Things aren’t looking good for everyone’s favorite struggling MLB superstar, and his future in the league. Major League Baseball was originally planning to release the list of suspensions stemming from the Biogenesis case yesterday, but reports of Rodriguez and the commissioner’s office being “far apart” on what his suspension should be is slowing the process. According to an article from ESPN.com, (link) one of the major hang up’s between the two sides is Arod’s desire to recoup at least some of the over 100 million dollars remaining on his contract with the Yankees. The amount of time missed is also still a major obstacle for the two sides, with Rodriguez claiming he will fight any suspension, and the league threatening a lifetime ban if he does so.
A recent poll done in an article on Sports Illustrated’s online site showed that almost 50 percent (46.56 to be exact) of the reader’s felt that Rodriguez should receive a lifetime ban (link). The next most popular option is through the end of the 2014 season, (at 18.5%) and just over 10 percent feel he should receive a 100 game ban. So according to these numbers approximately 75 percent of fans (who responded to this poll) want to see Rodriguez receive at least a 100 game ban, significantly more than what other offenders are expected to receive.
Personally, I selected the 100 game ban, the designated number of games for a players second offense, which is what I feel this should be considered. Word on the street is that the other eight players involved, who have yet to receive their suspensions, will be given 50 games a piece. Even Ryan Braun, who is widely accepted as being a repeat offender, (his first conviction was overturned on a technicality over how the sample was handled) was only suspended for the remainder of this season. Additionally, there are many players who have admitted steroid use, or who were listed on the Mitchell Report, and who have received no punishment to date.
So the question is, why are so many people in favor of a lifetime ban for Alex Rodriguez? Is it because he attempted to tamper with the investigation, and buy back evidence linking him to the Biogenesis clinic? (link to article) Is it because people think there should be a longer suspension for a player’s second offense? Or is it because people just don’t like him? I’d say the last answer is most likely the correct one, and that fact combined with his age, and diminished production, are what allows for baseball to even consider a suspension of that length. Maybe I’m biased, I am a Red Sox fan after all, and as a result not very interested in seeing the Yankees have a bunch of extra money all the sudden, but I don’t think Arod should receive a lifetime ban. I’ve never understood the logic behind giving one person a far bigger punishment than all the others when they committed the same crime. Just because Arod is a soft target, like Lance Armstrong was, doesn’t mean they should be used as scapegoats to prove how serious their sports are about getting clean. The clock is ticking, by this time tomorrow we could very well know what the fate of Alex Rodriguez will be, and while I won’t be sad if his time is up, I don’t feel that would be the right decision for baseball.