Further developments in Alex Rodriguez's Biogenesis saga came across the wire this evening, as Major League Baseball was reported to be pursuing another method of suspension beyond the performance-enhancing drug laws:
THIS JUST IN: MLB may try to suspend Alex Rodriguez under collective bargaining agreement, not PED rules. (via ESPN & media reports)— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) July 30, 2013
That is certainly a new angle. According to FOX Sports, a CBA suspension "would eliminate any chance of delaying a penalty until after the case goes to an arbitrator." Here's more:
While use of banned performance-enhancing substances falls under the drug agreement, MLB may argue other alleged violations are punishable under the labor contract, a person familiar with management's deliberations told the AP, speaking on condition of anonymity because no statements were authorized.
Taking that action would prevent the New York Yankees third baseman from returning to the field, even if he recovers from a quadriceps injury cited by the team as the reason for keeping him on the disabled list.
And merely threatening to use that provision might give MLB leverage to force a deal.
That would be one way to keep A-Rod from returning to the field with the Yankees, which he would otherwise be able to do by appealing a drug suspension. You can guarantee that if MLB did go through with this CBA suspension that it would pop up again for further clarification the next time they negotiate the labor agreement.
There have been rumors flying around Twitter that MLB will aim to suspend him through the end of this year and all of 2014 as well. A-Rod would not be able to play again until the season of his 40th birthday, nearly two and a half years after his last game. Even if the Yankees get out of paying A-Rod for this year and next, he is still owed $61 million for 2015-17. Thanks again, Hal, Hank, and Randy. MLB might announce the suspension this week. Time will tell, I suppose.
This whole story is only going to get weirder. It feels like we're in the Wonka Tunnel. There's no earthly way of knowing which direction we are going.