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The Arbitrator’s Decision: Creatively Counting to 150

Jan 13, 2014, 6:22 PM EST

Alex Rodriguez Reuters Reuters

I’ve received a copy of the complaint Alex Rodriguez has filed in federal court seeking to overturn the arbitration decision against him and naming the MLBPA as a defendant as a result of their alleged failure to advance and aid in his defense. A full copy of the documents can be read here.

I have skimmed past the initial complaint allegations — many of them are repeats from his previous lawsuit against Major League Baseball and we’ll get to those in due time — and have gone down to the arbitrator’s decision in order to try to understand the basis for Rodiguez’s 162-game suspension. The breakdown: 150 games for violating the Joint Drug Agreement and 12 games for obstructing Major League Baseball’s investigation.

Following a lengthy recitation of the facts, the overview from the arbitrator is short and sweet:

source:

  • AROD’S VIOLATION OF THE JOINT DRUG AGREEMENT AND HOW THE ARBITRATOR GOT TO 150 GAMES FOR DRUG VIOLATIONS

The fact of a violation is laid out fairly painstakingly via the arbitrator’s review of the facts, as provided by Anthony Bosch and his records. Multiple contacts between Bosch and Rodriguez over a period of three years, during which Bosch provided multiple banned substances to him. How many? Three distinct ones, which becomes important to the penalty:

source:

Why is three important? Because each side and the arbitrator agreed that the standard 50 game/100 game/lifetime ban penalties only apply when there is a SINGLE violation, as evidenced by an actual positive drug test. When there is a pattern of use — say, of three substances across three years, the Commissioner can use “just cause” penalties and use his discretion:

source:

This is where I take issue with the arbitrator. Section 7(A) is not purely limited to a single positive test. It says this:

A player who tests positive for a Performance Enhancing Substance, or otherwise violates the Program through the possession or use of a Performance Enhancing Substance, will be subject to the discipline set forth below. (emphasis mine) 1. First violation: 50-game suspension; 2. Second violation: 100-game suspension; 3. Third violation: Permanent suspension from Major League and Minor League Baseball.

I would think that A-Rod is in the “or otherwise violates” camp and that 7(A) is still in play. 7(G), the just cause provision he moved under, is not invoked unless the violation is “not referenced” in section 7(A). I’d argue that “otherwise violates” is referenced there, but the MLBPA and A-Rod appear to have conceded the matter, so there we are.

But even the arbitrator seems uncomfortable with giving Selig a blank slate. He tries to look at the “guideposts” of the 50/100/life matrix in section 7(A) and sort of retrofit A-Rod’s drug use on to it. It’s a long passage, but it’s AMAZING. He says 7(A) doesn’t apply, so we go elsewhere, but if 7(A) DID apply, we’d be able to stack up 50-game penalties against A-Rod because he used three things:

source:

Never mind that the Neifi Perez case did not involve HGH or testosterone, it involved stimulants, which are treated quite differently. Never mind that other Biogenesis players — specifically Bartolo Colon and Melky Cabrera — were not given multiple levels of discipline because, according to baseball, they already did their time, as it were.  This seems remarkably shaky to me. It is a new way of approaching drug discipline that just so happens to achieve Major League Baseball’s desired result of a lengthy suspension.

Major League Baseball actually argued for a lifetime ban here, saying that if A-Rod had three distinct offenses he’d get a 50, a 100 and a lifetime stacked on top of each other. That actually makes more sense to me. After all, if a player who got a 50 game test suspension last year tested positive for a different substance tomorrow, he’d get 100 games. There would not a be a 50 game suspension because it is a different substance, which is what the arbitrator is basically doing here. In essence, the arbitrator is going lighter on A-Rod than the logic he actually subscribes to would have him do. It would at least be intellectually consistent for him to ban Rodriguez for life.  The arbitrator was obviously loathe to do that. But if the logic train he followed drove him off a cliff, maybe he shouldn’t have followed that logic train in the first place. Maybe he shouldn’t have tried to invent his own standard.

  • ANTHONY BOSCH’S CREDIBILITY: POOR, BUT NOT FATAL

As for A-Rod’s attacks on Bosch’s credibility, the arbitrator was not impressed. He took notice of the fact that Bosch was a scumbag who sold drugs, lied about his credentials and contradicted his own story multiple times in the runup to the hearing. But, even with that in mind, Bosch’s testimony was corroborated and was not contradicted:

source:

Much of the corroboration came via text messages between Rodriguez and Bosch. Blackberry text messages. The richest player in the history of baseball uses a Blackberry. Think about that for a bit.

  • A-ROD’s OBSTRUCTION OF THE INVESTIGATION

Major League Baseball has spent a lot of time and energy trying to establish that A-Rod obstructed the investigation, sought to buy or destroy evidence and, if you believe Bosch himself on “60 Minutes” last night, tried to threaten and intimidate him or, at the very least, tried to shoo him out of the country for a while.  The arbitrator did not buy most of this, it seems. He focused instead on A-Rod denying he knew Tony Bosch and trying to get Bosch to lie:


source:

I think it’s safe to say that Major League Baseball’s claims of A-Rod’s awful obstruction were greatly overstated. And, in light of what MLB did to obtain evidence, it acted in a far more shady manner than A-Rod did.

  • BREACHES OF CONFIDENTIALITY OF THE DRUG PROGRAM

There was a brief discussion of the confidentiality violations of the parties. Leaks to the media and press conferences and things during a process that is supposed to have everyone quiet and respectful of what is, by design, a secret proceeding.  The arbitrator basically threw up his hands here, noted that both sides did it all the time, that he couldn’t do anything to hunt down the leaks in anything approaching a timely manner and that, ultimately, it didn’t matter because the leaks and things did not affect his decision.

That actually seems pretty smart. No one did well in this department.

  • CONCLUSION

So that’s the first pass here. It’s hard to disagree with the arbitrator’s finding of some violation. It’s clear that the obstruction evidence presented by Major League Baseball was not terribly persuasive to him, as it amounted to only 12 games on top of the 150-game suspension. Finally, it’s clear to me that the 150-game suspension was based on, at the very least, a unique interpretation of the Joint Drug Agreement.

I believe, ultimately, that Major League Baseball will win the lawsuit A-Rod filed today as his best arguments are one of interpretation of the Joint Drug Agreement, and that is not enough to cause a court to overturn an arbitration. But I do believe that the arbitrator’s interpretation of the JDA was unsound and that the result — suspending Alex Rodriguez for a long time — was the tail that wagged the dog of his legal interpretation.  That’s what Major League Baseball wanted. It’s what the arbitrator felt he should get.  And he found a way to make it happen.

A way I do not believe anyone else ever considered before. Or, for that matter, should have.

  1. uyf1950 - Jan 13, 2014 at 6:31 PM

    Please let this come to a speedy conclusion in the court system. Enough is enough.

  2. sdelmonte - Jan 13, 2014 at 6:32 PM

    I am with you, Craig.

  3. sisisisisisisi - Jan 13, 2014 at 6:34 PM

    Good job Craig

  4. scoutsaysweitersisabust - Jan 13, 2014 at 6:35 PM

    I’m still reading through the complaint, but I really love how the arbiter allowed MLB to question and cross-examine Bosh, but also allowed Bosh to dodge every single question asked of Alex’s side. What the crap is that? Since when is only one side allowed to question a key witness?

  5. apkyletexas - Jan 13, 2014 at 6:35 PM

    Fraudulent conduct by the arbitrator? That’s what A-Rod is hoping a federal court will find.

    And back off the Blackberry comments – some of us are just simply addicted.

    • Reflex - Jan 13, 2014 at 6:54 PM

      At least your nonsensical comments about Griffey and other players make more sense now…

  6. ochospantalones - Jan 13, 2014 at 6:38 PM

    I wonder why he chose 12 games as the punishment for obstruction, rather than say 11 or 13.

    • paperlions - Jan 13, 2014 at 6:40 PM

      Just one of those mysteries to which we will never know the answer.

    • scoutsaysweitersisabust - Jan 13, 2014 at 6:49 PM

      Simple 162-150 = 12. All math in this case has been performed backwards to achieve the sole purpose of Alex not stepping on the field next year.

      • rje49 - Jan 13, 2014 at 8:01 PM

        So, would it have worked out better if the suspension was 160 or 165 games? Maybe ARod could play 2 games at the start of the season, or maybe the last 2? Or if it were 165 games, it would be this entire season plus 3 more games next year? Does that make more sense to anybody???

      • Glenn - Jan 13, 2014 at 8:10 PM

        That 12 game part seems so arbitrary.

      • raysfan1 - Jan 13, 2014 at 8:37 PM

        +1 for the observation that arbitrators are arbitrary.

  7. themanytoolsofignorance - Jan 13, 2014 at 6:40 PM

    Goodness me. Aside from all this ruling folderol, I am at a loss to the sheer wonder that someone could have this much evidence against them and still attempt to convince anyone of their innocence. Personal text messages to and fro ‘twixt Rodriguez and Bosch concerning drug use? Alex Rodrigues is a deluded fool if he thought he could beat that rap.

    besides all of that, those of you who criticize this blog better get ready to do a better job of sorting and parsing that legal-ese. Having a baseball loving lawyer as the author on here certainly makes wading through that morass a touch easier.

  8. paperlions - Jan 13, 2014 at 6:43 PM

    So….using the arbiter’s “logic”, which appears to be 50 games for each “first” violation of each substance. If a player tests positive for testosterone and is suspended 50 games, and later tests positive for stanozolol, could the player argue that he should only get 50 games because it is the first time he tested positive for that particular PED?

    This is just a dumb ruling. Arod should have got either 50 or life, there is really no logic to pick something else.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jan 13, 2014 at 6:51 PM

      Sonofa, didn’t mean to report comment, sorry PL

      Now, what’s dumb here is you never take just one substance. Considering most ‘roids are water retainers, you have to take another substance to remove the excess water from your system. Since these are often signals of ‘roid use, most of those substances are banned as well.

      Long way of saying that almost every person that’s been busted has been using multiple substances. Something has to be off here. No way that’s his reasoning for the 150 games.

      • paperlions - Jan 13, 2014 at 7:54 PM

        What is even dumber is ARod taking IGF and HGH and oral testosterone (if that is what it was). The first two have been shown to have no performance enhancing effect whatsoever on healthy adults, and the 3rd is generally completely useless as an effective oral testosterone has been difficult for real drug companies to develop much less whatever scam outfit was providing for this charlatan.

        I swear. Athletes would save themselves so much time and money if they just did a little research or had one smart friend that could do it for them.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jan 13, 2014 at 8:21 PM

        I swear. Athletes would save themselves so much time and money if they just did a little research or had one smart friend that could do it for them.

        What are the odds that the testosterone trunches (sp?) weren’t really testosterone? Considering he did no lifting, he shouldn’t have received any benefit. Also, how quickly they left his system? Why do I get the feeling he was getting amphetamines?

    • themanytoolsofignorance - Jan 13, 2014 at 6:53 PM

      It certainly is a can of worms, isn’t it? I wonder if MLB is realizing that they have effectively opened the door for this argument? It will never happen, but MLB really should re-think this whole business and levy a judgement on Rodriguez congruent with their CBA’s JDA. After all, I’m failing to see how Melky Cabrera and Ryan Braun managed to get off so lightly when they did much the same things.

      Well, there isn’t going to be anything like a clean resolution here. At this point MLB and the MLBPA have, rather than a clear and binding agreement between them, rather a loose set of guidelines overrule-able by the Commissioner and sanctions subject to creative and specious interpretation of said guidelines. This is a system just asking for abuse of power and will foster a hostile labor force relationship. A good long term planner doesn’t accept this ruling.

    • scoutsaysweitersisabust - Jan 13, 2014 at 6:55 PM

      I couldn’t agree more. The logic to 162 is astounding here, and while I agree Alex won’t win his lawsuit, he certainly has a valid complaint here. Are we really to believe that everyone else who went to Biogenesis limited themselves to just one substance and Alex was the ONLY one who used more than one drug? If I were Alex, the first thing I would do is subpoena the rest of the documents here, because if just one of the other 16 or so players used a second substance, then it proves without a doubt that MLB was on a personal vendetta. In the end, does one violation equal one time caught, or one drug used?

      Question, if a player failed urine tests for both Marijuana and Cocaine, would they then get double suspension? I bet not.

      • sawxalicious - Jan 13, 2014 at 7:41 PM

        I think the difference between A-Rod and the other players is that they accepted their punishments without fighting them. It might have been threatened upon them the same type of suspension that A-Rod got. We may never know.

      • jeffbbf - Jan 14, 2014 at 9:47 AM

        If the failed tests happened a year apart, you’d lose that bet

    • frank433 - Jan 13, 2014 at 6:56 PM

      I think you are over thinking this. It seems like his logic is that each different substance is a different violation. For example, if a player tests positive twice for the same substance in a short period of time (the reasonable half-life of said substance) that it would be only 1 violation. However, if the player tests positive for 2 different substances in that same period, it is 2 different violations (50 games plus 100 games) , not the first violation of each (50 games plus 50 games).

      • paperlions - Jan 13, 2014 at 7:45 PM

        Except if this was 3 different violations, he’d get life plus 150 games. I am not over thinking anything, just applying his “logic” to other situations. There is no provision for getting 50 games for each substance, his interpretation is 12 kinds of wrong….it isn’t a possible interpretation within in context.

        As Craig said, the tail was wagging the dog. The only way to come up with this “logic” is to come to your conclusion and engineer backwards.

      • rje49 - Jan 13, 2014 at 7:57 PM

        Look at it this way; normally when a player flunks a drug test he gets suspended for 50 games. It is one test and one instance. No documentation listing suppliers, purchases, injection schedule, etc. In ARod’s case, there was all that; a 3-year long documented history showing continued use. There may not have been a failed test, but documents show he could have failed 100 tests.

      • themanytoolsofignorance - Jan 13, 2014 at 8:02 PM

        And, according to the stated rules, failing a mere 3 tests (never mind the 100 cited in the above reply) = lifetime ban. There simply isn’t anyway to get to 162 from the language in the JDA. You have to set 162 as the end point and reason it out backwards. This is what we call “making stuff up” in my line of work.

      • paperlions - Jan 13, 2014 at 8:41 PM

        The JDA recognizes that no one uses steroids once. They are used for a long time in order for real effects to manifest and it accounts for that fact. According to the JDA, a single pattern of use is a single violation. Doesn’t matter if the guy was using for 10 years, when he gets busted for it, it represents a single pattern and one violation no matter how long in the past he was using. Once busted, any future use is considered a “new” pattern of use.

  9. cackalackyank - Jan 13, 2014 at 6:44 PM

    Wow. I hope the court just tosses the suit. I will be waiting for the next CBA talks between MLB and MLBPA, though. I think those sections are gonna be up for a re-write.

  10. Old Gator - Jan 13, 2014 at 7:07 PM

    I’m holding orf on making a major popcorn purchase until we see whether the judge permits this suit to proceed. However, I am going to buy a family pack in the expectation that it will keep in its little aluminum pouches until spring training if his honor doodlycans the complaint at the outset.

    • raysfan1 - Jan 13, 2014 at 8:29 PM

      I broke a molar on a popcorn kernel this past year. It was quite painful, and the tooth ultimately had to have a crown. I have thus suspended all popcorn eating in my house for 2014.

  11. disgracedfury - Jan 13, 2014 at 7:38 PM

    I think the problem of all this is why he got 162 games compared to everybody else and the process MLB went to get this info.Selig on 60 minutes just said A-Rod did something more worse than anyone ever in the past 50 years, worse than what Pete Rose,Ryan Braun and Matt Bush among others scumbags worse than A-Rod.

    This is Selig’s ride into the sunset and protect his legacy as he created this mess andis throwing everyone under the bus.A-Rod was a pawn of Selig era of just making money for him and the owners and now just like A-Rod Selig wants to protect his legacy.

    • sawxalicious - Jan 13, 2014 at 7:51 PM

      I think Ryan Brain’s conduct was worse than A-Rods:
      A) Braun knowingly used banned substances and was awarded a league MVP.
      B) Braun came out and publicly, vehemently, denied any use of banned substances
      C) Braun threw the testing courier under the bus and publicly slandered him.
      D) Braun got away with no penalties for the reported positive PED test due to doubts brought on in how the sample was handled (later determined to be a bunch of technicality B.S.)
      E) Braun actually does get caught up in the Biogenesis scandal a short time after his first PED scandal and puts his tail between his legs and accepts a suspension (which should have been considered his second violation),

      I am no A-Rod apologist, and he has done plenty of other crummy things, but at least the person he is trying to discredit is a lowlife drug dealer. Also, looking at A-Rod’s yearly declining numbers, he really got no specific benefit from Biogenesis to begin with. That is not to say A-Rod’s previous numbers were not tainted by PEDs, they may have been, I don’t know.

      • sawxalicious - Jan 13, 2014 at 7:56 PM

        Ryan BRAUN, not Ryan BRAIN…Edit Function!!!

  12. happytwinsfan - Jan 13, 2014 at 8:12 PM

    so there are logical inconsistencies and ambiguities in a legal ruling, heaven for-fend! the law is only an intricate theology with pretensions of logical rigor.

    i don’t feel sorry for arod, but at the same time i choose to remember more than this stuff that during his peak years he was arguably the best shortstop in the history of baseball.

  13. raysfan1 - Jan 13, 2014 at 8:26 PM

    Yes, I’d say the arbiter concluded “gone for 2014″ was the right answer and then worked to make the logic fit the conclusion. He could have just as easily stated that he felt the “just cause” clause was applicable and that the pattern of misconduct was essentially as bad as a first and second offense combined, with 12 games tacked on for trying to induce Bosch into giving false testimony.

    Rodiguez’ own lying doesn’t mean much to me; he wasn’t under oath during MLB was investigating him. Melky Cabrera’s false website, certainly a lie in an attempt to obstruct an investigation, did not garner extra suspension time.

    Still no sympathy for him though.

  14. biffmcgregor - Jan 13, 2014 at 8:38 PM

    Craig, can you clarify something for a fellow lawyer with too much time to waste on this? I’m not a litigator and I don’t know how evidentiary rules apply in arbitration, but the copies of Bosch’s notes should be hearsay, correct? Or are the texts between Bosch and ARod enough to authenticate? If the notes are hearsay, I would think that MLB couldn’t use them to corroborate Bosch’s testimony.

    • happytwinsfan - Jan 13, 2014 at 8:47 PM

      are you fully ordained?

      • biffmcgregor - Jan 13, 2014 at 9:04 PM

        Ha. Yup, just immediately specialized in a field that has mercifully kept me very, very far away from the inside of a courtroom.

    • Craig Calcaterra - Jan 13, 2014 at 10:31 PM

      Well, rules of evidence don’t apply, but the texts to which A-Rod was party would be admissions. Bosch’s records would be business records authenticated by the creator.

      That said — looser rules here than in court.

    • anxovies - Jan 14, 2014 at 3:27 AM

      Arbitration doesn’t necessarily follow the rules of evidence, it depends upon the rules for arbitration that the CBA requires. However, contemporaneous notes are admissible under Rule 803(a) (present sense impression) if a foundation is laid (I’m using the rules in my state which generally follow the federal and model rules). Also, 803(f) (records of a regularly conducted activity) might apply, as might 803(d) (statements for purposes of medical diagnosis or treatment). These are exceptions to the hearsay rule.

      • biffmcgregor - Jan 14, 2014 at 6:46 AM

        Awesome, thanks both!

    • peymax1693 - Jan 14, 2014 at 9:49 AM

      I am also a fellow attorney, concentrating on criminal defense work. In Massachusetts, Bosch’s records would probably be admissible in court under the business records exception to the hearsay rule, and A-Rod’s text messages, provided it could be established that they came from him, would be admissible as statements of a party. I also seem to recall that the hearsay rule generally doesn’t apply to arbitration hearings, unless there is a specific prohibition in the rules governing such hearings.

    • sawxalicious - Jan 16, 2014 at 1:48 AM

      @ biffmcgregor-
      I work in the “order” portion of law and order, but based on my time spent in court rooms, the notes would likely be inadmissible if Bosch was not testifying. But if you have him there to authenticate the notes and introduce them into evidence, I believe they would not be considered hearsay and would be found relevant to the case at hand. Generally, even a police report might be found to be considered hearsay, unless you have an appropriate person (the law enforcement officer) introduce it. That being said, the arbitration rules are made up by the entities involved (MLB and MLBPA), so regular court rules do not necessarily apply.

  15. flamethrower101 - Jan 13, 2014 at 8:45 PM

    I keep reading the complaint over and over. Obviously MLB had to have tons of proof that AROD not only took steroids frequently but also tried to impede the investigation. If that’s true then I can’t really say the arbitrator got it wrong with his decision. His logic, though, might need some fine tuning.

    That said, I still think AROD has an outside chance of having his case heard. The circumstances are so unique and so out there. That plus all the shenanigans that have gone on from both sides plus the distinct fact that Selig is not popular around Congress…all of this is sure to add up to one messy legal battle. I don’t think AROD will win, but having a judge take the case is the hardest part. Once that happens, anything goes.

    • righthandofjustice - Jan 13, 2014 at 10:06 PM

      The verdict is out. The lone piece of evidence MLB has was the “cooperation” from Bosch, a convicted criminal who altered his testimonies only after getting promised millions of dollars from MLB.

      I don’t know much about arbitration review or kangaroo court procedures so I don’t know how it will end up but honestly, this arbitrator made from questionable comments.

  16. johnnysoda - Jan 13, 2014 at 8:49 PM

    Here I was thinking most of the penalty was for obstruction, but as it turns out, he only got 12 games for that. Meanwhile, he gets THREE TIMES the normal first-time punishment for violating the agreement. Ridiculous.

    I don’t condone what A-Rod did at all, and I’m certainly no fan of him as a person, but I can certainly see why he’d be upset.

  17. cjach - Jan 13, 2014 at 9:05 PM

    AROD should of been suspended for life!!!!

  18. mornelithe - Jan 13, 2014 at 9:28 PM

    “The remaining allegations of obstruction, while troubling, need not be addressed because they would not affect the ultimate determination regarding the appropriate penalty in this matter”

    “I think it’s safe to say that MLB’s claims of A-Rods awful obstruction were greatly overstated”

    How do you get THAT conclusion, from THAT sentence? The arbiter makes no mention of MLB overstating it’s case, he merely states that they wouldn’t be addressing them as it wouldn’t affect the overall decision. Maybe that’s Arbiter talk, to give MLB an easy out…but without more detail your conclusion isn’t supported by the statement.

    • raysfan1 - Jan 13, 2014 at 9:37 PM

      It’s supported by Rodriguez lying and trying to induce Bosch to lie under oath = 12 games of suspension, whereas all the other allegations of obstruction and threats = 0 games of suspension.

      • mornelithe - Jan 13, 2014 at 9:44 PM

        Not really, the Arbiter explains why he isn’t addressing it, which would naturally mean no punishment for something he isn’t addressing, right?

        It just seems like drawing conclusions of certainty, from a statement that’s anything but certain.

      • righthandofjustice - Jan 13, 2014 at 9:56 PM

        The interesting point is all these “troubling” issues would discredit MLB and Bosch severely if they were looked into and found fraudulent.

        Horowitz’s comment they would not matter in the award only under 2 circumstances: (1) The “troubling” evidence is not fraudulent or tempered with or (2) He is so biased that even if the evidence is not legitimate he would still rule in favor MLB.

  19. righthandofjustice - Jan 13, 2014 at 9:32 PM

    I think Mr. Calcaterra made a very nice analysis on the arbitrator’s ruling.

    There are a few more interesting points though.

    (1) Horowitz said he believed everything Bosch said because other people related to Biogenesis such as “Oggi”, and A-Rod’s cousin didn’t come in while the others only provided written statements. His ruling was A-Rod was guilty by a convicted criminal’s unverifiable words that A-Rod could not be proven innocent by written statements from many people.

    (2) Seeming he has a double standard in evaluating credibility. He said statements from trainer Medina Reyes could not be accepted because he altered his words from “he told MLB somebody injected A-Rod” to “MLB threatened him and his family to say he saw somebody injected A-Rod”. However, he said every word Bosch said was acceptable even though he also altered his testimonies exactly the opposite way Reyes did.

    (3) Regarding all the other counter-evidence A-Rod presented or tried to present (e.g. questionable BBM messages, alleged MLB gross misconducts that lead to their possession of the document, etc) were also all not considered because they were in his words, “troubling”.

    (4) He found A-Rod guilty of “obstructions” in 2 occasions. When he offered Bosch to sign a statement that’s an obstruction but when MLB did the same it was perfectly OK to him. He also said by simply announcing he was did not obtain PED from Biogenesis in January, 2013 A-Rod also obstructed the Biogenesis investigation. No wonder A-Rod refused to answer the question before the hearing.

    The even more interesting point is, if this award holds, MLB will be free to pay anybody millions as a witness if that person can provide a random piece of “evidence” to indicate any random player has consumed 100 different kinds of PED and give him a lifetime suspension. It also allows them to willfully disrespect player confidentially by going on TV and radio shows.

    • themanytoolsofignorance - Jan 13, 2014 at 9:40 PM

      So the whole arbitration was a Shi7Show? Great. Perhaps the Rodriguez ace legal team could demand the arbitrator’s phone and text message records to see if his ruling was bought or influenced by Selig? After all, this kind of discovery was made against Rodriguez.

  20. braxtonrob - Jan 13, 2014 at 11:01 PM

    Convenient how that +12 number = a full season of MLB, but I’m okay with it.

  21. hightopandrocket - Jan 13, 2014 at 11:47 PM

    What a strange “sport”?

  22. joerevs300 - Jan 13, 2014 at 11:52 PM

    A-Rod for the Hall of Fame. I mean, he did nothing wrong right?

    Here in the hallowed halls of HBT, he shouldn’t have been suspended at all.

  23. andyreidisfat - Jan 13, 2014 at 11:54 PM

    Let’s see professional hired to mediate these types of legal arguments … Or ….. Roid loving baseball blogger ..?! Who to trust … !?! Hmmm.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jan 14, 2014 at 12:42 AM

      English motherfu3ker, do you speak it?

    • stex52 - Jan 14, 2014 at 8:11 AM

      Don’t you need to get back to PFT? And, preferably, stay there?

  24. rathipon - Jan 14, 2014 at 2:00 AM

    Why does everyone keep glossing over Section 2 of the JDA? 7g gives ‘just cause’ power to the commissioner for violations of Section 2 not dealt with in Sections 7a through 7f. The first paragraph of Section 2 lists all the violations. Use, possession, sale, distribution, facilitating distribution, etc. It does NOT list “continued or prolonged use or possession” or anything akin to that. The arbitrator made up that violation out of whole cloth. And if the MLBPA union really agreed that such a made up ‘violation’ is addressed by 7g then their lawyers are negligent.

    Not that it matters but I am a 10 year practicing attorney. I was expecting a 0 or 50 game suspension. After reviewing additional information that came out in the past few days, I think 62 games is appropriate. 50 for the JDA use/possession violation and 12 for the obstruction. The arbitrator overstepped his authority with the extra 100 games. I doubt A-Rod’s lawsuit succeeds because the courts hate to overturn arbitration decisions but in terms or plain right and wrong I’d love to see them throw this garbage decision out.

  25. sleepyirv - Jan 14, 2014 at 8:12 AM

    Welcome to arbitration, where everything is made up but the points certainly do matter.

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