspended, but what got him in even more hot water was his attempt to obstruct the investigation process such as trying to tamper with evidence. That’s what earned him a stiffer sentence than the rest and he must now deal with the consequences.
However, in typical A-Rod fashion, he choose to avert the situation. When asked point blank in a news conference if he used performance-enhancing drugs, he declined to answer the question, saying he would answer at another time. This stance, more than anything else declares his guilt.
What he attempted to do was make himself look like the victim in the situation, saying that the past seven months for him have been a “nightmare” and that he is “fighting for his life.”
The public has grown tired of his denials and cat-and-mouse games. Rodriguez even accused MLB and the Yankees of trying to keep him from playing, a claim the Yankees have flat-out denied. The player who once was suppose to be the greatest player ever to play and become baseball’s “clean” home run king, may now never play again if the suspension holds.
If the ruling is upheld, he will be 39 years old and going on 40 when his suspension ends and he has already suffered from more than one hip and knee surgery, not to mention that his offensive production has dipped in recent years. That scenario seems very likely to end his career, if not at least mark the beginning of the end for him.
Rodriguez might be motivated to come back for the remaining money the Yankees will owe him. In 2007, he signed the richest contract in MLB history when he agreed to a 10-year, 275 million dollar deal. A-Rod can lose anywhere from 30.6 to 32.7 million dollars if suspended, yet he will still be owed about 100 million dollars and have four and a half years[[wouldn’t it be 2 years if he’s suspended until 2015?]] left on his deal when his punishment ends.
Still, Rodriguez is appealing the ruling and is allowed to play while waiting for a decision, which will not come until November or December at the earliest. The player’s union has already expressed that they will defend Rodriguez and has accused commissioner Bud Selig as “not acting [appropriately]”. So, even when MLB tries to push him out, they still can’t push him out completely.
With the door closed on the steroid issue, for now at least, fans can now appreciate the rest of the season. Division races are tight heading into the final month and a half of the season and players like Miguel Cabrera of the Tigers and Clayton Kershaw of the Dodgers are having stellar seasons.
There’s nothing positive about these suspensions but they go a long way in helping clean up the game. Fans must accept it for what it is and move on while Rodriguez accepts his place on the pantheon of cheaters alongside Barry Bonds, Lance Armstrong and Marion Jones.
This article is an online exclusive and did not appear in the print edition of The Daily Nexus.
Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.org.