Unfortunately, per reports earlier this morning, it appears AFraud gets to stay in uniform while appealing. That's because Selig decided not to use his best interests of baseball clause. Why not, I don't know, other than maybe he thought not doing so would be enough to placate players' union head Michael Weiner, which, sadly, it wasn't.
So, a few questions.
1. Yankee manager Joe Girardi says, if he's there, I'm penciling him in the lineup. What's the reaction going to be whether in Yankee Stadium, or on the road, of fans? Boos? Batteries and other objects thrown at him? Worse? Nothing?
2. What about Yankee GM Brian Cashman? Will he look for loopholes to try to keep him out? Will he push for A-Rod's appeal to be heard within the next 48 hours? How little support will he offer during the appeal process or at the actual appeal? Indeed, will he try to kneecap AFraud?
3. What will happen at that appeal? Will the full 214 games stick? Will Bud negotiate? As if an AFraud offer to negotiate will be that sincere?
My guess? Arbitrator throws out something around 150. Cashman has those games plus the offseason to talk to Hank Steinbrenner and Yankee legal brass about voiding the rest of his contract.
And, in turn, this all depends in part on how long AFraud's appeal takes, and how much he continues to fight, as to how much Bud is going to likely want to be in the least bit nice in the arbitration hearing.
And, how long will it take the arbitration? The ESPN story linked above, about Bud not using his kryptonite powers, says it could take 45 days, but maybe even longer.
4. Given that Weiner said this:
We’re not interested in having players with overwhelming evidence that they violated the (drug) program out there. Most of the players aren’t interested in that. We’d like to have a clean program.Why is he fighting for A-Rod?
Yeah, the 214 is beyond the normal escalators, but, if all that's been leaked is clear, Bud could have used the "best interests" clause and really wrong-footed Weiner.
Frankly, I'd be OK with an even-longer suspension. Remaining with his cousin Yuri, using Yuri to recruit others to Biogenesis, being an absolute moral fraud to the Tyler Hooton Foundation and other things just scratches the surface.
Especially if AFraud resists, can the arbitrator go beyond even Bud's penalty?
And, is that legit, other than a cheap pun, to keep calling him that? Per Johnette Howard, I'd say yes:
Unlike Armstrong or Bonds, naked ambition never seemed to drive Rodriguez or transform him into one of those alpha-dog athletes who wants to grind rivals into dust.Well, to the degree we find an authentic A-Rod, greed is part of it. I mean, his worries about what's left of his contract and everything else are all about money, as his language makes clear. It's not really about the Yankees, or even baseball in general. If somebody paid him to shoot iPhone pics of centaurs in mirrors for $61 million, he'd leave the Yankees in a heartbeat.
His repeated return to PED use is more reminiscent of Hollywood stars who can't stop having plastic surgery until they've completely disfigured themselves and their careers -- despite nearly everyone they'd ever met who told them what beautiful, gifted creatures they are.
No matter how terrific everyone said he was as a ballplayer (if not as a person), Rodriguez rarely behaved as if he believed it. Or that he trusted it. From the day he arrived in New York, Rodriguez always seemed to be on an endless search for affection, approval and attention.
It's never really been clear who the authentic A-Rod is -- or if one even exists at all.
I also agree with Ian O'Connor, that he's not like Bonds in another way.
I think it is quite possible, via cousin Yuri or whomever, that, just as O'Connor says, he's roided all of his pro career.
If Bonds gave us an honest confession, including the details of how he did it, I'd vote for him for Cooperstown, if I had a vote. I don't want him to grovel, but I want an honest confession that he did it, and how he beat testing.
That aside, it's clear that there was a pre-roiding part of his career, and one that would have gotten him in the Hall on its own. He still likely would have broke 500 home runs, almost certainly. And, with fewer intentional walks, would have passed 3,000 hits.
With A-Rod? Especially if O'Connor's right, we simply don't know what he could have done without chemicals.