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Rounding Third: MLB almost as arrogant as A-Rod

11:57 AM, Jan 13, 2014   |    comments
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Philadelphia, PA (SportsNetwork.com) - Well, that's that. Alex Rodriguez has been suspended for 162 games.

Baseball is a clean sport again, right?

Well, if anyone believes that, they were probably naive enough to think Rodriguez was going to accept this punishment and sit out the year quietly.

Saturday's announcement may have made for some good news, but it really amounts to nothing. This was always a case that was going to a higher authority and that process is already underway, as his attorneys have filed an injunction to stop the season-long suspension.

Legal experts have differed as to if Rodriguez would actually get a stay.

Rodriguez's initial ridiculous 211-game ban was never going to be upheld by Arbitrator Fredric Horowitz. And in the same breath, it was equally absurd to think Rodriguez was going to be totally exonerated.

Rodriguez has always wanted to put Major League Baseball on the stand. And until that happens, this just isn't going to go away.

We can all agree that Alex Rodriguez is about as likeable as a stomach flu.

He's probably used performance-enhancing drugs more than his admitted "loosey- goosey" years between 2001-03. Every time he opens his mouth, he appears to be lying.

At this point, would anyone be surprised if Alex Rodriguez isn't even his real name?

But, as guilty as I think he is, the lengths MLB went to go after him are mind- numbing.

MLB's entire case rests on a glorified drug dealer in Anthony Bosch, whose testimony went to the highest bidder. It was a price MLB was more than willing to meet to get Rodriguez.

Bosch, who founded the Biogenesis clinic, said he first met with Rodriguez in August 2010, five days after the three-time AL MVP slugged his 600th home run, and that Rodriguez was intent on becoming the only member of the 800-home run club.

Bosch discussed the elaborate drug schedule he said he and Rodriguez kept throughout their relationship and claimed he was paid $12,000 a month for his services.

He said he provided Rodriguez with at least six drugs on MLB's banned substance list and described Rodriguez's use of "gummies," which he said the Yankees third baseman would take before the game or sometimes in the dugout.

"They are so small that you could literally, while sitting in the dugout, take it, put it in your mouth and people are going to think it's sunflower seeds," Bosch said.

CBS' "60 Minutes" said it obtained text messages between Bosch and Rodriguez outlining their plans for when to take certain substances.

Bosch said he gave Rodriguez, who has never failed a drug test, pointers on how to beat urine tests.

Adding fuel to Rodriguez's fire was essentially the victory lap taken on the show by MLB officials, including commissioner Bud Selig.

MLB couldn't help itself in letting the world know it had gotten Rodriguez. The same arrogance that probably led MLB to go after Rodriguez in the first place may be what comes back to get it in the end.

The MLB Players Association pretty much washed its hands of anything A-Rod- related on Saturday when its own statement said that it would abide by the 162-game ban, meaning if Rodriguez wanted to take this to another level, he was on his own.

Sunday's events, though, may have put the union right back in Rodriguez's corner.

"It is unfortunate that Major League Baseball apparently lacks faith in the integrity and finality of the arbitrator's decision and our Joint Drug Agreement, such that it could not resist the temptation to publicly pile on against Alex Rodriguez," the statement said.

"It is equally troubling that the MLB-appointed panel arbitrator will himself be appearing in the '60 Minutes' segment, and that Tony Bosch, MLB's principal witness, is appearing on the program with MLB's blessing."

MLB issued its own statement about the appearance, saying Bosch "is not controlled by us and is entitled to speak however he chooses about his interactions with Mr. Rodriguez."

The best part of all this is that Rodriguez can still show up at spring training. His people have already stated that that is his intention. Now the Yankees could make him work out with minor leaguers because technically he's not on the 40-man roster anymore.

Just when you thought this whole thing couldn't get any weirder.

Buckle in. This is a long way from being over.

The Sports Network

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