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What happens next in the A-Rod saga?

Aug 5, 2013, 5:07 PM EDT

New York Yankees v New York Mets Getty Images

We know what MLB has done (dropped the hammer). We know what Alex Rodriguez will do (appeal). So what happens next?

A-Rod plays

Technically, Rodriguez’s suspension does not go into effect until Thursday. This is due to certain procedural provisions built into the disciplinary rules which call for a certain amount of time for a player to be given official notice of the discipline and to prepare his response. As we know, Rodriguez is allowed to play pending appeal. If he were to lose his appeal, every game he plays during the appeal’s pendency will be tacked back on to the end so that he serves his full time. So if he loses, A-Rod will be out of baseball into 2015.

The Arbitraion

The appeal will be held before independent arbitrator, Fred Horowitz, who was hired by agreement between Major League Baseball and the players’ union to hear such appeals. The schedule is in flux, as arbitrations tend to follow a relaxed procedure compared to formal cases in courts of law, but most experts believe that the appeal will be heard sometime in September.

At arbitration, both Rodriguez and Major League Baseball will be able to put on evidence, just like any court case. It is presumed that Anthony Bosch and/or Porter Fischer of Biogenesis will testify. Major League Baseball, which has suggested that its evidence against Rodriguez is quite strong, likely has other witnesses and reams of documents as well. It is not certain if Alex Rodriguez will testify, though it is uncommon for players to do so at arbitration.  Rodriguez’s main argument could likewise sidestep his actions altogether and focus instead on the notion that, whatever he did, 211 games is too severe a sanction.

Horowitz can do any number of things with Major League Baseball’s decision. He could sustain the suspension as-is. He could reduce it. He could overrule it in its entirety.  The parties could settle before an arbitration begins. Or during it.

After the arbitration

No matter who wins and who loses, the arbitration is likely to be the final word. It is technically possible for a losing party to appeal an adverse arbitration decision to a regular court of law, but it is extraordinarily difficult to do so — one usually need prove that the arbitrator wildly exceeded his legal authority — and such moves are rarely successful.

In essence, once the arbitrator renders his decision — which could take any amount of time given how much discretion the arbitrator has to do his work — the case will be over.

Wild cards

It has been suggested that perhaps Rodriguez could file a lawsuit outside of the arbitration process. Such a move was far more likely when Major League Baseball was considering going outside of the Joint Drug Agreement and trying to keep A-Rod off the field during his appeal. Now that they have declined to do that, it’s highly likely that no court would entertain an A-Rod lawsuit unless and until the arbitration was over.

The Money

If the 211-game suspension is holds, Rodriguez can expect to lose around $34 million of the roughly $100 million remaining on his contract. Doing the math, that’s a bit over $161,000 a game. Even with some expensive lawyers working with the meter running make shaving every game off that suspension highly desirable for Rodriguez.

  1. chacochicken - Aug 5, 2013 at 5:08 PM


    • bigharold - Aug 5, 2013 at 5:14 PM

      Your right but I don’t think Bud has that type of honor.

      • fanofevilempire - Aug 5, 2013 at 5:33 PM

        I hope Alex beats jerseygirl on the head with his bat, I would love to see that.

      • chacochicken - Aug 5, 2013 at 5:51 PM

        That was actually a promotion at one of Bud’s car lots. “If you don’t love this car I’ll ritually disembowel myself.” True to form, Bud had a junior salesman do it and got all the tv cameras there.

      • jerseygirl57 - Aug 5, 2013 at 10:04 PM

        fanofevilempire, a little over the top, aren’t you. And for the record, I don’t think Alex’s surgically repaired hips could let him catch up to me, never mind beat me over the head.

    • pjmarn6 - Aug 6, 2013 at 12:39 AM

      Craig Calcaterra has been contradicting the other sources in the information industry to try and protect his doped up friends.
      In the best interest of the game, shouldn’t Craig Calcaterra be permanently banned from baseball and reporting his slop?

  2. buffal0sportsfan - Aug 5, 2013 at 5:10 PM

    A-Rod plays and gets suspended for using a corked bat and then admits to using all his career.

  3. beearl - Aug 5, 2013 at 5:12 PM

    It’s the timetable of the appeal that is confusing. On one hand, we are hearing 20-25 days or even earlier (depending on the arbitrator). Then Michael Weiner says that the process could last until November or December.

  4. babyfarkmcgeezax - Aug 5, 2013 at 5:14 PM

    What happens next? Craig continues to cry while his cheating hero gets punished!

    • ilovegspot - Aug 5, 2013 at 5:58 PM

      Sounds about right. He said at the beginning that MLB had no case. WRONG!!

  5. doble37 - Aug 5, 2013 at 5:16 PM

    I think as he’s about to step up to the plate, he’ll look into the TV camera and say, “I have to go now. My planet needs me,” and fly out of the stadium.

    • nbjays - Aug 5, 2013 at 6:55 PM

      I’ve always wondered what planet he was from.

  6. DelawarePhilliesFan - Aug 5, 2013 at 5:16 PM

    I wonder if we will get booed tonight…..

    • DelawarePhilliesFan - Aug 5, 2013 at 5:17 PM

      He. Or the Royal we – which is he

  7. babyfarkmcgeezax - Aug 5, 2013 at 5:18 PM

    This is the ultimate conundrum. On one hand, I want to see the cheating, lying douche A-rod get smacked by the hand of punishment. On the other hand, I don’t want the Yankees, who already have unfair advantages over every other team in the league, to get out of paying out their ass for this loser.

    • ilovegspot - Aug 5, 2013 at 6:00 PM

      Dodgers are richer than Yankee’s.

  8. cubanxsenators - Aug 5, 2013 at 5:19 PM

    Craig, The suspension is not a 211-game suspension. From the MLB release:

    “Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig announced today that third baseman Alex Rodriguez of the New York Yankees has been suspended without pay for the remainder of the 2013 Championship Season and Postseason and the entire 2014 Championship Season for violations of the Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program and the Basic Agreement.”

    The suspension is temporal , and the number of games will change depending on the time until appeals are done. (meaning the number of games is unspecific, making it even more arbitrary than an arbitrary, but specific number.)

    And where he gets that authority for a temporal suspension that’s not a lifetime ban, I don’t know.

    • cubanxsenators - Aug 5, 2013 at 5:22 PM

      It also seems that he could play in the 2014 post-season from that statement, so he (theoretically) could be on the field before 2015.

    • cubanxsenators - Aug 5, 2013 at 5:54 PM

      Wendy Thurm agrees.
      Wendy Thurm: No. The suspension is for the rest of 2013, all of the 2013 postseason (if the Yankees play, and all of 2014. The suspension will be stayed pending the appeal. The arbitrator will ultimately decide how long A-Rod serves, when that starts and ends.

  9. anxovies - Aug 5, 2013 at 5:20 PM

    Thanks for clearing that up, Craig. I was wondering about a lawsuit and called a buddy who does some labor law. He said pretty much the same thing about the courts hearing something that has been through arbitration under a CBA. Considering the fact that everything seems to be decided on summary judgment and hardly anybody gets a trial in federal court anymore it seems about right.

  10. Russell Cecala Jr - Aug 5, 2013 at 5:23 PM

    Reblogged this on Russ's Corner and commented:
    Details on what the likely outcomes are for Alex Rodriguez. Possible timetable is laid out as well.

  11. robmoore - Aug 5, 2013 at 5:24 PM

    Under “After the arbitration” you forgot to add “hire a new arbitrator after MLB fires Horowitz if he reduces A-Rod’s suspension at all.”

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Aug 5, 2013 at 5:59 PM

      Pretty much this. Amazing how MLB had no issue with Shayam Das for 13 years, then he rules against them in the Braun arbitration and is immediately let go.

  12. jayscarpa - Aug 5, 2013 at 5:31 PM

    Alex hits 13 HR, ties Willie, and collects $6 million.

    If he got suspended 50 games under the JDA then the fight will be about the power of the commissioner to punish players with drug related offenses other than drug use under the CBA.
    I think he can but most people would not.

    • biasedhomer - Aug 5, 2013 at 6:06 PM

      No more PEDs, no way he hits 13 HRs

  13. tbutler704 - Aug 5, 2013 at 5:33 PM

    What happens next is A-Rod goes back to striking out since he’s a broken down old former juicer who can’t catch up to major league pitching, the Yankees keep losing and finish under .500.

    I welcome your hatred, Yankee fans.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Aug 5, 2013 at 6:00 PM

      I’m sorry the Yanks are going to finish under .500 for the first time since 1992. Please let us know which team you root for as I’m sure they’ve been over .500 every year since then…

      • tbutler704 - Aug 5, 2013 at 6:19 PM

        Since when did the New York Yankees compare themselves to anyone else in baseball? Your idiot fans act as if some tragedy has taken place when you only lose in the ALCS.

  14. johnholly1039 - Aug 5, 2013 at 5:38 PM

    What happens next?! Why are we rushing, get over it.

    Craig, PUHLEEZE talk about something/someone else. Jesus Christ.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Aug 5, 2013 at 6:04 PM

      PUHLEEZE talk about something/someone else. Jesus Christ.

      talk about Jesus? No thanks!

  15. Stiller43 - Aug 5, 2013 at 5:51 PM

    Looks like a-rod has bitch tits

  16. aceshigh11 - Aug 5, 2013 at 6:26 PM

    Nice bitch-tits, A-Rod.

    Oops…just got beaten to the punch on that one.

  17. bigyankeemike - Aug 5, 2013 at 7:21 PM

    The way I see it, ARod’s appeal just cost the Yankees about $2 million.

    Salary for 2013: $28M
    Salary for 2014: $25M
    Salary for 2015: $21M

    If Rodriguez appeals and loses, that means he will have played the rest of 2013…and got paid at the $28M rate.

    He then sits out 2014. No change there.

    Whatever he would have served this season (50 games or so) would be served in 2015, but loses his salary at a lower rate ($21M) than he would have in 2013. That comes out to about $2.1 million difference.

    For a guy so woefully stupid in PR affairs, ARod sure knows how to make apple juice out of urine.

  18. rob7bob71 - Aug 5, 2013 at 7:47 PM

    A-Rod is very fortunate to only get a mere 100 game suspension. He should be made to pay back all those millions of salary that he received for every minute he was a doper. Put all those millions in a fund for underpriveledge kids or some good cause. What a wimp…

    ps there isn’t a pro athlete in the world worth more than 100k a year. and we fans pay for it too and it isn’t worth it.

    • tbutler704 - Aug 5, 2013 at 7:57 PM

      “A-Rod is very fortunate to only get a mere 100 game suspension.”

      Fire your research assistant.

    • tedwmoore - Aug 5, 2013 at 9:01 PM

      “there isn’t a pro athlete in the world worth more than 100k a year. and we fans pay for it too and it isn’t worth it.”

      MLB and their multi-billion dollar revenues would like to disagree. Well, they wouldn’t like to disagree, owners would like to agree and keep the overage for themselves, but, you know, something clever.

    • American of African Descent - Aug 5, 2013 at 9:15 PM

      Are you a communist?

      If you don’t believe the athletes are worth more than 100k, what do you believe the owners are worth? Because given a choice between being A-Rod or a Steinbrenner, I’d much rather be a Steinbrenner.

      If you believe you –as a fan — pay too much for your sports entertainment dollar, why do you follow sport at all? Why not invest your free time and leisure budget in the arts? Or in the outdoors? Or charity work? Life is too short to be engaged in a leisure activity where you don’t feel you’re getting good value.

    • bigharold - Aug 6, 2013 at 1:36 AM

      “..there isn’t a pro athlete in the world worth more than 100k a year. and we fans pay for it too and it isn’t worth it.”

      The minute baseball tickets go back to $20 for a good seat, .. the $6 tee shirt with the $20 team logo cost six bucks, and I can watch all the Yankee games on WPIX again for free I’ll agree with you.

      In the mean time, if the owners, the license apparel makers, the broadcasters are all going to get their cut, .. the players should get paid too.

      Regardless of the professional sport, what happens on the field is sport, .. everything else is business. Players salary is part of a lager equation but are generally representative of players worth. But you are dead on about one thing, .. fans pay for it all.

  19. Stiller43 - Aug 5, 2013 at 9:06 PM

    People get paid what theyre worth.

    Are the people at google worth all the billions they now have? Well, theyre responsible for something that creates billions…so yeah.

    The athletes are responsible for fans buying tickets, merchandise, sports packages, etc…so theyre worth what they bring in (and actually around half goes to the owners just for cutting checks).

  20. zoemartin9 - Aug 5, 2013 at 11:12 PM

    my friend’s mom makes $69/hr on the laptop. She has been without a job for seven months but last month her pay check was $13431 just working on the laptop for a few hours. Read more on this sitego to this site home tab for more detail—>>>

  21. schniz61 - Aug 5, 2013 at 11:37 PM

    I wish the cattle would stop writing about A-Fraud. He should be treated like the stupid fan that runs on to the field. How about an article about the relevant players in the game?

  22. 1historian - Aug 6, 2013 at 5:24 AM

    This is a sad and pathetic story and it is emblematic of the general state of pro sports today – drug abusers, murderers and the like getting huge amounts of (our) money to play games.

    To call it a ‘saga’ is to give it an elegance which it does not deserve.

  23. sportsfan18 - Aug 7, 2013 at 4:42 AM

    WAG, that his final suspension will be either 100 or 150 games after the arbitrator makes his decision.

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