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Wednesday, October 02, 2013

Alex Rodriguez tells panel he was duped into taking steroids: source - NY Daily News

IT WAS JUST A FLINTSTONES CHEWABLE!!!

According to a source with knowledge of Rodriguez’s ongoing arbitration hearings, the embattled Yankee and his lawyers have presented a case based partly on the idea that Rodriguez believed the substances he procured from the Biogenesis anti-aging clinic were innocent legal supplements.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 02, 2013 at 01:13 PM | 79 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: alex rodriguez, steroids, suspensions, yankees

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   1. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: October 02, 2013 at 01:21 PM (#4557212)
Sounds like a cross between Barry "Flaxseed Oil" Bonds and Bart "I didn't do it!" Simpson.
   2. Nasty Nate Posted: October 02, 2013 at 01:22 PM (#4557215)
Wuzzle wozzle?
   3. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: October 02, 2013 at 01:27 PM (#4557223)
OK, I'll admit I started laughing when I saw the headline. I think he's gotten screwed a bit here (more than a bit really) but c'mon, do better than this Alex.
   4. Ron J2 Posted: October 02, 2013 at 01:29 PM (#4557227)
Again proving Marvin Miller was correct that any thought of confidentiality is a joke. Though it's far from improbable that this particular leak comes from the Rodriguez camp.

Not sure why they'd bother with this though. I mean with strict liability MLB can stipulate that this is true and still win. But I guess they're the real fight is about the size of the penalty and I suppose this could matter.

Seems more likely to annoy the arbitrator though.
   5. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: October 02, 2013 at 01:33 PM (#4557233)
I know it has been used around here before but when I read this I think of that john belushi movie where he's on his knees begging for a woman to not shoot him

   6. Greg Pope thinks the Cubs are reeking havoc Posted: October 02, 2013 at 01:36 PM (#4557238)
Again proving Marvin Miller was correct that any thought of confidentiality is a joke.

And why isn't the union doing anything about this? I mean, the NFLPA is going to bat for Josh Freeman, but the MLBPA doesn't lift a finger?

I appreciate the manner in which Josh has handled this personally because he is a good young man. But this issue is a bigger issue about what's right with respect to the relationship between players and management. When those issues come to bear, this is a union that will stand up for its players.

-- DeMaurice Smith, on the NFLPA's concern that Josh Freeman's presence in the NFL's substance-abuse program became public.


WTF is wrong with the MLB Players Union?
   7. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 02, 2013 at 01:42 PM (#4557242)
Oops, this is not an Onion headline. Silly me!
   8. Joey B. has reignited his October #Natitude Posted: October 02, 2013 at 01:44 PM (#4557243)
Holy ####### ####. If THAT's the best argument he and his boys can muster, A-Roid may as well just plan out his year long 2014 vacation now.
   9. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: October 02, 2013 at 01:45 PM (#4557244)
I think the Daily News has no credibility at all. I doubt their blogger is hiding under the table and reporting on the goings-on.
   10. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: October 02, 2013 at 01:47 PM (#4557245)
Not sure why they'd bother with this though. I mean with strict liability MLB can stipulate that this is true and still win. But I guess they're the real fight is about the size of the penalty and I suppose this could matter.


size of the penalty...
   11. The Yankee Clapper Posted: October 02, 2013 at 01:48 PM (#4557246)
I mean with strict liability MLB can stipulate that this is true and still win.

My understanding is that MLB doesn't have a strict liability standard, at least not in the same sense that the Olympics does.

EDIT: FTFA
But baseball’s drug policy allows players to challenge doping bans by proving a positive drug test was not due to fault or negligence, and numerous players have turned to that strategy.
   12. JL Posted: October 02, 2013 at 01:50 PM (#4557251)
My understanding is that MLB doesn't have a strict liability standard, at least not in the same sense that the Olympics does.


Also, the strict liability typically applies to drug testing. Since AROD is not being suspended for a failed test, I don't know that strict liability applies in the same way (it could, just not clear to me that it automatically would).
   13. Greg Pope thinks the Cubs are reeking havoc Posted: October 02, 2013 at 01:52 PM (#4557252)
Doesn't strict liability apply only to the test results. Since MLB is attempting to suspend based on evidence, my guess is that it is relevant.

Also, MLB's trying to suspend him for longer than the others based on his alleged role as a provider (or whatever). That couldn't be true if A-Rod didn't even know he was taking steroids.
   14. JE (Jason) Posted: October 02, 2013 at 01:54 PM (#4557254)
According to a source with knowledge of Rodriguez’s ongoing arbitration hearings, the embattled Yankee and his lawyers have presented a case based partly on the idea that Rodriguez believed the substances he procured from the Biogenesis anti-aging clinic were innocent legal supplements.

Since this is a Daily News article, is there any doubt that the source is named "Bill Madden?"
   15. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: October 02, 2013 at 01:54 PM (#4557255)
A lot of my friends would argue that the Post is the silliest New York paper. But those close to this know that the Daily News is a firm second-place finisher in that particular sweepstakes.
   16. Ron J2 Posted: October 02, 2013 at 02:00 PM (#4557261)
#11 Odd. I thought the Romero case turned on strict liability. I mean he was suspended even though he was able to demonstrate that the OTC supplement was tainted with Andro (which in turn would lead to a positive test for Nandrolone)

So I guess it's technically true that they can attempt to argue good faith positive, their chance of being successful doesn't seem high.
   17. Depressoteric feels Royally blue these days Posted: October 02, 2013 at 02:10 PM (#4557273)
But baseball’s drug policy allows players to challenge doping bans by proving a positive drug test was not due to fault or negligence, and numerous players have turned to that strategy.
And who has this defense worked for? Anyone yet?

I'm sure players can OFFER this defense. I doubt it cuts much ice.
   18. Bug Selig Posted: October 02, 2013 at 02:18 PM (#4557286)
So, he thought they were legal, so that's why he tried to purchase and then destroy the evidence that he had bought them?
   19. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: October 02, 2013 at 02:18 PM (#4557287)
I think the Daily News has no credibility at all. I doubt their blogger is hiding under the table and reporting on the goings-on.

Maybe their reporter is in the back half of the centaur costume.
   20. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: October 02, 2013 at 02:20 PM (#4557289)
COSTUME?

Say it isn't so!
   21. Ron J2 Posted: October 02, 2013 at 02:23 PM (#4557296)
#18 Nah, he offered to purchase the records to help out somebody he knew who was in need of money because of legal issues. No reason to think he planned to destroy the records.
   22. BDC Posted: October 02, 2013 at 02:25 PM (#4557301)
I dunno. When you guys buy Miguel Tejada™ brand B-12 supplement in clear and cream form off some guy accompanied by a pit bull who's parked his pickup under an abandoned freeway overpass and demands to be paid in small used bills, you always believe it is innocent and legal, right?
   23. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: October 02, 2013 at 02:26 PM (#4557305)
I thought the scenario was that the clinic (or that co-owner who walked off with some of the records) had approached ARod to try and sell them?
   24. Morty Causa Posted: October 02, 2013 at 02:30 PM (#4557312)
Alex was told it was nothing more than Focusyn: "Joke if you will, but did you know most people use ten per cent of their brains? I am now one of them. Before, my energy was all over the place. Now, it's concentrated like a laser beam. Well, this has been terrific. Let's do it again sometime."
   25. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: October 02, 2013 at 02:31 PM (#4557313)
Man, the Yankee ClipClopper is just getting more and more desperate.
   26. Random Transaction Generator Posted: October 02, 2013 at 02:33 PM (#4557314)
So, he thought they were legal, so that's why he tried to purchase and then destroy the evidence that he had bought them?


Maybe after he found out they were not legal, he tried to cover his tracks.
I don't know, I can't think like him.
   27. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: October 02, 2013 at 02:40 PM (#4557320)
ESPN is reporting sources close to the investigation are denying the Daily News story. Would link, but I'm on my phone.
   28. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: October 02, 2013 at 02:49 PM (#4557329)
I'll believe ESPN's report when I see it. Usually, exclusive Daily News steroid stories don't fall apart until at least the next day.
   29. ursus arctos Posted: October 02, 2013 at 03:04 PM (#4557344)
ESPN report.

Sources familiar with the strategy to be employed by Alex Rodriguez in his appeal of a 211-game suspension strongly denied a report alleging that the New York Yankees third baseman would claim he had been duped by Anthony Bosch into believing he was taking legal supplements.
   30. SteveM. Posted: October 02, 2013 at 03:34 PM (#4557380)
Your honor, they held me down and injected into my butt steroids.All I went in for was the removal of a hangnail.
   31. Nasty Nate Posted: October 02, 2013 at 03:42 PM (#4557392)
I think the Daily News has no credibility at all.


Yeah, on the topic of A-Rod they have a streak of inaccurate reporting that is approaching DiMaggio.
   32. bunyon Posted: October 02, 2013 at 03:45 PM (#4557395)
Your honor, they held me down and injected into my butt steroids.All I went in for was the removal of a hangnail.

Actually, I believe he went in because he threw a shoe.
   33. TJ Posted: October 02, 2013 at 03:46 PM (#4557397)
Sounds like a cross between Barry "Flaxseed Oil" Bonds and Bart "I didn't do it!" Simpson.


Toss in a dash of Mantei Teo and you're about right...
   34. The Yankee Clapper Posted: October 02, 2013 at 03:49 PM (#4557399)
Man, the Yankee ClipClopper is just getting more and more desperate.

And how am I becoming desperate? I just posted what the article said about the liability standard. And since it probably has escaped notice by some here, I have never taken a definitive position on A-Rod's innocence or guilt - just noted that he is entitled to the same process that other players get through the CBA, and that MLB appears to have a strained interpretation of the JDA to skip the first offense status and go straight to a 211 game suspension. I have also noted that Tony Bosch has some significant credibility issues, but does anyone disagree with that?
   35. Weekly Journalist_ Posted: October 02, 2013 at 03:54 PM (#4557407)
I didn't blow up the school it was the butterfly I tell you!
   36. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: October 02, 2013 at 03:57 PM (#4557413)
34 Uh, I think that was a centaur joke ...
   37. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: October 02, 2013 at 04:00 PM (#4557416)
(shhhhhh.... don't tell him)
   38. Danny Posted: October 02, 2013 at 04:08 PM (#4557428)
I thought the scenario was that the clinic (or that co-owner who walked off with some of the records) had approached ARod to try and sell them?

Both, though that was also from the Daily News.

Yankees' Alex Rodriguez refuses to pay Anthony Bosch, who then cuts deal to help MLB
The owner of the South Florida anti-aging clinic at the center of baseball’s latest doping scandal asked embattled Yankee star Alex Rodriguez for financial help after Major League Baseball filed a lawsuit that alleged he had sold performance-enhancing drugs to Major League Baseball players.

When Rodriguez rebuffed Anthony Bosch’s request for money, believed to be in the hundreds of thousands, the self-styled “biochemist” turned to a strange bedfellow — MLB.

“A-Rod refused to pay him what he wanted,” said a source. “Baseball was worried about that.”
Former Biogenesis employee Porter Fischer tried to sell Yankees star Alex Rodriguez documents for $1 million
Porter Fischer wants $1 million for Biogenesis documents linking Alex Rodriguez and other players to the now-defunct South Florida anti-aging clinic - and he apparently does not care who writes the check, a source close to the player told the Daily News.

The former clinic employee approached Rodriguez's representatives a few weeks ago and offered to sell them the records he swiped from Biogenesis owner Anthony Bosch in exchange for a seven-figure payday. Fischer has also tried to sell the documents to other players linked to the clinic, the source told The News.

Rodriguez and his representatives declined to buy the documents, the source added.
   39. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: October 02, 2013 at 04:32 PM (#4557448)
The News is never going to top its "A-Rod's secret plan to return-and-retire in order to keep getting paid even though he retired" scoop.
   40. Weekly Journalist_ Posted: October 02, 2013 at 04:45 PM (#4557462)
Madden is a joke
   41. The Yankee Clapper Posted: October 02, 2013 at 05:31 PM (#4557493)
34 Uh, I think that was a centaur joke ...

Perhaps it was - I may have become overly sensitive to mischaracterizations of my posts from another thread. However, I'm a little surprised the centaur jokes aren't considered worn out by now, but to each his own. Carry on.
   42. Ray (RDP) Posted: October 02, 2013 at 05:41 PM (#4557498)
ARod has officially put out a statement on this:

NEW YORK -- Sources familiar with the strategy to be employed by Alex Rodriguez in his appeal of a 211-game suspension strongly denied a report alleging that the New York Yankees third baseman would claim he had been duped by Anthony Bosch into believing he was taking legal supplements.

"We cannot provide any details of this hearing, as the chair of the arbitration panel has issued an order prohibiting all parties from commenting publicly on the confidential proceedings, but what is being reported is not true," said a statement issued Wednesday by Ron Berkowitz, Rodriguez's publicist.


And I can't imagine a scenario where his publicist releases this statement and it was not (a) correct, or (b) cleared by the arbitrator.

The best that can be said for the Daily News is that this statement is unclear as to exactly what aspect of their reporting is not true. But judging from the Daily News's perfect track record -- they're wrong every time -- we can surmise this statement applies to all of it.

(Ok, "every time" was a joke. But, then, so is the Daily News's reporting.)
   43. Pat Rapper's Delight Posted: October 02, 2013 at 05:54 PM (#4557510)
I'm a little surprised the centaur jokes aren't considered worn out by now

I'm so tired of Yankee Clapper, Albert Belle, and Chris Truby always chiming in with their opinions on what should be funny. Behold, centaur jokes are currently the 6th funniest theme on this site and a new untapped humor inefficiency. I'd post a graph to illustrate what this has to do with Frank Tanana, but I can't find any Madeleine Albright as centaur photoshops on Google.

And Mike Crudale.
   44. JL Posted: October 02, 2013 at 05:56 PM (#4557512)
I'm so tired of Yankee Clapper, Albert Belle, and Chris Truby always chiming in with their opinions on what should be funny. Behold, centaur jokes are currently the 6th funniest theme on this site and a new untapped humor inefficiency. I'd post a graph to illustrate what this has to do with Frank Tanana, but I can't find any Madeleine Albright as centaur photoshops on Google.

And Mike Crudale.


Are you trying to have your children taken away?
   45. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: October 02, 2013 at 05:56 PM (#4557514)
41 - yep, centaur joke all the way. Apologies for the confusion.
   46. Pat Rapper's Delight Posted: October 02, 2013 at 05:58 PM (#4557516)
Are you trying to have your children taken away?

Is that even legal?
   47. Dan The Mediocre Posted: October 02, 2013 at 06:12 PM (#4557524)
Is that even legal?


Only if her father is the District Attorney.
   48. Ray (RDP) Posted: October 02, 2013 at 06:21 PM (#4557528)
Re strict liability for positive test results. The short story per the JDA is that MLB does not need to establish intent or knowing use on the part of the player in order to meet its burden; however, the player has an affirmative defense available to him that allows him to establish - by bringing forth objective evidence - that he did not intentionally use.

In a little more detail, basically:

* Clause 8B1 relates to "challenging positive test results" and makes clear that MLB "is not required to otherwise establish intent, fault, negligence, or knowing use of a Prohibited Substance on the Player's part."

* But then 8B3 sets out an affirmative defense for a player: "A Player is not in violation of the Program if the presence of the Prohibited Substance in his test result was not due to his fault or negligence." This is an affirmative defense that the player has the burden of establishing, and the JDA specifically makes clear that a player cannot satisfy this burden merely by denying that he intentionally used; rather, he must provide objective evidence to support his denial.

So yes, the player can wriggle off the hook of a positive test by establishing that he didn't knowingly use.

As to strict liability for non-analytical positives, which is the ARod situation. From scanning the JDA briefly it's not apparent to me that this is addressed. I would guess that if the issue is not specifically addressed in the JDA then the same affirmative defense for a positive test as above is available for non-analytical positives as well.

The JDA is sloppy in many areas, and if I'm right that this specific issue isn't addressed then this is one of them.
   49. Kurt Posted: October 02, 2013 at 06:27 PM (#4557532)
I know it has been used around here before but when I read this I think of that john belushi movie where he's on his knees begging for a woman to not shoot him


Blues Brothers. The woman was Carrie Fisher.
   50. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: October 02, 2013 at 06:29 PM (#4557535)
However, I'm a little surprised the centaur jokes aren't considered worn out by now,


They'll be worn out when #6org jokes finally die too.

   51. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: October 02, 2013 at 06:31 PM (#4557537)
I'm so tired of Yankee Clapper, Albert Belle, and Chris Truby always chiming in with their opinions on what should be funny.


YC in case you are wondering, that is a Satanist joke.
   52. Ray (RDP) Posted: October 02, 2013 at 06:33 PM (#4557540)
But yes, "I didn't knowingly use" could operate to reduce the penalty. But as I've said all along it's my bet that an arbitrator simply will not stack uses up prior to notification, at least not within the same disciplinary section (e.g., five offenses for use, all at once). It's plausible to me that the arbitrator may add up penalties from cross disciplinary sections (e.g., a penalty for use, a penalty for participation in sale/distribution), but I think there is some merit to arguing the other way.
   53. AJMcCringleberry Posted: October 02, 2013 at 06:36 PM (#4557542)
And who has this defense worked for? Anyone yet?

We really shouldn't know if it worked, it's supposed to be confidential (I know, I know).
   54. Srul Itza Posted: October 02, 2013 at 06:39 PM (#4557546)
Apologies for the confusion.


Nobody else was confused.

   55. Ray (RDP) Posted: October 02, 2013 at 06:41 PM (#4557549)
As to potential "obstruction" charges, e.g., ARod trying unsuccessfully to buy the evidence before MLB bought it, how in the world do people think these would fit into the JDA? Because I don't see it. The 7G2 "catch-all" specifically relates to violations of Section 2 that are not referenced in 7A-7F. Section 2 is a listing of the prohibited substances, and states that players are prohibited from "using, possessing, selling, facilitating the sale of, distributing, or facilitating the distribution of" any of them. I see nothing in there that would relate to an obstruction charge; e.g., I see nothing like "attempting to hide evidence of use or mislead the program administrator."

And we know that Melky didn't get any extra games for setting up his fake website.

And we have clauses in the JDA such as Clause 3F3:

"Any test conducted under the program will be considered positive under the following circumstances: ...A player attempts to substitute, dilute, mask, or adulterate a specimen or in any other manger alter a test."

How in the world is that not akin to an obstruction charge? And what does the JDA say the penalty for this is? Merely that the test will be treated as positive.
   56. Ray (RDP) Posted: October 02, 2013 at 06:56 PM (#4557561)
In short MLB will pretty much have to demonstrate why ARod is different from everyone else -- even from the guy who set up the fake website to subvert the disciplinary process. Why did everyone else get 50 games (with the exception of Braun, who had his own issues and even with all of that only got 65), and ARod was hit with 211? In my view it's a losing argument for MLB to argue that ARod used multiple times in multiple years because (despite the outrage expressed by Bill Madden) that is the nature of PED usage -- you don't just use once on a Tuesday and then never again -- and that doesn't distinguish ARod from anyone else. Conviction? We know he hasn't been convicted of anything. Participation in the sale/distribution? Okay; I mean, I think that would be difficult to prove, but even that only carries 80-100 games on a first offense. Even if you tack on 50 games for use/possession you're still not getting anywhere close to 211.
   57. Ray (RDP) Posted: October 02, 2013 at 07:13 PM (#4557585)
To get to 211 MLB has to basically be wildly stacking up use/possession offenses, probably arguing participation, probably arguing some form of obstruction, probably even making up violations as they go, and applying extreme penalties. So much of that is cartoonish.
   58. Walt Davis Posted: October 02, 2013 at 10:11 PM (#4557882)
It would be interesting if ARod had emails, texts, etc. where he specifically asked Bosch if these were steroids and Bosch said no. That would at least be some objective evidence.

As to MLB's case ... unless I missed a story, we simply don't know what they've "charged" ARod with to justify the 211 games. However, their press release back when they announced it referenced JDA and CBA violations. A later statement by Weiner suggested the MLBPA didn't have a problem with the alleged JDA violations but challenges the CBA violation.

To the extent that it would have any legs to stand on, alleged obstruction would seem more appropriate as a CBA violation since one could obviously just as easily obstruct an MLB investigation into alleged gambling or game-fixing or what have you.

Now how in the world you prove "attempted but unsuccessful obtaining of evidence with the intent of obstructing a private party's private investigation into non-criminal activity" is unclear to me although I suppose there could always be an email "hey Tony, I'll give you $500,000 for the records, I would like to destroy them to obstruct MLB's investigation."

One wonders just how much MLB paid for those records. Given even a 50-game suspension is worth about $8 M to ARod, if he really wanted to buy those records, you'd think he'd have offered a very competitive price. Maybe he's a cheapskate too.
   59. Walt Davis Posted: October 02, 2013 at 10:18 PM (#4557891)
To get to 211 MLB has to basically be wildly stacking up use/possession offenses, probably arguing participation, probably arguing some form of obstruction, probably even making up violations as they go, and applying extreme penalties. So much of that is cartoonish.

Coming up with the specific number of 211 was probably a mistake since it's a hard one to get to. It doesn't easily "add up" from any of the penalties and was pretty clearly arrived at as "the rest of this season and all of next" rather than "the specified penalties for X, Y and Z add up to 211 games." But I have finally come up with a combination that might make sense and adds up to 211 games:

a) 50-game suspension for possession under JDA
b) 80-game suspension for participation under JDA*
c) half-season (81-game) suspension under the CBA for obstruction

I think MLB owes me a retainer by now -- I'm pretty sure I've put more thought into sensible (under the circumstances) ways to "prosecute" their case than all their fancy-pants lawyers have.

* I'm pretty sure the MLBPA would object to this which would go against the implications of Weiner's remarks.
   60. Ray (RDP) Posted: October 02, 2013 at 10:24 PM (#4557906)
The big problem with trying to punish through the CBA, though, is that the JDA speaks to drug issues.

Obstruction through the CBA will in my view be a non-starter. For one thing MLB would have to argue that ARod didn't have a right to purchase his own medical records (but MLB did!). But more importantly, they punished Melky 0 additional games for setting up the fake website. And we have Braun who apparently lied the first time through to obtain a successful outcome - and yet Braun got all of 15 extra games.

For the life of me I can't see how 211 games holds up, absent ARod threatening to kill or maim Bosch unless Bosch handed over his records -- in which case the actual authorities would be involved.

And Bill Madden said they have multiple use violations on ARod going back multiple years. Ok, you have three violations in three separate years, and you think you can stack use violations? Then you should have asked for a permanent suspension (50, 100, permanent), not just 211 games; the punishment you asked for is incongruous.

   61. SoSH U at work Posted: October 02, 2013 at 10:42 PM (#4557932)
you don't just use once on a Tuesday and then never again


No. You use on back-to-back Tuesdays. Well, that's what Andy Pettitte did.

For the life of me I can't see how 211 games holds up,


Isn't it down to 162 now?
   62. Ray (RDP) Posted: October 02, 2013 at 10:46 PM (#4557936)
Let's assume MLB has strong evidence that:

* ARod used/possessed multiple times;
* ARod participated in the sale or distribution;
* ARod obstructed or attempted to obstruct their investigation.

Hell, let's say they have evidence up the wazoo that ARod obstructed their investigation.

- My prediction is that ARod will get 0 games based on obstruction no matter what the evidence is - or at most a small number, such as 0-25.

- I think ARod will get 0 extra games for multiple use violations even if multiple use/possession violations exist. He will get 50 games max for use/possession no matter how many violations he has.

- I could see an argument for ARod getting a combined penalty of 50 games for use/possession plus 80-100 games for participation in the sale/distribution, totaling 130-150 games. But more likely I think the arbitrator would simply take the larger sentence of the two and give ARod 80-100 games.

Thus, I see 0 games if things go incredibly well for him (an unequivocal victory for ARod). Either 50 or 80-100 games if things go ok for him (ARod wins). 130-150 games if things go badly for him (MLB wins). And 150-211 games if he crashes and burns (an unequivocal victory for MLB).
   63. Ray (RDP) Posted: October 02, 2013 at 10:48 PM (#4557941)

Isn't it down to 162 now?


No, the appeal stayed the discipline. It didn't count as time served (and of course he didn't in fact serve any time). If he loses big he will sit out 211 games going forward, into 2015. (At least, this is my read.)
   64. SoSH U at work Posted: October 02, 2013 at 10:54 PM (#4557961)

No, the appeal stayed the discipline. It didn't count as time served (since he didn't in fact serve any time). If he loses big he will sit out 211 games going forward, into 2015. (At least, this is my read.)


I thought the penalty was through the end of the 2014 season, and the 211 games was simply the number it took to reach that. Looking at MLB's statement, though it's still a little vague, your reading appears to be the most likely one.
   65. Ray (RDP) Posted: October 02, 2013 at 11:05 PM (#4557985)
Well, as you know, the penalty is based on games, not seasons. Yes, they did pick 211 to take them through 2014, but when ARod appealed it messed that little calculation up.

Some people are focused on the 211 games as being arbitrary -- saying that yes MLB tied it to the end of 2014 but MLB is not allowed to do that and what results is an arbitrary punishment -- but I simply don't see it that way. Yes, they tied it to the end of 2014, but in my view the arbitrator is not going to care about that issue per se. He is going to be focused on whether the magnitude of the 211 games is supportable. So whether MLB had picked 200 or 210 or 211 or 220 or 225 is not going to matter. The arbitrator is not going to say to MLB, "I totally would have supported you if you had picked 210 games, but 211 is just completely arbitrary."

And MLB _does_ get discretion within certain ranges anyway, depending on the violation. So if they have evidence of participation in sale/distribution they can give him 80, or 86, or 90, or 99.... since they are completely within their rights to pick within the 80-100 window for that. And they are allowed to give some games for the catch-all violation under 7G2 if they can make the case for that.

I do think MLB's arguments to get to 211 won't fly, but not because of this "211" issue, which I see as completely irrelevant.
   66. The Yankee Clapper Posted: October 02, 2013 at 11:18 PM (#4557998)
I don't see how MLB can make much of someone buying his own medical records, especially to keep them out of the hands of a low-life like Tony Bosch.
   67. Walt Davis Posted: October 03, 2013 at 03:10 AM (#4558157)
The big problem with trying to punish through the CBA, though, is that the JDA speaks to drug issues.

But obstruction is not a drug issue, it's an obstruction issue. Again, if ARod were charged with gambling instead of roids and tried to "obstruct" that investigation, it would proceed under the CBA. Obstructing an investigation is obstructing an investigation, it doesn't matter what the investigation is about.

Most importantly, from this story

"Rodriguez's discipline under the Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program is based on his use and possession of numerous forms of prohibited performance-enhancing substances, including Testosterone and human growth hormone, over the course of multiple years," Major League Baseball said in a statement. "Rodriguez's discipline under the Basic Agreement is for attempting to cover up his violations of the Program by engaging in a course of conduct intended to obstruct and frustrate the Office of the Commissioner's investigation."

The CBA argument might flop but it's pretty clearly the argument they are making. Specific penalties are not spelled out in the CBA so we don't know what breakdown MLB is imposing to get to 211 games (although I doubt it makes any rational sense).

Note, that bit is more specific than the one I remembered so apologies for the times I suggested we didn't know if they were proceeding on obstruction -- they clearly are. It also suggests that they are not proceeding with "participation".

They may be going for stacking -- "based on his use/possession ... over the course of multiple years" implies it but is not explicitly a statement they are trying to stack, they may just be trying to get the public more pissed at ARod. If you take the "notification" clause as the basis for saying he can only be suspended 50 games no matter now many incidents of possession they can "prove" (and it's a reasonable argument), you also have to note that the clause allows for the use of a second pre-notification positive if the first one is overturned for some reason. If that clause's logic applies then, even if you're going for just a 50-game suspension, you would still present evidence of multiple violations to the arbitrator -- if he decides that the evidence of possession in 2009 is too shaky, you've still got 2010 and 2011 to fall back on.

Melky might be relevant but I don't see how Braun is. As far as I recall, Braun never lied to investigators or in the hearing. (He didn't confess which, to Selig, is the same as lying.) The hearing came down to procedure so what would Braun have lied about. MLB had the positive test and that's essentially all the evidence they need so what investigation could Braun obstruct? Braun got an extra 15 games either for being an a-hole or as a deal on not taking a risk that they can stack violations (assuming they had evidence of such). Granted I haven't seen the evidence, I think it was a bad choice by the MLBPA to just accept those extra 15 games. But if Braun does apply, then that would seem to set precedent for a penalty greater than 15 games even if we can't see how it gets to 211.

As to Weiner, this is the quote I'm thinking of: For the player appealing, Alex Rodriguez, we agree with his decision to fight his suspension. We believe that the Commissioner has not acted appropriately under the Basic Agreement. True, the JDA is part of the CBA and he may not be drawing the distinction that MLB did in their press release. But, it seems clear that the MLBPA recognizes some JDA violation here:

While speaking to Chris Russo on Sirius XM Tuesday, union chief Michael Weiner said, “There was a number that I gave A-Rod and we advised him to take it. He was never given that number.” - See more at: http://www.northjersey.com/columnists/Klapisch_Alex_Rodriguez_stealing_spotlight_from_a_fading_team.html?page=all#sthash.URid3FCu.dpuf

and ... Weiner said, “It’s a question of evidence and … based on the evidence that we saw we made a recommendation to Rodriguez. The commissioner’s office didn’t meet it. They were much higher. And therefore we’re at a hearing.”

Won't bother looking for it but if memory serves the "..." in the above was something along the lines of "only the player knows in his heart what the truth is".

And Bill Madden said they have multiple use violations on ARod going back multiple years.

It has been known from day 1 that there is evidence (of unknown reliability) of ARod possessing PEDs in multiple seasons.. The Miami New Times and the Bosch notebooks (as published by them) provided evidence of multiple possession incidents (at least 3 different seasons based on what they published). And the MLB press release that said he had multiple uses/possessions. As to whether MLB is actually arguing that those should be stacked into a multiple penalty is something we do not know. And Madden is not a trustworthy source on anything.

Anyway, I do wish you'd stop harping on the 211-game thing as it doesn't really help and isn't all that relevant. We all know how they got to 211 games, it was the rest of 2013 and all of 2014. Since he hadn't accepted a deal at 211 (or whatever they may have offered him) they probably should have suspended him for 212 or 240 or lifetime or whatever the things they're actually charging him with add up to. But whether they should have asked for 150 or 180 or 240 is just a formality. The real question at this point is will it be 0 (very unlikely IMO), 50 (or 65) or (essentially) all of 2014.

   68. Walt Davis Posted: October 03, 2013 at 03:23 AM (#4558158)
I do think MLB's arguments to get to 211 won't fly, but not because of this "211" issue, which I see as completely irrelevant.

Sorry, I missed this ... so we may be in agreement. I completely agree that whatever penalty he ends up with will have to "add up" in some sensible way. So if, say, MLB makes and the arbitrator accepts a stacking argument for two violations, that would have to be 150 games. The wild card on length is the alleged CBA violation. That could be on the level of "season" or 61 games or whatever Selig dreams up.

I also share your doubt that the CBA-based argument will fly. This seems to be what MLBPA opposes and any arbitrator is going to be pretty skittish around the "best interests" clause anyway (I assume that's what MLB is arguing but I'm not going to waste time reading the CBA). I've got serious doubts they can make such a charge stick. My objection (ad nauseum I know) is to your argument that the alleged obstruction is a JDA issue. The arbitrator may end up agreeing with you but there is clearly a rational argument that obstructing an MLB investigation falls under the CBA. And regardless, MLB's and (likely) Weiner's statement make it clear that MLB is pressing both JDA and CBA issues.
   69. BrianBrianson Posted: October 03, 2013 at 03:29 AM (#4558160)
I am ... surprised, let's say ... at the number of people who take the information that MLB has been leaking to the press from a process they agreed to make confidential as God's honest truth. Of course, I have no idea what evidence MLB has, but knowing them, their history, and their actions here, it wouldn't surprise me if their entire case was that Bud's dogwalker's ex-roommate's former pot dealer once saw a guy who could've been be Arod at the Bosch clinic and thought he might've been called "Alex" or "Andrew" or such.
   70. Bitter Mouse Posted: October 03, 2013 at 08:00 AM (#4558192)
Posts 43 to 47 are awesome, thanks. And Centaur jokes are always funny! They are evergreen.
   71. BDC Posted: October 03, 2013 at 08:17 AM (#4558196)
Centaur jokes are always funny!

Mariano Rivera rides into a bar on a centaur. Bartender says, "That's a fabulous creature! Where did you find him?" Centaur says, "Yankee bullpen."

   72. Ray (RDP) Posted: October 03, 2013 at 10:24 AM (#4558275)
The big problem with trying to punish through the CBA, though, is that the JDA speaks to drug issues.

But obstruction is not a drug issue, it's an obstruction issue.


I don't think the arbitrator would see it that way at all. We have a JDA that speaks to drug issues, and speaks to them with some breadth. If MLB wanted to be able to punish someone on obstruction of the drug investigation, it should have been specifically laid out in the JDA. Even the 7G2 catch-all doesn't relate to it, IMO.

I don't think the arbitrator will let MLB go running to the CBA to add on to a policy that was specifically bargained for re drug issues.

The CBA argument might flop but it's pretty clearly the argument they are making. Specific penalties are not spelled out in the CBA so we don't know what breakdown MLB is imposing to get to 211 games (although I doubt it makes any rational sense).


Once again: in my view the 211 games per se is utterly irrelevant. It's a non-issue. Let's say they have a player on participation in the sale/distribution and there are 86 games left in the season. They can punish him for 80-100 games so they choose 86 to take the suspension to the end of the season. It is completely within their discretion to do so, it is not irrational at all, and no arbitrator in the world would balk at that. It's the same situation with ARod. They have discretion under certain clauses to pick a number of games. Quite contrary to the 211 games being arbitrary, it makes all the sense in the world, if they are going to level a suspension to him on the order of 200 games, to pick 211 so that it aligns with the end of next season.

Note, that bit is more specific than the one I remembered so apologies for the times I suggested we didn't know if they were proceeding on obstruction -- they clearly are. It also suggests that they are not proceeding with "participation".


If that's the case then they will lose, and lose big, because ARod will get a suspension on the order of 50 games, with the best case scenario for MLB being that the arbitrator tacks on a trivial penalty of 0-25 games for this other nonsense. Because even if the arbitrator buys that discipline for obstruction can be meted out via the CBA, there is the Melky fake website issue to contend with. At a minimum.

   73. Ray (RDP) Posted: October 03, 2013 at 10:32 AM (#4558281)
Melky might be relevant but I don't see how Braun is. As far as I recall, Braun never lied to investigators or in the hearing. (He didn't confess which, to Selig, is the same as lying.) The hearing came down to procedure so what would Braun have lied about.


Braun never lied to investigators? They didn't ask him the first question, "Did you take these substances?"

They didn't put him on the stand to ask the first question anyone would ask,"Did you take these substances"?

I grant that in the criminal setting witnesses who take the stand to proclaim their innocence aren't later strung up on perjury charges as well. But they certainly are charged with obstruction for lying to investigators.


As to Weiner, this is the quote I'm thinking of: For the player appealing, Alex Rodriguez, we agree with his decision to fight his suspension. We believe that the Commissioner has not acted appropriately under the Basic Agreement. True, the JDA is part of the CBA and he may not be drawing the distinction that MLB did in their press release.


Yes. I think you're reading too much into this, since the JDA is part of the CBA. But, well, maybe.

But, it seems clear that the MLBPA recognizes some JDA violation here:

While speaking to Chris Russo on Sirius XM Tuesday, union chief Michael Weiner said, “There was a number that I gave A-Rod and we advised him to take it. He was never given that number.” -


Sure. But this is also the nature of settlement negotiations. Even if you're completely innocent, there is a risk to not settling. Would ARod have taken 1 game to make this go away? Very likely he would have, if MLB has any evidence at all -- and it appears that they do. I read Weiner's statement merely as saying "Ok, there's some evidence here, so we think X number of games would have been appropriate; but 211 is way too many."

   74. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: October 03, 2013 at 01:20 PM (#4558439)
My guess at this point is the Arbitrator gives ARod 50 games, Bud & Co issue a statement impugning the arbitrator's intelligence, and....
   75. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: October 03, 2013 at 01:26 PM (#4558446)
"Any test conducted under the program will be considered positive under the following circumstances: ...A player attempts to substitute, dilute, mask, or adulterate a specimen or in any other manger alter a test."


I knew baby Jesus was a PED user.
   76. Bitter Mouse Posted: October 03, 2013 at 01:27 PM (#4558448)
and....


ARod goes galloping into the sunset.
   77. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: October 03, 2013 at 02:40 PM (#4558529)
I knew baby Jesus was a PED user.

He tested positive for myrrh.
   78. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: October 04, 2013 at 12:15 AM (#4559279)
71, that's actually pretty damn good.
   79. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: October 04, 2013 at 12:23 AM (#4559282)
A-Rod never saw them steroids.

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