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Report: MLB could suspend Alex Rodriguez under CBA rather than drug agreement

Jul 29, 2013, 10:05 PM EDT

New York Yankees' Rodriguez speaks with reporters following his rehab assignment for Tampa Yankees in a minor league baseball game against Bradenton Marauders in Tampa Reuters

The clock is ticking for Alex Rodriguez, as MLB is soon expected to announce a suspension for his alleged involvement with Biogenesis. But it could be unlike anything we were expecting.

According to the Associated Press, MLB could suspend Rodriguez under the collective bargaining agreement rather than the regular drug rules. This is potentially huge, as it would prevent him from playing if he appeals a suspension. Here’s what MLB could be thinking.

While use of banned performance-enhancing substances falls under the drug agreement, MLB may argue other alleged violations are punishable under the labor contract, a person familiar with management’s deliberations told the AP, speaking on condition of anonymity because no statements were authorized.

Taking that action would prevent the New York Yankees third baseman from returning to the field, even if he recovers from a quadriceps injury cited by the team as the reason for keeping him on the disabled list.

And merely threatening to use that provision might give MLB leverage to force a deal.

The report states that Rodriguez could be banned under Article XII B of the Basic Agreement, which states: “Players may be disciplined for just cause for conduct that is materially detrimental or materially prejudicial to the best interests of baseball including, but not limited to, engaging in conduct in violation of federal, state or local law.”

Yes, the “best interests of baseball” clause. If Rodriguez is suspended under that section, he would serve the penalty while a grievance is litigated. And as we heard from A-Rod’s lawyer earlier today, they have every intention to fight. The union would almost certainly fight it tooth and nail too, even if the evidence against Rodriguez is extensive. If they don’t, the drug agreement is basically rendered worthless. And you thought this was ugly before? We could be looking at a protracted and messy legal battle here.

  1. materialman80 - Jul 30, 2013 at 11:38 AM

    Bravo Major League Baseball. Put him and all the other cheaters out of the game for good. Time to clean up the game. First time your caught, your out for good. End of story, banned for life. It’s past time.

  2. florida727 - Jul 30, 2013 at 11:40 AM

    “Best interest of baseball”?

    According to who, Bud? You? How about in the best interest of baseball FANS?

    I’m not a Yankee fan or an A-Rod fan, but I do watch AS A FAN whenever they (and he) play. I want to see him play. I don’t root for him, nor do I root against him. But I happen to ENJOY WATCHING HIM PLAY. Who the heck are you to tell me what’s in the best interest of baseball, Bud?

    • lanflfan - Jul 30, 2013 at 4:06 PM

      I’d like to see him play too – WITHOUT ever having used PED’s. Never going to happen though, unless someone has time machine.

  3. florida727 - Jul 30, 2013 at 11:45 AM

    BTW, why can’t a player play while appealing a suspension? If you’re innocent UNTIL proven guilty, shouldn’t you be allowed to play until it’s PROVEN that the suspension is justified? I wonder if an “injunction” (or whatever the proper legal term would be) from a federal court judge could get him on the field in the interim period.

    • Arods Other Doctor - Jul 30, 2013 at 12:31 PM

      I know it can be confusing, but MLB isn’t the government.

  4. soberlyf - Jul 30, 2013 at 12:49 PM

    I’m no particular fan of ARod’s, but this turned into a personal witch hunt long ago, and one he’s taken far too much abuse for. As an educated baseball fan for 50 years, and having a roommate and 2 friends that played pro ball, I can tell you for a fact that a large percentage of the players you loved from the 80’s to about 5 years ago were juicing. Forget half of what Canseco said as he used this to sell books (but believe the other half) and listen to what Boomer Wells stated about PED’s; “about 25-40% of all MLB players used steroids”. I’ll say he was being conservative. To make ARod the goat is ridiculous, at least he admitted it when he didn’t have to. Palmiero went before Congress and lied about it, then tested positive 2 mos later, where was your hatred for him? How about McGuire who ” refused to discuss the past”? He’s a damned batting coach! How about Braun? He cost a man his job and his reputation and you folks want to crucify ARod? He should get the standard penalty, not a day more and you guys should start making up stupid nicknames for Braun, Palmiero and McGuire, not “ARoid”. Leave the man be, his involvement will cost him the HOF, likely his final 2 years of playing and more.

  5. gratefulneal - Jul 30, 2013 at 12:59 PM

    bye bye A-rod – (notice the little rod) – you are no longer needed or wanted. Better take what cash you can get and sign the MLB offer. Next stop….Japan/Cuba baseball for you! Way to be a idol that kids can look up to…figures…

  6. wranglerick - Jul 30, 2013 at 1:39 PM

    So does this mean Arod is doing an Oprah interview ?
    I can only imagine the book by him, in about 5 years.
    For that matter, how bout a book by Selig ?

    • jimeejohnson - Jul 30, 2013 at 9:04 PM

      ARod’s book: Body Building For Dummies

  7. jimeejohnson - Jul 30, 2013 at 9:01 PM

    Glad THC isn’t implicated.

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