MLB will reportedly ban Alex Rodriguez for life if he does not agree to deal

Alex Rodriguez YankeesAs we await Major League Baseball’s inevitable announcement regarding Biogenesis suspensions, the phrase “lifetime ban” continues to fly around in connection with New York Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez. The issue appears to be A-Rod’s unwillingness to agree to a suspension deal similar to the one Ryan Braun accepted last week.

According to Hardball Talk, Major League Baseball will suspend Rodriguez for life if the two sides cannot reach a settlement. A-Rod would in all likelihood appeal a lifetime ban from baseball and it is possible he could win –sort of. The 38-year-old admitted to using performance-enhancing drugs while playing for the Texas Rangers roughly a decade ago, but there were no set penalties at the time for violations. Because of that, he is technically considered a first-time offender.

Hardball Talk reported that the league believes if it suspends A-Rod for life, he will end up having to serve at least a 150-game ban even if the penalty is reduced following an appeal. In fact, Bud Selig and company feel that they evidence they have compiled against Rodriguez is compelling enough that they are not willing to agree to a 100-game suspension, believing that would be too light.

[Related: Bud Selig reportedly ready to 'throw the book' at A-Rod]

In addition to having his name associated with several drugs from Tony Bosch’s Biogenesis clinic, MLB has been investigating whether or not A-Rod led others to the clinic and attempted to destroy evidence. That would, in theory, justify a heftier suspension. Rodriguez and his attorneys have disputed those claims, but Hardball Talk’s source says the slugger is “in for a world of hurt” either way.

To make a long story short, MLB is trying to strong-arm Rodriguez into accepting a lengthy suspension that could in effect end his career, and serving it immediately. Since it appears he is unwilling to do that, the league is seeking the most severe form of punishment in hopes that even an appeal would result in something extremely harsh.

Alex Rodriguez reportedly will not accept 50-game suspension like other players

Joel-Sherman-Wants-Us-to-Leave-Alex-Rodriguez-AloneMore than a dozen players are still expected to be suspended for their involvement with Tony Bosch’s Biogenesis clinic, including Alex Rodriguez. Most of the players will like be handed 50-game suspensions as first-time offenders. However, A-Rod may be prepared to fight ’till the finish.

According to Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports, several players are expected to accept their punishment within the next 72 hours. Despite the fact that it is believed MLB investigators have far more evidence against Rodriguez than they had against Braun and other players, A-Rod is expected to appeal the decision so he can play for the New York Yankees this season.

Earlier on Tuesday, a report surfaced indicating MLB commissioner Bud Selig could try to ban A-Rod from baseball for life by invoking a clause in the collective bargaining agreement which would allow him to personally hear any appeal that Rodriguez might file. Passan referred to that threat as a “game of chicken,” with MLB hoping A-Rod decides to accept his punishment like other players plan to.

While first-time PED offenders are supposed to receive a 50-game suspension, the league is able to pursue longer suspensions for players like Rodriguez who allegedly interfered with their investigation and may have even lied. According to Passan, Selig’s supposed idea of trying to block A-Rod from an appeal has irritated the MLB Players Association. The MLBPA has cooperated with the league’s pursuit of suspensions, and Selig could start a major feud by pulling the “integrity of the game” card.

Why would Rodriguez want to file an appeal that he is almost certain to lose? One theory is that he could be looking to return to the Yankees, then claim he is unable to continue his career because of lingering injuries. That would give him a shot at collecting the roughly $100 he has remaining on his contract before a suspension ever becomes official. At this point, the only outcome that would be surprising is if A-Rod’s name was mysteriously dropped from the discussion.

Bud Selig reportedly prepared to ‘throw the book’ at Alex Rodriguez

Alex Rodriguez YankeesUnlike Milwuakee Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun, New York Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez has yet to reach an agreement with Major League Baseball regarding punishment for his alleged involvement with Tony Bosch’s Biogenesis clinic. MLB investigators have reportedly uncovered much more evidence against A-Rod than Braun, but the belief is that Rodriguez is going to appeal any suspension he is given.

According to a recent report in the NY Daily News, MLB commissioner Bud Selig is willing to do everything in his power to stop A-Rod from getting his way. Selig reportedly wants Rodriguez gone from the game of baseball — for good.

As the Daily News pointed out, Article XI Section A1b of baseball’s collective bargaining agreement states that the commissioner has the right to take action against a player if it means preserving the integrity of the game. If Selig were able to successfully invoke the clause against A-Rod, he might be able to bypass the grievance process that the MLB Players Association can typically use when appealing drug-related penalties.

MLB investigators reportedly believe Rodriguez tried to “intimidate witnesses and purchase incriminating documents” to protect himself, which is why the violations he has allegedly committed extend far beyond performance-enhancing drug use. If Article XI Section A1b comes into play, Selig is the person who would hear any appeal A-Rod files. And we have an idea of how that would go.

The Daily News insists that MLB officials believe they have enough evidence against A-Rod to prove that he intentionally interfered with their investigation. As a result, Selig may try to bypass the standard arbitration procedures to keep Rodriguez from ever playing again, even if it leads to a federal court case.

At this point, it sounds as though Rodriguez’s best shot at earning some of the roughly $100 million the Yankees still owe him would be to accept a deal with MLB. There have been rumors that he could be facing a suspension that would keep him out until the start of the 2015 season, which is obviously not ideal for the career of a 38-year-old player with two bad hips. It may, however, be the best chance he has at cashing in.

Adrian Peterson views steroids, HGH chatter as a compliment

Adrian PetersonAdrian Peterson’s incredibly fast recovery from a torn ACL and MCL left people shocked, impressed, amazed, and suspicious. The Minnesota Vikings running back tore two ligaments in late December 2011, yet he returned to play in Week 1 of the 2012 NFL season and proceeded to have one of the best seasons for a running back in league history … while playing through a sports hernia no less.

The reigning NFL MVP said last week that he’s looking forward to HGH testing in the league because he wants officials to catch the cheating players. The irony is that many believe Peterson was using some illegal substance that helped him recover from his major knee injury so quickly and perform so well. Peterson told the Minneapolis Star Tribune that he views those suspicions as a compliment.

Peterson said in the interview that he’s heard the suspicious folks on Twitter and on the field.

[Read more...]

Alex Rodriguez suspension could come this week, keep him out through 2015

Alex Rodriguez YankeesNew York Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez is supposed to return from injury this week, but there are a number of scenarios that could prevent that from happening. For starters, we have no idea if the team will declare him healthy enough to play after the strained quad saga that has developed over the past week or so. Then, there is the looming possibility of a significant suspension.

Ryan Braun has already been suspended for his alleged involvement with Tony Bosch’s Biogenesis clinic, but that’s because he essentially took a plea deal. Rodriguez and others may not have been willing to do the same, but the NY Post reported on Sunday that Major League Baseball could announce suspensions for A-Rod and as many as 15 others this week.

According to the Post, MLB is looking to officially announce the rest of the suspensions before there are less than 50 games remaining in the season. The penalty for a first offense is 50 games. As we have mentioned before, Rodriguez could be treated as more than just a first-time offender.

If the evidence against A-Rod is damning and it can be proved that he interfered with the investigation, his suspension could reach well beyond 50 games. Rodriguez also admitted to previous performance-enhancing drug use from 2001-2003, though there were no official penalties in place at that time. However, all of the aforementioned PED trouble could reportedly inspire Bud Selig and MLB officials to suspend A-Rod for the remainder of 2013 and all of 2014.

A lifetime ban is also reportedly still on the table, though it is unlikely it would stick if Rodriguez appealed. At age 38, a suspension through the 2014 season could basically end A-Rod’s career given his injury history. He would likely stick around anyway to collect as much of the roughly $100 million remaining on his contract as he can.

Robert Fick admits he used steroids, guesses baseball is 90 percent clean

Los Angeles Local News, Weather, and Traffic

Robert Fick, a one-time all-star with the Detroit Tigers who spent 10 seasons in the big leagues from 1998-2007, admitted on Thursday that he used steroids twice during his career. Fick told My Fox LA that he used steroids to help him recover from an injury rather than to boost his performance. He also said he thinks MLB’s drug testing program has helped clean up the game.
Robert Fick
“I believe baseball’s really cleaned it up,” Fick told KTTV. “Back when all the testing started, I believe a lot of guys were on something to try to stay on the field and put up numbers. If I was to throw a number out there today, I might say the game is probably 90 percent cleaned up. They’ve done a really good job. The testing is strict.”

Fick admitted he tried steroids during his career.

“I’ve tried it, yeah. Two times. I never did it when I was in the offseason trying to lift weights, get stronger to hit home runs. I was a young player. I had three or four shoulder injuries and I was told it would help me get back on the field, stay on the field. I separated my shoulder in 2000 — they called it a third-degree separation — I got on some juice, and next thing you know, at 3-4 weeks I was back in the lineup.”

Fick tried to explain the psychology behind players using steroids.

[Read more...]

Adrian Peterson is certain there are players in NFL are using HGH

Adrian-Peterson-Wants-to-Play-for-Fantasy-OwnersThe NFL and NFL Players Association are getting close to reaching an agreement that would implement testing for human growth hormone. While the progress is probably making some players nervous, Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson says he can’t wait for the increased testing.

Peterson’s return to form last year after suffering a torn ACL at the end of the 2011 season was nothing short of incredible. The level he played at after the injury almost defied science, which is why some have speculated that he used performance-enhancing drugs to recover so quickly. According to ESPN.com’s Kevin Seifert, Peterson wants HGH testing to help put that chatter to rest.

“I don’t worry about those types of supplements, using those, because I’m all natural,” Peterson said Friday at Vikings training camp. “I work hard. This right here, it’s a test for me personally, that I know that, ‘Hey, I’m clean as a whistle,’ and other guys as well. And then, like I say, it’ll bring some guys to the forefront and be like, ‘Hey, I guess this is how this guy’s been performing so well.'”

While he insists he has never used a banned substance, Peterson said he is certain there are players in the league currently using HGH.

“You’ve got HGH, something that doesn’t show up on a test, and you’ve got guys out there trying to provide for their families,” he said. “They’re going to try to get that edge, get that advantage, especially if they’re not worried about trying to get caught. Yeah, it’s being used.”

Contrary to popular belief, steroids aren’t only an issue in baseball. The confidentiality of failed tests in the NFL protects players’ images, which makes it even more tempting. HGH testing should help counter some of that.