Saturday, January 11, 2014

Alex Rodriguez Suspended for 162 games and Playoffs

Today should not be a day that lives in infamy in the world of the New York Yankees. Instead, today should be a day that is celebrated among not only Yankees fans, but baseball fans in general.

Alex Rodriguez, one of the game's biggest stars and even bigger liars had the hammer drop on him, his ego, and his case that MLB is trying to sabotage his career, when arbitrator Fredrick Horowitz suspended A-Rod for the entire 2014 season.

Rodriguez cannot appear for Spring Training, unless he gets an invite from the Yankees (which is not likely now), and will have no part in any postseason activities for the Yankees.

The only thing Rodriguez can do is send this case to federal court with the hope he can receive an injunction so he can attend Spring Training and play baseball this year. The chances of that happening are extremely thin. Rodriguez may have played his last game in pinstripes.

Initially a 211 game ban, Rodriguez's pending suspension became a front page drama for months after the third baseman decided to appeal the ban levied by Major League Baseball. MLB did its homework. They investigated carefully into the story that broke last winter about the Biogenesis lab that not only supplied Rodriguez, but countless other baseball stars.

Once Anthony Bosch, the man behind the lab provided MLB documentation that Rodriguez was indeed a huge client of his, it was over for A-Rod.

Rodriguez tried to make the case that MLB set him up, claiming that the $125,000 baseball paid Bosch to give them documentation was personal witch-hunt by Bud Selieg. Rodriguez continued to pronounce his innocence to the point he walked out of his own hearing because Selieg was not present. Fact is, Selieg didn't have to be there. Rodriguez didn't have to be there either.

A-Rod then made a mad dash to Mike Francesa to plead his innocence in an attempt to paint himself as a victim. While Rodriguez won Francesa's support, he didn't win anyone else's.

Rodriguez is a liar and a cheat. He deserves to be suspended for the entire 2014 season. He cheated the game through much of his career, in addition to becoming a major headache for the Yankees since the day he arrived in pinstripes.

During a Yankees press conference in 2009, A-Rod admitted that he took steroids with the Rangers in 2003, but had been clean ever since. Of course those claims were proven to be false with the biogenesis breakthrough. The only thing Rodriguez has accomplished in his career other than coming up small in the postseason, and other than flirting with countless women in the Yankee Stadium stands, is lying.

His time with the Yankees is likely over. New York is off the hook for the $25 million they owe him in 2014. However, they still owe him $61 million in the final three years of the deal from 2015-17.

With Rodriguez off the books for this year, the Yankees will still have to pay a small luxury tax penalty for A-Rod, but now they can go back and think about adding more pieces to the 2014 roster, most notably Japanese pitcher Mashairo Tanaka.

Alex Rodriguez found a believer in Mike Francesa.
Tanaka went 24-0 in Japan last year, and is only 25-years-old. However, he is commanding a contract in the neighborhood of $100 million or more, so adding him would really put the Yankees on the brink of their prized $189 million threshold. If A-Rod were still around, the Yankees would have no shot at Tanaka. Now they have a still slim but better chance.

As for third base, expect the Yankees to explore signing a free agent like Stephen Drew or even Mark Reynolds to play the position. They already have Kelly Johnson aboard, who would be the starting third baseman if the Yankees played today.

While losing Rodriguez means the Yankees lose a big name in the middle of their order, it is now an opportunity for someone else to step up and make an impact. Who is to say this can't be fun for the Yankees? The Yankees have done well in the past without a superstar third baseman. They succeeded quite well with the likes of Scott Brosius and Aaron Boone before Rodriguez ever came to town. It can happen again.

Finally, if A-Rod thinks he has a future beyond 2014, he can forget it. Nobody in their right mind will want a 40-year-old hack, who is a cheat, loser and whiner. The Yankees can cut ties with him in 2015, but they will have to eat the rest of his contract to do so. I'm sure Brian Cashman, Randy Levine and company won't mind if it means getting rid of A-Rod forever.

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