Look if Alex Rodriguez is guilty of all that is alleged against him that I cover in my previous blog, here, than I am all for the 211 game suspension and if possible, him never donning New York Yankee pinstripes again. Further, if the latest allegation, reported by 60 Minutes, is true and he actually ratted out other players for the purpose of diverting attention from himself, including his own teammate, Francisco Cervelli, and Ryan Braun, than that elevates A-Rod to a new level of sleaze.
However, the key word repeated in the paragraph above is, IF. Like or disliking, and or wanting something to be true doesn’t make it true. And it doesn’t eradicate someone’s right under due process or the MLB collective bargaining agreement.
Now some players on the Boston Red Sox, outfielder Jonny Gomes and pitcher John Lackey, and Tampa Bay Rays Evan Longoria and team owner Stuart Sternberg are saying A-Rod shouldn’t get to play while he is appealing his suspension.
I’m guessing that Gomes, Lackey and Longoria have either been or played with other players who have been suspended and also appealed them. Did they have a problem with that then? Other players have been suspended for PED use and appealed it, where were the cries of not allowing them to play during an appeal?
We don’t get to make special rules for players with a more marquis name or whom we may not like. This is not how the system works.
Maybe in addition to A-Rod, it is also a case of Yankee hating. When the talk was of suspension, we heard how unfair it was, from Baltimore Oriole manager Buck Showalter, that the Yankees may benefit from saving the money they would have to pay him. Now that A-Rod is playing we hear it is unfair that pitchers should have to face him.
Sorry, but you can’t make rules for individual players or teams. Or change rules after the fact depending on who is involved. However, these situations can inspire change.
If players and owners want to change the system and make stiffer penalties for PED use, I’ll vote for that. If they want to take away a players right to appeal a suspension, that one I am not so sure of.
I’ll tell you what, if you’re going to take away a players right to appeal, do it for pitchers who are suspended for beaning a hitter and potentially ruining his season or far worse.
A beaning is a case where the evidence is far more immediate and evident. For events such as beaning, or brawls, I’m open to taking away the right of appeal. But in situations where we need to see and or hear evidence to support allegations, not so much.
Despite the tough talk on A-Rod, I’m guessing Gomes, Lackey and Longoria wouldn’t be so quick to give up their right to appeal, nor do I see the union voting to make that change.
Right now with A-Rod we have strong allegations and leaks of rumored evidence, that if true and provable, I want him gone as much as anyone. However, for now he deserves to play as much as any head hunting pitcher who has ever appealed his suspension.