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Why Baseball is Out to ‘Get’ A-Rod, and Why It’s Important

A-Rod facing possible suspension to end of 2014 season
(Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)

This isn’t tied to money,  or bailing from previous teams – sorry Mariner fans!

Major League Baseball announced Monday 12 players have accepted 50-game suspensions for their roles in the Biogenesis case. A 13th player, Ryan Braun of the Brewers, has already been given a 65 game suspension.

Biogenesis of Miami is a clinic in Florida, founded by Tony Bosch, which according to Major League Baseball and federal investigators, supplied numerous professional athletes with performance enhancing drugs.

What had begun as a small-time investigation blew wide open in early 2013 when Porter Fischer, a clinic employee, turned over numerous boxes of records to investigators that claimed some 20-25 professional baseball players were getting drugs from the clinic.   Fischer said it went back at least as far as 2009.  The end result?  Monday 12 players have been suspended for their role.

Alex Rodriguez is the most prominent of the players linked to Biogenesis, and is one of the players on “the list.”

Alex Rodriguez has not yet been punished, but most sources say he will be given at ban that will last through the end of the 2014 season.  According to ESPN:

“The Yankees have said they expect Rodriguez to be accused of recruiting other athletes for the clinic, attempting to obstruct MLB’s investigation and not being truthful with MLB in the past when he discussed his relationship with Dr. Anthony Galea, who pleaded guilty two years ago to a federal charge of bringing unapproved drugs into the United States from Canada.”

So why is A-Rod being dealt with more harshly than the others?  According to ESPN’s The Sportswriters show seen on Sundays, and Boston Globe Columnist Bob Ryan:

  • Like Barry Bonds a few years ago,  A-Rod is the one accused player who is on the verge breaking or coming close to breaking several MLB lifetime records.  If he were to play a few more seasons, he could come very close to the home run and RBI records.
  • Rodriguez previously denied steroid or PED use, then when confronted with positive test results and other incriminating data in 2009, admitted he used them for three years when he was with the Rangers.
  • Now, the Biogenesis data shows he allegedly used them a second time.
  • As seen in the above information from the Yankees,  he is accused of recruiting other players to participate.
  • ESPN and other sources also believe his lengthy suspension will be because he allegedly tried to buy his records from the Biogenesis clinic before investigators could see them.  That’s what the Yankees meant in the previous paragraph by the obstruction charge.

Ryan and other writers say the arrogance that has plagued A-Rod throughout his career is going to bite him badly here.   They say unlike Ryan Braun and the others who have largely accepted their suspensions with little or no fuss,  A-Rod has vehemently denied the PED allegations almost to the point of insulting Commissioner Bud Selig and baseball.

He was originally offered, say sources, a suspension not much worse than the 65 games given to Braun,  but A-Rod and his attorneys continue to arrogantly deny the charges.

We won’t know until later today what the punishment will be, but it is possible Rodriguez could not just be given a suspension through the end of the 2014 season, but potentially a lifetime ban from the game.

PED use in professional sports, not just baseball, is cheating and demeans the games.  Selig and baseball are going to make an example out of Rodriguez.   A-Rod was never known to be a “team” guy.   His ego, arrogance and selfishness led him to abandon Seattle and Texas in search of bigger money in New York, and to use drugs to enhance his career.

Those same traits now have him facing a possible lifetime ban, or a suspension that at his age would essentially end his career.

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