Thursday, November 21, 2013

Rant #1,089: ARod A'Leaving

Fallen New York Yankees baseball star Alex Rodriguez bolted out of his performance enhancing drugs arbitration hearing yesterday.

He called the entire process, which he had previously backed, a "farce," disagreeing with the ruling that MLB Commissioner Bud Selig did not have to testify at these hearings.

On a radio show yesterday, Rodriguez further labeled the process as a "witch hunt" and he took on  Selig in the process.

ARod said something to the effect that, "Selig is retiring, and he wants my head in his trophy case" or something to that effect.

ARod is both right and wrong in his assertions.

He did use PEDs. He has admitted to using them early in his career.

Of course, he is not on trial for those past deeds, but for possible more recent use of these drugs, which he reportedly obtained from the closed Biogenesis anti-aging clinic, which has since closed down.

He was one of several players cited. Those players took their medicine, so to speak--suspensions--and have since moved on.

ARod has always denied his involvement in this, and has fought since day one to have his name unsullied.

The way I look at it, he has made his bed, and now he has to lay--or lie--in it.

And because of that, he is correct.

These hearings have become something of a witch hunt, but since he is the only one being judged, what more--or less--could it actually be?

MLB has come up with some nefarious ways to gain information, from some smarmy individuals, and this has come out at these hearings, if you want to believe everything you read.

The heat got too hot for ARod yesterday, and he left the hearing in disgust.

Many people are on ARod's side, saying he is being persecuted because he is Hispanic, because the Yankees want to get out of his enormous contract, because baseball wants to be rid of this cancer ASAP, because yes, Selig is retiring.

My take is that the 211-game suspension that they foisted on ARod in the first place was ridiculous in its length.

MLB has gone to extreme means to present evidence against him, and ARod, on the other hand, has gone to extreme means to exonerate himself.

Because of this, they are butting heads like two stubborn billy goats.

When the hearings conclude, and an arbitrator makes his decision, I think you will find that ARod will have been found to have used PEDs from this clinic, but there is no way that he is going to get such a suspension.

He might get 50 games, he might get a little more, and he might get less.

Or he won't get anything at all.

And if that happens, it will set a precedent, and other players will fight like cats and dogs when they are found to have used PEDs.

Look, athletes have been using "stuff" since the late 1960s to better prepare them for game. If you need any evidence of that, simply read Jim Bouton's classic "Ball Four," and you will read that even in 1968, players were using uppers to get ready for contests.

Of course, this has morphed into drugs that supposedly enhance your skills, and dozens of players have been found guilty of using them.

ARod is one of them. And he probably used them recently, just likes many other of his peers.

He was one that was caught.

And suffice it to say that if he doesn't get his way, he will further this process by bringing it to a federal court.

Let's hope this does not happen.

He should get a fair penalty, but he should get a suspension, no doubt about it.

Whether it is what MLB wants--or what ARod thinks is fair, for that matter--awaits the baseball world.

Normally over the winter, I would be most interested in trades and waiting for pitchers and catchers to report to spring training in Florida and Arizona in February.

I still am interested in that, but this situation has to trump all of that.

Until it is over, baseball is sort of in chaos, a tumult brought on by one player who wants to clear his name, even if it is as dirty as one of his old baseball uniforms.

We'll see what happens. Even non-baseball fans should be interested in the decision that will be made probably next month.

A holiday present for fans? Not really, but at least it will close the book on one of the most nefarious episodes in professional sports history.

Or will it?

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