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A-Rod’s extra penalty explained: it’s all about the “chutzpah”

Aug 7, 2013, 5:03 PM EDT

New York Yankees Alex Rodriguez speaks during a news conference in Chicago Reuters

Jon Heyman takes issue with those who thinks Alex Rodriguez‘s 211-game suspension was too harsh. He thinks it’s too light! And he demonstrates this by calculating the punishment with reference to the Joint Drug Agreement and Collective Bargaining Agreements.

Hahaha, just kidding. He pulls it out of his rear end:

A-Rod got 50 games for violating MLB’s Joint Drug Agreement.

And 161 more for chutzpah.

His column — a pretty darn long one by his usual standards — basically argues that all punishment is justified in Alex Rodriguez’s case because he made tons of money, is unlikeable and lied. That’s not necessarily surprising. As is evidenced by his Hall of Fame columns over the years Heyman is quite comfortable with changing standards when it suits him, so I’m sure he has no problems whatsoever with retroactively applying a high income/jerk multiplier to discipline as set forth in the JDA.

But Heyman’s repeated references to Evreth Cabrera are kinda weird, though:

Padres young shortstop Everth Cabrera told a tearful story of taking one drug for a short time in one spring training at the suggestion of his former representative, Juan Carlos Nunez, the ex-ACES agent. Cabrera signed up for 50 games and took responsibility. Rodriguez, word is, obtained steroids and HGH for part of 2010, and all of 2011 and ’12. The evidence suggests he basically lived on the stuff.

Does he really deserve the same penalty as little, teary-eyed Everth Cabrera? … And if poor little Everth Cabrera signs up for 50 for one spring indiscretion, 211 seems light for Rodriguez.

The infantilzation of Cabrera is kinda creepy, no? And how is it even consistent? I thought the lesson we were to take from the past several years of PED stuff is that you can’t take the ballplayers at their word and that they’re all liars? Why does Cabrera get a pass and/or Rodriguez get such harsher treatment? I thought these guys were all responsible for their actions. Guess that doesn’t apply to “little, teary-eyed Cabrera.”

Maybe what’s most galling about the column is Heyman’s certainty regarding how damning the evidence against Rodriguez is. And maybe it is. I’m just not sure what makes Heyman so sure of that given that no one is privy to it but Major League Baseball and A-Rod’s people at the moment. If Heyman does know, you’d think he’d report on it rather than spend a few thousand words trashing A-Rod. If he doesn’t know, what makes him so sure?

Oh, I forgot. It’s the chutzpah.

  1. dnc6 - Aug 7, 2013 at 5:06 PM

    Scott Boras’ former client: deserves extra for “chutzpah”

    Scott Boras’ current client: deserving of forgiveness, and oh yeah, you can blame this on one of Boras’ rivals.

    Heyman needs to recuse himself on this one.

    • moogro - Aug 8, 2013 at 1:28 AM

      Hey, if Steve Martin could get suspended, can’t we suspend Jon Heyman?

  2. churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Aug 7, 2013 at 5:12 PM

    basically argues that all punishment is justified in Alex Rodriguez’s case because he made tons of money, is unlikeable and lied.

    Anyone want to ask these harbingers of logic fail how they can justify Braun only getting 15 more games beyond the first time offense when he blatantly lied, but Arod should get 10x the penalty for “lying”? I’d love to see the acrobatics needed to jump through those hoops…

    • brazcubas - Aug 7, 2013 at 5:32 PM

      And really, didn’t they all lie, at least by omission. I don’t remember anyone ever being suspended because they sent an email to bud mentioning they just had a Canseco Special.

    • captainloaded - Aug 7, 2013 at 9:11 PM

      Craig, you have talent as a writer…But please, your excessive writing about and your disdain of the PED investigation into biogenesis is making me hate you and not want to come to this site anymore. You keep trying to clarify your stance and it’s making us hate you. Please, just take a step back from this for a week.

  3. mcbeet - Aug 7, 2013 at 5:17 PM

    HBT, in which Craig rips other writers.. all. day. long.

    • paperlions - Aug 7, 2013 at 5:31 PM

      Well, if other writers weren’t constantly spewing shit, they wouldn’t need to be ripped.

    • scatterbrian - Aug 7, 2013 at 6:05 PM

      You must be new here.

      • mcbeet - Aug 7, 2013 at 6:07 PM

        Nah, just a lurker. I’ll go back to that. You all seem plenty fine without me. Cheers.

    • bronsonshore - Aug 7, 2013 at 8:18 PM

      Yup, Craig is a one dimensional writer who is seemingly capable of only writing about other writers. This blog is basically nothing but a platform for him to demonstrate his own perceived superiority and dominion over Opionionland. It is a damn shame because baseball is awesome right now.

    • clemente2 - Aug 7, 2013 at 8:27 PM

      Diminished capacity is now lurking?

  4. southofheaven81 - Aug 7, 2013 at 5:20 PM

    I’ve written this before but he should save the balls from every hit he gets, autograph them with a “Fuck you” & send them to these writers.

    • bustinnutz - Aug 7, 2013 at 6:29 PM

      Nahhh….that’s a Dave Kingman move.

      • yahmule - Aug 7, 2013 at 8:07 PM

        Kong had issues.

  5. uyf1950 - Aug 7, 2013 at 5:21 PM

    I wish Heyman’s employer would give him 211 days suspension from talking about the sports and particularly the Yankees.

    105 days for him thinking he actually has something to contribute in the world of sports media reporting
    and an additional
    106 days for being being an (a)sshole

    And while that’s just my opinion he has proven me right on many, many occasions.

    • cur68 - Aug 7, 2013 at 5:28 PM

      Damn. Is that a curse word I see typed there? It is.

      To the best of my knowledge this is the first time UYF has used a swear word on HBT.

      HBT WARNING: When UFY starts using strong language you know shit just got real. This Blog is officially at DEFCON 4.

      • paperlions - Aug 7, 2013 at 5:33 PM

        Do you have a list? Am I on it?

        I usually sensor myself (e.g. m*therfucker), so as not to offend.

      • cur68 - Aug 7, 2013 at 5:38 PM

        Not an official list. This is based on recollection. I bet Craig keeps one, though. I’m guessing its sort of a “Naughty or Nice” list, if I’m any judge of the Old Earth Trampler. Its a given that you and I are probably on the “naughty” list. Probably asterisked for Cake. And Cursing. And Sarcasm. Definitely not on the Nice list.

      • paperlions - Aug 7, 2013 at 5:40 PM

        I’m a pie guy, that has to count for something!

        Of course, earlier I accused Craig of baiting Philly fans with that Delmon Young post….turns out Craig didn’t actually post that…and he busted me.

      • uyf1950 - Aug 7, 2013 at 5:41 PM

        What curse word? I don’t see any curse word.

      • cur68 - Aug 7, 2013 at 5:45 PM

        I’m sure you don’t see any cussin, UYF. In fact many would likely side with you. Calling Heyman an “(a)sshole” probably counts as an accurate descriptor rather than cussin’.

      • cur68 - Aug 7, 2013 at 5:42 PM

        You’ll get leniency for pie, then. You pie types stick together. As a cake-o-phile I’m toast.

      • nbjays - Aug 8, 2013 at 11:36 AM

        As a cake-ophile, you DESERVE to be toast.


  6. Walk - Aug 7, 2013 at 5:23 PM

    Some reports said there were documents for sale. Part of the length of suspension talk around arod was that he tried to buy documents, that could be easily argued as a blackmail attempt. Given that there were players who were cleared due to lack of evidence some of those documents may well have been sold. If arod lawyers argue something along that line we are set for an entertaining offseason of “leaks” to the media. No I do not think that is what has happened though the possibility exists, yes I think arod is a scumbag, but I also think we are in for an entertaining offseason.

  7. rhmurphy - Aug 7, 2013 at 5:27 PM

    Krugman says that the high income/jerk multiplier is about 1.5, so that should only be about 75 games.

  8. ezthinking - Aug 7, 2013 at 5:37 PM

    The most amazing thing is that the JDA COULD have been written to include a stiffer penalty for multiple offenses over multiple years, but it wasn’t.

    So MLB, live with the contract you drafted, not the contract you now want. When it’s time to collectively bargain again, push for changes. Until then, live by your contract and learn from your mistakes.

    • tedwmoore - Aug 7, 2013 at 6:28 PM

      I assume MLB will argue that 50 games are for violating the JDA, maybe 100 if they try for the “double punishment from an ongoing violation” theory, and then argue that the overage is a reasonable punishment under the CBA’s good of the game clause. This has merit. Not certain how much merit, but it has legs. And here is the thing: any punishment under the CBA is at the commissioner’s discretion, which in arbitration would likely be treated with a “reasonableness” standard. Is measuring A-Rod’s suspension in calendar years arbitrary? Sure. But the question is whether the suspension is reasonable as compared to other suspensions handed out under this provision. I am not familiar with that history.

      So I guess for me the threshold issue is whether any player is subject to punishment under the CBA for activity related to PES use. If the answer is “no”, then the 50/100/lifetime ban structure is all that is available. But this is not any easy answer. Are we talking about lying during an investigation? In pursuing proof of a non-analytic positive, punishment under the CBA for lying feels like a way around the JDA’s punishment structure, not like a separate offense. But attempting to purchase evidence or a witness’ silence? Well, I don’t know, maybe that is a horse of another color. No definite opinion on this, but I recognize the merits here for MLB, and I find it interesting.

  9. millmannj - Aug 7, 2013 at 5:45 PM

    A-Rod allegedly trying to buy documents from Biogenesis = Bad

    MLB ACTUALLY PURCHASING documents from Biogenesis = Good

    When the story first broke Lupica wrote a column calling Bosch a sleazy drug dealer. Now the guy writes that Bosch is a man who did a good thing by bringing down all the cheaters.

    • Walk - Aug 7, 2013 at 6:21 PM

      I though that mlb had a meeting with one of the document brokers but declined to buy. Shortly thereafter his car was broken into to steal, possibly steal back, previously stolen documents. On top of that they have compelled testimony via lawsuit and also used discovery rules to gather evidence they could not otherwise obtain not to use in the lawsuit but to use to bust players. Total bs, they are basically going after addicts but care far less about the dealers. When you put out a fire you start at the base, the fuel source, you do not start at the top. Link to mlb scumbag story at hbt in case anyone missed it, real tabloid stuff. The whole situation stinks and I feel soiled just to have been a part of the audience. I am entertained though, this must have been what the crowd felt like in that Gladiator russel crowe film.

  10. Jason @ IIATMS - Aug 7, 2013 at 6:03 PM


    To think, I foolishly named my site based upon an argument between my dad, brother and I about ARod’s infamous opt-out in 2007 “It’s About The Money, Stupid” when I really, REALLY should have named it “It’s About The Chutzpah”.

    I was thisclose.

    back to my cave…

  11. eagles512 - Aug 7, 2013 at 6:03 PM

    Heyman is terrible

  12. pewterpiratetampabayray - Aug 7, 2013 at 6:07 PM

    Oh look…..another AROD story. What is that? Like 25 in 2 days?

    However Matt Moore, a non cheating 14 game winner goes on the DL with no mention of it until a follow up a week later.

  13. Darkoestrada - Aug 7, 2013 at 6:10 PM

    This is heyman at his worst. I couldn’t even read it long enough to get to the Cabrera part but that’s just absurd.

  14. poprox13 - Aug 7, 2013 at 6:16 PM

    Maybe Craig should just blow arod and be over with it?

    • moogro - Aug 8, 2013 at 1:35 AM

      You were probably looking at A-rod pics when you thought that.

  15. Arods Other Doctor - Aug 7, 2013 at 6:19 PM

    Craig, there are so many good things and great story-lines in baseball right now. Would you please consider writing about some of those instead of the 8 or 9 blogs every day ripping people about what they think about the irrelevant A-hole who plays for a fourth place team? I know the lawyer in you in really worked up about this whole thing, but it’s gotten me to the point that I may quit HBT entirely.

    For some examples: I would love to see more about what’s making the Pirates win this year or blogs about whether of not disappointing teams are going to be able to reload through the minors or blogs about what Sammy Sosa had for breakfast. Really, anything actually baseball related instead of the circus that’s going to take months or years to play out anyway.

    I want my old HBT back!

  16. myhawks1976 - Aug 7, 2013 at 6:25 PM

    and everyone, bloggers included, who know exactly what MLB has on A-Rod and what they are accusing him of, beyond speculation, please continue to bring this up.

    oh yeah, I forgot. that would be NO ONE on here. those of you defending A-Rod and saying the suspension is out of line, are as absurd as those saying he should be banned for life

    this is like the 1,538 A-Rod article Craig.

    let’s all think about something from a step back for a second. we are arguing the appropriate punishment and course for ARod without having a clue what it is he is being punished for.

    no seriously. think about the rationale. have we ALL lost our minds?

    • jayscarpa - Aug 7, 2013 at 6:33 PM


  17. theskinsman - Aug 7, 2013 at 7:27 PM

    The story I want to read is how the scumbag yankee organization always knew all of the too numerous to name were juicing,and only turned on A-fraud when it suited them to be rid of the flat out stupid contract tripe chins hanky and hal,the sons of Satan signed him to.
    I won’t hold my breath,as the Satan boys have Bud the puppet doing their bidding.

  18. maritime85 - Aug 7, 2013 at 7:49 PM

    I don’t hate arod. ya gotta feel for a guy who’s hated by the world. I mean at least he’s not a terrorist ….

  19. bigtrav425 - Aug 7, 2013 at 8:05 PM

    There is nothing wrong with HGH whatsoever! One day MLB with regret banning this

    • jollyjoker2 - Aug 7, 2013 at 8:24 PM

      Your right, there isn’t anything wrong with HGH…except that these were the only players using it and withholding to others they were. The logic is its okay if I pump up on roids to hit the ball out of the park so long as the competitors that I am playing cant’? I don’t care about the records – just close down the hall of fame and say drugs ate it up.

      • eatitfanboy - Aug 7, 2013 at 8:34 PM

        These were the only players using it!?!?!?? These were the only players using !?!?!?!? Please tell me you’re kidding. This was one lab in one city. You don’t think there are other labs in other cities that haven’t been discovered yet?

        And HGH isn’t “roids”. You do understand the difference between a steroid and human growth hormone, don’t you? Don’t you?

        How were these players “withholding” it from others? My god, what the hell are you talking about!?!?

  20. Walk - Aug 7, 2013 at 8:47 PM

    I am somewhat confused by jollyjoker myself. Oh well, Long live the pie, also pickles shall prevail.

  21. rcali - Aug 7, 2013 at 9:56 PM

    Did anybody else see all those douche’s lining up for his autograph before yesterdays game? Pretty sad.

  22. phillyphever - Aug 7, 2013 at 10:14 PM

    Craig, enough’s enough. Stop embarrassing yourself with this A-Fraud crap and post something else.

  23. Marty - Aug 7, 2013 at 11:07 PM

    I could be 600 games, and I can care less if Craig is satisfied. Should have been the same with Bonds, and I’m a Giants fan. This is a sport that I allow to enter my arena as long as it serves ME, not the fluid hypocritical demands of a bald baseball blogger. And players like A-Rod and Bonds should be banished for life.

    • Marty - Aug 7, 2013 at 11:07 PM

      *It* could be…

  24. theskinsman - Aug 8, 2013 at 3:17 AM

    Craig, just how much have you donated so far for the ‘Free Alex’ fund you no doubt have begun?

  25. joerevs300 - Aug 8, 2013 at 9:47 AM

    Look, I’d like different content as much as the next guy, however:
    – Craig makes (and has) more money then probably 90% of you that post on this forum. So honestly, while I see other writers reply directly, I can’t remember seeing him do so. So honestly, he could give two shakes what you think about what he chooses to write about.
    – Advertising is driven by page views and unique visits. People are dying for information regarding A-Rod. Any website that involves MLB that ignores this fact is going to lose traffic, making said advertisers nervous, anxious, or make them pull out all together. So he’d literally be shooting his own foot by NOT posting and commenting on it daily.
    – Good stories don’t get page hits. Controversy and scandals do. Negativity is > Positivity in the sports world.

    He’s 40 years old, could go back to being a lawyer in a heartbeat, writes about sports for a living and has a featured site under the NBC umbrella. I’m pretty sure 95% of you could quit coming and commenting and it wouldn’t affect him one single bit, period. If you think otherwise, sorry…you may just be a little delusional.

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