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Report: Bud Selig is prepared to tear up the drug agreement just to get A-Rod out of baseball

Jul 30, 2013, 7:49 AM EDT

Selig hands up

He is if you believe this report from the Daily News, anyway. Which, yes, is a pretty big caveat — this could very well just be a big bluff communicated to a newspaper which has done a great job over the years carrying the anti-PED crowd’s water — but we gotta take reports at face value until we have reason not to.

The report: that Bud Selig is prepared to invoke his powers to “preserve the integrity of the game” in order to keep Alex Rodriguez off the field even if he appeals his discipline. In other words: Selig will essentially void the part of the Joint Drug Agreement that allows players to play pending appeal and suspend him summarily.

Which is absolute madness, of course.

Even if A-Rod has done everything of which he is accused, even if he is the biggest PED user in the history of PED users, even if he has attempted to interfere with MLB’s investigation, he is still owed due process. Everyone is. The Joint Drug Agreement covers all of those offenses, even the interference with an investigation thing. It says that the JDA is the sole basis of discipline in matters arising out of PEDs. To deny a player his appeal rights under that agreement would be a shameful abuse of power, even when the player involved happens to be unpopular. The least of my brothers, and such.

At some point we have to ask ourselves how much of Major League Baseball’s investigation and subsequent discipline of Alex Rodriguez is about penalizing a player for his bad acts and how much of it is about kicking an unliked and unwanted player — and a player who makes an awful lot of money — out of the game simply because it would make most people feel good.

Of course, maybe it doesn’t go this far.  Maybe the point of this is to simply make Bud Selig look tough. After all, this very question — “Is Bud Selig going too far to fight the drug users?!” — serves his legacy interests very, very well.

152 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. jarathen - Jul 30, 2013 at 7:53 AM

    I don’t know how anyone would feel good about any of this at this point. It all makes me sick. Couple that with a terrible Angels team that now has to try to figure out how to rebuild with two huge contracts on the books and 2013 has been a good year to not care about baseball.

    • jarathen - Jul 30, 2013 at 8:19 AM

      Except for the great stories in Boston, Tampa, Pittsburgh, Oakland, etc.

    • pjmarn6 - Aug 3, 2013 at 6:14 PM

      Craig Calcaterra. I refer you to the sports article written by Bernie Wilson. Cabrera’s 4 hits help Padres beat Yankees 7-2.
      Unlike your articles which show malice, deliberate misinformation and criticism of other sports writers and companies, Bernie Wilson’s article was a straight forward recap of the Yankees-San Diego game with a few side statements about Cabrera’s suspension and other relevant details about the two teams. There is no steroid, PED’s rhetoric or histrionics about players not being treated right because of their decision to cheat, lie, steal. It was a straight up piece about baseball. It is something we, the fans want. We want information about a game and his opinion about the Yankee-San Diego game with a few stats.
      You still don’t understand that you are a sports writer, not a politician or manager or owner or commissioner or anything to do with the workings of baseball. Your cheap shots, lies, effrontery and disgusting support for the cheats and your demands that those cheats’ statistics be included in the HOF and that these cheats also be inducted into the HOF places you squarely in their camp. In fact if you have the right to vote for HOF inductees, then that right should be taken away from you.

  2. Charles Gates - Jul 30, 2013 at 7:54 AM

    Wait, you think Selig might be going hard after ARod for PR purposes? No way. He’s thinking about the children.

    • southofheaven81 - Jul 30, 2013 at 8:36 AM

  3. jdv22 - Jul 30, 2013 at 8:00 AM

    Sometimes you have to make an example out of someone. A-Rod put himself in the crosshairs.

  4. Bob Loblaw - Jul 30, 2013 at 8:00 AM

    He will get his due process. He just won’t get to play while he is getting his due process. No biggie.

  5. hojo20 - Jul 30, 2013 at 8:01 AM

    The best interests of baseball would be to let A-Rod play the remainder of the season. It would be good for business.

  6. rightherenow123 - Jul 30, 2013 at 8:02 AM

    Craig, two points.

    First, where would Federal laws come into play. I know we all think baseball can do anything it wants, but there are still laws in the country.

    Second, does this mean maybe they do not have the goods on him and are worried he may win?

    • rbj1 - Jul 30, 2013 at 9:59 AM

      CBAs (the JDA is part of it) fall under the purview of the NLRB. And if a party feels they misapplied the law, the remedy is federal court. This could drag on for years, and if Alex is suspended without pay in the meantime, that’s material harm and he might get a court injunction against a suspension.

      • bigharold - Jul 30, 2013 at 10:12 AM

        “..that’s material harm and he might get a court injunction against a suspension.”

        And, if he win’s he can not only get back pay he might well get damages too. Imagine that, .. A-Rod could end up with more than the $100 mil he’s already owed.

  7. natslady - Jul 30, 2013 at 8:06 AM

    It’s a strange situation when a guy’s own team would not object to (and would probably delight in) a suspension for the rest of 2013 and the entirety of 2014.

    I suspect that what aggravates MLB is that not only did A-rod use himself, but he was probably a channel for younger players. I read a long story about how Manny Machado worshipped him (NOT accusing Machado, be clear on that), and several other reports about how he would sit with young players and help them with hitting, watch video with them for hours, etc. etc. It’s hard to imagine that if he was a heavy PED user himself he wouldn’t pass along tips.

    If MLB has evidence, by way of texts or other hard documentation, that Rodriguez either supplied other players or pointed them in the direction of PEDs, then I can see why Selig goes after him so hard. It isn’t just that he is a star, but that you want to get at the “source” and not just the users.

    Another question–what is the role of these guys’ agents? Are you telling me that every agent is totally clean, none of them have ever hinted to a client about career-extending or career-enhancing drugs, when their cut is at stake? What is MLB able to do if an agency is involved?

    • jwbiii - Jul 30, 2013 at 8:44 AM

      From the JDA:

      7. DISCIPLINE
      F. Participation in the Sale or Distribution of a Prohibited Substance
      1. First offense: At least an 80-game but not more than a 100-game suspension, if the Prohibited Substance is a Performance Enhancing Substance

      If he was selling stanozolol out of the trunk of his car, he’d be back by mid-May at the latest.

  8. greymares - Jul 30, 2013 at 8:07 AM

    I get it A. Rodriquez is finished now give me the rest of the NAMES.

    • proudlycanadian - Jul 30, 2013 at 8:34 AM

      Coming soon to an internet server near you.

  9. proudlycanadian - Jul 30, 2013 at 8:10 AM

    1) Is Bud trying to do the Yankees a favor by getting them out from under that contract?

    2) Is there a double standard? Bonds was not treated this way.

    • sdelmonte - Jul 30, 2013 at 8:54 AM

      I think that if they had strong evidence during Bonds’s career, he would have been given the same scrutiny.

      However…he was beloved in SF. And had a shorter contract.

    • paperlions - Jul 30, 2013 at 9:19 AM

      Bonds was blackballed by MLB.

      His last season he put up a 157 wRC+, .480 OBP, .565 SLG, which is fantastic….and not a single team expressed interest in signing him. MLB did give him a life-time ban, and similar to this attempt, they did it illegally (that time via obvious collusion).

      MLB has a CBA and a JDA….and there are provisions to handle ARod’s situation in those collectively bargained agreements. My only problem is that MLB is trying to ignore their own collectively bargained contracts.

  10. chacochicken - Jul 30, 2013 at 8:11 AM

    To keep Arod from ever playing again is like killing Hitler.

    /hyperbole

  11. mattjg - Jul 30, 2013 at 8:11 AM

    At what point do a player’s attempts to hide his PED use go beyond what’s covered by the JDA? Is it lying about not using, which some claim Braun’s greatest offense? Is it tampering with or attempting to buy evidence? Intimidating witnesses? Let’s say Rodriguez had hired someone to break into Tony Bosch’s office and steal the evidence, would that warrant additional suspension?

    I’d say lying about steroid-use shouldn’t warrant additional suspension; call me jaded, but I expect a player using PED’s to lie about using them when confronted. On the other hand, if a player breaks the law by stealing evidence or threatening a witness (to be clear, I’m not accusing A-Rod of doing either of these things) I have no problem with Selig suspending a player for breaking the law like that.

    It seems that A-Rod probably did something in the middle. It sounds like A-Rod attempted to thwart MLB’s investigation, but not through illegal means. I’d lean toward not giving him additional time off, but I think Craig’s presentation of the issue is a little skewed. MLB isn’t claiming that A-Rod should be suspended for life because he used steroids repeatedly or because he made them look bad, rather they’re claiming he interfered with their investigation, a transgression not covered by the JDA.

    • mattjg - Jul 30, 2013 at 8:15 AM

      In my haste to get my opinion out there on the interwebs, I missed the part of this post that said the JDA covers interference with the investigation. I hadn’t realized that. What does it say on the topic?

  12. myhawks1976 - Jul 30, 2013 at 8:13 AM

    I have seen multiple people say that this is a sign that Baseball doesn’t have the goods on Rodriguez, and therefore is reaching for straws.

    I couldn’t disagree more. if you look at the way this has played, I think that baseball has more evidence on Alex than they have ever had on anyone. if they pursued the “PED” route, they are limited by the JDA in terms of punishments.

    I think, based on the reports out there and the actions of both sides, that baseball not only has him dead to rights on PEDs, but I think they have him on so much more. recruiting for Biogenesis? distributing? rumors of witness tampering? an attempt to destroy evidence?

    the only way I can see Selig going this harsh of a route is if he is completely confident this can win in court or arbitration. let’s not forget baseball has some very good attorneys that are helping Selig craft this path.

    I don’t see how, in any way, this can end well for Alex. if this goes to court, we are ALL going to know exactly what they have. the fact that baseball doesn’t seem at all worried about that very realistic conclusion of this tells me that they are happy with the hand they are holding.

    • ltzep75 - Jul 30, 2013 at 9:21 AM

      Just because his counsel may be well qualified, does not necessarily mean that MLB is following their advice to the letter (but rather, just paying the bill each month).

      There are two possible assumptions (as you indicated above). (1) Baseball has the goods on AROD, from use to distribution to spoliation of evidence/tampering; or (2) Baseball has information regarding use and is stretching the catchall “best interests” clause to effect some heavy handed, high hat type “justice.” At this point, considering the dearth of information the public has (other than leaks), as well as the past history of all involved, I’d say it’s a toss up as to which of the two assumptions outlined above holds any water.

  13. heyblueyoustink - Jul 30, 2013 at 8:14 AM

    Bud……..ahhhhhhh…….he’s the savior of the universe!

    He’s for everyone of us
    Stand for everyone of us
    He saved with a mighty hand
    Every man every woman
    Every child – he’s a mighty Bud.

    • paperlions - Jul 30, 2013 at 9:21 AM

      Bud….Bud, I love you, but we only have 14 hours to save baseball.

      • Francisco (FC) - Jul 30, 2013 at 9:46 AM

        So just to be clear… A-rod is Ming right?

      • paperlions - Jul 30, 2013 at 9:48 AM

        Obviously, I think that makes Braun and Colon, Warlock and Ajax, respectively.

    • thumper001 - Aug 1, 2013 at 4:19 PM

      And that’s why, this Bud’s for you!

      When you say Bud, you’ve said it all. bump bump bump. Ya da da ya da-da-da.

      • jimeejohnson - Aug 1, 2013 at 8:20 PM

        Thought that was Northern Cal and the bud you referred to was.,.

  14. 13arod - Jul 30, 2013 at 8:15 AM

    Does bud seig think he can suspend arod without letting him do an appel that is unfair for arod

    • mattjg - Jul 30, 2013 at 8:22 AM

      I like to think A-Rod has nothing better to do during his rehab than read HBT and that he just found out Selig might suspend him outside of the JDA.

  15. skeleteeth - Jul 30, 2013 at 8:15 AM

    “The report: that Bud Selig is prepared to invoke his powers to “preserve the integrity of the game” in order to keep Alex Rodriguez off the field even if he appeals his discipline.”

    Good god, get fucked. That ship has sailed many moons ago. First step would be to get an owner out of the commissioner’s seat.

  16. deathmonkey41 - Jul 30, 2013 at 8:16 AM

    He would do the same to David Ortiz also…oh wait, no he wouldn’t because that guy is so damn loveable!

    • skeleteeth - Jul 30, 2013 at 8:19 AM

      Bitter, bitter tears.

      • deathmonkey41 - Jul 30, 2013 at 11:28 AM

        Go hug a Purplesaurus Wreck, you cod!

  17. aceshigh11 - Jul 30, 2013 at 8:17 AM

    The overly-punitive, unilateral, borderline-authoritarian approach that Selig is taking here mirrors the U.S. government’s out-of-control behavior over the past 40 years with respect to the War on Drugs, the War on Crime, and the War on Terror.

    The more this type of creeping authoritarianism is normalized in all facets of American life, the more our rights get chipped away at, bit by bit, without people noticing, or even in some pernicious cases, cheering it on, because “the person deserves it”.

    I know that in this case we’re talking about a very rich, very disliked man playing a game, but it’s the principle. No matter how much you hate A-Rod, the rules shouldn’t be bent or broken to target any one player.

    • paperlions - Jul 30, 2013 at 9:23 AM

      Wait a gosh darned minute here. Are you trying to say that wealthy people in power just change the rules to suit their own ends and don’t have societies best interests in mind? Well, I just can’t believe such a thing.

    • jarathen - Jul 30, 2013 at 9:38 AM

      We need a chorus of apologists saying “If you’re not guilty, what are you so scared of?” to complete the transition to willing participants of our own oppression.

    • lilprofsports - Jul 30, 2013 at 9:47 AM

      If we don’t ban A-Rod for life, the Craig Calca-terrorists win.

      (I’m sorry, I had to.)

      • paperlions - Jul 30, 2013 at 9:52 AM

        No apology necessary..that was darn near perfection.

      • aceshigh11 - Jul 30, 2013 at 9:52 AM

        I like that! Well-played.

  18. theebbandflow - Jul 30, 2013 at 8:21 AM

    After all, this very question — “Is Bud Selig going too far to fight the drug users?!” — serves his legacy interests very, very well.

    Does it? At this stage, it just looks like a ridiculously overblown witchhunt and I can’t see that it’ll be remembered as anything else unless he manages to carry out some Stalinistic revision of history.

    I mean, I’m sure it probably won’t be remembered that Selig and MLB needed the sports media to do half their job, but at the same time, not doing things privately, not holding back on what they’ve discovered about player X, and not revealing who they’re talking to to get a testimony, is just making everything a farce.

    His legacy would be served well if he just sorted the problem out quickly and decisively AND THEN made all the statements and comments.

    • jm91rs - Jul 30, 2013 at 8:55 AM

      Think about what Bud’s Legacy will be in 10 years. Hopefully the game will be a little cleaner, and everyone will say “remember that steroid era?”

      The game has grown exponentially over the years, but all of the numbers that allow people to compare a player from one era to another have been tainted. While it hasn’t turned people off from the game, it is most definitely a black eye for the sport. I believe Bud is trying one last ridiculous approach so that he might not be remembered as the commish that turned a blind eye to steroids.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jul 30, 2013 at 9:01 AM

        but all of the numbers that allow people to compare a player from one era to another have been tainted.

        Why? PEDs have been in baseball since the 60s, and possibly even earlier. How has the “steroid era” made it impossible to compare across era’s when we’ve had the mound lowered, expansion, smaller ballparks, changes to the composition of the balls, a ban on minorities playing, etc.

      • jwbiii - Jul 30, 2013 at 9:42 AM

        Why? PEDs have been in baseball since the 60s

        1890s.

        http://articles.washingtonpost.com/2009-05-25/news/36837898_1_testosterone-olympians-testicles

  19. ctony1216 - Jul 30, 2013 at 8:25 AM

    Why doesn’t MLB just announce the suspensions rather than whisper all the things they’re going to do to A-Rod?

    I still get the feeling that they haven’t thought this thing all the way through.

    • natslady - Jul 30, 2013 at 8:33 AM

      There’s an awful lot of posturing and leaking from both sides, so tough to tell. My suspicion is that MLB had some hope Rodriguez would turn “state’s evidence” on some of the other players, and that’s why they waited on the other suspensions. From the public comments, it seems that’s not the case, and MLB will go with what they have. But who knows, they may still be negotiating, not only with Rodriguez, but with the other players–right up until the last minute.

    • aceshigh11 - Jul 30, 2013 at 8:35 AM

      It’s appears to me that MLB thinks it’s easier to crush A-Rod under their boot heel because he’s so universally despised than it is to approach this slightly more rationally.

  20. buffalowned - Jul 30, 2013 at 8:30 AM

    Not sure if I believe this or think its possible but the Yankees should absolutely be able to void a-rod’s contract. They were unaware of his steroid use when they gave him the deal and he hasn’t been able to stay healthy since he admitted use. Every future contract in baseball should have a clause that allows the team to terminate contracts for proven ped use. It’s Ridiculous that guys like Braun can get a slap on the wrist then come back and collect the rest of their 100 mil. You wanna get ped’s out of the game? Add an early termination clause in contracts or give these guys lifetime bans. 50 games isn’t gonna stop a guy from taking a chance

    • natslady - Jul 30, 2013 at 8:35 AM

      IF IF the players are as serious as they claim about cleaning up the game then it would be in the next CBA that contracts could be voided. Couldn’t they even amend the current CBA? Let’s see if the “clean” players push for it.

      • bigharold - Jul 30, 2013 at 10:43 AM

        ” Let’s see if the “clean” players push for it.”

        They are serious, hence the JDA was added to the CBA. The problem is MLB is wadding up that entire effort just to make an example out of A-Rod. Ultimately that will blow up in their face because they will lose that cooperation with the union.

        The mechanisms already exist to “get” A-Rod or any other PED user and all MLB has to do is use them. Instead, MLB is more interested in acting like a tough guy. In fact they are in the midst of snatching defeat from the jaw of victory.

    • chadjones27 - Jul 30, 2013 at 8:45 AM

      Players would never go for it and the player’s union would fight that kind of contract language. At least not until PED testing is 100% accurate.

      • natslady - Jul 30, 2013 at 9:16 AM

        Agree on the testing accuracy, plus there are all the masking agents and other dodges. However, maybe on a second offense, or with supporting evidence (texts, witnesses, etc.)? Also, what about not letting teams NOT replace the roster spot (at the very least the 40-man roster spot)–that would be a disincentive to teams to sign a possible repeat offender.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jul 30, 2013 at 9:25 AM

        plus there are all the masking agents

        There’s no such thing as a masking agent.

      • chadjones27 - Jul 30, 2013 at 9:39 AM

        natslady, I’m all for the roster spot idea. I think it’s great. It lends to internal policing, knowing that you’re hurting the team more.

        church, there may be no actual masking agent, but players have been banned for using substances known to help provide a negative testing result. I believe Manny got hit for that. Something regarding an estrogen supplement that is usually only given to menopausal women.

      • natslady - Jul 30, 2013 at 9:47 AM

        @church, I’m not a medical expert–but, if there were a masking agent, how would we know it? I mean, if it were effective.

      • paperlions - Jul 30, 2013 at 10:01 AM

        How would we know if a masking agent exists or would be effective? Seriously? Who do you think does medical/physiological research?

      • raysfan1 - Jul 30, 2013 at 10:04 AM

        Natslady–they can and do test for known adulterants and other substance known for interfering with test results.

      • natslady - Jul 30, 2013 at 10:22 AM

        Medical/psychological research? I dunno–maybe athletes and their agents who have hundreds of millions of dollars at stake?

      • paperlions - Jul 30, 2013 at 12:44 PM

        What they have at stake is irrelevant. Millions of dollars are poured into testing…there is no such thing as a masking agent (i.e. something one can take that will prevent tests from detecting particular substances).

  21. tgthree - Jul 30, 2013 at 8:36 AM

    Could someone please point out to me the language in the JDA where interference with an investigation is covered?

  22. trickybastard - Jul 30, 2013 at 8:37 AM

    That first paragraph is bad writing

  23. deadeyedesign23 - Jul 30, 2013 at 8:41 AM

    I would love if you guys stopped treating the Daily News like it was an actual newspaper that reported facts.

  24. rbj1 - Jul 30, 2013 at 8:41 AM

    I want an Alex Rodriguez v. MLB federal court case. Discovery should be . . . Interesting, and Canseco’s testimony might just provide a big embarrassment.

  25. andyreidisfat - Jul 30, 2013 at 8:55 AM

    I have been reading this losers posts for like a week now and I gotta say not only are you a straight up bad writer, but your a moron as well. “Carrying water for the anti-ped crowd” really ? You made that comment ? That would be as opposed to you sir who is carrying water for the pro-ped crowd ? Loser. I don’t even care that you carry your clear distain for my phillies into your national blog, but you have defended a bunch of cheaters, acting as if these players are somehow being attacked for no reason. Craig your a loser

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jul 30, 2013 at 9:03 AM

      I gotta say not only are you a straight up bad writer, but your a moron as well…Craig your a loser

      The irony, it’s delicious!

    • skeleteeth - Jul 30, 2013 at 9:07 AM

      Unlike you, or any stable, productive human being for that matter, Craig is not an enemy of rational thought and public discourse. How you can construe anything he’s ever written as in support of PED’s is baffling.

      • deathmonkey41 - Jul 30, 2013 at 11:32 AM

        I’ve always construed Craig’s words as “Pro Drowning Kittens”

    • unclemosesgreen - Jul 30, 2013 at 9:11 AM

      ‘your a moron’ lmao

      Thanks again PFT

      • imnotyourbuddyguy - Jul 30, 2013 at 10:27 AM

        Hey Boy
        You take those meds I spoke of Boy?

      • unclemosesgreen - Jul 30, 2013 at 10:30 AM

        Hey you’re that fucking idiot from yesterday, right? Are you the same fucking piece of shit who likes to post on youtube about how all middle-class blacks have ni**ers inside them? That’s you, right?

      • imnotyourbuddyguy - Jul 30, 2013 at 10:38 AM

        The fuck are you talking about you filthy piece of sh1t?

        See Craig this is the type of fucking shit you encourage by not cleaning up the fucking trash.

        Unclemosegreen, you’re an unbalanced dumb fuck that offers nothing to this blog. You’re a piece of fucking garbage that just makes up shit and posts them in comments sections.

        Nova Scotia? Racist? Youtube? The FUCK ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT YOU WORTHLESS WASTE OF FUCKING AIR.

        I DON”T GIVE A FUCK IF YOU’RE BLACK FILTHY OR WHITE FILTH, YOU ARE WITHOUT A DOUBT GUTTER TRASH.

        PLEASE GO STICK A RIFLE IN YOUR MOUTH AND PULL THE TRIGGER

      • unclemosesgreen - Jul 30, 2013 at 11:30 AM

        Saltine. Ritz. And my favorite, Animal. You get the idea.

      • unclemosesgreen - Jul 30, 2013 at 10:33 AM

        Seeing as how you’re an illiterate piece of shit I know you can’t have a job with a desk and computer. So you’re just sitting in your mother’s house trolling a baseball site when you aren’t even a baseball fan. It’s hard to imagine anything much sadder. BTW I’m getting paid to make fun of your dumb ass.

      • Bryz - Jul 30, 2013 at 10:47 AM

        *sigh*

        Someone ban imnotyourbuddyguy and unclemosesgreen before Godwin’s Law is achieved.

      • unclemosesgreen - Jul 30, 2013 at 10:52 AM

        I’m done with him now, just had to pull another white hood off. That’s one way it’s nothing like Godwin’s Law. Also, that guys is an actual frothing-at-the-mouth modern day racist, but I never once called him any form of Nazi, neo or otherwise. I stick to what I can prove. In this case I’m the garbageman, taking out a piece of trash, and you are a late-arriving judgmental ass whose opinion is not welcome on this matter.

        p.s. who the fuck are you to tell Craig or anyone else what to do with their website?

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