Alex Rodriguez has suspension reduced to 162 games
New York Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez had his MLB record 211-game suspension reduced on Saturday to 162 games, which is still the largest suspension related to performance-enhancing drugs in baseball history. As a result, A-Rod will miss the entire 2014 season and will not be allowed to compete in the postseason if the Yankees qualify.
Rodriguez has maintained that he is innocent throughout the entire process, and he previously threatened to sue Major League Baseball if the suspension was not lifted completely. As you might expect, he is still furious with an arbitrator’s decision to ban him for an entire season.
“The number of games sadly comes as no surprise, as the deck has been stacked against me from day one,” Rodriguez said in a statement. “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.
“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.”
A-Rod added that he will continue to work hard to get back on the field and help the Yankees win another championship. There has been no indication that he intends to retire, meaning the battle is far from over.
The suspension is great news for the Yankees, as A-Rod’s $27.5 million salary for 2014 will now come off the books and could put the team below the luxury tax. It could also give them more money to spend to sign free agents on one-year deals, or sign a player to a front-loaded contract.