“For the player appealing, Alex Rodriguez, we agree with his decision to fight his suspension,” MLBPA chief Michael Weiner said in a statement. “We believe that the Commissioner has not acted appropriately under the Basic Agreement. Mr. Rodriguez knows that the Union, consistent with its history, will defend his rights vigorously.”
He added: “I want to close by stating our profound disappointment in the way individuals granted access to private and privileged information felt compelled to share that information publicly. The manner in which confidential information was so freely exchanged is not only a threat to the success and credibility of our jointly administered program; it calls into question the level of trust required to administer such a program.”
Weiner added that the appeal process won’t be finished before the season ends.
Rodriguez’s attorney, David Cornwell, called the league’s action “regrettable” and said “all legal remedies” would be pursued.
In a statement, the Yankees voiced their support for MLB’s drug program and appeals process. The team also addressed “certain reckless and false allegations” relating to A-Rod.
“The New York Yankees in no way instituted and/or assisted MLB in the direction of this investigation; or used the investigation as an attempt to avoid its responsibilities under a player contract; or did its medical staff fail to provide the appropriate standard of care to Alex Rodriguez,” the Yankees said. “Separately, we are disappointed with the news today of the suspension of Francisco Cervelli. It’s clear that he used bad judgment.”
One fan on Park Avenue near Selig’s office told WCBS 880’s Paul Murnane that this is like “The Real Housewives Of New Jersey,” a drama that’s always on and never ending.
Adding to the drama: many have wondered whether a lengthy absence would end Rodriguez’s career.
The 38-year-old is coming off a second hip surgery and will have four years and $86 million remaining on his contract after the 2013 season. The ban will reportedly cost him about $35 million — less if overturned in arbitration.
“If he loses that appeal, then the 211 games goes on to the next year. And if he has to miss all of next year and then it goes into 2015, I would imagine that that effectively ends his career. So he’s really got to think about this,” Suzyn Waldman said.
Longtime New York Times sports columnist George Vecsey was unsympathetic to A-Rod for the punishment doled out.
“He got to this point by systematically abusing all the rules and the history of it that other people had gotten caught and he kept going,” Vecsey told WCBS 880 on Monday afternoon. “He was at Biogenesis long after a lot of great players had been disgraced. He just didn’t know enough to be even self-protective.”
Vecsey added he doesn’t see Rodriguez getting built back up to hero status in the minds of the American public.
“I don’t see him getting wise in his 40s if he didn’t get wide in his 30s,” Vecsey said.
Rodriguez hinted at entities conspiring to keep him off the field after a rehab game Friday in Trenton.
“There’s a lot of layers to this,” A-Rod said. “As far as all the legal stuff, it’s confusing. I will say this: there is more than one party that benefits from me never stepping back on the field. That’s not my teammates. That’s not the Yankees fans.”
He added: “When all this stuff is going on in the background and people are finding creative ways to cancel your contract and stuff like that, I think that’s concerning for me.”
Rodriguez admitted in 2009 to using PEDs while playing for the Texas Rangers (2001-03).
“We’re going to be happy to see him back in the lineup, especially the way we’ve been playing,” Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano said Sunday. “He can come up and help us win some games.”
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