MLBPA director Michael Weiner: Alex Rodriguez suspension is ‘almost ridiculous’
Major League Baseball made an unprecedented move on Monday when it suspended New York Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez for 211 games because of his alleged involvement with Biogenesis. A-Rod has never failed a non-survey drug test, and the penalty for first-time offenders is a 50-game suspension. The belief is that Rodriguez interfered with MLB’s investigation and is being penalized for more than just using performance-enhancing drug.
Naturally, the MLB Players Association is defending A-Rod and his right to appeal. During an interview with “The Dan Patrick Show” on Monday, MLBPA executive director Michael Weiner ripped Bud Selig in arguing in favor of Rodriguez.
“We feel what (Selig) did, frankly, was inappropriate and almost ridiculous,” Weiner said. “Look at the penalties that have been (given) out and cases that have been decided by the commissioner’s officer along with the Players Association. Nothing comes close to 211 games.”
Again, the belief is that no other player’s involvement with Biogenesis ran as deep as A-Rod’s. No other player has — to our knowledge — been accused of destroying evidence. In addition, there has also been speculation that Rodriguez led other players to Tony Bosch’s clinic. Weiner said both sides tried to work out an agreement but were unsuccessful in doing so.
[Related: Why MLB suspended A-Rod for 211 games]
“Both sides tried to work it out unsuccessfully,” he explained. “I think it’s best for baseball to work this out. If we can’t, it’ll go to hearing. That wouldn’t be the end of the world.”
Weiner also said the MLBPA will decide at its offseason meetings if stiffer penalties are needed. Patrick pointed out that “crime pays” and that players are still receiving massive amounts of money despite the fact that they were caught cheating. Rodriguez’s reputation is basically ruined, so he has no other reason to fight his suspension other than to collect a paycheck.
[Related: CJ Wilson rips A-Rod, other alleged PED users]
“It really doesn’t matter what I think,” Weiner said. “It matters what the players think. We had our last discussion in Spring. There were a lot of players who were in favor of tougher penalties. There were a lot of players who weren’t.”
If you’re like me, you have to wonder why any player who wasn’t cheating would not want stiffer penalties. The way it stands now, the risk of taking steroids to improve your game and in turn earn more money is worth the reward for many players. The only way to counter that is with harsher punishment. By suspending A-Rod for 211 games, Selig is obviously trying to push the game in that direction.