From the Chicago Tribune:
“Major League Baseball suspended the New York Yankees’ Alex Rodriguez through the end of the 2014 season, while 12 other players accepted 50-game suspensions Monday for their dealings with Biogenesis, a shuttered Miami clinic that was a source for illegal performance-enhancing drugs.
From what I understand, A-Rod was offered the same deal that the other 12 players received and accepted. However he didn’t want to “play ball” with the MLB, so they upped the punishment a bit. It reminds me of how prosecutors up the charges on a suspect so that they will be more inclined plead guilty to a lesser offence in order to spare themselves from a long sentence.
I’m a Yankees fan, first and foremost. But the bottom line is this: A-Rod deserved what he got and probably deserved even more. While his steroid use may have gotten the team a few more home runs here and there, it has also damaged the integrity of the game and tarnished the name of the New York Yankees. Me and millions of other New Yorkers grew up watching this team and we looked up to the players as role models.
You have to understand that the MLB has a player culture that is completely different from that of any other sport. In the NFL they got liars, cheaters, and murderers (allegedly). But how often do you hear about a baseball player getting trouble with the law? It just doesn’t happen that often. And when that culture of playing by the rules is violated by things like steroid use, it does real damage to the game’s good will. And without that good will, it’s just a bunch of guys swinging bats and throwing balls.
Since he’s planning to appeal this decision, A-Rod will continue to play until the issue is resolved. It will be interesting to see how the fans react to this news when he takes the field tonight. I think A-Rod can expect quite a few Bronx cheers from the crowd at Yankee Stadium.