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Alex Rodriguez receives 162-game suspension

Jan 11, 2014, 11:47 AM EDT

Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez has been hit with a 162-game suspension from arbitrator Fredric Horowitz, effectively ruling him out for the entire 2014 season. The suspension also covers the postseason.

Rodriguez originally received a 211-game suspension from MLB in August due to his alleged ties to Biogenesis, an anti-aging clinic in South Florida which supplied performance-enhancing drugs. A number of high-profile players were suspended for their involvement in the scandal, including Ryan Braun, Nelson Cruz, and Jhonny Peralta, but Rodriguez received the biggest penalty of them all, allegedly for interfering with MLB’s investigation. While the other players connected to Biogenesis immediately accepted their suspensions, Rodriguez appealed and was able to finish out the season. Following a contentious arbitration process, Horowitz did not uphold the original ban, but this should be considered a major victory for MLB and commissioner Bud Selig. It is still the longest suspension under MLB’s Joint Drug Prevention & Treatment Program. Guillermo Mota previously received a 100-game suspension in 2012.

The other big winner today, at least from a financial perspective, is the Yankees, who will no longer have Rodriguez’s salary ($25 million) on the books for the 2014 season. They might be able to keep their payroll under $189 million even if they sign Japanese right-hander Masahiro Tanaka. Rodriguez, 38, will still be owed $61 million from 2015-2017, the final years of his 10-year, $275 million contract with the Yankees.

Below is a statement from Alex Rodriguez, who intends to take his fight against MLB to federal court:

“The number of games sadly comes as no surprise, as the deck has been stacked against me from day one. This is one man’s decision, that was not put before a fair and impartial jury, does not involve me having failed a single drug test, is at odds with the facts and is inconsistent with the terms of the Joint Drug Agreement and the Basic Agreement, and relies on testimony and documents that would never have been allowed in any court in the United States because they are false and wholly unreliable. This injustice is MLB’s first step toward abolishing guaranteed contracts in the 2016 bargaining round, instituting lifetime bans for single violations of drug policy, and further insulating its corrupt investigative program from any variety defense by accused players, or any variety of objective review.

I have been clear that I did not use performance enhancing substances as alleged in the notice of discipline, or violate the Basic Agreement or the Joint Drug Agreement in any manner, and in order to prove it I will take this fight to federal court. I am confident that when a Federal Judge reviews the entirety of the record, the hearsay testimony of a criminal whose own records demonstrate that he dealt drugs to minors, and the lack of credible evidence put forth by MLB, that the judge will find that the panel blatantly disregarded the law and facts, and will overturn the suspension. No player should have to go through what I have been dealing with, and I am exhausting all options to ensure not only that I get justice, but that players’ contracts and rights are protected through the next round of bargaining, and that the MLB investigation and arbitration process cannot be used against others in the future the way it is currently being used to unjustly punish me.

I will continue to work hard to get back on the field and help the Yankees achieve the ultimate goal of winning another championship. I want to sincerely thank my family, all of my friends, and of course the fans and many of my fellow MLB players for the incredible support I received throughout this entire ordeal.”

Major League Baseball was succinct in their statement, noting that they still feel 211 games was appropriate but that they respect the reduction:

“For more than five decades, the arbitration process under the Basic Agreement has been a fair and effective mechanism for resolving disputes and protecting player rights. While we believe the original 211-game suspension was appropriate, we respect the decision rendered by the Panel and will focus on our continuing efforts on eliminating performance-enhancing substances from our game.”

The Yankees issued a brief statement as well:

“The New York Yankees respect Major League Baseball’s Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program, the arbitration process, as well as the decision released today by the arbitration panel.”

162 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. officialgame - Jan 11, 2014 at 12:16 PM

    My message to @ssRod. Go f**l yourself.

    • cohnjusack - Jan 11, 2014 at 12:18 PM

      Trying to think of what word you’re using that starts with “F” and ends in “L”. Go full yourself? Go foul yourself?

      • gmk17 - Jan 11, 2014 at 12:23 PM

        maybe go fool yourself?

      • wendell7 - Jan 11, 2014 at 1:58 PM

        argle-bargle filth and foul

      • historiophiliac - Jan 11, 2014 at 2:31 PM

        fail

    • fanofevilempire - Jan 11, 2014 at 1:34 PM

      Alex should take the suspension and come back strong in 2015.

  2. scoutsaysweitersisabust - Jan 11, 2014 at 12:18 PM

    This explains everything. Now I understand why MLB was able to suspend Alex Rodriguez while breaking their own JDA and CBA guidelines.

    • unclemosesgreen - Jan 11, 2014 at 1:03 PM

      Uncle Bud sure does have a lot of Dean Wormer to his game.

  3. President Charles Logan - Jan 11, 2014 at 12:21 PM

    Alllllllllleeeeeeeexxxxxxxxxxxx, dont bother wasting your time, your $ and your resources fighting this …..

    you’re DONE , finished , wrap it up and walk away !

  4. nsstlfan - Jan 11, 2014 at 12:21 PM

    Mansion the yahoo article says he’d miss the playoffs too

    • raysfan1 - Jan 11, 2014 at 1:36 PM

      Whether he would be eligible or for the playoffs or not is moot as the Yankees would be unlikely to add him to the playoff roster after not playing at the ML level all season anyway. Of course, this is also presupposing they even make the playoffs. That said, I don’t think he would be eligible because he won’t be on the 40-man roster on Aug 31, and this is not exclusively a PED use suspension.

      • spudchukar - Jan 11, 2014 at 3:28 PM

        Oh yeah, good point.

  5. realitypolice - Jan 11, 2014 at 12:21 PM

    In a related story, all other teams have stopped wasting their time courting Masahiro Tanaka.

  6. President Charles Logan - Jan 11, 2014 at 12:26 PM

    Do Yankee fans actually think they are going to wind up with Tanaka? , the Dodgers wont be outbid .

    • realitypolice - Jan 11, 2014 at 12:45 PM

      Yes, because that’s what always happens. The Yankees are still worth more than the Dodgers (check the 2013 Forbes rankings), Tanaka has been their #1 priority all along, and *poof* 27 million dollars just disappeared from their payroll.

      Sure, all of those things clearly point to them getting outbid on a player they really want and clearly need.

      • President Charles Logan - Jan 11, 2014 at 12:48 PM

        Not going to happen , sorry. LA is a much better option in so many different ways

      • unclemosesgreen - Jan 11, 2014 at 12:52 PM

        I’m getting the feeling that the bidding will level out at a very high number commensurate with the recent market madness and then Tanaka will choose between cities. I would rank the contenders 1) Seattle 2) L.A. 3) New York, but that’s pure speculation. Young Mr. Tanaka has a big decision to make.

      • realitypolice - Jan 11, 2014 at 1:03 PM

        Try throwing a fact or two in there, Mr. President.

      • mikhelb - Jan 11, 2014 at 2:00 PM

        @realitypolice

        I think I could help on why LA is better than NY:

        a) Silicon implants;
        b) Good weather most of the year;
        c) Silicon implants;
        d) A good team with one of the best rotations as it is right now;
        e) Silicon implants;
        f) The Mamas and the Papas said so;
        g) Silicon implants.

        Seriously though, it will be a very hard decision by Tanaka.

      • realitypolice - Jan 11, 2014 at 2:10 PM

        @mikhelb

        Those are all good reasons. I particularly like A,C,E, and G. If Tanaka turns out to be one of the very, very, small number of MLB players who cares about any of those things more than money, than the Dodgers or someone else may have a shot. But the Yankees won’t be outbid, I am fairly sure of that.

      • historiophiliac - Jan 11, 2014 at 2:34 PM

        Really, dudes?

      • paperlions - Jan 11, 2014 at 3:02 PM

        Implants are the worst. Real ones, in all of their glorious natural variation in shapes and sizes, are far better.

      • historiophiliac - Jan 11, 2014 at 3:35 PM

        Really, paper?

    • realitypolice - Jan 11, 2014 at 3:41 PM

      I wasn’t saying I thought they were legitimate, I just liked the points, I thought they were funny. Lighten up.

      • historiophiliac - Jan 11, 2014 at 3:59 PM

        Ah, yes, obviously it’s that I have no sense of humor and not that you were not funny and inappropriate. It’s a shame there’s no other place on the internet where you could go and discuss implants to your heart’s content.

        (hat tip to Matthew Pouliot there)

      • realitypolice - Jan 11, 2014 at 4:27 PM

        I wasn’t trying to be funny nor did I discuss implants, so I don’t know what you’re talking about.

      • historiophiliac - Jan 11, 2014 at 5:14 PM

        ” I particularly like A,C,E, and G. ”

        Pretty sure that’s about implants. And, if you don’t know what I’m talking about, why are you being defensive? Just accept that you acted jerky and let’s all move on. And, expect that in the future, if you do it again, I will call you on it again. Factor that into your decision on what to comment. This is a post about A-Rod’s suspension — not implants and the west coast.

  7. warrenlevine - Jan 11, 2014 at 12:29 PM

    A-Roid!!! My boyeeee. You gonna have a different “roid” this year — hemorrhoids, from sitting too long on a hard surface.

    You should have got the death penalty like Pete Rose. He’s so freakin’ lame and outdated, he appeared at a freakin’ CORN MAZE a year or two back in a town no one outside of NW Washington state has ever heard of. Maybe population ~12,000.

  8. Willingham & Eggs - Jan 11, 2014 at 12:33 PM

    Newly released footage from Frederic Horowitz’s ruling.

    • midjerseyfatcat - Jan 11, 2014 at 2:24 PM

      That really was a great movie with an ending that taught kids something about life. It’s always better to play by the rules and not screw the other guy but Alex never learned that lesson of life. This drug use and baseball is really a two headed snake. Nobody can tell me that MLB didn’t know all those guys were using roids. They loved it all the way from the Commissioner down to the bat boys. They all knew so who is kidding who? Seems MLB loved too see a father take his kid to a game and watch Alex&Co. hammer one out of the park further than anybody did before but now that era is gone and painted black. Maybe they should run an investigation on MLB to see who knew and when did they know it and see who comes out clean. Alex isn’t the only one to have dirt on his hands in this entire mess called baseball and believe me I’m no fan of A-Rod or any other cheat.

  9. ochospantalones - Jan 11, 2014 at 12:34 PM

    It is ridiculous that the Yankees get to benefit from this. When you have a player under contract suspended for PEDs, the employer should not be allowed to pocket the money. Currently, the team gets the benefit of the player’s enhanced performance, but then when the player is caught the team gets to walk away unharmed. A-Rod is disgraced, but it is not like that 2009 World Series flag is coming down from Yankee Stadium.

    The Yankees should be required to pay A-Rod’s $30 million into the pension fund, or to charity (perhaps drug abuse centers?).

    • zackd2 - Jan 11, 2014 at 12:48 PM

      Did you make this comment about the Brewers, Tigers and Rangers? (Braun, Peralta, Cruz)

      • ochospantalones - Jan 11, 2014 at 12:52 PM

        It applies equally. None of them should get the benefit, though obviously ARod makes a lot more than any of those guys the problem becomes even more glaring here. The Brewers saved what, 10% as much money?

    • unclemosesgreen - Jan 11, 2014 at 1:01 PM

      RIght now the Yankees get the “benefit” of having to start Kelly Johnson at 3rd base. From the Peralta suspension the Tigers got the “benefit” of more Don Kelly and being forced to make a trade for Jose Iglesias.

      How’s that “unharmed”?

      • ochospantalones - Jan 11, 2014 at 1:28 PM

        If you don’t think the Yankees are ecstatic about this result, you’re nuts. They have Kelly Johnson at 3rd base? I think they will take Kelly Johnson and $30 million over Kelly Johnson for half the season and broken down ARod for the other half. Seriously, ARod played in 44 games last year, with a 111 OPS+. You can use that $30 million on other things, like say paying over 90% of the combined 2014 salaries of Carlos Beltran and Brian McCann.

      • unclemosesgreen - Jan 11, 2014 at 1:34 PM

        I think they’re happy but there’s no 3rd baseman out there remotely as good as a healthy Alex. It’s not like the rest of his contract got voided. Then they’d be as excited as Greg Maddux on the mound.

      • mikhelb - Jan 11, 2014 at 2:20 PM

        “@ochospantalones ARod played in 44 games last year, with a 111 OPS+ “.

        The part you’re missing is: just 4 regular 3B had a superior OPS+ in 2013 in the AL:

        Miguel Cabrera 187 OPS+;
        Josh Donaldson 160 OPS+;
        Adrián Beltré 137 OPS+;
        Evan Longoria 134 OPS+;
        Kyle Seager 118 OPS+.

        You’d have to add another 4 from the NL. Overall having a player like ARod in the Yankees lineup is better than having Kelly Johnson+30 millions.

      • mikhelb - Jan 11, 2014 at 2:22 PM

        oops “4 in the NL, 5 in the AL” somehow the “5 in the NL” got lost in the posting process.

      • mikhelb - Jan 11, 2014 at 2:22 PM

        oops “4 in the NL, 5 in the AL” somehow the “5” got lost in the posting process.

  10. uyf1950 - Jan 11, 2014 at 12:34 PM

    A little surprised it’s for the entire season. Really expected the arbitrator to kind of split the difference and settle for 100 games. But I have to admit I’m glad it’s finally over. A-Rod can take it to the courts but as most have indicated and the prevailing thoughts are that the courts generally don’t like to get involved. I hope they leave well enough alone. It’s time to move on.

    A-Rod you did this to yourself, you have no one to blame but yourself. Do the right thing now and retire

    • paperlions - Jan 11, 2014 at 12:53 PM

      Why is retiring the right thing to do?

      • uyf1950 - Jan 11, 2014 at 12:56 PM

        Because I think it is. .

      • scoutsaysweitersisabust - Jan 11, 2014 at 1:04 PM

        Because Alex should take other people’s personal feelings into account with his career decisions.

      • paperlions - Jan 11, 2014 at 1:05 PM

        In case you didn’t see it in the other thread, I am a Cardinal fan, not a Yankee fan. I was deeply wounded by that…

      • historiophiliac - Jan 11, 2014 at 1:04 PM

        /looks at popcorn stash and various Doom Watch paraphernalia

        It’s the wrong thing to do! Wrong, wrong, wrong! Don’t do it!

      • scoutsaysweitersisabust - Jan 11, 2014 at 3:48 PM

        Haha, no I didn’t see it in the other thread. My sincere apologies. No one should ever be accused falsely of being a Yankees fan.

    • raysfan1 - Jan 11, 2014 at 1:41 PM

      He won’t. That would still be leaving over $60M on the table for 2015-2017.

    • pisano - Jan 11, 2014 at 2:09 PM

      uyf1950….My friend, your last sentence says it all, and I totally agree with you.

  11. gunsmoke527 - Jan 11, 2014 at 12:35 PM

    ARod. Quit being a lying POS. Accept the fact that you earned this suspension, although you deserve more. Baseball doesn’t need you, the fans don’t need you and any clean ballplayer doesn’t need you. Accept that fact!! Pete Rose is a saint compared to you.

    • brandonmauk - Jan 11, 2014 at 1:09 PM

      Pete Rose committed the cardinal sin of baseball. You are a fool.

  12. cshearing - Jan 11, 2014 at 12:36 PM

    Guilty people usually do have the deck stacked against them.

  13. WACANHFL - Jan 11, 2014 at 12:36 PM

    Yankees suck! (Just a little less now.)

    • paperlions - Jan 11, 2014 at 12:54 PM

      From a baseball perspective, the 2014 team just got worse.

      • mommatocharlie - Jan 11, 2014 at 1:17 PM

        It will give a chance to other players to get the publicity they deserve.

      • paperlions - Jan 11, 2014 at 1:21 PM

        Huh?

        Players get publicity based on market size and narrative, not based on baseball skills.

        The media guides publicity, they could have chosen a minimalist approach to covering ARod and his PED use, but they chose to go the over-the-top route. They’ll do the same thing with the next narrative driven story that has little to do with on-the-field exploits.

      • indaburg - Jan 11, 2014 at 1:31 PM

        Exactly, ‘lions. There is so much emotion surrounding Alex Rodriguez that is seems impossible for certain fans to see him objectively from a baseball perspective.

        I fail to see how a team losing a career .299/.384/.558 hitter with an OPS+ 143 and a bWAR of 115.7 sucks a little less now.

  14. yordo - Jan 11, 2014 at 12:41 PM

    Funny how this had to happen to A-Rod of all people. One of the only players who has enough disposable income to fight forever. Also, one of the only contracts that a team wouldn’t eat to kill this distraction. I was expecting less than 100 games. UNACCEPTABLE. FREE A-ROD!

  15. lexi317 - Jan 11, 2014 at 12:46 PM

    F’N A-ROID. A Joke. Go Away Clown.

  16. joestemme - Jan 11, 2014 at 12:48 PM

    Fu#K A-Roid

    • historiophiliac - Jan 11, 2014 at 1:34 PM

      You know he doesn’t give baskets, right?

  17. martysnooks - Jan 11, 2014 at 12:56 PM

    Always shocked when people comment who obviously have not read the story, just the headline. The article CLEARLY states that the ban INCLUDES playoffs. Read first, comment second.

  18. nyfootballgiants - Jan 11, 2014 at 12:59 PM

    As someone who is experienced with arbitration hearings – courts rarely overturn an arbitrators decision, especially since most collective bargaining agreements agree that arbitrator is the final decision. This protects both sides from endless appeals, etc

  19. buzzerj - Jan 11, 2014 at 1:00 PM

    Not interested. I gave up on this sick game long ago. Partly because Selig destroyed the game, partly because of juicers and cheats like ARod and Braun. Fire the lot of them. Baseball like football is a sport of criminals. I no longer watch or am interested in the sport. That’s saying something since in the past I was a season ticket holder for two MLB teams. Now I don’t even know who is still playing. I’m glad Rodriquez will not be and I wish Braun would be kicked out of baseball also permanently. And that’s just a few of the cheats. Bye bye baseball. You’re still a joke.

    • historiophiliac - Jan 11, 2014 at 1:18 PM

      Well then, we look forward to you giving up on baseball commenting too. Way to be proud of your ignorance though. Now go tell the PFT folks that you don’t know who plays football anymore either. Please.

      • 18thstreet - Jan 11, 2014 at 1:54 PM

        I’m so disgusted by this comment that I refused to read it. And I’m never going to read it ever again!

    • raysfan1 - Jan 11, 2014 at 1:50 PM

      I assume you watch no sports at all then, since PEDs are in all of them, even golf. Likewise, unless you are 60 or older, you do not remember a time when there was no widespread steroid use in sports, only a time when it wasn’t widely known/wasn’t made a big deal in the media. I can provide you links talking about it in Sports Illustrated back to 1960 if you like.

  20. cackalackyank - Jan 11, 2014 at 1:05 PM

    Well the length surprises me, but he just needs to STFU now and take it like a man. I really so not expect him to get a hearing from any court though. The whole point of arbitration is that the parties agree to abide by the ruling. It is good that the NYY can plan for the year before spring training starts, too. I am a Yankee fan, but I still think some of this money should be paid out for something positive, not just a boon to the payroll chase.

  21. mommatocharlie - Jan 11, 2014 at 1:14 PM

    Poor baby–he is soooooooooooooo misunderstood.

  22. realitypolice - Jan 11, 2014 at 1:31 PM

    I don’t understand his obsession with fighting this. It has to be costing him millions in legal fees. Take the year off, rest your body, hang out on South Beach, continue to claim your innocence until the day you die, come back next year and still make another 60 million dollars before you retire.

    He’s not getting into the Hall of Fame even if he wins the court case, and oh by the way, he’s not winning he court case.

  23. tominma - Jan 11, 2014 at 1:33 PM

    Hurray!! What goes around , comes around! You deceived all of us baseball fans, now your name is mud what all your multimillions cant wash away!

  24. pgilbert2013 - Jan 11, 2014 at 1:42 PM

    I thank my lucky stars that the Yanks stole this pant load from right under our nose. I was pissed but have truly enjoyed the circus.

  25. thesteelskirt - Jan 11, 2014 at 2:01 PM

    Such BS, the Yankees knew he was a juicer when they signed his last deal and now they get a free pass. I guess the ratings were really down in NY this year.

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