The saga continues.
According to Newsday’s Jim Baumbach, Alex Rodriguez has voluntarily dismissed his lawsuit against MLB, the Commissioner’s Office and the Players Association.
Well, this is interesting. Docket in A-Rod lawsuit against MLB/MLBPA says plaintiffs have voluntarily dismissed the case.
— Jim Baumbach (@jimbaumbach) February 7, 2014
Rodriguez appears to be accepting his season-long suspension. Thus, the New York Yankees are officially off the hook for the $25 million they owed him in 2014 (though they’ve already paid him about $3 million this year, and still owe him $61 million from 2015-17).
As for on-the-field ramifications, A-Rod will definitely be absent at Spring Training despite his previous claims that he would show up and take part in normal baseball activities. Thankfully, Spring Training will be focused on evaluating younger players trying to make the Big League club rather than Rodriguez’s sideshow (pity, I just submitted my application to be a bouncer at Steinbrenner Stadium).
If Rodriguez has any hope of re-gaining the respect of his teammates and fans, dropping this lawsuit is definitely a step in the right direction, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves and start calling Rodriguez a good person.
To refresh everyone’s memories: Rodriguez used PEDs, attempted to purchase the evidence so MLB couldn’t get it, appealed his suspension for links to Biogenesis (the only player to do so), lost his appeal and sued his own union in a desperate attempt to have the suspension overturned – all while vehemently denying he ever did anything wrong.
By dropping the lawsuit, Rodriguez is owning up to his actions and accepting the punishment, but it’s long overdue. By contrast, Melky Cabrera and Jhonny Peralta immediately accepted their PED suspensions. Cabrera even requested he not be considered for any awards and was left off his team’s postseason roster in 2012.
Both received new contracts the year following their suspensions and have the opportunity to win back their fans’ loyalty on the field. Had Rodriguez followed their example he definitely would have been suspended, but not for 211 games (like Ryan Braun, he got extra for hindering MLB’s investigation).
Dropping the lawsuit was the right thing to do, but it wasn’t selfless by any stretch of the imagination and Rodriguez is not a good person for doing so. He’s got a long way to go.