As 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.
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.