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What in the heck is A-Rod doing?

Nov 20, 2013, 5:13 PM EDT

Alex Rodriguez Reuters Reuters

Watching another afternoon train wreck involving Alex Rodriguez and Major League Baseball, I feel like it’s worth remembering two things:

1. Alex Rodriguez could have used PEDs like crazy, but still not have deserved a 211-game suspension; and

2. Bud Selig can have it in for A-Rod — could wish to see him burn at a stake as punishment for everyone else’s sins — yet still not be outside of his authority in suspending A-Rod.

We forget that as we spring to the defense of one side or another. Or, more often, as we spring to scorn one side or the other. But the fact is that each side is speaking some truth and each side is peddling baloney.

My personal view is that Major League Baseball overreached pretty severely in the penalty it leveled, and that a straightforward attack of that penalty as excessive by Alex Rodriguez and his legal team would serve as the best way for them to prevail. They still may do that. The arbitrator may be able to tune out all of this noise and focus solely on whether the punishment fits the crime, concluding that no, it doesn’t. If that happens, A-Rod could get a 50-game suspension, maybe. Or maybe nothing if MLB’s evidence and investigation is viewed as flawed or infirm.

But I also believe that A-Rod and Joe Tacopina are taking a gigantic risk in making this arbitration about Bud Selig personally and some vendetta against A-Rod in general. They risk alienating the arbitrator. They risk having a proportionality-of-punishment case lost in the noise. All for the promise of trying a lawsuit that, if the percentages on such things hold, never sees the light of day in court. I don’t understand why they’re doing this, but I feel like they are running the risk of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.

Normally one can see the motivations of putatively irrational action like this. But I don’t see the percentage for Alex Rodriguez in this approach. I don’t see what he possibly stands to gain by blowing up the arbitration like he has.

  1. yondo123 - Nov 20, 2013 at 5:15 PM

    Classic interview with Francesar today.

  2. Jack Marshall - Nov 20, 2013 at 5:17 PM

    I kind of stopped at “Alex Rodriguez could have used PEDs like crazy, but still not have deserved a 211-game suspension,” because if he used steroids like crazy, he is fortunate to be allowed back on a baseball field at all, ever.

    • Craig Calcaterra - Nov 20, 2013 at 5:30 PM

      Well, except for the fact that the collectively-bargained rules for such things don’t give lifetime bans until there are third offenses. But you know that.

      • Jack Marshall - Nov 20, 2013 at 6:29 PM

        Ah. There’s the confusion! You meant “deserved” as in “what the rules properly permit.” But that’s not really “deserved,” is it? I mean, O.J. Simpson deserves to be fed to wolves, but the laws and principles of due process and justice dictate that since he was duly found not guilty of what he was guilty of, then he shouldn’t have any punishment at all for cutting the throats of two human beings and then being prosecuted with exquisite skill of bait shop proprietors. I’ll defer to your definition of the word, and by that, yes, I agree completely.

    • raym64 - Nov 20, 2013 at 7:30 PM

      I’m pretty sure that if every player, including farm system players that ever used PEDs were to be banned, MLB would look pretty bad.

      Back when the anonymous testing was done before the official ban on PEDs the percentage of PED use was pretty high. Heck, even some supplements on the shelf at Walmart or GNC are banned substances.

    • righthandofjustice - Nov 20, 2013 at 7:45 PM

      Braun could have used PEDs like crazy. Melky Cabrera could have used PEDs like crazy. Should they all been suspended for 211 days?

      There is a just clause in employment. Punishment should be appropriate to every body who violated the same rule.

      Now, tell me how many games should Selig be suspended? He admitted he impeded the investigation of the Florida government already. They are helluva other civil, if not criminal, accusations against MLB and him too.

      • tfbuckfutter - Nov 20, 2013 at 10:22 PM

        Did Melky and Braun encourage and guide other young players to use PEDs too?

        Did either of them have a cousin they brought into the clubhouse who was directly involved in delivering PEDs to players?

      • simjef - Nov 21, 2013 at 7:34 AM

        Ditto!

      • Kevin S. - Nov 21, 2013 at 7:45 AM

        Given how much MLB’s evidence looks like crap right now, are we really swallowing that line just because it was leaked to some sympathetic reporters?

      • ilovegspot - Nov 21, 2013 at 12:24 PM

        Kevin is an idiot. What evidence look bad. Hanvn’t seen it yet. Just another paid aroid minion.

  3. tfbuckfutter - Nov 20, 2013 at 5:31 PM

    I’m not in defense of either side.

    I just want Alex Rodriguez to suffer because he’s a dumb dick who arrogantly cheated and then continued to arrogantly cheat for so long to the detriment of the game.

    I view this as similar to OJ Simpson (on a scale that can only be viewed through a microscope of course)…..I don’t care if he got OVER-punished for a lesser crime to make up for his escaping punishment for the greater crime. It’s not how things should work in virtually any cases, but in exceptional ones I am willing to make an ethical exception.

  4. proudlycanadian - Nov 20, 2013 at 5:37 PM

    I suspect that A-Rod has a mental health issue and needs therapy.

    • ilovegspot - Nov 20, 2013 at 6:13 PM

      This pic proves your statement.
      http://www.delawareonline.com/blogs/uploaded_images/a-rod-kisses-himself-details-magazine-04-791912.jpg

      • Kevin S. - Nov 20, 2013 at 6:43 PM

        Your obsession with A-Rod kissing himself in a mirror for a magazine shoot is a much greater sign of mental health issues than A-Rod actually kissing himself in a mirror for a magazine shoot is.`

      • ilovegspot - Nov 20, 2013 at 6:51 PM

        Enjoying all this and looking forward to the evidence being made public.

      • km9000 - Nov 21, 2013 at 4:41 AM

        What if you’re obsessed with people who are obsessed with A-Rod kissing himself in a mirror?

    • kruegere - Nov 20, 2013 at 6:49 PM

      Him and everyone else.

  5. chacochicken - Nov 20, 2013 at 5:38 PM

    Have they made one of those deplorable epic rap battles using Arod and Bud yet?

  6. m3dman3 - Nov 20, 2013 at 5:39 PM

    Hate on A-Rod all you want, it’s obviously warranted. But I commend him for tearing into Bud Selig, the guy is a deranged and senile psychopath, who should have been gone a long time ago.

    • simjef - Nov 21, 2013 at 7:39 AM

      I could not have said it better. What about all the years he owned the Brewers and was baseball commissioner. was’nt that some sort of collusion?

  7. sc101071 - Nov 20, 2013 at 5:39 PM

    Though it’s not in the criminal court system his obstruction would be what is worth more than 50 games. But not defending Arod here, the fact that Selig didn’t have to testify at the hearing is bigger news than it otherwise would have been w/out Arod walking.

    • ilovegspot - Nov 20, 2013 at 7:05 PM

      Why is that?? Bud has never testified in a JDA hearing. Why now? Because aroid wants him too. Stupid!

      • yankeeparrothead - Nov 21, 2013 at 10:10 AM

        I keep hearing this argument, but it misses the point. Thius is NOT only a JDA hearing. If so it owudl have been a 50 game suspension period The suspension is for violation of the JDA AND violation ofthe CBA (the extra 161 games). There has NEVER been this kind of hearing so there are NO precedents on either side

  8. righthandofjustice - Nov 20, 2013 at 5:48 PM

    I think it is a double-edge sword. It might tick off an arbitrator leaning to his side but it might also dare a biased arbitrator to watch his steps or else risk getting put under the microscope in court. To a completely impartial arbitrator it might not mean anything to his judgement except a little bad taste in his mouth.

    A-Rod might be playing truth or dare with Selig. Since Selig might be out there to get him at all cost he might very well think it is his turn to really nail Selig at the cost of a 211 game suspension.

  9. disgracedfury - Nov 20, 2013 at 5:49 PM

    Bud Selig is not above testifying.

    Bud Selig gives the World Series MVP to PED Ortiz but won’t face A-Roid in court.Thats just crazy and I believe A-Rod should have played dumb like Ortiz than admit the truth.

    • scatterbrian - Nov 20, 2013 at 9:48 PM

      A-Roid?! Bloody brilliant! Can I use that, or do you have some kind of copyright on it?

  10. dustyda - Nov 20, 2013 at 5:53 PM

    This A-Roid picture makes me think of “The Grinch Who Stole Christmas”…..

  11. hines86for6 - Nov 20, 2013 at 5:53 PM

    being a douchebag

  12. chargerdillon - Nov 20, 2013 at 5:54 PM

    If you had spent most of your adult life making millions of dollars going from city to city, banging every hot chick you came across, abused drugs constantly and hailed as a hero and star of your profession by bother other players and management, you’d probably be pretty confused when years down the road they all turn on you and tell you you’re a cheater and everything bad for the game that they once told you that you were so great for.

    I have zero problems with A-Rod. I have EVERY problem with Bud Selig and his retroactive integrity that only seems to have appeared after he’s made as much money off of A-Rod as he can.

    Is A-Rod a cheater? If so then I would believe all MLB players are cheaters at this point.

    The game is as corrupt as any that exists, billionaire continue to rake it in over millionaires and then tarnish their longstanding careers once they’ve made all the profits they can.

    Do yourself a favor, support your local minor league baseball team, go watch a bunch of young men show you everything they got as the compete to get into the most corrupt system on the planet.

    There’s plenty of great baseball to be found, just not in the Major League.

    • ilovegspot - Nov 20, 2013 at 6:48 PM

      This is and aroid paid minion post after standing outside the hearing today.

    • scatterbrian - Nov 20, 2013 at 9:53 PM

      “The game is as corrupt as any that exists…”

      Before making sweeping statements like this, please watch The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters.

  13. sincitybonobo - Nov 20, 2013 at 6:01 PM

    Is 211 games a bit too stiff a penalty? Perhaps, but how exactly does ARod expect this to get resolved? Zero games?

    I think he’s receiving bad legal advice by those profiting from billable hours. Victory for him in this matter would be knocking it down to 162 games. This would save him around $10 million is salary.

    He has stolen more money from MLB and his fellow players than even Barry Bonds. $35 million is a speeding ticket for him.

    MLB undoubtedly has it in for him, but the arbitration process has been collectively bargained. Make your case, come up with a strategic number that forces the arbitrator to make a tough decision and live with the outcome. If MLB has that a weak case, an arbitrator could justify a lower penalty.

    MLBPA can’t like what’s happening. Weiner was quoted that he suggested a specific amount of games for ARod and his adivice was obviously disregarded.

    If the Yanks released him today, they’d free themselves from potentially paying him up to $30 million in bonuses for the joyless spectacle of ARod eclipsing Mays, Ruth, Bonds and Aaron. The deal is a sunk cost. Why add to it? Maybe they’re hoping for further deterioration of his hip that would allow them to file a claim on his contract’s insurance.

    “Mr. Mozeliak, I have Mr. Cashman on line 1… “

  14. blynch67 - Nov 20, 2013 at 6:04 PM

    I’ll agree with this part:

    “Do yourself a favor, support your local minor league baseball team”.

    “There’s plenty of great baseball to be found, just not in the Major Leagues.”

    And I’ll add: It’s a fun, affordable, family oriented night out”

  15. chip56 - Nov 20, 2013 at 6:05 PM

    Craig,

    Any chance he’s trying to build up a conspiracy. That the arbitration was rigged by MLB and the union from the start and thus violated his due process?

    I think it’s a really stupid strategy – but what I’ve seen of Tacopina leads me to believe that stupid strategies are his wheelhouse.

  16. dezolationangel - Nov 20, 2013 at 6:07 PM

    I love the fact that instead of taking the suspension he called out Selig and MLB. It seems that MLB doesn’t have nearly as much as they thought they did on A -Rod. The fact that Selig didn’t have the stones to testify is very telling. He’s a coward and MLB is a joke. Not an A-Rod fan, but I’m pulling for him on this one.

  17. bigyankeemike - Nov 20, 2013 at 6:10 PM

    Again, Craig, Joe Tacopina did not appear with ARod on Mike Francesa’s show today. That was Jim McCarroll with Rodriguez.

    Tacopina was on a different show (ESPN-NY) earlier. He will never again go on Francesa’s show, they can’t stand each other.

  18. xpensivewinos - Nov 20, 2013 at 6:15 PM

    This is like an episode in the middle of a story arch of WWF back in the day. Selig is Vince McMahon and A-Hole is Hulk Hogan………once the hero and now the villain.

    It’s so unbelievably stupid that it’s totally entertaining.

    Can’t wait for the lawyers (who we know are really their “wrestling managers”) to start hitting each other over the heads with metal folding chairs.

    • tfbuckfutter - Nov 20, 2013 at 7:13 PM

      Hulk Hogan was never a villain until he went to WCW.

      And Vince McMahon never put himself in the spotlight until after Hulk had left.

      And yes. I feel like a giant nerd for having to make this OCD point.

  19. giant4life - Nov 20, 2013 at 7:04 PM

    Very well said……..very good approach in a area that is unapproachable to most fans.

  20. dumbhobby - Nov 20, 2013 at 7:16 PM

    Who’s more clueless, potus or this clown?

    • clemente2 - Nov 20, 2013 at 8:31 PM

      The answer is….you.

  21. deep64blue - Nov 20, 2013 at 7:33 PM

    I’m surprised you don’t Craig – wasn’t it you that pointed out he’s going after BOTH MLB and the MLBPA, it all fits that theory.

  22. Caught Looking - Nov 20, 2013 at 7:50 PM

    Toys ‘R Us must think he’s going to get suspended and/or these ‘action figures’ just weren’t moving as he’s been relegated to the clearance rack.

    http://www.toysrus.com/product/index.jsp?productId=12805613

  23. mvd513 - Nov 21, 2013 at 4:13 AM

    Free A-Rod!

  24. sdelmonte - Nov 21, 2013 at 4:14 AM

    What is he doing? He’s trying to take advantage of how much a lot of people hate Selig. He’s got two “reporters” at ESPN’s NY site supporting him. Which makes no sense to me. But there you have it.

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