Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Punishment fits the crime?

So, we're a few days away from D-Day for A-Rod and one thought crosses my mind.

Can Major League Baseball actually make this 211-game suspension stick? On the surface, without having any knowledge about the inner-workings of the decision other than what was in Bud Selig's statement, I kind of think Alex Rodriguez will get off with less than 211 games.

Make no mistake, I'm not saying A-Rod doesn't deserve the ban, what I'm saying is given the rules set forth by the collective bargaining agreement, 211 might be a stretch.

Rodriguez has yet to fail a drug test (you cannot count the one is 2003 because it was essentially a "test" test to see if testing would even be implemented. When outed by the Selena Roberts' piece, he admitted to taking performance-enhancing drugs from 2001-2003, a time when — in the eyes of baseball — PEDs were not illegal.

I think that's an important distinction.

The evidence MLB reportedly has against A-Rod is voluminous and overwhelming. There are allegations of obstructing MLB's investigation into Biogenesis, lying about taking PEDs, and recruiting fellow players to that now-closed Florida anti-aging clinic.

OK, fine. If true, it would be more than enough to make up for not failing a test.

Still, remember, we're bypassing 50 games and going right to 211. Brewers' slugger Ryan Braun, who tested positive for PEDs in 2011 only to have the ruling overturned on a technicality, agreed to a 65-game suspension for his links to Biogenesis. At the time his positive test was overturned before the 2012 season, Braun claimed he didn't use PEDs, so he lied as well.

Many people think Braun got off light, and they may be right.

I think Selig might be overreaching when it comes to A-Rod, and Selig might even know 211 games won't stick when A-Rod's appeal is heard. As his tenure as commissioner winds down, Selig is concerned about his legacy, especially when it comes to the steroid era.

He can certainly say to fans that MLB has taken great strides in eliminating PEDs from the game and if the A-Rod suspension is reduced during appeal, at least they tried.

Like it or not, don't be surprised to see sometime in the next two-three months, a ruling comes down cutting the A-Rod ban to 100 games.

Not saying it's fair, but it might be right as far as the CBA is conceerned.