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Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Evan Longoria: Alex Rodriguez should not be playing during suspension

Alex Rodriguez YankeesAlex Rodriguez will likely be able to play out the remainder of the 2013 season with the New York Yankees while his 211-game suspension goes through a tedious appeal process. Knowing that he is 38 years old and is likely going to be suspended for a significant period of time, A-Rod has chosen to turn down a settlement and play this season. Tampa Bay Rays third baseman Evan Longoria is disappointed by that.

Longoria, who said he believes a 50-game suspension for first-time offenders is too light, spoke with our friend Jimmy Traina of Sports Illustrated for the Hot Clicks podcast this week. Like most of us, he wishes the appeals process would be quicker.

“I don’t think it’s fair for the other teams, because I’m in the American League East,” Longoria said, via The Strike Zone. “Whether he is 100 percent or not, whether his mind is where it needs to be or not, he can affect the game in a positive way. He can affect the game in a tremendous way, which is being in the lineup. In a pennant race, he’s a guy you don’t want in the lineup. Looking at it from that perspective and that perspective only, I don’t think it’s fair that we can’t have an arbitrator hear the case sooner.”

All players are entitled to an appeal, and Rodriguez has no obligation to waive that right simply because a dozen of his peers did. However, Longoria’s point is that a conclusion should be reached more rapidly like it would be with a brawl or an ejection.

“If you get in a bench clearing brawl and a guy punches another guy and is ejected from the game and gets a 10-game suspension, you appeal that and it’s heard in the next three weeks,” he said. “You either get 10 games or six games or whatever. I don’t understand why that process can’t happen for this.”

It’s a fair point, but A-Rod’s situation is much more complex than that of a player who was ejected for bumping an umpire. There is far more information for arbitrators to examine, especially with a case of this magnitude. Needless to say, Longoria and this NBA owner have very different opinions on the subject.



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