August 11, 2013
I went with my aunt to a Yankees game on August 5, 2007. We saw them play the Kansas City Royals and sat almost behind home plate on the right side. Third baseman Alex Rodriguez came up to the plate in search for his 500th home run. In that same at-bat, it came through. Rodriguez made history, and the crowd went wild.
After the game, I always thought Rodriguez would take over and become the true “home run king.” He’d become a man who the baseball gods can look down upon and say, “This kid’s done good.” Unfortunately, I was wrong.
The story of 2013 revolves around one sport and one player. But this time, it’s for the wrong reasons.
Major League Baseball ended their investigation of the Biogenesis clinic by handing out 50-game suspensions to first time offenders. Milwaukee Brewers OF Ryan Braun was suspended for the rest of this season and, like his fellow players, did not appeal. Blue Jays OF Melky Cabrera, Athletics P Bartolo Colon and Padres C Yasmani Grandal already served their suspensions and were not handed another.
The big story lies in the New York Yankees, where Rodriguez got the worst penalty of all.
MLB officials suspended Rodriguez 211 games, covering the rest of this season and the entire 2014 season. There’s one problem: Rodriguez is appealing.
Is that a problem? Players can appeal their suspensions in the MLB. The problem lies in Rodriguez being the first player to appeal his suspension off of drug violation allegations. If Rodriguez loses the appeal, he’ll lose roughly $31.35 million according to Ken Davidoff of the New York Post.
MLB suspended Rodriguez because he violated the Basic Agreement policy in covering up his alleged use of performance-enhancing substances. We all know Rodriguez admitted PED use once Sports Illustrated’s Selena Roberts exposed Rodriguez in February 2009. A-Rod is to blame, but look at the other side as well.
MLB put out a policy to suspend first-time offenders 50 games, second-timers 100 and third-timers a lifetime ban. Rumors swirled of Rodriguez getting the lifetime ban. Keep in mind Rodriguez wasn’t suspended for his admitted use and report. These suspensions weren’t created until after the published story.
Why the lifetime ban? Why did MLB seek to exile Rodriguez?
Is there something more that we don’t know? Is it a personal vendetta? How could they even think of a lifetime ban when Rodriguez didn’t even serve a first suspension?
What’s worse comes for the fans. We wanted it to happen. I wanted it, and we should bow our head in shame because of it.
Whatever happened to law and order? Well, that went out the window. We bought into the harsh penalties and followed MLB into making Rodriguez a scapegoat. That idea never should have been entertained in our minds, let alone allowed.
I’m not defending Rodriguez either. He did cheat and was caught doing so. Rodriguez should have a suspension, but this is wrong. The only logical way this suspension should be accepted is if he orchestrated the entire thing. In other words, he’d have to had work with Braun and the other players and doctors involved in the Biogenesis Scandal.
That allegation hasn’t been revealed to the public and is only a thought. If it’s true, then ban him. Otherwise, Rodriguez deserves what everyone else gets.
Keep in mind we don’t know all the details of Rodriguez’s involvement. We need more proof before we castrate a man’s professional career. We do him wrong; we’ll be the ones looking in the mirror asking ourselves one simple question.
“What have we become?”
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