I hope Alex Rodriguez gets what he deserves. That sounds like a loaded statement against A-Rod, but it is not. If someone is guilty of a crime I want him to get the sentence the crime calls for. If he is innocent, I want him to go free. If he is guilty of a lesser crime, than the person should be punished accordingly and in line with what others who have committed the same offense and who have the same history or record.
There are a lot of people out there who do not like Rodriguez. I’m a Yankee fan who never wanted him to be on the team. When A-Rod opted out of his contract I was praying for the Yankees to sign a Boston Red Sox free agent, Mike Lowell, so third base could be filled and they could move on from A-Rod. But alas, they didn’t, and then they signed A-Rod to an absurd extension.
However, not liking someone is not an excuse for not sorting through the facts to reach a fair conclusion, or for abusing power. It’s not for the state to unilaterally do that to its citizens, nor for Major League Baseball (or management) to do it to players (or workers).
A recent example is NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell overreaching in the bounty-gate scandal. Yes, we need to make football safer for players, and yes bounties are wrong and a rule violation, but in his zeal to make the game safer, Goodell went too far with his punishment and New Orleans Saints players won on appeal.
With performance enhancing drugs, we have an issue where there is seemingly even more agreement that it has to go. And because Goodell overreached, that doesn’t mean MLB commissioner Bud Selig is currently about to do the same.
The reason I don’t want a deal is because I want the full truth to come out. When deals get made, the truth often gets lost or filed away with clauses that bind both parties from talking. Evidence gets locked away. I still want to know what is on those spy-gate tapes that Roger Goodell destroyed in the New England Patriot scandal.
If A-Rod is guilty of the things being reported:
- Using steroids for three seasons.
- Obstructing investigations.
- Leading other players to use steroids.
Further, that the evidence collected against A-Rod far exceeds what they have collected on others, than the ban being talked about, 214 games, sounds fair to me. And if A-Rod thinks he has received negative press before, wait until all of this supposed evidence comes out. It will be unrelenting. Again if the allegations are true, he will deserve much of the scorn he will receive.
However, if MLB is bluffing and or doesn’t have the evidence, like what happened with Goodell and bounty-gate, than regardless of your feelings for A-Rod, he should be punished accordingly and closer to what the other players are receiving, in the 50 game range.
Further, while he still may be guilty of PED use, if the evidence is not there to punish him to the extent being rumored, there will be some small measure of vindication for A-Rod. And another reminder to the guilty until proven innocent crowd that judgment should be delayed until the all the facts are in.
Personally, I am rooting for MLB to have the evidence that has been suggested they have. Ever since 2000 when A-Rod talked smack about Derek Jeter, A-Rod has been on my sh*t list. He hasn’t earned his way off since.
As a Yankee fan, it would be good for the team, to be rid of him and get the salary relief they would receive from such a suspension. That is $34 million plus whatever they save in luxury tax money that could be applied elsewhere. Also, if true I want A-Rod to be exposed for the fraud that he is. I want all of the evidence to be known.
However, if he is just another steroid user, than he deserves to be evaluated, judged and punished in that context.
One way or the other, as a result of Biogenesis scandal, I think baseball will increase PED penalties for all. Which is a good thing. And I applaud the MLB Union and MLBPA director Michael Weiner for their cooperation on this issue. Rather than the usual close ranks and protect the guilt at all costs because that is what is we do. By taking the big picture view, the Union is helping to protect its players long-term and protect the integrity of the game.