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Tuesday, July 30, 2013

On Alex Rodriguez, forgetting the ‘what ifs’ and being thankful for the past ten years

Its time to stop beating the dead horse.

Hello.”

It was my brother James and all he said was, “Put on ESPN, we’re getting A-Rod.”

“What?”

“See for yourself. They’re working on a trade.” I placed the phone onto the kitchen table, walked into my TV room, turned it on, changed the channel to ESPN and saw what my brother was talking about.

I screamed out a string of expletives, my dad told me to watch my mouth and then when he saw what I was reacting to, he said the same exact phrase. Do as I say, not as I do. Or so they say.

I couldn’t believe it. The Yankees were working on a deal to bring Alex Rodriguez to New York. Was this real life?

At dinner that night, I discussed the impending deal with my dad, the longtime Yankee fan who attended his first game in 1946, and he loved it. He said, “Alex Rodriguez is the best player in baseball and has a chance to be the best of all-time, the Yankees have to make this deal.”

When it was officially announced a couple of days later and Rodriguez was introduced to the New York media, my boss at NBC allowed me to sit in his office so I could watch the press conference on his TV.

While I wasn’t a big fan of Rodriguez and had written some disparaging stuff about him in the past, I was thrilled with the deal. Alex Rodriguez was 28 and in the prime of his career so I imagined many M.V.P. awards, championships, parades and a lot of happiness in Yankeeland…

Now, nearly ten years removed from the day in February 2004, after many early playoff exits, after numerous off the field drama, after PED admissions, and even after the 2009 World Series victory, people are now writing “what if” pieces.

What if the Yankees hadn’t signed A-Rod? What if they kept Alfonso Soriano?

Look, it’s easy to imagine a Yankee team without Rodriguez and it’s also very easy for some people to put the blame of every postseason failure on his shoulders even if it wasn’t entirely his fault. That’s what happens when you sign a contract for so much money. You become bigger than the team you play for.

But was he supposed to refuse the $252 million deal from Texas? Would you say, “You know what? I think that’s too much money, can you knock a few million off the final contract? Thanks!” No, you wouldn’t.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 30, 2013 at 04:04 PM | 107 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: alex rodriguez, centaur, yankees

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   1. JRVJ Posted: July 30, 2013 at 06:04 PM (#4508237)
I wonder if the tag "Centaur" has been used on BTF for any other ball player, besides Alexander Emanuel Rodríguez.
   2. Weekly Journalist_ Posted: July 30, 2013 at 06:07 PM (#4508242)
Rodriguez was 28 and in the prime of his career so I imagined many M.V.P. awards, championships, parades and a lot of happiness in Yankeeland…

Only one championship, one parade, and two MVP awards....that ####### loser!!!
   3. Tom Nawrocki Posted: July 30, 2013 at 06:13 PM (#4508249)
Didn't Rodriguez, up until this year, give the Yankees pretty much exactly what they should have expected? Seems like he would be square in the middle of whatever projection you'd have given him coming into the 2004 season.
   4. smileyy Posted: July 30, 2013 at 06:20 PM (#4508257)
I can only cheer for players who continually outperform their expectations.
   5. thetailor Posted: July 30, 2013 at 06:30 PM (#4508267)
HA, if you click the tag it takes you to the "Centaur Newsbeat" which is a compelling headline as any. It appears that the first tag was in February of this year.

Oh, the article itself was pretty good. I enjoyed it.
   6. Fred Lynn Nolan Ryan Sweeney Agonistes Posted: July 30, 2013 at 06:31 PM (#4508268)
It's odd; I was just talking to a friend this weekend who suggested Rodriguez was "overrated," and "all about himself."

He has a decent argument for greatest SS of all time - his eight full years there are about as valuable as any similar stretch in Wagner's career, but 100 years later.
If he plays enough to be a mostly-third-baseman, he'll have a very good argument for greatest 3B ever (unless you'd knock a guy for playing half his career at a more-demanding defensive position).
He's deeply weird, but he doesn't seem to be a Hornsby-level jerk. He's always worked his butt off, always hustled.

I guess I don't see what's so bad about a player like that.
   7. haggard Posted: July 30, 2013 at 06:39 PM (#4508273)
I am certainly thankful that he went to the Yankees instead of the Red Sox.
   8. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: July 30, 2013 at 07:41 PM (#4508316)
#6
I don't get the hate either. Sure, he comes across as a egotistical liar, but that seems pretty tame. Most professionals have HUGE egos and I am sure tell a yarn or four.
Up until recently he performed as expected and I am fairly confident he's part of a large group of players who may have taken some PED's to keep performing at a high level. I'm not sure about this though, we should have a thread about it....
   9. ??'s Biggest Fan! Posted: July 30, 2013 at 08:35 PM (#4508358)
I would imagine it's a Superman/Batman thing. A lot of people can't relate to Superman because he's an alien powered by our yellow sun, whereas Batman is a rich guy with toys, brains and an unhealthy obsession. A-Rod's Superman. A-Rod's ability to play baseball is superhuman. He's almost cursed with too much talent. If he can't give your a net positive result every time, we're all surprised and some will call him overrated. I saw him dive, stab a hard grounder back-handed, and then with a flick of his wrist while on his knees, throw the ball over a runner's head and deposit it in the catcher's mitt to get the runner out at home. It was a beautiful play. That's what I choose to remember when A-Rod's days as a player is over.
   10. Monty Predicts a Padres-Mariners WS in 2016 Posted: July 30, 2013 at 08:51 PM (#4508366)
You know what's really scary? When the suspensions actually happen, there are going to be more threads.
   11. Cblau Posted: July 30, 2013 at 09:15 PM (#4508415)
My theory is that A-Rod should come out as gay. That way Selig won't dare suspend him. He can't suspend the first openly gay active player. And A-Rod can blame any weirdness in his past behavior on having to hide his true self.
   12. bookbook Posted: July 30, 2013 at 09:20 PM (#4508423)
I'd take Honus Wagner and Mike Schmidt over A-Rod, but I get your point. He's an incredible talent who worked amazingly hard to maximize his performance on the field. That such a star never figured out that some rules and limitations applied to him (like the laws against steroid use) is neither surprising nor as mammoth a character flaw as mlb and the press make it out to be.

Better his problems than Bobby Cox's, or Milton Bradley's, or....
   13. The District Attorney Posted: July 30, 2013 at 10:00 PM (#4508455)
I was all set to argue with you, but apparently Mike Schmidt only has 9 fewer WAR than A-Rod, which, while of course not representing the final word on their value, seems like reasonable shorthand for "they're pretty close."

Mike Schmidt was good.
   14. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: July 30, 2013 at 10:01 PM (#4508457)
My theory is that A-Rod should come out as gay. That way Selig won't dare suspend him. He can't suspend the first openly gay active player. And A-Rod can blame any weirdness in his past behavior on having to hide his true self.


Oh my god this would be wonderful. The Internet would have to shut down.
   15. Walt Davis Posted: July 30, 2013 at 10:30 PM (#4508504)
Oh my god this would be wonderful.

Quite possibly it would set gay rights back 20 years. :-)
   16. Tom Nawrocki Posted: July 30, 2013 at 10:35 PM (#4508509)
Somebody could just leak a picture of A-Rod in flagrante delicto with Smarty Jones.
   17. vortex of dissipation Posted: July 30, 2013 at 11:46 PM (#4508591)
Quite possibly it would set gay rights back 20 years. :-)


You're right. A gay centaur? The right wing would have a field day "proving" that being gay leads to bestiality.
   18. Morty Causa Posted: July 30, 2013 at 11:58 PM (#4508605)
Are you all sure it's a centaur, and not a satyr? I can see A-Rod as Pan playing his pipes.
   19. Howie Menckel Posted: July 31, 2013 at 12:09 AM (#4508616)

so to speak

   20. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 31, 2013 at 12:50 AM (#4508648)
but he doesn't seem to be a Hornsby-level jerk. He's always worked his butt off, always hustled.

I guess I don't see what's so bad about a player like that.


Sportswriters see it. Sportswriters see all.
   21. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 31, 2013 at 12:53 AM (#4508650)
Didn't Rodriguez, up until this year, give the Yankees pretty much exactly what they should have expected? Seems like he would be square in the middle of whatever projection you'd have given him coming into the 2004 season.


Andy whines about his playoff performance, so I guess that's the answer. Or something.

Carrying the Yankees on his back in 2009 didn't really matter much to these people, in the grand scheme of things.
   22. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: July 31, 2013 at 06:40 AM (#4508706)
Didn't Rodriguez, up until this year, give the Yankees pretty much exactly what they should have expected? Seems like he would be square in the middle of whatever projection you'd have given him coming into the 2004 season.


Andy whines about his playoff performance, so I guess that's the answer. Or something.

Carrying the Yankees on his back in 2009 didn't really matter much to these people, in the grand scheme of things.


Once again you prove that you're constitutionally incapable of walking and chewing gum at the same time, especially when you're talking about little girls with curls.

I supported A-Rod's original acquisition in 2004, and IIRC I supported the extension. Obviously the first deal has, on balance, worked out much better for the Yankees than the second one. His steroid problems are his alone to blame for, and that has to work into the equation. "Just another stupid jock who thought he could never get caught" is the only appropriate response to A-Rod's steroid problems, and with them he's hurt his team dearly.

His regular season OPS with the Yankees has been .925. In 13 postseason series with the Yanks, it's been .807. In 7 of those series, which accounts for more than half of them, it's been .635, .606, .580, .372, .347, . 222, and .205.

Without A-Rod, the Yanks likely don't win that 2009 World Series, and quite possibly don't even get there. That's part of the equation, too. It may not have been the greatest postseason performance of all time, but it was certainly right up there, and easily the best by any Yankee since the days of Ruth and Gehrig.

But on balance, A-Rod's presence in the lineup during the postseason has been a net negative, and in the majority of postseason series with the Yankees he's been an embarrassment, a total drag on his team's chances. Whether you want to assign this to randomness, or to its lack of character, or something in between, none of that changes the numbers, and they're not pretty.

And whether with hindsight you want to say that the years of the first contract override the disaster of the second contract (which includes 2013-2017), unless you were protesting that second contract back when it was signed (which I wasn't), it's all just that ---- hindsight. We're all geniuses on the internet.
   23. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: July 31, 2013 at 10:02 AM (#4508833)
Is ARod overrated or the worst person ever because he used PEDs to become one of the best players in baseball history? I'm confused.
   24. Bitter Mouse Posted: July 31, 2013 at 10:32 AM (#4508867)
Is ARod overrated or the worst person ever because he used PEDs to become one of the best players in baseball history? I'm confused.


I think you are putting the cart before the horse. People (in general) are driven to assign moral values to outcomes. Because he signed the richest contract in history he accumulates a certain morality around his actions. His in game actions gather up morality (either competitive fire or BS, depending). His PED use is also evaluated on a moral dimension as is his post season performance.

So his being an inner circle player is overshadowed by the morality tale (and speciesist rhetoric) built around him. To the point that his accomplishments, the fielding, hitting, general professionalism (including moving off of SS), and even his mentoring others (including Jason, Achilles, and even Hercules) is ignored or discounted.

I would argue people are suggesting (not necessarily on this board, BTW) the argument is that he is overrated irrespective of his raw numbers, because of the mythology around him.
   25. Bitter Mouse Posted: July 31, 2013 at 10:47 AM (#4508894)
Basically I just wish people would stop saddling A-Rod with having signed those really expensive contracts and all the other nonsense and just evaluate him as the player he is/was.
   26. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: July 31, 2013 at 10:58 AM (#4508904)
But my point is that some people seem to be suggesting that he's a villain for using steroids to become a great player, and by the way, he's not that great a player. It just seems a little inconsistent. (Granted, I'm mostly reading tea leaves and subtext.)
   27. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 31, 2013 at 11:05 AM (#4508912)
"Just another stupid jock who thought he could never get caught" is the only appropriate response to A-Rod's steroid problems, and with them he's hurt his team dearly.


That might apply to the Biogenesis thing -- though it remains to be seen since we have yet to see the evidence -- but there is no way it applies to him taking steroids in 2001-2003. Nobody was being "caught" for taking steroids back then.

But on balance, A-Rod's presence in the lineup during the postseason has been a net negative,


This is a ludicrous way to describe an .800 OPS with one monster postseason that led to a WS.


   28. Bitter Mouse Posted: July 31, 2013 at 11:10 AM (#4508918)
But my point is that some people seem to be suggesting that he's a villain for using steroids to become a great player, and by the way, he's not that great a player. It just seems a little inconsistent. (Granted, I'm mostly reading tea leaves and subtext.)


Oh I agree, I am just suggesting those folks are using morality and not horse sense to evaluate him, and from that standpoint there is not a conflict. He used PEDs to get better, but his moral failings, his character, caused him to be a lesser player despite his enhancements and superficial numbers - if that makes sense.

EDIT: And to be clear I do not subscribe to such analysis, blinders of morality in such analysis annoys me.
   29. gehrig97 Posted: July 31, 2013 at 11:16 AM (#4508928)
I saw him dive, stab a hard grounder back-handed, and then with a flick of his wrist while on his knees, throw the ball over a runner's head and deposit it in the catcher's mitt to get the runner out at home. It was a beautiful play. That's what I choose to remember when A-Rod's days as a player is over.


This was the "Jeter dive into the stands" game against the Red Sox. A-Rod's play was far more valuable within the context of the game and the degree of difficulty was several orders of magnitude higher than Jeter's tumble into the box seats.
   30. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: July 31, 2013 at 11:19 AM (#4508930)
"Just another stupid jock who thought he could never get caught" is the only appropriate response to A-Rod's steroid problems, and with them he's hurt his team dearly.

That might apply to the Biogenesis thing -- though it remains to be seen since we have yet to see the evidence -- but there is no way it applies to him taking steroids in 2001-2003. Nobody was being "caught" for taking steroids back then.


I was referring to his current problems, and the problems that both he and the Yankees are having due to them. I hope that he's proven innocent this time around, but I wouldn't bet much on it.

But on balance, A-Rod's presence in the lineup during the postseason has been a net negative,

This is a ludicrous way to describe an .800 OPS with one monster postseason that led to a WS.


Not if all the good stats are toploaded into 4 out of 13 series, while in 7 of them he's been worse than worthless, with OPS numbers of .635, .606, .580, .372, .347, .222, and .205. It would be one thing if this were Scott Brosius or even Nick Swisher, but this is the highest priced player in baseball history. But then to you it's cherrypicking when you cite 7 series out of 13, covering 5 different years, whereas it's not cherrypicking to cite 4 of them, 3 of which were in the same season.
   31. Bitter Mouse Posted: July 31, 2013 at 11:22 AM (#4508936)
ot if all the good stats are toploaded into 4 out of 13 series, while in 7 of them he's been worse than worthless


I thought that given the choice between high variance and low variance performance (assuming they average out the same), that high variance performances contributed more towards championships.
   32. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: July 31, 2013 at 11:26 AM (#4508942)
Basically I just wish people would stop saddling A-Rod with having signed those really expensive contracts and all the other nonsense and just evaluate him as the player he is/was.

Do you use the same measuring stick to evaluate a president as you use to evaluate a city councilman? Of course not. You don't need to "blame" A-Rod or anyone else for his contracts in order to recognize that salary is one factor is determining a player's overall value to his team.

What I'd wish is that people could acknowledge both the good and the bad, and not get all defensive if the part you don't like is mentioned.
   33. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: July 31, 2013 at 11:28 AM (#4508948)
not if all the good stats are toploaded into 4 out of 13 series, while in 7 of them he's been worse than worthless

I thought that given the choice between high variance and low variance performance (assuming they average out the same), that high variance performances contributed more towards championships.


I've already noted about 100 times in 100 threads that without A-Rod the Yanks wouldn't likely have won in 2009. The problem is that in 7 of those 13 series, he was a positive detriment to their chances. You can't have one without the other, and both are part of the overall equation.

   34. Bitter Mouse Posted: July 31, 2013 at 11:29 AM (#4508949)
but this is the highest priced player in baseball history


Why do people care about money in this sort of analysis? Other than on a "moral" level that is. A run from a high priced player is worth exactly as much as from a low priced player. There is no salary cap (especially for the Yanks), so it is not like there is some resource efficiency argument, especiallhy since that should clearly be a management issue and not tagged against a player.

Truly I would like to understand why amount of pay matters when discussing a players performance, especially in the context between regular season versus post season performance.
   35. Bitter Mouse Posted: July 31, 2013 at 11:35 AM (#4508954)
I've already noted about 100 times in 100 threads that without A-Rod the Yanks wouldn't likely have won in 2009. The problem is that in 7 of those 13 series, he was a positive detriment to their chances. You can't have one without the other, and both are part of the overall equation.


But in your post you are clearly implying that his variance was a detriment, and that variance made his contribution less than the average numbers suggest - and it is that assertion I am challenging.

Do you use the same measuring stick to evaluate a president as you use to evaluate a city councilman? Of course not. You don't need to "blame" A-Rod or anyone else for his contracts in order to recognize that salary is one factor is determining a player's overall value to his team.


Those are different jobs. Should I judge a CEO differently based on what they are paid instead of on the performance of the company? Many people do, and I think that is wrong. If a person performs they perform, if not then they don't.

Obviously when one is arguing if a player (CEO) is worth the money, then that is a different argument, but in terms of value to the team (or company) then let's just talk about value. If you bring in Cost then you are doing a cost/benefit analysis, which is a great thing to do, but does not speak to the raw value produced. And it is raw value produced that results in championships and not value/$.

And I don't think I am being defensive. I don't like A-Rod and really dislike the Yanks. But fair is fair.
   36. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 31, 2013 at 11:37 AM (#4508956)

Not if all the good stats are toploaded into 4 out of 13 series, while in 7 of them he's been worse than worthless, with OPS numbers of .635, .606, .580, .372, .347, .222, and .205. It would be one thing if this were Scott Brosius or even Nick Swisher, but this is the highest priced player in baseball history. But then to you it's cherrypicking when you cite 7 series out of 13, covering 5 different years, whereas it's not cherrypicking to cite 4 of them, 3 of which were in the same season.


It's not "cherry picking"; it's just a general failure of analysis. One would rather have extreme edge postseasons from a player -- some with 1.200 OPS's and some with .400 OPS's -- than all .800 OPS's. The former leads to more championships.

And in no way is an .800 OPS considered bad.

   37. Ron J2 Posted: July 31, 2013 at 11:47 AM (#4508971)
#27 With a weird distribution. 4 unabashedly horrible series. 4 monsters, 1 very good, 1 not quite ARod but we'll settle. The rest not very good.

There's only a 42% correlation between his regular season OPS and playoff OPS -- which seems unexpectedly low. Looking at Jeter in the same time frame it's 60% (plus ARod tends to miss low while Jeter tends to miss high. That is to say that ARod's only beat his regular season OPS 5 times and clumps his highs and lows) . The highs aren't quite as high (4 of the 6 best series are by Arod) but the lows nowhere near as frequent or as low (4 of the 5, including the 3 worst were also by ARod).

This ignoring the fact that you'd expect ARod to be better by a pretty comfortable margin (~80 points of OPS) while in fact Jeter has been better.

But it's mostly about confirmation bias. ARod's been awful often enough that people will have something to point to. (plus the clumping. 2 misses high, 3 misses low, 3 misses high, 5 misses low)
   38. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: July 31, 2013 at 11:48 AM (#4508972)
50 years from now, no one is going to care about ARod's salary or his $/WAR. Does anyone care about Chaplin's salary or points from The Great Dictator? No one cares how much money Coppola or Pacino made from The Godfather, or how much Picasso was paid for Guernica.
   39. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 31, 2013 at 11:52 AM (#4508976)
Ron: OT but is there a book or binder available that has all of MLB's published arbitration decisions?

How have you been finding this information over the years?
   40. villageidiom Posted: July 31, 2013 at 11:52 AM (#4508977)
Bitter Mouse is a lot more subtle with equine humor.
   41. JJ1986 Posted: July 31, 2013 at 11:52 AM (#4508978)
Did people hate Dave Winfield and Eddie Murray for their salaries when they were the highest paid players in the game?
   42. Bitter Mouse Posted: July 31, 2013 at 11:56 AM (#4508982)
Bitter Mouse is a lot more subtle with equine humor.


Well most of the obvious ones are gone (to the glue factory, natch), so subtle is what is left. I am glad someone noticed though; I admit I have an unnatural love for the Centaur meme.
   43. The District Attorney Posted: July 31, 2013 at 12:01 PM (#4508987)
Winfield? Yeah.
   44. Tom Nawrocki Posted: July 31, 2013 at 12:05 PM (#4508996)
They sure didn't hate Nolan Ryan when he was the highest-paid player.
   45. Ron J2 Posted: July 31, 2013 at 12:10 PM (#4509002)
#39 Nothing I'm aware of in any single source. Indeed I've never seen any full ruling, just summaries. The old TSN Guides used to have what amounted to a summary of the past season's legal decisions (I'd often use this as a starting point and Google for more on any given case).

For the rest, there was that very useful summary on sports disciple by George Nicolau. Seemingly available here

The most important part lay in his explaining the underpinning of many rulings.

Speaking of which, from that article:

employers of athletes should be held to the same standard as other employers - prudent, responsible decision-making considerate of all the circumstances. Some may say that I have held the Commissioner to a higher standard than that of an ordinary employer. The fact is that a Commissioner is not an employer, at least of players or managers, even though some Commissioners think they are. As stated in Howe: (where he found Vincent's ruling "fundamentally unfair" --RNJ)

what bears repeating... is that the Commissioner does not stand in the isolated position of an individual employer. He can bar the employment of a player at any level of the game regardless of the opinion or wishes of any one of a great number of potential employers. That is an awesome power. With it comes a heavy responsibility, especially when that power is exercised unilaterally and not as the result of a collectively bargained agreement as to the level of sanctions to be imposed for particular actions.
   46. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: July 31, 2013 at 12:13 PM (#4509004)
Do you use the same measuring stick to evaluate a president as you use to evaluate a city councilman? Of course not. You don't need to "blame" A-Rod or anyone else for his contracts in order to recognize that salary is one factor is determining a player's overall value to his team.

Those are different jobs. Should I judge a CEO differently based on what they are paid instead of on the performance of the company? Many people do, and I think that is wrong. If a person performs they perform, if not then they don't.

Obviously when one is arguing if a player (CEO) is worth the money, then that is a different argument, but in terms of value to the team (or company) then let's just talk about value. If you bring in Cost then you are doing a cost/benefit analysis, which is a great thing to do, but does not speak to the raw value produced. And it is raw value produced that results in championships and not value/$.

And I don't think I am being defensive. I don't like A-Rod and really dislike the Yanks. But fair is fair.


Well, obviously if we ignore the salary factor, and pretend that A-Rod's salary doesn't constrict the Yankees' payroll flexibility in any way, then there's really no argument about A-Rod's immense value to the Yankees, at least in the regular season and in 2 out of their 9 postseasons.

But that's generally not how we evaluate players in the age of salary caps and luxury taxes. You have to take salary impact into consideration at some point. Otherwise, why do you think that the Yankees are trying to move Heaven and Earth to get rid of the last 5 years of this current albatross contract? Why do you think the schadenfreude level surrounding the Yankees has reached a peak that hasn't been seen since 2004? If A-Rod were only being paid $2M a year through 2017, do you really think the Yankees wouldn't just write it off as one of those things?

------------------------------------------

Not if all the good stats are toploaded into 4 out of 13 series, while in 7 of them he's been worse than worthless, with OPS numbers of .635, .606, .580, .372, .347, .222, and .205. It would be one thing if this were Scott Brosius or even Nick Swisher, but this is the highest priced player in baseball history. But then to you it's cherrypicking when you cite 7 series out of 13, covering 5 different years, whereas it's not cherrypicking to cite 4 of them, 3 of which were in the same season.

It's not "cherry picking"; it's just a general failure of analysis. One would rather have extreme edge postseasons from a player -- some with 1.200 OPS's and some with .400 OPS's -- than all .800 OPS's. The former leads to more championships.


The only failure of analysis here is that you choose only to acknowledge A-Rod's 2009 and 2004 postseasons, while ignoring the equally salient fact that in 2005, 2006, 2010, 2011 and 2102, he was a positive detriment to his team's postseason chances.
   47. Bitter Mouse Posted: July 31, 2013 at 12:15 PM (#4509010)
That is an awesome power. With it comes a heavy responsibility, especially when that power is exercised unilaterally and not as the result of a collectively bargained agreement as to the level of sanctions to be imposed for particular actions.


I think it honestly too much power, which is one reason I want A-Rod to be a Maverick and fight the (alleged) ban with all his might.
   48. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 31, 2013 at 12:16 PM (#4509013)
#39 Nothing I'm aware of in any single source. Indeed I've never seen any full ruling, just summaries. The old TSN Guides used to have what amounted to a summary of the past season's legal decisions (I'd often use this as a starting point and Google for more on any given case).

For the rest, there was that very useful summary on sports disciple by George Nicolau. Seemingly available here


Thanks.
   49. Bitter Mouse Posted: July 31, 2013 at 12:21 PM (#4509021)
But that's generally not how we evaluate players in the age of salary caps and luxury taxes.


I still think you are unfairly commingling two different types of analysis. Raw value analysis, because it is raw value which results in championships, and value/$ analysis which is useful in analyzing over time the effectiveness and efficiency of management (to the extent teams like the Yankees are constrained by salary - which as a Twins fan appears to me to be closer to not at all than it is hugely salary constrained).

Why on earth would a player (rather than management) be judged on a value/$ metric though? Management (not the player) sets the "salary cap". Management wants to minimize salary/value, while the player wants to maximize both salary and value (In a rational world). Why are you judging A-Rod against his salary, when he has every reason in the world to want to maximize his salary. It seems crazy unfair to him (and other players similarly judged), especially when he is on the Yanks, the least salary constrained team in MLB.
   50. Ron J2 Posted: July 31, 2013 at 12:29 PM (#4509031)
I should note two things from the Nicolau article. He notes an exception to the general rule about an employer's power of discipline.

the conduct directly injures the product or reputation of the business, where fellow workers reasonably refuse to work with the alleged miscreant, where the behavior renders the employee unable to perform his duties or appear at work, like being in jail, or where the conduct clearly breaches an employee's duty of loyalty to the employer.

There is an important but. If they're going to hang their hat on "reputation of the business" they have to provide "credible evidence" of the damage. That's apt to be tricky. Yeah negative publicity, but it's not hurting MLB at the box office and MLB tried both the duty of loyalty and damage to the reputation arguments in the 80s without success.

Not sure if it says so any longer, but I do know that at one point arbitrators were bound to consider past rulings (and I'd expect that to remain the case whether it's specifically spelled out or not)
   51. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: July 31, 2013 at 12:37 PM (#4509041)
Okay, BM, if you want to leave salary and salary-influenced expectations out of the discussion, then A-Rod has probably been the greatest all-around player since Barry Bonds, even including all those postseason floperoos. Gee, that was hard.
   52. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: July 31, 2013 at 12:57 PM (#4509068)
commingling


My god, you spelled it correctly ("co-mingling" is all too common, at least in my experience). Well done, sir.
   53. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 31, 2013 at 01:14 PM (#4509085)
I've read through the relevant provisions of the JDA as relates to Biogenesis in general and Arod/Braun in particular. Below are my identification of provisions/issues that may be relevant, for those interested.

The overall question I have is whether a "first offense" and "second offense," or a "first violation" and "second violation," means that MLB can bundle separate offenses/violations (say, from 2009 and 2011) together and therefore add the suspensions together (50 games + 100 games = 150 games) or go straight to a lifetime suspension, even though the players have never been disciplined before. Wouldn't a fair reading be that discipline for a "second" offense or violation can't take place before discipline for a "first" offense or violation has already occurred and been meted out, after which the player starts fresh with one strike against him?

So if in 2013 MLB alleges that ARod dealt steroids to Derek Jeter in 2011 and Mariano Rivera in 2012, is he subject to discipline for "two violations" or just one because ARod is being disciplined in 2013 for the first time?

The language "first," "second," etc. for violations is followed by the language "or subsequent" violations, which to me suggests that "first" and "second" relates to a _timeline_ or to _chronology_ that is dependent on whether the "first violation" has been punished for yet, not to simply adding up violations to get straight to a lifetime ban. Thoughts?

Quoting from the JDA:

1. 3AC: Reasonable Cause Testing.

This provision essentially states that if there is reasonable cause to believe that a player has in the previous 12-month period, engaged in the use, possession, sale, or distribution of a PES, the party [Commissioner's office or the PA] should provide a description of this information to the player and the player will be subject to immediate testing.

2. 3AH: Multiple Disciplines for the Same Use.

"Players shall not be subjected to multiple disciplines as a result of the same use of a Prohibited Substance." This covers situations where a player alleges that a positive test result under the program is the result of the same use of a prohibited substance that prodcuced a prior positive test result. "The Medical Testing Officer should treat the subsequent positive test as resulting from a separate use of a Prohibited Substance only if she concludes with reasonable cerainty that it was not from the same use of that substance that caused the initial positive test."


   54. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 31, 2013 at 01:14 PM (#4509086)
3. 7: DISCIPLINE

Section 7 covers all the ways a player can be disciplined under the program. Of relevance here:

7A: Performance Enhancing Substance Violations

"A player who tests positive for a PES, or otherwise violates the Program through the use or possession of a PES, will be subject to discipline as set forth below:"

1. First violation: 50-game suspension;
2. Second violation: 100-game suspension;
3. Third violation: Permanent suspension...

7B: The stimulant violations are:

1. First violation: Follow-up testing
2. Second violation: 25-game suspension
3. Third violation: 80-game suspension
4. Fourth and subsequent violation: Suspension for just cause up to permanent...

[7C: Failure to comply with an initial evaluation or a treatment program]

[7D: Marijuana, Hashish, and Synthetic THC violations]

7E: Conviction for the Use or Possession of a Prohibited Substance

"A player who is convicted or pleads guilty... to the possession or use of any prohibited substance (including a criminal charge of conspiracy or attempt to possess or use) shall be subject to the following discipline:

1. First offense: 60-80 games for a PES or 25-50 for a stimulant or drug of abuse
2. Second offense: 120 games to 1 year for a PES or 50-100 games for a stimulant/doa
3. Third offense: Permanent suspension if a PES or 1 year for a stimulant/doa

7F: Participation in the Sale or Distribution of a Prohibited Substance

"A player who participates in the sale or distribution of a Prohibited Substance shall be subject to the following discipline:"

1. First offense: 80-100 games if a PES, or 60-90 games if a stimulant or doa
2. Second offense: permanent suspension if a PES or 2 years if a stimulant or doa..

7G2: "A player may be subjected to disciplinary action for just cause by the Commissioner for any player violation of Section 2 above [Section 2 relates to prohibited substances] not referenced in Section 7A through 7F above."

7H: Suspensions.

7H2: "All suspensions imposed pursuant to this Section 7 shall be without pay."

7K Multiple Substances

7K1: "If a single specimen is positive... for more than one category of Prohibited Substances (PES, stimulant, and/or a drug of abuse), the player shall serve the longer applicable suspension only."

This states that you can't bundle offenses together for single specimens.


8. APPEALS

Re the issue of whether Selig can use his BIOB power from the CBA, it should be noted that the JDA speaks directly to who has jurisdiction to review violations of the program:

8A: Arbitration Panel Review

"The Arbitration Panel shall have jurisdiction to review any determination that a player has violated the program, or any determination made pursuant to Section 3.I (TUE). Any dispute regarding the level of discipline within the ranges set forth in Section 7 is also subject to review by the Arbitration Panel and any such review shall include whether the level of discipline imposed was supported by just cause."

   55. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 31, 2013 at 01:30 PM (#4509109)
This is a big question I have, related to my main question above. Note provision 7L below. Does this mean that a player cannot ever be disciplined for second or subsequent violations that occur before "actual notice" of a first violation has been delivered to him?

7L: Notice of Violation

"If the notification requirements of Section 3G are satisfied, a Player will not be disciplined for a second or subsequent violation involving a prohibited substance that occurred prior to the time that the player received actual notice of his first positive test result or non-analytical positive for the same prohibited substance, provided that the player's discipline for his first violation was not overturned or rescinded."

That's a bit clumsily worded, especially at the end.

In any event, here is the referenced section 3G:

"Notification. The IPA [Independent Program Administrator] shall notify the parties upon receipt of a positive test result. The Players Association shall notify the Player of a positive test result as promptly as possible, but in no event later than 72 hours from the IPA's notification to the Parties of the positive test result, or, in the case of a non-analytical positive, the Commissioner's Office's notification of the Association."

Since the Commissioner's Office only this week delivered notice to the Player's Association, can ARod possibly be disciplined for "second or subsequent" violations? Or can he only be disciplined for a first violation, meaning 50-100 games under 7A or 80-100 games under 7F. Can MLB get straight to a permanent suspension when ARod only now is receiving "actual notice" of violations?
   56. dlf Posted: July 31, 2013 at 01:33 PM (#4509113)
Not sure if it says so any longer, but I do know that at one point arbitrators were bound to consider past rulings (and I'd expect that to remain the case whether it's specifically spelled out or not)


The past arbital decisions in MLB - as in most CBAs - are pursuasive but not mandatory precedent; subsequent arbitrators (or even the same arbitrator in a subsequent case) may elect to follow, may distinguish the two fact scenarios, or may simply reject the legal analysis from the prior case.

On those lines, I wonder about the precedental value of the first Braun case. Shyam Das ruled that MLB was required to follow the letter of the CBA in imposing drug discipline. But before he issued a final award, the parties directed him to halt and MLB fired him. With no final award, I think there is no technical precedent. But if I were on Rodriguez's legal team, I'd argue that, among other reasons, the Das decision clearly sets forth that the CBA - JDA has express provisions and those cannot be avoided by arguing for the spirit rather than the letter of the agreement.
   57. Bitter Mouse Posted: July 31, 2013 at 01:39 PM (#4509121)
My god, you spelled it correctly ("co-mingling" is all too common, at least in my experience). Well done, sir.


Mostly luck, but I will take it. I am more proud of #47, but maybe that's just me.

if you want to leave salary and salary-influenced expectations out of the discussion


Mostly I do, but I am willing to listen if you think including salary matters. But mostly I was not trying to pick on you, here in MN I hear people all the time talking about Mauer and his $ (almost always involving his character, as if he was not the best Twin by far), to the point I am overly sensitive about it.
   58. JJ1986 Posted: July 31, 2013 at 01:42 PM (#4509130)
No one would knock Vernon Wells or Alfonso Soriano or Ryan Howard or Carl Crawford or Bary zito for having a bad postseason because they make a huge salary.
   59. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: July 31, 2013 at 01:47 PM (#4509138)
The issue, as noted in another thread, is that MLB is pricing Biogenesis conduct at zero for Cabrera and Colon, who are getting no suspension for their dealings with Biogenesis.(*) It then makes little sense for MLB to then claim that Biogenesis conduct not resulting in a positive test warrants the kind of sanction the press is talking about with respect to A-Rod.

A positive drug test getting you off the hook, so to speak, for all the conduct preceding it while such conduct can warrant a lifetime ban without the test makes zero sense.

(*) Yes, they've already received 50 games for testing positive, presumably from using product acquired from Biogenesis. But under the theory MLB seems to want to apply to A-Rod, Biogenesis conduct should be treated as separate violations and therefore can be analytically separated from the positive drug test.
   60. dlf Posted: July 31, 2013 at 01:49 PM (#4509145)
The overall question I have is whether a "first offense" and "second offense," or a "first violation" and "second violation," means that MLB can bundle separate offenses/violations (say, from 2009 and 2011) together and therefore add the suspensions together (50 games + 100 games = 150 games) or go straight to a lifetime suspension, even though the players have never been disciplined before.


I just issued an arbitration decision in a completely different industry but which may have a tiny bit of bearing on the question above. (Facts changed slightly to make sure I'm not revealing anything.)

In the CBA I was called on to adjudicate, management and the union had agreed to a sliding scale of punishment for failure to appear that basically said that an employee would be given a written warning for the first no-call/no-show, a 5 day suspension for the second, a 15 day suspension for the third, and termination for the fourth.

In a prior case before a different arbitrator, it was held that an employee who was out three consecutive days due to one illness for which he had not called in was to be treated as a first offense rather than three separate offenses.

In the case before me, the employee was out a day and received the written warning, was out again a couple of months later but due to holidays didn't receive paperwork for the five day suspension, then was out a third time during the following week. The company proposed a 20 day suspension, combining the punishments for the second and third. I agreed that these were separate violations and could each be punished even though there was no formal notice of charges on the second before the conduct on the third.

Assuming the same two rulings in MLB-MLBPA cases, a player shouldn't be suspended at the multi-offense level for evidence of one on-going cycle of doping, but could be if the evidence was of separate actions such as, in the quote above, use throughout 2009, 2010, and 2011. It seems to me that the determinative issue is not whether MLB has charged a prior act, but rather whether there is factual evidence supporting separate actions by the player.
   61. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 31, 2013 at 01:56 PM (#4509157)
It seems to me that the determinative issue is not whether MLB has charged a prior act, but rather whether there is factual evidence supporting separate actions by the player.


Thanks for your comments, dlf. Do you think the alternate argument has merit even if you disagree with it, i.e., a player cannot be hit with punishment for a second offense until he is hit with punishment for a first offense and the slate has been cleared except for the one strike against him?

How receptive might an arbitrator be to this, if you polled 10 of them?

Or, stated differently, how strong is the argument, in your view? Not very strong? Weak? Very weak? No chance?
   62. dlf Posted: July 31, 2013 at 02:05 PM (#4509171)
Ray, if you poll 10 arbitrators, you'll get 11 opinions.

In my opinion, the act of serving the charge is not a dividing line; instead, I'd look at the underlying conduct. Changing industries again, but under the federal sentencing guidelines, aren't separate charges within a single indictment, a basis for enhanced punishment? Evidence of seeking, buying, and using (as Bob Nightengale argued this week) is not three offenses, but rather one. I suspect if I had a case with a player obtaining 3 vials of hGH in a single shipment, that would be a single violation. But if I had a player obtaining 3,000 vials, I'd be more inclined to listen to management's argument that it is multipe offenses. Similarly, evidence of use and evidence of promoting use to others seems to be two offenses (under different clauses) rather than a single one.

I've known Shyam Das for nearly 20 years, but I know he won't opine even off the record. But I'm having dinner with someone who used to be on the MLB-MLPAA salary panel; I'll see if I can get him to opine tonight even if there is a distinction between the grievance panels and the ones for salary cases.
   63. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: July 31, 2013 at 02:18 PM (#4509196)
Somebody could just leak a picture of A-Rod in flagrante delicto with Smarty Jones.

Forget about Mr. Jones, "Flagrante Delicto" would be an even better horse name.
   64. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 31, 2013 at 02:23 PM (#4509211)
Thanks, dlf. I'd be interested to hear if he opines.

I mean, under this theory, let's say MLB learns that McNamee has been dealing PEDs to Pettitte even since the Mitchell Report came out. MLB has evidence of three shipments, one shipment each in 2010, 2011, and 2012. MLB can now deliver a permanent suspension to Pettitte.

That would seem draconian.
   65. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 31, 2013 at 02:30 PM (#4509225)
By the way, just to note this, the language says "first," "second," "third," and "fourth or subsequent" violations -- not "one," "two", "three," "four or more" violations.

The former, again, indicates to me that timing is important, and with it notice and the issue of whether discipline has already been handed out.

It seems to me that this is essentially a "three strikes and you're out" type policy, which means that the three strikes can't all come on one pitch.
   66. bunyon Posted: July 31, 2013 at 02:34 PM (#4509232)
Similarly, evidence of use and evidence of promoting use to others seems to be two offenses (under different clauses) rather than a single one.

I've wondered if this isn't where they are (again, wild speculation):

- purchase and possesion violation: 50 games
- promoting use: 100 games

voila, 150 games.
   67. thetailor Posted: July 31, 2013 at 02:34 PM (#4509233)
I will be waiting with bated breath as well!
   68. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: July 31, 2013 at 03:04 PM (#4509301)
No one would knock Vernon Wells or Alfonso Soriano or Ryan Howard or Carl Crawford or Bary zito for having a bad postseason because they make a huge salary.

Not to mention the pre-2002 Barry Bonds.
   69. dlf Posted: July 31, 2013 at 03:18 PM (#4509343)
@65 -- I'd argue that the language is "violation" and "offense" but not "charge," "adjudication" or "suspension" and, as such, there can be multiple violations within one notice of intent to discipline.
   70. Fred Lynn Nolan Ryan Sweeney Agonistes Posted: July 31, 2013 at 03:46 PM (#4509414)
I'd take these guys against your David Freeses and Scott Brosii anytime:

C: Ivan Rodriguez
1b: Jeff Bagwell
2b: Joe Morgan
3b: Mike Schmidt
SS: Alex Rodriguez
LF: Ted Williams
CF: Willie Mays
RF: Dave Winfield

There are a couple of good series sprinkled in there, but purely by their overall postseason batting stats this team is a bunch of choking chokers.
Put them up against a clutch buzz-saw like the 2003 Marlins, and surely they'd collapse like a flan in a cupboard.
   71. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 31, 2013 at 04:07 PM (#4509460)
@65 -- I'd argue that the language is "violation" and "offense" but not "charge," "adjudication" or "suspension" and, as such, there can be multiple violations within one notice of intent to discipline.


And I'd argue that timing and notice is important to the agreement regarding how much a player can be penalized for. The agreement sets out a certain penalty scheme and timing/notice seems to be built in to that.
   72. villageidiom Posted: July 31, 2013 at 04:40 PM (#4509528)
In any event, here is the referenced section 3G:

"Notification. The IPA [Independent Program Administrator] shall notify the parties upon receipt of a positive test result. The Players Association shall notify the Player of a positive test result as promptly as possible, but in no event later than 72 hours from the IPA's notification to the Parties of the positive test result, or, in the case of a non-analytical positive, the Commissioner's Office's notification of the Association."


Section 3 deals with testing. In that section is where "positives" are defined, as the following (paraphrased): (a) test sample having prohibited levels; (b) refusal to comply with testing; (c) attempts to rig a test sample by masking, substitution, alteration, etc. Two of these are non-analytic in nature, and are determined not by testing but by the program admininstrator. When 3.G refers to "non-analytic positives" I don't see how it would apply to anything but (b) and (c) in the testing program, because "positives" are defined only as above, and (a) is analytic. ((c) could involve analytics, and the JDA covers that a little. But the determination of violation on (b) and (c) are made by non-analytic means, while (a) is purely analytic.)

Thus, when 3.G is referenced in 7.L, and when 7.L refers to positive test results or non-analytic positives, I think it is only in relation to notifications regarding Section 3 violations (i.e. tested positive / test refusal / test masking), and not all violations in the JDA.

If I understand it correctly, then, there is no notification requirement per se in these cases.

Now... In 8.D.1, they go through the appeals process for 7.G.2 violations. There it says discipline is effective on the third business day following the issuance of discipline. In a sense, that's the notification under 7.G.2: MLB "issues" the suspension three days before it's effective. But still, in terms of whether multiple violations are penalized as one or as multiple, I don't think that applies here.

(For 7.E or 7.F violations, the JDA doesn't give notification requirements, and Section 8 doesn't suggest anything, either, other than that appeals can be made.)
   73. zonk Posted: July 31, 2013 at 04:52 PM (#4509538)
Not sure if someone already posted it or if this is the right thread for it -- but Calcaterra per rotoworld reports that if A-Rod won't cut a deal, MLB is going to push for a lifetime ban of A-Rod.

...there really isn't enough popcorn in the world for this.
   74. villageidiom Posted: July 31, 2013 at 05:00 PM (#4509544)
It occurs to me that there's a simpler way of saying my #72:

Anything that mentions "positives" is referencing 3.F. Violations that don't involve 3.F are not "positives"; they're merely "violations". Any rules that are applicable to "positives" are applicable to violations involving 3.F, and not to other violations.
   75. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: July 31, 2013 at 05:56 PM (#4509599)
...there really isn't enough popcorn in the world for this.


Plea Bargaining 101:

DA would like the perp to get 15-20, but would be willing to settle for 5-10 to avoid trial
Perp wants -0- of course, but realizes he's likely facing some time, might accept 5-10

How does DA start the negotiations? At 15-20? No, he starts at "Life," hope steh Per suggests 5-10 an if he does starts trying to move him up to 15-20.

A: If perp never moves up from 5-10, DA takes that on the eve of trial.
B: If per goes up to 15 or so DA pretends to hem and haw, but takes it before it gets revoked
C: If perp never moves from -0-, DA never comes down from Life and we go to trial

looks like Seligula/A-Roid are stuck on "C"
   76. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 31, 2013 at 06:07 PM (#4509610)
It occurs to me that there's a simpler way of saying my #72:

Anything that mentions "positives" is referencing 3.F. Violations that don't involve 3.F are not "positives"; they're merely "violations". Any rules that are applicable to "positives" are applicable to violations involving 3.F, and not to other violations.


You may be right here. I'll re-read the relevant provisions.
   77. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 31, 2013 at 06:14 PM (#4509616)
looks like Seligula/A-Roid are stuck on "C"


As I said yesterday, if ARod still wants to play -- and it looks for all the world like he does -- then I don't see that accepting Selig's rumored "deal" is at all a viable option.

ARod would lose tens of millions now and then try to return at age 39 after a 2.5 year layoff and with absolutely zero guarantee that the Yankees wouldn't still try to dick around with him in order to prevent him from earning the remaining $60 million -- to say nothing of the difficulty of him trying to return to a competitive level after that kind of layoff even if healthy and even presuming that the Yankees were willing to be honest in their further dealings with him.

It truly is an offer to be met with a middle finger.

He has almost nothing to lose by challenging a lengthy suspension on the basis of the strength of the evidence and various interpretations of the CBA/JDA. Which is not to say that he will have a good chance of success, necessarily, but it's better than the purported "deal" that is on the table.

People are painting this as "Oh, but at least he would get $60 million if he takes the deal." No. The $60 million is very far from guaranteed, for a number of reasons. And again, the "$60 million" does nothing to get him back on the field now, which seems to be his primary goal.
   78. zonk Posted: July 31, 2013 at 06:26 PM (#4509629)
As I said yesterday, if ARod still wants to play -- and it looks for all the world like he does -- then I don't see that accepting Selig's rumored "deal" is at all a viable option.

ARod would lose tens of millions now and then try to return at age 39 after a 2.5 year layoff and with absolutely zero guarantee that the Yankees wouldn't still try to dick around with him in order to prevent him from earning the remaining $60 million -- to say nothing of the difficulty of him trying to return to a competitive level after that kind of layoff even if healthy and even presuming that the Yankees were willing to be honest in their further dealings with him.

It truly is an offer to be met with a middle finger.

He has almost nothing to lose by challenging a lengthy suspension on the basis of the strength of the evidence and various interpretations of the CBA/JDA. Which is not to say that he will have a good chance of success, necessarily, but it's better than the purported "deal" that is on the table.

People are painting this as "Oh, but at least he would get $60 million if he takes the deal." No. The $60 million is very far from guaranteed, for a number of reasons.


I agree -

The risk here seems a LOT bigger for MLB than A-Rod... at least, I can see the A-Rod perspective of "what do I have to lose? I'm already hated... I'm already getting jerked around by my team...". However, from the MLB perspective -- this seems to have a real chance of completely blowing up in Seligula's face.... and that's even beyond the whole fact that the longer this drags out -- the longer something it would seem MLB does NOT want in the headlines, stays in the headlines.

I'm really failing to see what MLB's logic is on this one -- unless they truly are trying to go all Kenesaw Landis and make PEDs into gambling. I suppose maybe Selig is trying to write his legacy as the commish that "saved" baseball from PEDs?
   79. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 31, 2013 at 06:43 PM (#4509638)
Yes, the risk to MLB is huge, namely, that they get an arbitration or legal ruling that is totally against them and that sets precedent for other players. That's why the "deals" they are pursuing are beneficial to them: the deals don't challenge the CBA/JDA.

IF the deal to ARod was "ok, go away quietly and we will give you $60 million guaranteed," THAT would be something serious for him to consider. But this rumored deal is very from from that.
   80. dlf Posted: August 01, 2013 at 12:27 PM (#4510334)
I'm having dinner with someone who used to be on the MLB-MLPAA salary panel; I'll see if I can get him to opine tonight even if there is a distinction between the grievance panels and the ones for salary cases.


Quick update: it was a lovely dinner with a very nice bottle of wine and some excellent Sockeye salmon that is just now coming into season. Beyond that, the arbitrator I spoke with yesterday said he has never read the JDA and, other than the provisions of the CBA surrounding salary arbitration, doesn't recall details of that either. As such, he was unwilling to opine on whether evidence of two separate violations could be brought in a single charge. He did, however, say that the general rule in labor arbitration is that a single disciplinary notice can, and often does, include multiple charges based on the same fact pattern (e.g. an employee who assaults a supervisor may be charged with both insubordination and physical violence) as well as multiple charges from related but distinct fact patterns (e.g. an employee who is late to work on day one and on day two refuses a direct order may be charged with two contractual violations). As such, he would require very strong language in the CBA or otherwise improper parole evidence about the negotiation of the agreement to find that this particular CBA / JDA abrogated that general rule.

Edit: my dinner companion also opined about one significant difference between Shyam Das and Fred Horowitz, the new "permanent" arbitrator for the CBA / JDA. Das has a tendency to strongly encourage parties to settle, including being somewhat infamous for holding his awards for a long time to draw out discussions between the parties. Horowitz is more likely to issue decisions quickly and without attempting to directly or indirectly mediate the underlying dispute. That makes it much more likely that Horowitz's term as the "permanent" arbitrator will be fairly short as it is very likely that at least one party will be peeved about the eventual ruling.
   81. bunyon Posted: August 01, 2013 at 12:32 PM (#4510337)
IF the deal to ARod was "ok, go away quietly and we will give you $60 million guaranteed," THAT would be something serious for him to consider. But this rumored deal is very from from that.

Isn't that the deal, though? Suspension for the remainder of 2013 and 2014 leaves him with 3 years, 60 or so million left. So long as he doesn't test positive and attempts to play, the Yankees would be on the hook for it.
   82. Ray (RDP) Posted: August 01, 2013 at 12:42 PM (#4510344)
Isn't that the deal, though? Suspension for the remainder of 2013 and 2014 leaves him with 3 years, 60 or so million left. So long as he doesn't test positive and attempts to play, the Yankees would be on the hook for it.


No, I meant "we will give you $60 million guaranteed" literally to go away.

If I'm ARod, telling me I'll have a chance to show up and play for the $60 million is an utterly empty promise at this point, given the conduct the Yankees and MLB have engaged in. If I'm ARod and these people told me it was sunny and 80 degrees I'd go and check for myself. Only a fool trusts these people or takes them at their word, at this point.
   83. bunyon Posted: August 01, 2013 at 12:49 PM (#4510351)
If I'm ARod, telling me I'll have a chance to show up and play for the $60 million is an utterly empty promise at this point, given the conduct the Yankees and MLB have engaged in. If I'm ARod and these people told me it was sunny and 80 degrees I'd go and check for myself. Only a fool trusts these people or takes them at their word, at this point.

I suppose, though I don't see how the Yankees could get out of it if he isn't banned.
   84. Ray (RDP) Posted: August 01, 2013 at 12:51 PM (#4510353)
I suppose, though I don't see how the Yankees could get out of it if he isn't banned.


? He's not banned _now_ and they're claiming he's not healthy to play even though he and a doctor say that he is.
   85. JJ1986 Posted: August 01, 2013 at 12:55 PM (#4510356)
? He's not banned _now_ and they're claiming he's not healthy to play even though he and a doctor say that he is.


but he is still getting paid right now.
   86. bunyon Posted: August 01, 2013 at 01:05 PM (#4510373)
but he is still getting paid right now.

This is my point. If it is important to A-Rod that the Yankees themselves write a check and play him, he's probably screwed. But that is the case without any sort of dealing. They can just say that they're medical professionals won't clear him and he's done. But he still gets paid.

I don't know what A-Rod wants out of life, but at this point, were I he, I'd probably take the $60million to walk away.
   87. Ray (RDP) Posted: August 01, 2013 at 01:08 PM (#4510377)
They.Don't.Want.To.Pay.Him. They are trying to figure out a way not to pay him. They will continue to try to figure out a way not to pay him, forever more. If that includes benching him until he quits, that's what they'll do. They don't want him to ever take the field again.
   88. bunyon Posted: August 01, 2013 at 01:20 PM (#4510391)
They.Don't.Want.To.Pay.Him. They are trying to figure out a way not to pay him. They will continue to try to figure out a way not to pay him, forever more. If that includes benching him until he quits, that's what they'll do. They don't want him to ever take the field again.

Um, so? He's under contract to play baseball for the Yankees. Surely you wouldn't argue that he should be able to quit and still be paid? If a team has a guy under contract and they don't want to play him, so what? No team is obligated to play anyone. They're only obligated to pay him. IOW, A-Rod has absolutely no recourse to be put on the field if the Yankees don't wish it. Nor should he have.
   89. Ray (RDP) Posted: August 01, 2013 at 01:30 PM (#4510405)
You're missing my point. I didn't say the Yankees had an obligation to play him.

   90. bunyon Posted: August 01, 2013 at 01:38 PM (#4510418)
So what is your point? If you're worried about the money, he's getting paid now. Has been all year. Will continue to be unless and until he's suspended. If he is suspended for a time shorter than he's under contract, he'll be paid when he comes off suspension. The only way he doesn't get paid is if he is suspended past the 2017 season.
   91. bunyon Posted: August 01, 2013 at 02:01 PM (#4510437)
http://www.cnn.com/2013/07/31/us/alex-rodriguez-suspension/index.html?hpt=hp_t2

If this can be believed, a deal will be made.
   92. Ray (RDP) Posted: August 01, 2013 at 02:21 PM (#4510458)
#91, I'm not seeing the news there. It's been reported for at least a couple days that they're talking settlement.

And ARod's lawyers would be crazy not to.

The issue is whether they'll offer something he can live with.
   93. Monty Predicts a Padres-Mariners WS in 2016 Posted: August 01, 2013 at 02:27 PM (#4510467)
I think he's going to end up taking something along the lines of suspension for 1-2 years, followed by "voluntary" retirement, but not an official lifetime ban.
   94. Ray (RDP) Posted: August 01, 2013 at 02:31 PM (#4510471)
My guess is that he does not take a deal that keeps him out longer than the All Star break of next year.

Either the deal will be for less than that, or he'll accept the discipline and challenge it.

   95. Bitter Mouse Posted: August 01, 2013 at 02:41 PM (#4510476)
Either the deal will be for less than that, or he'll accept the discipline and challenge it.


So it depends on how mulish he and MLB are about the whole thing. Sounds right to me.
   96. Sunday silence Posted: August 01, 2013 at 03:10 PM (#4510498)
i dont know much about the details of any of this but it seems to me, Arod is not the sort of person who would ever look good in a public forum challenging anything. How does he come out when reporters ask him tough questions? And he's going to go into a court of law or Kangaroo court or whatever MLB has set up and come out looking good? i dont see it.

Many of these athletes come out sounding like idiots when they are not on the field or doing what they do best. I wouldnt take any bets on Arod challenging any of this.
   97. Bitter Mouse Posted: August 01, 2013 at 03:19 PM (#4510508)
I wouldnt take any bets on Arod challenging any of this.


Yes, but we are talking a whole lot of money here. Yes, he has made plenty, but it is still a lot of hay and oats. Certainly enough to make sure he has a stable future at any rate.
   98. bunyon Posted: August 01, 2013 at 03:30 PM (#4510517)
96: presumably he'd have good lawyers in his stable.
   99. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: August 01, 2013 at 03:31 PM (#4510519)
I don't mean to nag, but the whole centaur joke is getting long in the tooth, gelding it of its power.
   100. Bitter Mouse Posted: August 01, 2013 at 03:35 PM (#4510524)
I don't mean to nag, but the whole centaur joke is getting long in the tooth, gelding it of its power.


With me it has become a sickness. I can't post about him without looking for the equine reference (Fighting the urge in this post in fact). I think I need help. He is such an easy target though. That's the mane thing I think.
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