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Alex Rodriguez suspension: A-Rod and Yankees release statements

Drew Hallowell

The New York Yankees released a statement on MLB's decision to suspend Alex Rodriguez through the 2014 season, however it mostly serves as a defense against certain claims A-Rod made just prior to the official announcements:

"We are in full support of Major League Baseball's Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program. We also recognize and respect the appeals process. Until the process under the Drug Program is complete, we will have no comment. We are confident that the process outlined in the Drug Program will result in the appropriate resolution of this matter. In the meantime, the Yankees remain focused on playing baseball.

However, we are compelled to address certain reckless and false allegations concerning the Yankees' role in this matter. The New York Yankees in no way instituted and/or assisted MLB in the direction of this investigation; or used the investigation as an attempt to avoid its responsibilities under a player contract; or did its medical staff fail to provide the appropriate standard of care to Alex Rodriguez.

Separately, we are disappointed with the news today of the suspension of Francisco Cervelli. It's clear that he used bad judgment."

He claimed that the organization was colluding with Major League Baseball to ban Rodriguez for life in order to get out of their contract with him. The organization also makes note of his medical care, just in case A-Rod were to go after them in court claiming improper medical attention.

In a strange aside they briefly report their displeasure with Francisco Cervelli as if he's a child that just disappointed his parents. No such disappointing tone is taken with A-Rod, only formal disregard for his 'reckless and false allegations' made a few days ago.

Alex Rodriguez and his lawyer David Cromwell released a statement voicing their displeasure with the punishment and their intention of fighting such a suspension.

A-Rod said:

"I am disappointed with the penalty and intend to appeal and fight this through the process," Rodriguez said in a statement. "I am eager to get back on the field and be with my teammates in Chicago tonight. I want to thank my family, friends and fans who have stood by my side through all this."

Cromwell said:

"It is regrettable that the Commissioner's office has taken this unprecedented action," Cornwell said. "Major League Baseball has gone well beyond the authority granted to its Joint Drug Agreement and the Basic Agreement. Consequently, we will appeal the discipline and pursue all legal remedies available to Alex."

His lawyer is clearly doing the heavy lifting, but both feel the penalty is unjust. A-Rod has asserted that since he does not have a single positive test, like Ryan Braun, then he should be penalized to a lesser extent. The previously established guidelines for PED punishment include 50-game suspensions for first time offenders and 100-game suspensions for a second violation, however, Rodriguez has neither and a 211-game suspension goes above and beyond those punishments. MLB says they have just cause and since it is a non-analytical violation they don't have to stick to those guidelines.

The appeal verdict won't come out until November or December, so we will have plenty of time to think about all of this.

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