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Would the Yankees sue A-Rod for “damaging the Yankees brand?”

Jul 29, 2013, 8:55 AM EST

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The idea of voiding player contracts in retaliation for PED suspensions is a non-starter at present, as the Collective Bargaining Agreement specifies that the Joint Drug Agreement constitutes the sole basis of punishment for PED use.  We talked a lot recently about why changing the CBA/JDA to include contract voiding is undesirable. In just the past week some players have gone on record saying that such a thing won’t happen unless some mechanism is built in to differentiate between active attempts to cheat vs. accidental ingestion of banned substances, but that changes the whole nature of the drug program and would lead to evidentiary trials for every positive test, and that seems like a stretch.

Yet it is a topic that simply won’t die. Buster Olney talks about it in today’s column, in which he reports how teams and their lawyers are trying to think of other ways to claw back money from players who use PEDs. After noting that the CBA prevents any such moves:

However, some lawyers believe there could other, more simple grounds — along the lines of the recent government suit filed against Lance Armstrong. Could a team file a lawsuit against a player — as they would any company or entity with which they worked — alleging that irreparable damage has been done to their business, to their brand, through the actions of the defendant?

Take Rodriguez, for example.

At the time the Yankees signed him to his 10-year, $275 million deal, after the 2007 season, they entered into the deal thinking that Rodriguez would continue as an important and marketable part of their franchise for years to come. This is also why they added $5 million incentive clauses that were attached to specific and historic statistical milestones — so he andthe franchise would share that wealth.

But after his admission of PED use in the spring of 2009, the practical usefulness of Rodriguez as a marketing piece was badly damaged — and now, with MLB close to concluding its investigation of Rodriguez, he is all but useless on that front.

It’d be pretty hilarious, after a century of hearing the Yankees talk about how their brand is sterling and their business is bigger than anything this side of God to suddenly claim that Alex Rodriguez did “irreparable damage to their business and brand.”

Plaintiff’s Attorney: “So it’s your testimony, Mr. Steinbrenner, that a century’s worth of domination and glory was cast asunder by the man sitting over there?”

Hal Steinbrenner: “Yes. Yes it is. No one knows who Babe Ruth, Joe Dimaggio, Lou Gehrig, Mickey Mantle and Derek Jeter are anymore. I tried to give a Yankees cap away to a small child yesterday and his father punched me in the ear.”

“Your witness.”

Seems unlikely but I suppose lawyers have made more outlandish claims.

Of course there’s something besides a lack of such chutzpah that would keep a team from doing that: opening the door to arguments in the future about just how valuable a given player is to the team’s brand.

In this hypothetical case wouldn’t A-Rod’s lawyers be obligated and motivated to argue how much good will the Yankees already received from him? The value of him in their marketing materials from the time he arrived until his name became Mudd? The value of his contributions to the 2009 World Series winning team? No, not in a baseball sense — that’s what A-Rod’s salary was for — but for all of the good will and marketing mojo that flowed out of that? Maybe the YES Network’s revenue would be part of that too? I mean, it would all have to be on the table if we’re talking about the extra-contractual damage the Yankees would be claiming, yes? It would have to be offset by the extra-contractual benefits, of which there have no doubt been many.

No team is going to want to wade into that. If, for no other reason, it would lay the groundwork for player suits in equity — think unjust enrichment theory — when a team realizes way, way more value from the player than that for which they paid. I wonder how many people feel better about the Nationals since Bryce Harper came up. Yasiel Puig totally changed the perception of the Dodgers in a month. There has to be some value in there, no?

Lawyers and their teams know this. But maybe they don’t care. Here’s the giveaway, from Olney’s article:

Could a team gain legal traction and win that argument? Could they get some money back? The longtime lawyer said he isn’t entirely sure. “But I’d file that suit if it involved a player with us,” he said, “because what do you have to lose?”

How utterly inspiring.

  1. stoutfiles - Jul 29, 2013 at 9:09 AM

    The Yankees should cut their losses and do everything in their power to avoid paying Alex anymore money. Whatever suspension he gets will surely help, but eventually he’s going to come back, older and weaker. I’m sure they are praying he gets banned for life.

    • basedrum777 - Jul 29, 2013 at 1:47 PM

      I’ve been saying the Yankees should void the contract under Contract law indicating that the “product” they were expected to receive was misrepresented b/c AROD had to know he was going to get caught with the new testing. Still haven’t heard any reasons this couldn’t work.

      • protius - Jul 29, 2013 at 3:38 PM

        The new testing has yet to show that A-Rod took PEDs, between 2004 and the present.

        Current speculation is driven by testimony, and not tests.

  2. sdelmonte - Jul 29, 2013 at 9:10 AM

    I usually like Olney, but even he can’t seem to stop finding every way possible to be negative, moralistic and hectoring about this subject.

    Quick, someone make some trades just we can stop talking about A-Rod for five minutes!

    • paperlions - Jul 29, 2013 at 10:03 AM

      I had the game on last night….until they cut to Olney to interrupt the game and talk about Biofuckinggenesis. Damn man, can’t we just watch and enjoy baseball anymore and stop endlessly interrupting the actual baseball to make guesses about a scandal, whose information will all come out in due time and be covered to death then….no? We have to cover the everlivinshit out if it BEFORE it happens. Well, fuck me. I went to the DVR and watched 4 episodes of The Americans and just followed the game on gamecast.

  3. jayscarpa - Jul 29, 2013 at 9:14 AM

    No. ARod isn’t the first and only Yankee PED user. What makes ARod different from Giambi, Pettite, Clemens, et al.? They didn’t get sued.

    • dirtyharry1971 - Jul 29, 2013 at 9:58 AM

      Ah Clemens was proven innocent in a court of law…

      • asimonetti88 - Jul 29, 2013 at 10:47 AM

        He was not proven innocent. He was found not guilty. Big difference.

      • protius - Jul 29, 2013 at 1:42 PM

        In a court of law, having no guilt, implies having innocence. If a judge or jury renders a verdict of “not guilty”, they imply that the accused is innocent of the charges brought against him or her.

        What you’re implying, is that some legal state of being lies between guilt and innocence. Please explain to the readers, what you believe that legal state of being is?

      • asimonetti88 - Jul 29, 2013 at 2:57 PM

        Not guilty means you did not do the crime.

        Innocent means you did nothing wrong.

        You can be not guilty without being innocent.

      • protius - Jul 29, 2013 at 3:56 PM

        Asimonetti, if not guilty means that you did not do the crime, and innocent also means that you did not do the crime, then there is no difference between not guilty, and innocent.

        If you’re implying that a person who actually commits a crime can be found not guilty, then you need to state that clearly. Simple-minded psycho-babble, explains nothing.

      • kalinedrive - Jul 29, 2013 at 3:59 PM

        I thought everyone understood that “Not Guilty” means the prosecution failed to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. It most certainly does not mean “Innocent,” which is probably why they don’t say “innocent.” “Not Guilty” is a legal term for “we the jury cannot convict based on the case presented.”

        asimonetti is correct, protius is a total prick, and I hope I don’t read another of his insufferable, snotty, condescending punk-ass posts. I want to cleanse myself of the stench he vomited onto this page.

      • jimeejohnson - Jul 29, 2013 at 5:22 PM

        So was O.J. Simpson.

      • protius - Jul 29, 2013 at 6:10 PM

        Kalinedrive:

        Appealing to popularity doesn’t prove anything. Just because everyone believes that something is true, doesn’t mean that it is true. Am I going to fast for you?

        Clearly, you have reading comprehension issues. Not guilty implies innocence. If you want to explain that “Not Guilty” is a legal term for “we the jury cannot convict based on the case presented,” then you need to make that distinction. Believing that everyone shares your dim witted definition of not guilty, is not the same as arguing that your definition has merit.

        if you weren’t so intimidate by my reasoning, then you would have responded like an adult, rather then a scared little boy. Ad hominem attack does not dispute my arguments; it reveals your frail ego; your lack of intelligence, and your poor up-bringing.

        Your writing explains why there are federal laws prohibiting sibling marriage. I sincerely hope that you are spayed before you have the chance to reproduce. How many flat-faced, porch sittin'; guitar playin’, illiterate mutants must Americans support?

      • kalinedrive - Jul 30, 2013 at 4:19 PM

        It has nothing to do with popularity or what people believe, it is the definition of Not Guilty in a court of law. It very specifically does not imply, connote, or suggest innocence. Not Guilty simply means that there was not enough evidence to convict. This is not an opinion or an argument. It is a definition. I’m not making shit up or implying anything. I’m explaining to you a very simple concept, which is apparently still too complex for your simple mind.

        It is laughable that you think you showed “reasoning” of any form. Your circular argument in which you simply dismiss what anyone else says by pretending it wasn’t presented in a way only you can judge to be correct, while simultaneously insulting them and making a buffoon of yourself, is worse than juvenile. It’s ridiculous. That is to say, it is worthy of ridicule. As, of course, are you.

    • headbeeguy - Jul 29, 2013 at 12:47 PM

      ARod has a gigantic albatross contract that the Yankees (and their fans) would like to void. If he were still a valuable player, I don’t think we’d be getting the lawsuit theories, media pile-on, and the Whitey Bulger comparisons.

      • protius - Jul 29, 2013 at 1:53 PM

        Please explain to the readers, why Rodriguez’s contract has became an “albatross” to the Yankees? Also, please explain why you believe that hindsight is more valuable, then foresight?

      • headbeeguy - Jul 29, 2013 at 2:51 PM

        @protius: All I meant was that the Yankees could probably find a better use for $30 million per year at this point. I’m not even questioning whether or not the contract was a good idea in the first place…but at the moment, his performance is worth way less than his salary, and that is motivating a lot of the fan resentment. If he were still a very good player I don’t think the team and fans would be happy to throw him to the wolves (see: Ryan Braun).

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jul 29, 2013 at 3:29 PM

        All I meant was that the Yankees could probably find a better use for $30 million per year at this point.

        I doubt it. Ichiro Wells Overbay Youkilis are making a combined $30M+ and none of them is hitting better than league average (via OPS+). Arod is still better than average when he’s on the field, and he’s not making $30M a year either.

      • protius - Jul 29, 2013 at 4:54 PM

        Beeguy, judging the value of a player’s contract going forward, requires an accurate assessment of that player’s past performance, and then predicting how that player’s skills will diminish over time. Foresight requires prediction.

        Hindsight provides a way to measure the accuracy of past assessments, and determine how a player’s skills deteriorated over time. Hindsight, is a comparison of the past, using present knowledge; it explains what has already happened.

        In 2004, no one predicted that the value of A-Rod’s contract would exceed his performance in 2013, or that his behavior would cause so much controversy.

        Hindsight is 20/20.

  4. mattjg - Jul 29, 2013 at 9:17 AM

    How would the players have an unjust enrichment claim? They have the privilege of playing for whichever team chooses them in the draft and then making however much a bunch of people no longer in their position negotiated with ownership while cutting out a bigger slice of the pie for themselves. Then, once they reach the peaks of their careers, they get to go out and make whatever the market decides their decline years are worth. How is this unfair?

    • protius - Jul 29, 2013 at 9:54 AM

      Tedious much?

  5. ctony1216 - Jul 29, 2013 at 9:18 AM

    The Yankees brand is fine. It’s A-Rod’s brand that it’s in the toilet. Olney’s is slipping too.

    And anyway how would you put a dollar amount on damages — loss in ticket sales, TV ratings? But those things could be attributed to injuries to guys like Jeter, Granderson, and Teixiera — or the weak performances of Vernon Wells and Travis Hafner or the team in general, or high ticket prices. In fact, one could argue that poor personnel moves and marketing decisions by the Yankees brass has done more to hurt the Yankees brand in 2013 than A-Rod has, if in fact the brand has been damaged, which it hasn’t, really.

  6. rbj1 - Jul 29, 2013 at 9:22 AM

    I could see wiping out the incentive clauses, as they were added under the assumption that Alex would be the “clean” player to break the “dirty” Bonds record. But that would entail discovery of just how much the Yankees knew/suspected about PED use by Alex specifically and players in general. Not sure the team wants to open that can of worms.

    • bigharold - Jul 29, 2013 at 10:57 AM

      The likelihood of him meeting those criteria to activate the clauses diminishes everyday. Between injury and his impending suspension the likelihood of him cracking 700 is in serious doubt.

      The real question to me is Olney, like Bill Madden of the NYDN, being used by MLB to float ideas about finding way to punish players in general but A-Rod specifically above abs beyond what is prescribed in the JDA?

      Right now, the union seems to be willing to allow MLB to smack around some of the more higher profile offenders because I would think that in the long run they think it will help the players as a whole but especially those that have not taken PEDs. It would have been nice had the union taken that stance initially to protect those players. Perhaps thing wouldn’t have dragged on all these years. Nevertheless, the only way the union is doing that is there must be a significant movement from the players themselves. They are tired of this too and thy want it stopped. But, if MLB starts pushing for ways take money back, other than by loss of salary during suspension, the union will dig in their heels and fight. It seems no one wants serial JDA offenders to get away with it but the players aren’t going to agree to some kind of open ended punishment arrangement whereby they relinquish all there rights.

      The JDA can work because there is clear sanctions for clear violations. The key is for the punishment to be swift and uniform. Which is why all the talk about suspending A-Rod for a gazillion games or banning him for life is problematic. Once the JDA is deviated from it opens the possibility for it to be done again. And, you get idiotic remarks like “lets sue the player to claw back more money”, ,which do not help the cooperation between MLB and the union. If MLB overplays this situation with A-Rod at a minimum they will get protracted legal battle that will continue this tale of woe for another year. More importantly, MLB could lose the initiative and harden the union’s position.

    • protius - Jul 29, 2013 at 12:08 PM

      rjb, you bring nothing to the discussion. Speculation is not fact, and poor critical thinking is no substitute for well reasoned arguments.

      You begin by begging the question, i.e., you assume that you know the Yankee’s motivation for including incentive clauses in A-Rod’s contract. Please tell the readers how you came to understand that “incentive clauses, […] were added under the assumption that Alex would be the “clean” player to break the “dirty” Bonds record?”

      Next, you contradict yourself by suggesting that the Yankee’s have some undetermined level of knowledge of Rodriguez’s PED use, i.e., how much did the Yankees know and/or suspect about A-Rod’s PED use;” while at the same time, you claim that the Yankees assumed that he “would be the “clean” player to break the “dirty” Bonds record.” Rodriguez cannot be both clean and dirty at the same time.

      You conclude by implying that your begging the question and fuzzy logic, have exposed a “can of worms” that the Yankee’s might want to avoid.

      The only things that the readers should avoid, are comments that add no useful insights to the discussion.

  7. mattjg - Jul 29, 2013 at 9:24 AM

    Really, though, how would there be a claim for unjust enrichment, especially for a player like Puig who signed as an international free agent not subject to the draft? Every contract has risks for both sides: the player could flop costing the team money, or he could soar above the team’s expectations making them millions of dollars. No one’s talking about the Yankees suing Kevin Brown because he signed a huge deal then played like crap; they’re talking about the Yankees suing A-Rod because he intentionally broke the rules of the game and federal law and should have known that doing so could tarnish the Yankees reputation.

    I think the lawsuit is ridiculous and hope it wouldn’t stand a chance, but I don’t see how it opens the door to unjust enrichment suits from the players.

  8. heyblueyoustink - Jul 29, 2013 at 9:27 AM

    ” but I suppose lawyers have made more outlandish claims”

    Well, you did convince someone the idea of sponsoring your baseball blog was a good idea at some point.

  9. uyf1950 - Jul 29, 2013 at 9:54 AM

    Craig, with all do respect. I recall reading here on one of your blogs that you believed MLB’s suit against Boigenesis was foolish and as such had little success in targeting the players. Or something along those lines.

    You obviously don’t think that’s the case any longer. Why can’t the same be true about the Yankees looking into a case against the A-Rod for damaging the Yankees brand. As you said that’s exactly what the Government is contending versus Armstrong and BTW, if I’m correct aren’t Armstrong’s lawyers contending the same thing you are saying A-Rod’s lawyers would contend. That the Post Office received more benefits a lot more during the time Armstrong raced then they ever would lose.

    Just thinking out loud.

    • Craig Calcaterra - Jul 29, 2013 at 10:46 AM

      I still think the lawsuit against Biogenesis was and is foolish. It may have proved useful in a larger strategy, but as a legal matter in and of itself it is meritless and wrong and won’t be pursued. If it was, it would be dismissed.

      • uyf1950 - Jul 29, 2013 at 11:04 AM

        Maybe the Yankees might be thinking along the same lines, who knows. The Yankees sue A-Rod it might entice him to take a buyout of whatever portion of his contract remains after a suspension. Maybe that’s the bigger picture in the Yankees ownership minds.

        I realize their might might be little incentive for A-Rod to take a buyout. But if he were able to get say 50 cents on the dollar for whatever amount would be remaining on his contract at that point. It might be worth it just to put all this garbage behind him.

      • protius - Jul 29, 2013 at 12:22 PM

        Mr. Calcaterra wrote: “As a legal matter in and of itself it (The MLB lawsuit against Biogenesis) is meritless and wrong and won’t be pursued. If it was, it would be dismissed.” These are very interesting points of view, Mr. Calcaterra.

        Please explain why, in your opinion, the lawsuit has no merit; why it is wrong, and why it won’t be pursued?

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jul 29, 2013 at 3:32 PM

        He already did, way back on 3/22/13:

        http://hardballtalk.nbcsports.com/2013/03/22/major-league-baseballs-lawsuit-against-biogenesis-should-be-laughed-out-of-court/

    • turdfurgerson68 - Jul 29, 2013 at 1:59 PM

      The old dead Steinbrenner tarnished the Yankee brand waay more than a-roid ever could when he was suspended by the commish TWICE once for making illegal contributions to Nixon’s re-election campaign, and to a felony charge of obstruction of justice, and AGAIN or paying a known gambler to dig up “dirt” on Winfield.

      Nothing a-roid did comes even close to what that scumbag convicted felon George Steinbrenner did towardstarnishing the Yankee brand.

      Folks ignore reality too often.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jul 29, 2013 at 3:33 PM

        The old dead Steinbrenner tarnished the Yankee brand waay more than a-roid ever could when he was suspended by the commish TWICE once for making illegal contributions to Nixon’s re-election campaign, and to a felony charge of obstruction of justice, and AGAIN or paying a known gambler to dig up “dirt” on Winfield.

        Nothing a-roid did comes even close to what that scumbag convicted felon George Steinbrenner did towardstarnishing the Yankee brand.

        this x 1000!

  10. nbjays - Jul 29, 2013 at 9:58 AM

    A-Rod is a douche, but being sued for damaging the Yankee brand? Really?

    George Steinbrenner and Billy Martin (manager, not player) did more to damage the Yankee brand than any player who has ever donned the pinstripes.

    • aceshigh11 - Jul 29, 2013 at 10:40 AM

      If there was any merit to a lawsuit of this type, George Steinbrenner should have sued himself in the 1980s.

  11. voteforno6 - Jul 29, 2013 at 10:01 AM

    This would be a ridiculous lawsuit. Also, it could very well open the team up to extra scrutiny, as one defense could be that the team either knew or had a reason to suspect his PED use prior to him signing that contract.

    • cggarb - Jul 29, 2013 at 10:43 AM

      What would the team’s cause of action be?

      • protius - Jul 29, 2013 at 12:58 PM

        What does “cause of action” mean?

    • protius - Jul 29, 2013 at 12:57 PM

      Arguing a defense, is not the same thing as proving the argument has merit.

      The defense must prove contributory negligence, i.e., the Yankee’s had prior knowledge of A-Rod’s PED use, and that having prior knowledge of A-Rod’s PED use, is the same as approving his PED use.

      Conversely, suspecting that A-Rod was using PEDs and confronting him about it, or knowing that A-Rod was using PEDs, and demanding that he stop, shows that the Yankee’s did not contribute to the behavior that damaged their image.

  12. aceshigh11 - Jul 29, 2013 at 10:38 AM

    As Denis Leary memorably said:

    “Well that’s great…that sets a legal precedent. Does that mean I can sue Dan Fogelberg for making me into a pussy in the 1970s? ‘Your honor, between him and James Taylor, I didn’t get a blowjob until I was 27 years old. I was in Colorado wearing hiking boots and eating granola…I want some f’n money right now!'”

  13. caeser12 - Jul 29, 2013 at 10:39 AM

    If the Yankees sue Arod, then Hank and Hal need to be co-defendants.

    They may be Steinbrenners, but they have a hell of a lot to learn about being a Yankee.

    *Disclaimer: Yanks fan since 1967.

    • aceshigh11 - Jul 29, 2013 at 10:49 AM

      The Yankees are simply a VERY successful sports team and business.

      There’s no need to impart any extra mysticism to the brand as far as “Yankees tradition” or “being a Yankee”.

      The Yankees have gone through fallow times before (the ’60s, the ’80s)…it’s not unprecedented, and I don’t think the Steinbrenner brothers need to be indicted…they were handed the keys to a franchise that was already in decline, and they’re doing their best to manage it.

      • caeser12 - Jul 29, 2013 at 10:53 AM

        I can respect that. My point is this, where are they (Hank and Hal) in this whole Arod saga? It was they who overruled Cashman, yet, he is the one being led to the slaughterhouse. I would like to hear them speak on this.

      • protius - Jul 29, 2013 at 2:11 PM

        Caesar, Hal did not over-rule Brian Cashman, Hank did.

        Secondly, if you are aware that one of George Steinbrenner’s sons over-rode Cashman, then you have a better understanding of events, then the people who are leading Cashman “to the slaughterhouse.”

        Some folks choose to ignore the truth; others don’t understand it, and some others don’t trust it, but it’s all good.

        There will always be a need for street sweepers, and garbage collectors.

      • protius - Jul 29, 2013 at 2:22 PM

        You claim that the Steinbrenner brothers “were handed the keys to a franchise that was already in decline.”

        Essentially, Hal and Hank began running the Yankee organization in 2006. Do you have any information that will support your claim that the Yankees were in “decline” before 2006?

      • aceshigh11 - Jul 29, 2013 at 2:32 PM

        It’s true that his sons effectively took control of the franchise in 2006, but I was referring to the moment from when George Steinbrenner passed on foward.

        By “in decline”, I mean from the period 1995-2009. The core four are either aging, increasingly injury-prone retired, or retiring.

        They’re saddled with several increasingly unwieldy contracts with fading superstars.

        There’s no reason to be touchy; if you can’t admit that the Yankees dynasty of ’95-’09 is in decline and that they might not be able to replicate such lofty heights during the next few years, then I don’t know what to tell you.

        They could still end up being a very good team but it won’t be like it was.

      • protius - Jul 29, 2013 at 5:33 PM

        Aces, your original comments neither clearly define your meaning of decline, nor did they define your understanding of when Hal and Hank took control of the Yankee’s daily operations.

        Normally, readers comment on what you write. If you write clearly and concisely, then there is a good chance that you won’t mislead your readers, and you won’t have to back-track and explain what should have been apparent in the first place.

        You wrote: “There’s no reason to be touchy; if you can’t admit that the Yankees dynasty of ’95-’09 is in decline and that they might not be able to replicate such lofty heights during the next few years, then I don’t know what to tell you.” Sorry, but there is no relationship between “touchy,” and asking you to explain yourself.

        If you can’t admit that your comments of 10:49AM lacked information, then I suggest that you compare them with your comments of 2:32PM, and draw your own conclusions, if you can.

        BTW: Stating the obvious is pointless, i.e., the success of one Yankee team will always be different from the success of other successful Yankee teams. The relative variables are rarely ever the same.

      • aceshigh11 - Jul 29, 2013 at 6:21 PM

        Point taken…I got the date of the Steinbrenner sons’ takeover incorrect, but regardless, you know very well what I’m talking about.

        The Yankees are saddled with a number of large, lengthy contracts that won’t work out in the long run.

        With the retirement of Rivera and the inevitable decline and retirement of Jeter, an entire era that spanned nearly two decades will come to an end.

        Even back in 2006, the Yankees upper management was well aware that the decline of the core that won them so many divisions and championships was near.

        The infusion of talent in 2009 was a big deal for the Yankees…they won World Series but, in the long run, Burnett didn’t work out, and I don’t think Teixeira will either. Sabathia…too soon to tell.

        I stand by my statement that it’s the end of an era for the Yankees and that they’re in decline. It’s not a steep decline and they may very well be a great time again in 2-3 years, but it will be with a lot of new, young players.

      • protius - Jul 29, 2013 at 9:18 PM

        Aces: Sorry, but I don’t very well know what you were talking about.

        It is not the responsibility of the reader to assume what ideas the writer is trying to convey; it is the responsibility of the writer.

        I’m not obliged to read between the lines, in order to understand exactly what you’re trying to say. If the reader misinterprets what he reads between the lines, then that’s his problem. If understanding the writer requires reading between the lines, then that’s the writer’s problem.

        You can stand by what ever pleases you, but your original comments of 10:29AM, did not specify exactly what you believed in, i.e., the Yankee’s were in financial decline, moral decline or physical decline, etc, etc.

      • aceshigh11 - Jul 29, 2013 at 10:29 PM

        Don’t condescend to me like you’re some sort of college professor.

        I’m growing tired of this tedious nonsense since you refuse to actually address the point and instead lecture me in an insufferably arrogant manner.

    • aceshigh11 - Jul 29, 2013 at 11:09 AM

      Point taken…it’s always nice to have a reasoned discussion on these boards.

      (signed, a Red Sox fan who at least respects what the Yankees have achieved)

    • protius - Jul 29, 2013 at 1:08 PM

      Please explain how the people who are bringing suit, can at the same time be the people they are suing? Also, please explain how your poorly reasoned legal concept, put you in a position to teach Hal and Hank Steinbrenner “about being a Yankee?”

  14. peymax1693 - Jul 29, 2013 at 10:49 AM

    George Steinbrenner, while he owned the Yankees, hurt the Yankees brand more than Alex Rodriguez ever could. The lifetime suspension resulting from the Howie Spira/Dave Winfield saga, the conviction for perjury, the Manager Merry-go-round, etc., made the Yankees the laughing stock of the league for about 10+ years.

    • protius - Jul 29, 2013 at 1:28 PM

      You’d have to prove that George Steinbrenner “made the Yankees the laughing stock of the league for about 10+ years.” Moreover, you’d have to prove that Steinbrenner’s behavior caused the Yankees to suffer irreparable financial harm “for about 10+ years.”

      Appealing to innocence by association proves nothing. Simply claiming that Steinbrenner did more harm to the Yankees then Rodriguez, does not mean that Rodriguez has done no harm, or that he is not financially liable for the harm he did cause.

      • peymax1693 - Jul 29, 2013 at 1:46 PM

        I was pointing out that it would be hypocritical for the Yankees (i.e., the Steinbrenner family) to claim that A-rod damaged their brand when the Boss was making a fool of himself (and the Yankees) with his antics in the late 70’s through the early 90’s.

      • protius - Jul 29, 2013 at 3:33 PM

        I am pointing out that your argument is a slippery slope.

        Just because George Steinbrenner may have made a fool of himself as an owner, does not mean that A-Rod did not damage the Yankee brand as a player. Furthermore, your claim that the Yankee’s “would be hypocrites,” is without merit.

        For your claim to be true, you need to show that the Yankee’s imposed a double standard that makes a distinction between George Steinbrenner, and Alex Rodriguez. The fact is, if a double standard does exist, then it’s a manifestation of public opinion, and not a result of Yankee policy.

        If George Steinbrenner was punished in court for breaking the law, and in the court of public opinion for his behavior, then why should Alex Rodriguez escape similar punishment in those social mediums? How are the Yankees setting a double standard here? Where’s the hypocrisy?

        The Yankees are not asking that Rodriguez receive more punishment, or more public chastisement then George Steinbrenner did; they would be asking the court to judge Alex Rodriguez, and punish him for what ever they can prove he is responsible for.

        The Yankees are not asking the public to make a distinction between what George Steinbrenner did, and what Alex Rodriguez did. If the Yankees are not asking the public to make a distinction between George Steinbrenner and Alex Rodriguez, then they are not hypocrites.

  15. raysfan1 - Jul 29, 2013 at 1:37 PM

    I agree that trying to void contracts could create new problems, including players intentionally getting caught to get out of a rookie contract if they think that they’d actually end up with more money.

    However, I could see voiding all bonus money and awards for the season in which said player was caught. or the upcoming season if during the offseason.

    • chip56 - Jul 29, 2013 at 2:02 PM

      I think that in the new CBA there would be a provision that would prevent that from happening. Maybe a cap on how much a PED user can get in their next contract. In theory this would represent collusion, but if it’s collectively bargained I think it would be fine.

  16. chip56 - Jul 29, 2013 at 2:00 PM

    “The idea of voiding player contracts in retaliation for PED suspensions is a non-starter at present, as the Collective Bargaining Agreement specifies that the Joint Drug Agreement constitutes the sole basis of punishment for PED use.”

    Not arguing with this but it brings up an interesting point – this weekend Bill Madden had a quote from Max Scherzer who is Detroit’s player rep saying that he would be in favor of going after the contracts of cheaters.

    So while people can spin the notion that it’s only the media and a segment of the fans who are wringing their hands over steroid use in baseball but the truth is that the players themselves are incensed by guys using and want them caught, punished and humiliated as much, or more, than anyone else.

  17. kevinbnyc - Jul 29, 2013 at 2:45 PM

    What about the “Howard Stern Effect”? The fact that people may have watched the Yankees or gone to games, thereby boosting team revenues, just to boo A-Rod and watch in hopes that he failed?

  18. millmannj - Jul 29, 2013 at 3:27 PM

    I think the Pinstripe Bowl has done more damage to the Yankees brand than anything A-Rod injected into his body.

  19. psousa1 - Jul 29, 2013 at 4:19 PM

    The Brand? Clemens, Pettite, Mike Stanton, Giambi, Knoblauch, Chad Curtis, Gary Sheffield. Seems he in in lockstep with ‘The Brand’.

  20. deathmonkey41 - Jul 29, 2013 at 4:22 PM

    So, if A-Rod gets suspended for the rest of the season and next season without pay- where does that money go? Does MLB collect it as part of a fine or does it not count against the luxury tax threshold?

  21. jesster12 - Aug 6, 2013 at 4:28 PM

    Ok, the guy broke the law right? There is evidence he used drugs. Can’t he be prosecuted for this? Who is going to jail for this???

    If he killed someone, could he keep working under this contract?

    Someone prosecute this piece of crap.

    Can Hank Aaron sue? Hasn’t he been greatly harmed by this system?

    Can a clean Minor League Player sue for being in a system that requires him to use illegal drugs to be successful?

    What really sucks is that this is just the beginning. We have years of debates on this coming to Football, Basketball (Lebron???), and Golf (Phil?).

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