Decision on A-Rod far from final act

Decision on A-Rod far from final act
January 11, 2014, 6:30 pm
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(Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports)

You could look at the decision on Alex Rodriguez’s suspension this way: a post-Christmas sale. Was 211 games, now marked down to 162 games.

Arbitrator Frederic Horowitz lopped off some games in his decision on the Yankees third baseman’s appeal, setting it at the entire 2014 season (including postseason) for his use of performance-enhancing drugs as uncovered via the investigation of Biogenesis, a Florida anti-aging clinic that supplied PEDs. Fourteen other major-league players, including 2011 National League Most Valuable Player Ryan Braun, served suspensions because of links to Biogenesis.

A-Rod will still collect some of his $25 million salary, the Associated Press reported. He’ll get about $2.87 million — which should come in handy paying some of the billable hours he’s racking up and will continue to rack up with his legal team.

Rodriguez said he will keep on fighting MLB in federal court — a Stanford law professor told the AP: "I don't think he has very much of a chance" — still feeling persecuted by commissioner Bud Selig.

"I have been clear that I did not use performance-enhancing substances as alleged in the notice of discipline, or violate the Basic Agreement or the Joint Drug Agreement in any manner, and in order to prove it, I will take this fight to federal court,” Rodriguez said in a statement. “I am confident that when a federal judge reviews the entirety of the record, the hearsay testimony of a criminal whose own records demonstrate that he dealt drugs to minors, and the lack of credible evidence put forth by MLB, that the judge will find that the panel blatantly disregarded the law and facts, and will overturn the suspension."

So this matter isn’t over yet. Still to come: Not only whatever happens in federal court, but also how the Yankees will use the $22 million in salary space freed up by the suspension and whether A-Rod will want to attend spring training with the club, as is permitted under the decision. And still to come after that: Should the suspension hold up, does this end Rodriguez’s career? He’ll be 39 at the start of next season, and his skills already have been in serious decline.