Saturday, January 11, 2014

BREAKING: A-Rod Suspension Announced

After months of hearings and deliberations, arbitrator Fredric Horowitz has announced a 162 game suspension for Alex Rodriguez, which will exclude A-Rod from playing at all in the 2014 season. The suspension is reduced from the original 211 game ban that A-Rod faced during the 2013 season that originally had him miss the remainder of 2013 and all of 2014. He sought an injunction and played in late August and September of 2013, ultimately ending in the Yankees not making the postseason for the first time since 2008. He will also be ineligible for the postseason if the Yankees go that far with their reloaded roster. The MLB Player's Association has announced that although they disagree with the penalty, the MLB PA respects the decision, which will not fare well for Rodriguez, who is planning to take the decision to federal court. The details of the decision by Horowitz will not made public, but if A-Rod indeed brings the matter to federal court, the details will almost definitely be made public.

The Yankees front office have to be doing cartwheels right now in their offices. They benefit from the suspension by saving $27.5 million for the 2014 season, which makes it easier to go hard after Japanese pitcher Tanaka who will demand a hefty contract. The Yankees have stuff competition from the Los Angeles Dodgers who are said to be going hard after Tanaka. Sources say that Brian Cashman is consumed with Tanaka and is putting everything else to the side right now, including starters who have approached the Yankees for discussions.

A-Rod's statement:
“The number of games sadly comes as no surprise, as the deck has been stacked against me from day one. This is one man’s decision, that was not put before a fair and impartial jury, does not involve me having failed a single drug test, is at odds with the facts and is inconsistent with the terms of the Joint Drug Agreement and the Basic Agreement, and relies on testimony and documents that would never have been allowed in any court in the United States because they are false and wholly unreliable. This injustice is MLB’s first step toward abolishing guaranteed contracts in the 2016 bargaining round, instituting lifetime bans for single violations of drug policy, and further insulating its corrupt investigative program from any variety defense by accused players, or any variety of objective review. 

I have been clear that I did not use performance enhancing substances as alleged in the notice of discipline, or violate the Basic Agreement or the Joint Drug Agreement in any manner, and in order to prove it I will take this fight to federal court. I am confident that when a Federal Judge reviews the entirety of the record, the hearsay testimony of a criminal whose own records demonstrate that he dealt drugs to minors, and the lack of credible evidence put forth by MLB, that the judge will find that the panel blatantly disregarded the law and facts, and will overturn the suspension. No player should have to go through what I have been dealing with, and I am exhausting all options to ensure not only that I get justice, but that players’ contracts and rights are protected through the next round of bargaining, and that the MLB investigation and arbitration process cannot be used against others in the future the way it is currently being used to unjustly punish me. 

I will continue to work hard to get back on the field and help the Yankees achieve the ultimate goal of winning another championship. I want to sincerely thank my family, all of my friends, and of course the fans and many of my fellow MLB players for the incredible support I received throughout this entire ordeal."

Let the circus continue...

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