Alright, let’s be real here. Alex Rodriguez has to be one of the most hated figures in the entire sports world. While A-Rod is still playing baseball at the moment, he is staring down the barrel of a 211 game suspension. This would be an unprecedented suspension for an active player and the longest since Pete Rose’s lifetime ban. This is much to the hurrah of Yankee fans and the rest of baseball’s constituency alike. However, is there a chance that A-Rod could win his appeal? I actually think there is a chance.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I think A-Rod deserves what he got. Honestly, I think he deserved a lifetime ban. This would not be the first time someone has deserved a punishment but legally had a way out of it. Let’s break it down.
First, we need to lay down some supporting facts that will come into play later. Melky Cabrera and Ryan Braun are the other two prominent stars to be suspended by the MLB for PEDs in the last two years. Melky Cabrera was suspended for 50 games for his use of synthetic testosterone. Cabrera blamed it on some sort of cream (a la the Barry Bonds defense, must be a Bay thing) that he bought from a Dominican website. The MLB actually investigated this website and went to the DR to buy some of this cream and test if it had the product in it. Turns out that Melky’s PR team created these multiple fake websites in an attempt to throw the MLB off Melky’s trail. That’s some intricate web-spinning.
Ryan Braun was recently suspended for 65 games after a Palmeiro-like denial of his PED allegations. His first positive test, he got off on a Richard Sherman style technicality (handling error) where the sample was not shipped the day of acquisition. While the handler did admit he made a pretty stupid mistake, Team Braun did not accept the admission as enough. In fact, Team Braun went so far as to say that the handler *tainted* his specimen, saying that he had access to equipment that would allow him to do such a thing. An anonymous tip was rung up to a Yahoo! sports reporter about the handler’s permanent job location at a local hospital.
“There were a lot of things that we learned about the collector, about the collection process, about the way the entire thing works, that made us very concerned and very suspicious about what could have actually happened,” Braun said.
Why not just call him an anti-Semite and get it out of the way? Ultimately, Braun was connected to Biogenesis after this long, arduous ordeal and he graciously took a 65 game suspension.
This brings us to the main man, A-Rod. The MLB stated that A-Rod acted in “a course of conduct intended to obstruct and frustrate the Office of the Commissioner’s investigation.” This was from allegedly purchasing Biogenesis documents with the intention of destroying them. The documents apparently indicated Rodriguez’s involvement with the clinic. While this isn’t A-Rod’s first run-in with steroids, this is his first time being punished for it. The MLB is starting to make a point to suspend players more for obstructing their process (except for Melky apparently). But 211 games when Braun received 65 and Melky received 50 games? I have to say, PURELY BASED ON PRECEDENT, that A-Rod was pretty much screwed by a commissioner trying to clean up the tail end of his murky legacy and that he should win his appeal.
BASED ON PRECEDENT.
Even the Player’s Union President agrees with me; just not in the way I worded it.