After a winter of bickering between Alex Rodriguez and MLB over whether or not the former star would have to serve a 211-game suspension levied by Bud Selig, it appears this story has finally come to a conclusion with Rodriguez as the loser. The arbitrator who served over the third baseman’s appeal has reduced his suspension from 211 to 162 games and in turn effectively ended one of the most tumultuous careers in baseball history.
While Rodriguez will surely attempt to bring this case to a federal court in a last gasp effort to continue upon a 19-season career, it will surely be a futile effort. There is simply no precedent in baseball history to indicate that a judge would truly want to mess with a case as divisive as this or surely we would have heard about Pete Rose going to court a long time ago. This suspension will be a year long, and any appeals will only be delaying the inevitable.
There is no doubting that even after a season away from baseball Rodriguez will attempt to come back and pick up the $64 million owed to him from 2015-2017. But if anyone truly thinks that the New York Yankees are going to do anything other than release him once the suspension is over, I would encourage you to think again. After all, Rodriguez has sued the Yankees’ team doctor, repeatedly lied to people within the organization that viewed him as a friend and generally tarnished baseball like no player ever has before or will again. Nobody in baseball wants anything to do with the guy anymore, and no amount of money will change that moving forward.
So when Rodriguez wakes up next February as a 39-year-old who has played 44 games since the 2012 season — and none in 2013 — he will have only one thing to cling to in his career statistics. Because while steroids may have ruined any chance of a Hall of Fame induction, an invite to any baseball related event ever again or a place on Hal Steinbrenner‘s Christmas card list, you can’t take away 2,939 hits, 654 home runs, 1,969 RBI, three AL MVP Awards and a 2009 World Series ring.
Thankfully for the game of baseball these numbers will easily be forgotten, although it is a shame they cannot be outright erased from the history books. Rodriguez will now go down in the history books as a player in the mold of Barry Bonds, Sammy Sosa, Mark McGwire and Roger Clemens, and he will forever be labelled as a cheater, a liar and a sore on baseball history.