By: Chris Bendel – Asst. Sports Editor
New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez finally conceded in his legal fight against Major League Baseball, the Major League Baseball Players Association and MLB commissioner Bud Selig Friday, Feb. 7.
All three lawsuits filed by Rodriguez attempted to overturn the 211-game suspension handed down by Selig, stemming from Rodriguez’s involvement in the MLB Biogenesis investigation that implicated several of the game’s most prominent stars during the summer of 2013. The suspension had since been reduced to 162 games plus the 2014 playoffs.
After losing an arbitration process on Nov. 20, 2013, Rodriguez said he had just “sat through 10 days of testimony by felons and liars, sitting quietly through every minute, trying to respect the league and the process.”
The loss in arbitration prompted A-Rod’s upcoming legal battle.
Ending months of public ridicule from fans and media alike, Rodriguez only dropped his ongoing lawsuits after legal experts condemned his chances of winning in the courtroom, according to sources from the New York Times.
While still lacking any admission of his connection with the Biogenesis scandal, the dropped lawsuits indicate a de facto acceptance of the year-long ban. Rodriguez will not play in Yankee Stadium this season, nor will he be allowed to step foot in its hallowed grounds.
Without further context, these events could become a step forward for relations between the embattled third basemen and the league.
However, the dropped lawsuits do not signal a change of heart by Rodriguez. Instead, they only reaffirm the intense narcissism that characterizes one of baseball’s fallen stars.
He knew he had no hope in the courtroom. His already shaken reputation continued to spiral downward. Self-interest dictated his most recent move.
Rodriguez’s indignant attitude continues to baffle me. Overwhelming evidence of illegal substance use surrounds the man, and yet he assumes the role of the victim.
Six hundred and fifty four home runs and a .299 lifetime batting average are not redeeming qualities for someone who publically has shown no regard for maintaining the integrity of the game.
In an interview aired by ESPN’s family of networks in January, Rodriguez said he thinks, “that in the year 2014, the league could have done me a favor because I’ve played 20 years without a timeout. I think 2014 will be a year to rest mentally and physically prepare myself for the future and begin a new chapter of my life.”
In the absence of any kind of admission of wrongdoing, Rodriguez instead calls the 162-game ban a “favor” from the league. He is thinking about how the suspension can benefit him instead of understanding why it was necessary in the first place.
There is no mention of dedicating his time off to improving his character.
The benevolent powers of baseball are now unintentionally doing Rodriguez “a favor,” where once upon a time they were “felons and liars.”
Pundits have started to question his place in baseball’s hall of fame.
The National Baseball Hall of Fame’s mission statement says it intends to “honor excellence within the game and make a connection between the generations of people who enjoy baseball.”
Sure, A-Rod has been more than excellent in the game, but I would prefer those who have been excellent for the game to represent my generation in Cooperstown, N.Y.
After the events of the past year, Rodriguez now bats between Pete Rose and Roger Clemens in a lineup comprised of the MLB’s most controversial former stars.
Not only has Rodriguez battled his superiors, but he has also distanced himself from his peers.
I would love to see a secret ballot conducted by the MLBPA and its results on Rodriquez’s likeability around the league. He essentially sued every player from around the entire league.
The MLPBA responded to the news by issuing a statement Friday on Twitter saying, “Alex Rodriguez has done the right thing by withdrawing his lawsuit. His decision to move forward is in everyone’s best interest.”
Yes, the decision probably is in the best interest of all parties involved. It avoids needless litigation and legal fees for the league and the players association.
Most importantly for Rodriguez, it is in his own best interest.