For the record, I’m not defending what Alex Rodriguez or any of the other players ever suspended for drug use in baseball or any other sport, but let’s be honest; isn't the Rodriguez suspension just a little unjust? Normally I would say fair, but I know this is neither a criminal justice system, nor life itself, as neither of those things are fair. So, let’s consider this; in a black and white vacuum, a player who is found to be a first time violator of the Joint Drug Agreement (JDA) is to be suspended 50 games, the second violation 100, and the third being life suspension from baseball. Explain to me where a 211-game suspension fits in?
Under the JDA, this is Rodriguez’s first violation. So, like the other players suspended, he should have been suspended 50 games. Even if you use his previously admitted transgressions as an aggravating factor, you could only justify 100 games. That’s still less than the 211 game punishment he’s been handed, right?
Combine both and it comes to 150 games, that’s still less than 211 last I checked.
Imagine a world in which you are convicted of a crime, and the judge decides that instead of using whatever sentencing table is in effect, he instead sentences you to twice the equivalent plus an extra 50 years, because that judge is leaving the bench. What do you imagine any court of appeals would do?
Overturn the sentence.
That’s exactly what should happen in this situation. This is essentially a judge - Bud Selig - deciding that the punishment schedule doesn't fit the crime, and more importantly his agenda.
If Selig wanted to have total control over how many games players can be suspended he should have left that out of the JDA.
What’s the point of having a process if one side can throw it out, and in the process of litigation cause members of both sides of the table spend exorbitant amounts of money when the player would likely have settled for a fair punishment?
In what world would two parties agree to a punishment schedule, that one party can simply set that schedule aside, use a random number, and both sides would be OK with this? If you really dislike Bud Selig, you should like him even less after the Rodriguez punishment.
It’s obvious Selig, et al. aren’t happy that Rodriguez wouldn't settle on some type of plea agreement and move on with life, so they suspended him the remainder of the 2013 season (minus the series vs. the White Sox??) and the entire 2014 season.
It’s simple, and it’s exactly what Matt eluded to in his column Bye, Bye A-Rod, and the exact reason why I disagreed with him when he suggested it: Bud Selig is trying to make a name for himself as he exits the Commissioner’s Office, and is simply using Alex Rodriguez as his swan song.
Officially, I think at the end of the arbitration process, Rodriguez serves a 100-game suspension. I’m willing to say Rodriguez and the union were willing to go with this, we’ll say as 50 for the violation, and an additional 50 some type of “conduct unbecoming” crap they’d come up with. While MLB is certainly giving the impression it’s attempting to cut out steroids, few actually believe this and suspending Rodriguez for more three times the prescribed sentence does little to actually clean up the sport.