Alex Rodriguez was suspended for 162 games on Saturday and he and his legal team claimed they would file an injunction against the suspension on Monday. The day has come, and A-Rod finds himself in court, yet again, as he hopes to challenge his suspension with the help of a Federal Judge. He has now officially filed a suit against Major League Baseball, but in a surprising turn of events, has also filed against the Players Union, believing them to be just as responsible for his punishment as Bud Selig and Co.
It's evident that he feels Major League Baseball was out to make an example of him. Not only that, but he feels independent arbitrator Frederic Horowitz did not issue a fair verdict because he did not give Rodriguez a fair trial.
Rodriguez' side argues that Horwitz "refused to entertain evidence that was pertinent and material to the outcome" of the arbitration.— Daniel Barbarisi (@DanBarbarisi) January 13, 2014
This accusation likely stems from Horowitz's determination that Bud Selig did not have to appear during the course of the appeal. This ruling is, of course, what caused A-Rod to walk out on his own hearing and find his way into Mike Francesa's booth. From there, the appeal came to an abrupt end and brought us to where we are now.
As for the MLBPA, Rodriguez believes that they didn't really try their hardest to protect him and were more concerned with other matters than preventing MLB from taking the opportunity to make an example out of him.
Rodriguez says MLBPA "Engaged in numerous acts that were arbitrary, capricious, & taken in bad faith." Says PA breached its duty to rep him— Daniel Barbarisi (@DanBarbarisi) January 13, 2014
Rodriguez also takes on Player's Union directly, says MLBPA wanted to "save its fire" for other issues.— Daniel Barbarisi (@DanBarbarisi) January 13, 2014
The MLBPA has since backed away from the case, announcing that they respect the final decision, though they seem to have their own issues with MLB over Rob Manfred's appearance on 60 Minutes on Sunday night. If a significant rift develops between the two sides, it's possible that baseball might face some form of labor strife when the current CBS expires in 2016.
As for the ruling itself, as part of challenging his punishment in court, Hotowitz's reasoning for the degree of punishment has been made public. As the arbitrator wrote in his ruling that "while this length of suspension may be unprecedented...so is the misconduct he committed. The record here establishes that Rodriguez used or possessed three separate PES on multiple occasions over...three years."
Arbitrator Horwitz' decision seems to indicate 162-game ban was split -- 150 for use of 50 for use of 3 different PED's, 12 for obstructing— Daniel Barbarisi (@DanBarbarisi) January 13, 2014
From Mr. Horowitz: A-Rod committed three violations of drug policy: 1 w/ testosterone, 1 w/ IGF-1 and 1 w/HGH.— Andy McCullough (@McCulloughSL) January 13, 2014
If you're looking for a reasoning behind the 162 games, it appears that Horowitz believes that there was enough evidence to establish a history of A-Rod using PEDs on three separate occasions, in order to establish three separate instances of a drug infraction. The 12 games for obstructions seems arbitrary, but the evidence that MLB had might not have been enough to prove that A-Rod warranted a 211-game suspension.
At this point, it seems like Rodriguez is simply swinging wildly at anyone involved in the hopes that he can find someone to blame for everything that has happened. Unless something startling occurs, it's highly doubtful that any Judge would overturn a verdict based on a collectively bargained set of guidelines. Unless he can prove that the punishment doesn't fit the crime, and I'm not entirely sure that he can at this point, it's unlikely we'll be seeing much of him on a baseball diamond in 2014. Though it could be only a matter of time before he sues Anthony Bosch and even the New York Yankees as well.
You can read the lawsuit in its entirety here.