Reports surfaced today that Alex Rodriguez and his legal team are already turning the wheels on a backup plan in the event that his suspension is upheld by independent arbitrator Fredric Horowitz. Horowitz’s decision on the 211-game suspension handed down by MLB last August is expected any day now.
According to the New York Daily News, sources say that A-Rod would likely accept a suspension of 65 games or less, putting him on par with what Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun was given.
If the suspension is anything above 65 games, however, it looks like A-Rod’s team might attempt to have a judge issue an injunction that would allow him to remain active on the New York Yankees’ roster until the matter is resolved.
The problem A-Rod will face is that he, as a member of the MLB Players Association, has agreed to the terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement. These terms stipulate that disputes over suspensions related to performance-enhancing drugs are to be handled by an independent arbitrator and out of the courts.
By asking for an injunction, A-Rod’s team would be attempting to involve the courts. In order to do this, his lawyers would need to argue that the arbitration process was unfair, biased or that Horowitz took too much creative liberty with his ruling.
For someone who has consistently stated that all he cares about is helping the team win, Rodriguez sure has a funny way of showing it. Undoubtedly, his enormous ego truly does believe that he is the best option to play third base full-time for the Yankees in 2014. But the fact of the matter is A-Rod is an aging, injury-plagued, declining player who has consistently failed to perform in postseason play.
That, combined with the enormous distractions that he’s brought to the team off the field, solidly convinces me that A-Rod is not the best option at third base this year, or in any future year for that matter.
Even if he was able to convince a judge to issue the injunction, the legal fees alone could cost him a big chunk of what he would regain by being allowed to play for a portion of the 2014 season. Why won’t he just let this go?
At first, the simple answer seemed to be money, but if legal fees are going to drain him of anything he might have gained, that doesn’t make sense. It could be about his legacy, but he must know by now that his reputation has been tarnished forever no matter what he does at this point. It can’t possibly be about helping the Yankees win baseball games; he’s suing the team for crying out loud. It really is all about ego and pride. It’s about gaining a small victory amidst the onslaught of defeats.
I’m not unsympathetic to A-Rod’s entire situation. More than likely, MLB did unjustly attempt to eliminate him from the game and used questionable tactics to do so. But A-Rod is not innocent either. Sometimes a situation becomes so messy and wrought with filth from both sides that you just want to toss the entire thing in the trash and go on with your life. This is one of those times.