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Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Time served: Alex Rodriguez 76 games, Ryan Braun 65, Nelson Cruz 50, Jhonny Peralta 50.

Alex Rodriguez , Ryan Braun, Nelson Cruz, Jhonny Peralta are the best known players who were punished for their connection found in 2013 to a sleazy Florida clinic implicated in distributing performance enhancing drugs (PED), including steroids.  Rodriguez appealed his suspension of the remainder of the 2013 season and all of the 2014 season: 211 games.  The other 12 players, including Braun, Cruz and Peralta all copped pleas.  Presumably Braun got more games because of implied recidivism, which probably also applied to Rodriguez.

Rodriguez was recovering from a second hip surgery after the 2012 season when Major Baseball League (MBL) commissioner Allan Huber "Bud" Selig rushed to judgement in order to prevent Rodriguez from playing any games in 2013.  I understand that people who take a plea get a reduced sentence but where the heck did the 211 games come from in the first place?

Some of my many posts on this:

Coward Ryan Dempster should be suspended 211 games for deliberately hitting Alex Rodriguez.  Monday, August 19, 2013

The Dempster hits Rodriguez game: let's give people grades.  Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Alex Rodriguez: Requiem for a Heavyweight.  Saturday, January 11, 2014

The quality of mercy is not strained: commute the sentence of Alex Rodriguez.  Monday, March 10, 2014

Crime and punishment.  Friday, March 28, 2014

Alex Rodriguez: make it 100 games, 35 more than any of the others served in 2013. Bring back A-Rod!  Monday, June 23, 2014

Braun and Cruz will start in the All Star game along with Melky Cabrera, suspended 50 games in 2012 after being MVP in that All Star game.

Birdman of Alcatraz 1962
theatrical poster for the film
by Saul Bass via Wikimedia Commons
My original suggestion about commutation was for Selig to restore Rodriguez after the All Star game, giving him almost half a season to play.  Obviously, that is not happening.  This week I suggested 100 games, which would be 54% more than Braun and 100% or double the 50 game suspensions.  The Yankees have played 76 games, so Rodriguez has already served 17% more than Braun and 52% more than the others.

Is Alex Rodriguez really that much worse than these other players?  It seems clear to me that Selig has a personal animosity towards Rodriguez, which clouds his judgement.  But this is more like a vendetta.

And what about the rest of us?  Players like Jon Lester, who said that none of the players wanted Rodriguez playing during his appeal, which was his right, and Boston teammate Ryan Dempster, who took it upon himself to play avenging angel?  What about the players union?  Rodriguez did not fail a drug test.  Allowing Selig unlimited power to punish without specific violations is a complete abdication of responsibility by the union.  Players beware.  You could be next.  The big issue that was missed was the players turning against each other, exacerbated by rampant misuse of social media.

What about the fans?  Some of us do not think that the PED issue is anything more than hypocrisy gone wild.  Even among those with legitimate revulsion of PED, is Rodriguez being singled out for other reasons?  We don't like him.  He's rich.  He's talented.  He's a Yankee.

Enough is enough.

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