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A-Rod could go to federal court before fighting his suspension in arbitration

Sep 3, 2013, 10:30 AM EDT

Steven Marcus of Newsday reported over the weekend that Alex Rodriguez‘s appeal of his 211-game suspension will begin this week, at least preliminarily, with a status conference.  He tweets today, however, that A-Rod’s team is considering other options before sitting down for an arbitration with Major League Baseball:


This isn’t necessarily surprising. As we saw with the NFL bounty case, a person with little to lose — and given the length of A-Rod’s suspension he has little to lose — can possibly make some headway against his suspension by doing an end-run around league discipline and going to court. I’m not sure what sort of theory A-Rod could advance in court — maybe saying that Bud Selig violated the Collective Bargaining Agreement in leveling the discipline that he did — but it’s quite possible that this is a means of putting pressure on the league to come back to the table and try to negotiate a lighter suspension.

Meanwhile, the Yankees, thanks in part to Rodriguez, are still in the wild card hunt. Which has to be driving Selig absolutely nuts.

  1. Kevin S. - Sep 3, 2013 at 10:37 AM

    Perfect scenario: Yankees get the second wild-card slot Bud forced down everybody’s throat, A-Rod has a monster game and is key to the Yankees winning and advancing to the real postseason.

    • rbj1 - Sep 3, 2013 at 10:44 AM

      Yankees win the WS, A-Rod is MVP, and Bud has to hand him the trophy.

      I’d love a full blown trial, just to expose what the ownership & commissioner’s office knew about PED use before they woke up shocked, shocked to discover PEDs in a major sport.

      • southofheaven81 - Sep 3, 2013 at 12:08 PM

        Do the writers vote for the WS MVP? Because if so I think I would have a better chance of winning it than A-Rod.

      • badintent - Sep 4, 2013 at 1:59 AM

        Karma is a bitch

  2. capeporpoise - Sep 3, 2013 at 10:38 AM

    There’s a nice little Malcolm Gladwell article at NewYorker, illustrating how PED usage can be seen as trying to emulate pharmaceutically what some athletes are born with, and others are given surgically.

  3. sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Sep 3, 2013 at 10:49 AM

    ARod as the undisputed world series MVP would just be too delicious to bear. Maybe they could throw in a story about him promising some sick kid in the hospital that he would hit 2 HR, and coming through.

    You see, Bud went all in on a plan that can only work if everyone hates ARod. If ARod somehow earns some public good will, then Bud just looks like the bully he is.

    • DelawarePhilliesFan - Sep 3, 2013 at 11:02 AM

      Good point. ARod is the victim here

      • sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Sep 3, 2013 at 12:11 PM

        At this point, ARod may actually be the more likeable party in this dispute.

      • ilovegspot - Sep 3, 2013 at 12:31 PM

        maybe for those with double digit IQ’s

      • Old Gator - Sep 3, 2013 at 2:02 PM

        Aroid is the beered-up clown who swam across the infested river and Bud is the crocodile that nailed him….

      • DelawarePhilliesFan - Sep 3, 2013 at 3:19 PM

        You are decribing Bud as some sort of Gator….and Old Gator….

      • badintent - Sep 4, 2013 at 2:05 AM

        Hit 661 homers , check
        Get $6 million bonus from Yankees check
        Pay lawyers with $6 million dollars to take case to Fed court, check
        Sell story to TMZ for another $2 million dollars, check
        Do Playgirl Centerfold for $2 million dollars, check
        Write book for $6 million dollar advance. , check
        Make rap CD with Jay-Z , make $5 million , check
        End up like Lance Armstrong as badass cheater, check

    • coloradogolfcoupons - Sep 3, 2013 at 12:25 PM

      @ sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo

      ” If ARod somehow earns some public good will”

      Arod tried the fake ‘goodwill’ thing already, speaking for the anti-steroid Hooten foundation set up by the father of the HS kid who committed suicide from steroid use.

      He also went on national tv and asked us to judge him ‘from now on going forward’.

      So we did, and he flunked again. Case closed, at least in the public opinion sector. The Fraud may drag it through arbitration and the courts for years, be he is already dead when it comes to our opinion.

      • sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Sep 3, 2013 at 12:55 PM

        “You will never go broke underestimating the public.” – P.T.Barnum (usually)

        I certainly do not wish to deny or diminish your well reasoned opinion on ARod, but I can’t help but think you overestimate the public’s depth of thought on the subject. Let’s face it, the city ARod calls his baseball home is about to vote for a known solicitor of prostitutes to an office for which he has no real qualifications, and a fairly large percentage are willing to vote for a guy for mayor who can’t stop sending pictures of his penis around the internet. Both have been described as ‘redemption stories’ as if electing them would right some terrible wrong.

        I am not saying ARod has an easy path to endear himself in the public’s mind, but Bud and the sports media have been so far out of line in their characterizations of him that they have created some backlash sympathy for the guy. If he can help that scrappy group of underdogs in the Bronx advance through the playoffs and add a little bit of humanity to his public persona, he might find the public siding with him over big, bad MLB management. After all (as every Yankees fan has heard before) nobody likes to cheer for Goliath.

    • kevinbnyc - Sep 3, 2013 at 5:08 PM

      As long as one HR wasn’t inside the park. Then it doesn’t count.

  4. nyfootballgiants - Sep 3, 2013 at 11:01 AM

    Honestly the only people who like/root for arod are Yankee fans. I think he is narcissistic, annoying and would love for him to just go away ( I could care less about his contract). ARods arrogance make it difficult root for him

  5. umrguy42 - Sep 3, 2013 at 11:11 AM

    Craig, I thought I read in the past that courts weren’t always fond of taking up these kinds of cases prior to the arbitration – since the parties already *have* an agreed upon dispute resolution method, in most cases the judicial system prefers they use it?

    • mornelithe - Sep 3, 2013 at 11:15 AM

      Indeed, the court would most likely avoid getting involved until arbitration took place.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Sep 3, 2013 at 11:53 AM

        IANAL, but could Arod/Arod’s attorney(s) argue that Selig, and by extension MLB, has already gone outside the JDA/CBA by releasing the information to the public before the entire process has been completed?

      • mornelithe - Sep 3, 2013 at 12:22 PM

        They’d have to prove it, and they’d also have to prove that A-Rod himself wasn’t complicit in any information being released to say…Yahoo, regarding PED’s use of other players.

        The court would have to decide whether it wants to get involved to such a point where it’s going to compel journalists to reveal sources, a very very tricky subject in America.

        Right now, there’s no proof that Selig, or the MLB hierarchy was complicit in the release of any information, there’s simply theory and supposition. We DO know, that A-Rod leaked the names of other players to Yahoo, and that Yahoo has proof that the information came from A-Rod and/or his camp.

        It is my understanding that the confidentiality clause in the JDA, becomes null and void, once the information becomes public. It would be the defenses job to prove that Bud Selig himself or by his direction, released the information intentionally.

        That’s a very very tough case to prove.

      • mornelithe - Sep 3, 2013 at 12:26 PM


        Sorry for the double post.

        If I were MLB, I’d be far far more concerned that the bulk of the evidence from one of the Biogenesis people, resides in the hands of the Government. At some point, it’ll be subject to the Freedom of Information Act, which would mean a complete release of all the documentation they have. There are some exemptions to the FoIA, but I’m not sure the release of the information would interfere with the current investigation. It might, but that’s up to lawyers to argue/prove, not me.

  6. hairpie - Sep 3, 2013 at 11:43 AM

    When does the NY Post start putting an * next to Yankee* wins?

  7. ezthinking - Sep 3, 2013 at 12:20 PM

    Alternate scenerio:

    1. A simple 50 game suspension, ARod has little hope of an appeal so he sits.

    2. Yankees stay out of the playoffs.

    3. Fans are pissed, ownership pissed, maybe, just maybe the Yankees decide to eat the rest of the contract. Worst case, he plays in 2014 then they eat the rest.

    4. Other owners give ARod the Bonds treatment, never plays again. Case closed.

    Oh Bud, keep your friends close, and your enemies closer.

    • sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Sep 3, 2013 at 1:01 PM

      To do that, Bud would have to form a committee to evaluate the potential effects of, you know, following the course of action mandated by the collectively-bargained agreement that he and his team signed with the MLBPA. As soon as his people are done with that A’s-to-San-Jose thing, he will send his top men. Top…men…

    • dcarroll73 - Sep 3, 2013 at 2:50 PM

      Better change your handle to “way2ezthinking”. As for your point, “4. Other owners give ARod the Bonds treatment, never plays again. Case closed.” There is a simple word for what the owners did (and they’ve been held to account for it in other unrelated cases.) It is ‘collusion’. Bonds and his agent stated that they had made no demands about money, and yet no team in baseball found it worth asking about signing Bonds. If you believe that happened without collusion, I happen to own several bridges that I might sell to you.
      One big difference in the A-rod situation from that with Bonds is that Barry was at the end of a contract. If the Yanks still think A-rod can outplay any other option that they have at third (as he clearly has done since returning) I think they play him. The contract is still in force, and they can’t get out of it. Selig and henchmen have already trampled on the CBA/JDA, but the one thing guaranteed to provoke major labor strife (as in 1994 trouble) is for Selig’s boys or any team to attempt to eliminate a guaranteed contract. If management/ownership wants some PED “out” from a contract, they are going to have to negotiate this with the player’s association. Players should be fully aware of how easy it is to make someone test positive and of how immoral members of baseball’s ownership club have proven to be. Does anyone believe that these guys would have any hesitation about slipping someone tainted food or drink?
      People may not like Bonds or A-rod, but rules and laws are for the protection of both liked and unliked people. If you don’t understand that, your assignment is to watch the movie, “A Man for All Seasons.”

      • ezthinking - Sep 3, 2013 at 4:26 PM

        I get it alright and saw the movie, both new and old versions. Meh.

        Maybe i should have said ‘mountain out of a mole hill’ as going hell bent for leather with ARod opened this can of worms, a situation that never should have risen to this level.

        I was not saying they should collude, it’s that they can without a word, a la Bonds. The ’80’s shit they had to come up with a plan and then ham-fistedly execute it. This one’s easy. (and not right in my opinion).

  8. TheMorningStar - Sep 3, 2013 at 12:31 PM

    Continue on your quest for truth and justice A-Rod; make sure that the Yankee-MLB conspiracy to have the team avoid the luxury tax be exposed for what it is: bullsh*t.

    Fight the good fight.


    non-Yankee fans everywhere

  9. northstarnic - Sep 3, 2013 at 12:57 PM

    A-roid = greatest Yankee of all time. They should just put a picture of him on their hats.

  10. chiadam - Sep 3, 2013 at 1:06 PM

    Selig would not have to worry about the Yankees chasing a wild card spot if he didn’t greedily water down the MLB playoffs and add another wild card. I pretty much despise Rodriguez, but Selig is even worse. If Rodriguez has to drag MBL to court to explain how the CBA-mandated 50 game suspension turns into 211 games, so be it.

    • dcarroll73 - Sep 3, 2013 at 3:10 PM

      I admit the hill the Yanks would need to climb would be higher with only one wildcard spot, but right now they are exactly 6 games behind Oakland and Texas with 25 games to play. That would take either phenomenal play by the Yanks or a collapse by one of those teams, but with the season they’ve had I quote Yogi – “it ain’t over ’til it’s over.”

      • Kevin S. - Sep 3, 2013 at 3:36 PM

        They don t need to catch either team.

  11. hairpie - Sep 3, 2013 at 1:17 PM

    Why doesnt anyone seem to understand the suspension wasnt for “211” games, but the remainder of the season and next?

    • dcarroll73 - Sep 3, 2013 at 2:58 PM

      OK. So it is for a minimum of 162 games if the appeal was finished after this season ends but before next April (a fairly solid likelihood.) That number, 162, is STILL way beyond what the CBA/JDA stipulates. In fact it is more than a first offense plus a second offense. So what counter-point are you trying to make?

      • hairpie - Sep 4, 2013 at 11:03 AM

        He is also being punished for obstructing the investigation and recruiting other players to cheat.

    • Bob Loblaw - Sep 3, 2013 at 9:52 PM

      Wait, are you saying that if A-Rod loses the appeal, he doesn’t get suspended for 211 games? Show me where it says that. If he loses his appeal, he is suspended for the next 211 games. If he plays out this entire season, he is out for 2014 and the first 49 games of 2015. Period.

      • hairpie - Sep 4, 2013 at 11:05 AM

        He will, but the number of games was based on the remainder of this season plus next from when the penalty was levied.

  12. thecrabcakestate - Sep 3, 2013 at 1:44 PM

    Now I hate A-Rod and the Yankees as much as anybody. But I’m kinda rooting for him. I have two reasons for that. I want the Yankees to have to honor that contract. BUT I also want Selig to look like the stupid a** that he is. As an Os fan I really hope the Yankees don’t make the playoffs, but if they do at least I can think of it as A-Rod sticking it to the most pathetic Commissioner in pro sports.

    And yes I know about Gary Bettman.

  13. righthandofjustice - Sep 3, 2013 at 1:57 PM

    I don’t think A-Rod will take MLB to court for his suspension now. It doesn’t show respect to the CBA and the arbitrator. It will be the same stupid mistake Selig made.

    However, he can still take whoever spreading untrue and harmful rumors, including but not limited to, those “anonymous sources” who said he was involved in a drug distribution gang to court. Guess who would they be?

  14. bbk1000 - Sep 3, 2013 at 2:29 PM

  15. ksiner - Sep 4, 2013 at 10:52 AM

    He’s doing it because he really really wants people to despise him even more. Go back to Cuba and fahk yourself

  16. hitdog042 - Sep 4, 2013 at 1:02 PM

    Bud will win. Open your eyes. The Feds probably want him busted more than Selig does. Afraud is going down. And the Yankees are not making the playoffs

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