NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — First there was talk of a 100-game suspension for Alex Rodriguez. Then we heard 150 games was a possibility.
Now the CBS Evening News says a lifetime ban could be in order.
It all sounds ominous, though the Yankees third baseman “has no intention of negotiating a settlement” for his alleged part in baseball’s latest performance-enhancing drugs scandal, according to USA Today.
In other words, get ready for a fight between heavyweights.
A-Rod in one corner. Major League Baseball and Commissioner Bud Selig in the other.
Milwaukee Brewers star Ryan Braun struck a deal with the league and accepted a suspension for the remainder of the 2013 season without pay for his role with Biogenesis, the closed anti-aging clinic in Florida accused of distributing PEDs. Braun’s admission appeared to give credibility to clinic operator Anthony Bosch, who has been cooperating with MLB’s investigation.
There have been reports that more Biogenesis suspensions could be handed down as early as next week. MLB is ready to ban A-Rod “for at least 100 games,” according to USA Today.
He plans to take any punishment through the appeals process, USA Today reported.
Just how bad it’ll be remains to be seen.
Because of A-Rod’s history, ties to disgraced PED doctor Anthony Galea and possible obstruction of baseball’s probe, the idea of a lifetime suspension had been gaining steam even before CBS Evening News’ bombshell Tuesday night.
“They have an overwhelming amount of evidence on this guy showing multiple years of usage,” an MLB executive told CBS News. “He’s met with Major League Baseball. He’s seen the evidence. He is staring down a penalty much, much harsher than Braun’s. It could be years… or even a lifetime suspension.”
A-Rod has admitted to using performance-enhancing drugs while with the Texas Rangers from 2001-03. The injured 37-year-old, who has denied using them since, told WFAN radio last week that he hadn’t instructed anyone to make a deal with the league “at this point.”
Even a 100- or 150-game suspension could be enough to finish A-Rod, who will turn 38 on Saturday and still hasn’t made his season debut following hip surgery in January.
“I think the most concerning thing is I’m 38,” A-Rod told WFAN last week. “I’m not 28.”
Still, Rodriguez “remains determined to play this season and fight doping charges,” according to USA Today. ESPN previously reported that the player was looking to make a deal.
He has just under $100 million left on his contract, which runs through 2017.
USA Today also reported that A-Rod was “furious” about the Yankees shutting him down with a quadriceps strain and “is considering seeking a second opinion.”
Rodriguez previously told WFAN radio that he would be ready to return to the team on Monday.
Rodriguez wouldn’t comment to reporters when he reported back to the Yankees’ complex in Tampa on Wednesday morning.
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