We have been waiting since November, since the appeal hearing ended, to hear a decision about the suspension of Alex Rodriguez for his part in the Biogenesis fiasco. Now the verdict is in and A-Rod has been suspended for 162 games and the entire 2014 MLB playoffs. That's an entire year of baseball. Team A-Rod was able to knock off 49 games from the original 211-game ban, but Major League Baseball was still the victor.
It's been long thought that A-Rod would challenge any suspension over 100 games by filing an injunction in Federal Court in hopes of reversing any kind of ruling. Upon the announcement of the suspension, A-Rod confirmed as such and he plans to fight independent arbitrator Frederic Horowtiz's final decision. His lawyer, Joe Tacopina, will file a suit on his client's behalf on Monday and the long A-Rod legal battle will begin anew.
It's believed that any Judge would be reluctant to go against a collectively bargained agreement, but Rodriguez could potentially make a case that there is no precedence for 162 games. Horowitz clearly bought MLB's attempt to establish a long history of steroid use, however, given the reduced sentence, he likely didn't buy the allegations that the former MVP impeded the investigation into Biogenesis. Still, if 162 games is just a made up number, maybe there is a case to be made in court.
Any continuing legal battle will essentially become A-Rod vs. MLB, as the MLBPA issued a statement on the heals of the official announcement saying they disagree with the suspension, but respect the final decision. In other words, they're done standing up for their player, so now it's entirely up to him to continue his fight for the right to play.
The reasons for Horowitz's rulings won't be made public knowledge, unless the case goes to court, and then everything would be opened up for everyone to see. We would know why Rodriguez was suspended and what information he based his decision off of. By continuing his fight, A-Rod risks outing some potentially damning evidence against him, so prepare for anything that could possible come out of something like this.
Right now the Yankees will only be charged $3.2 million against the $189 million budget, instead of the full $27 million, since Rodriguez has been banned for 162 games, not a full year. Still, not having to pay the $25 million salary he was owed in 2014, along with the $6 million home run bonus, is a big deal for the Yankees and hopefully they can use it elsewhere, like in signing Masahiro Tanaka.