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MLB is gonna tell us what it has on A-Rod at some point, right?

Aug 1, 2013, 3:16 PM EDT

Bud Selig

Is Major League Baseball going to show us what it has on Alex Rodriguez?  I feel like it has to at some point, don’t you?

Maybe not if they settle. If A-Rod and is legal team agree to take some harsh discipline and part of that is an agreement that MLB keep what it has on him confidential, I’m OK with that. Because at least at that point the person most directly affected by MLB’s act — A-Rod himself — has implicitly agreed that the evidence against him is strong and roughly justifies the penalty he receives.  But what if he fights? And what if that fight lasts a long, long time? Won’t Major League Baseball have to tell us what A-Rod did exactly?

I say that because, while we have heard report after report about just how badly A-Rod behaved, we don’t have anything but the most broad explanations of it. He allegedly used PEDs. He allegedly lied about it. He allegedly obstructed the investigation. There are disputes about how he did so, ranging from him simply talking to Tony Bosch and/or Porter Fischer about buying evidence, possibly at their initiation, possibly his, to him actively trying to destroy it and intimidate witnesses.

There’s a lot of ground covered in those allegations. If the worst is borne out it may very well justify A-Rod being banned for life. But a more charitable interpretation of those allegations covers things other Biogenesis-related players have done. Ryan Braun took PEDs and lied. Melky Cabrera took PEDs and attempted to obstruct. It’s not easy to say based on what we know that what they did was 1/3 as bad (if, say, A-Rod gets 150 games) or a fraction as bad (if A-Rod is banned for life).

Is Major League Baseball obligated to tell us anything? No. They’re a private enterprise. And of course, there is supposed to be a general cloak of confidentiality around all drug discipline.  But that has long gone out the window thanks to leaks from people close to the process.  And, more importantly, because of the unorthodox nature of this entire process.  If things were operating as the Joint Drug Agreement specifies, fine, we can accept silence. But there is large deviation from that now and we’re not sure why.

And ultimately, there is a credibility issue in play. Buck Showalter today observed that MLB’s discipline of Rodriguez is going to create a windfall for the Yankees’ business interests and possibly its competitive ones. He is most certainly right. Others — including many HBT readers — have gone a step further, saying that this is all starting to look like a very convenient way of getting the league’s marquee franchise out from under one of its largest ever financial mistakes: signing A-Rod to a ridiculous contract in the first place.

As I said earlier today, I’m not inclined to engage in conspiracy theories and I feel like any benefit to the Yankees is incidental and welcome, not intended. But not everyone is going to think that way. Some will think this is rigged. More calm and reasonable people may not buy that, but may very well think Major League Baseball is acting arbitrarily with respect to Rodriguez and may wonder why he is being treated so harshly when Ryan Braun, who was portrayed as just as villainous until two weeks ago, got off so lightly. Maybe that is justified. But I feel like we should not have to take that on Major League Baseball’s word alone.

Perhaps MLB intends to present its evidence to the public at some point anyway and my concern is unfounded. Perhaps it is merely, and understandably, waiting for this process to play out first.  That would make sense.  But I do think, at some point, people should know why the game’s highest paid and highest profile player is getting either a defacto or an actual lifetime ban when no one else involved in roughly similar activities is getting anything close.

  1. elwaysagenius - Aug 1, 2013 at 3:18 PM

    This whole thing is rediculous, and whatever the outcome is, we will all hate it.

    • stoutfiles - Aug 1, 2013 at 3:26 PM

      Yep. A-Rod wins, the vast majority of us hate it. If A-Rod loses, then Yankees win, and the vast majority of us hate it.

      • bigharold - Aug 1, 2013 at 3:55 PM

        You Sir nailed it!

    • fanofevilempire - Aug 1, 2013 at 4:24 PM

      The only thing that hasn’t been leaked is the huge amounts of evidence, that is how you know MLB is talking to espn, fox, nbc and all of sports radio, bunch of scumbags.
      I hope the lawyers go thru everything before they make a deal, I don’t trust Selig that POS!

  2. jayscarpa - Aug 1, 2013 at 3:22 PM

    No, I doubt they will. I can live with that.

  3. mybrunoblog - Aug 1, 2013 at 3:28 PM

    Id like to see the evidence but I won’t feel cheated if MLB never publicly reveals it. Besides, between all the parties
    involved (MLB, Players Association, Arod spokesperson & legal team, etc.) it will undoubtedly be leaked out at some point.

    • fanofevilempire - Aug 1, 2013 at 4:26 PM

      so you by pass seeing any evidence and Alex is guilty, WTF.

      • mornelithe - Aug 1, 2013 at 5:38 PM

        Arod and MLB wouldn’t be talking deal if he and his lawyer’s felt the evidence against them wasn’t sufficient. Any decent lawyer would be able to fight overly harsh charges, especially when precedent has been already set for liars/obstructionists.

        I’d love to see the evidence, don’t get me wrong. But, either way, I know he’s done some serious if he’s working out a deal in the triple digit games range.

  4. sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Aug 1, 2013 at 3:33 PM

    But innuendo and rumor serve MLB’s purposes SO MUCH better than facts. ARod is bad, and Bud made the bad man go away.

  5. icanspeel - Aug 1, 2013 at 3:38 PM

    I’d like to know what they had on each player suspended. It’s 1 thing to be suspended for a positive test, but being suspended for ties with Biogenesis makes me wonder what proof they had.

  6. misterj167 - Aug 1, 2013 at 3:39 PM

    We need a commissioner who will act in the interests of the game and not the interests of the owners. I don’t buy this “former owner” nonsense, I don’t believe there’s any such thing. If I recall correctly, it’s the owners that choose who the Commissioner will be, that needs to change.

    And I’ll keep belaboring the point that throughout the history of the game, it’s been the owners who have caused the most damage. Apartheid. The reserve clause. Ridiculous contracts.

    And what I still find most disgusting is the knee-jerk reaction of so many fans to scream at the players and absolutely ignore any wrongdoing by the owners. It’s because of them that the owners can feel more free to do what they do.

    • hbj39 - Aug 1, 2013 at 5:27 PM

      It stinks, but the job description of the commissioner isn’t to make baseball the best it can be. Its to make the owners, collectively, as much money as possible. A comissioner who acts against the owners is out of a job. Baseball is a business first, and, as fans, we have to put up with whatever crap the owners and their elected commissioner come up with.

      Or we could stop watching. I’d have to see a lot more crap for that, though.

  7. flamethrower101 - Aug 1, 2013 at 3:46 PM

    I honestly feel like Bud Selig is serious about his retirement and is using this scandal to say “Well screw it I won’t be here after this year! I’ll let the next guy clean up!”

    Seriously, just announce the suspensions already!

  8. clarenceoveur - Aug 1, 2013 at 3:50 PM

    Let’s say its 150 games, that’s about $25 million in the Yankees pockets. I hate the Yankees, but that’s just not going to change their spending behavior all that much. If they get the lifetime ban, yes, its a windfall, but that feels extraordinarily unlikely to actually happen.

    • bigharold - Aug 1, 2013 at 4:05 PM

      If they get 150 games, .. and that’s a big if, .. $25 mil, gets them under the $189mil luxury tax threshold in 2014 and resets their offender status. It may well in fact, in the long run, facilitate their spending habits.

      • clarenceoveur - Aug 1, 2013 at 6:30 PM

        Very true, they’re basically locked to get under the luxury tax number. They were likely to go under it anyway though. I guess it does matter though in that they can now sign Cano and another FA if they want.

    • rsdofny - Aug 1, 2013 at 4:21 PM

      There are a few million dollars at stake (tickets, food, souvenir) in every game at Yankees Stadium. If the team does not perform (like this year), the monetary loss for Yankees management is enormous. Every million saved is good for the organization, but that is too little when compared with the opportunity loss for not fielding the right team on the field.

      • Glenn - Aug 1, 2013 at 10:01 PM

        It’s almost Monopoly money to them. Even in an off year, they make more than twice any other team. Their overall profits are ridiculous.

  9. ezthinking - Aug 1, 2013 at 3:51 PM

    The next CBA/JDA needs severe punishment for leaked information.

    Simply put, why is there no condemnation from MLB for the ‘leaks?’ Is it anything but they are knowingly putting the information out there? Isn’t there no doubt this is a direct violation of both the CBA and the JDA?

    MLB could owe the Union and ARod money for these violations alone, not to mention what happens in the next labor negotiations.

    • bigharold - Aug 1, 2013 at 4:35 PM

      “..why is there no condemnation from MLB for the ‘leaks?’”

      Because they are leaking about A-Rod who is clearly the worst villain since they beginning of villainy.

      There is severe punishment for leaking Federal Grand Jury testimony but that didn’t stop anybody in the Bonds case.

  10. sdelmonte - Aug 1, 2013 at 3:51 PM

    I remember the Dowd Report. When Pete Rose was banned, we had 225 pages of data to explain why. Not everyone might have agreed with the conclusion (though I don’t know of anyone who didn’t), but the case against Pete Rose was spelled out in great detail.

    So there is precedent. Then again, Bart Giamatti always struck me as a man of deep personal integrity in ways that almost no one in the front office is. Or ever has been. This is not to say that Selig (or Goddell or Stern or most owners in the major sports) don’t have integrity. But Giamatti, perhaps since he was more a scholar than a businessman (though also clearly connected to the corporate world when he was looking for donations to Yale), was never going to run things the way that others did.

    Meaning that I agree with Craig, and that I am not getting my hopes up there will be transparency. And that I still miss Bart.

    • bigharold - Aug 1, 2013 at 4:09 PM

      I’m not sure if the JDA ot CBA even allow for the release of the evidence. It really doesn’t make a difference because 1. MLB has proven it has no qualms about leaking information, especially about A-Rod, to further their ends. 2. With the Feds no getting involved it’s either going to be leaked or it’s going to end up in court.

  11. southpaw2k - Aug 1, 2013 at 3:59 PM

    I’m still trying to figure out what A-Rod could offer in a deal with MLB. Would they want him to somehow give up on the money the Yankees owe him on the remainder of his contract? Would they want him name names of anyone else he knew who had taken PEDs during his career? If he did turn into a whistleblower, how could he possibly share a locker room with any other player or team for the rest of his life? How could anyone trust him?

    Stoutfiles said it best though – the general fans and public will probably hate whatever is the result of this entire investigation.

    • randygnyc - Aug 1, 2013 at 4:44 PM

      Arod doesn’t have to have anything to offer MLB, only that he agrees not to fight his suspension. MLB sees that as a great value in return for some leniency. Firstly, it will avoid the costly litigation, and more importantly, the very public process. Secondly and most importantly, if Arod agrees in return for leniency, perception will be that MLB was valid and correct in its pursuit and determination of this suspension.

  12. heyblueyoustink - Aug 1, 2013 at 4:00 PM

    “Won’t Major League Baseball have to tell us what A-Rod did exactly?”

    Aided in the escape of Eric Snowden…. that’s my running theory.

  13. wpjohnson - Aug 1, 2013 at 4:01 PM

    Is Selig ever going to do anything? Pee or get off the pot, Bud. This is ridiculous.

  14. bigharold - Aug 1, 2013 at 4:01 PM

    “If A-Rod … agree to take some harsh discipline and part of that is an agreement that MLB keep what it has on him confidential, …”

    Like MLB is going to keep that promise. Guaranteed that MLB hands over everything to WikiLeaks or Bill Madden, (same thing really), if A-Rod was stupid enough to accept that. Also, with the Feds involved it’s going to come out anyway, ..(see Bonds’ perjury trial).

    If MLB could live up ti their end of the bargain, nobody would know that A-Rod failed the 2003 “survey”.

  15. Walk - Aug 1, 2013 at 4:04 PM

    We can expect the arod evidence in roughly the time frame we got from the braun arbitrator giving us his report. Oh wait never mind…

  16. whatthehellisansky - Aug 1, 2013 at 4:24 PM

    What would Roger Goodell Do?

  17. first2fifteen - Aug 1, 2013 at 4:26 PM

    Showalter is such a whiner. He wants the Yanks punished for A-Rod’s transgression. He was A-Rod’s manager when he started using PEDs, don’t see him volunteering to be held accountable.

  18. herkulease - Aug 1, 2013 at 4:27 PM

    No they won’t. They are worried about it being scrutinized heavily by the non sports press. They can some what control the sports press easier to fit the narrative they want.

    Releasing everything invites others to start digging and start questioning some of MLB’s moves, like paying Biogenesis people. Even if it was 1 penny it looks bad.

    Depending on what punishment A-Rod gets they’ll compare start comparing it and the evidence if any they have on Braun, Melky and others.

    It just becomes a messy PR situation, that MLB rather keep things as tidy and confined to a few days or weeks at most.

  19. Sign Ahead - Aug 1, 2013 at 4:36 PM

    “Because A-Rod,” isn’t a good reason?

  20. caeser12 - Aug 1, 2013 at 4:53 PM

    MLB is gonna tell us what it has on A-Rod at some point, right?

    No, why should he? Everyone already hates A-rod, so it won’t matter.

    Braun was the smokescreen, A-rod is the fire.

  21. mornelithe - Aug 1, 2013 at 5:52 PM

    You know, setting aside the PED’s thing for a moment, if only the witness tampering/intimidation and attempted evidence purchase/destruction are true…those represent pretty serious crimes in our society. From what we know (which may or may not be true), they have enough on A-Rod that he and his lawyers are attempting to make a deal somewhere in the triple digit games dept. Can there really be any doubt that whatever they have on him, is pretty damning? Is it common practice to deal when you’re innocent and/or they don’t have solid evidence on you?

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