Alex Rodriguez and his attorneys finally figured out the lawsuits against MLB and Bud Selig were a long shot to win. Give the man the MVP for being MLB’s most defiant player. In an attempt to have his 162 game suspension overturned, Rodriguez had filed two separate lawsuits after MLB suspended him for violation of the league’s drug policy. Denial and defiance of the league continued after a full investigation of the Biogenesis performance enhancing drug scandal. Today, he dropped both lawsuits and will begin his suspension beginning with the upcoming 2014 season.
Rodriguez signed the richest baseball contract in MLB history in December of 2007 to play for the New York Yankees, a cool $275 million for ten years. It has all of the makings of a catastrophy; with big money and a large market with a new stadium, big egos and Brooklyn toughness. Mix these ingredients with Rodriguez’s superior athletic talent, media-friendly appearance, and a Miami-influenced Hispanic heritage youth and we have the recipe which is A-Rod, the defiant one. The one player who thinks he is bigger than baseball.
In previous interviews, Rodriguez admitted to taking steroids as early as 2001, with no repercussions. MLB turned a blind eye during the asterisk era too since fans were drawn to the long ball and the home run battles. Barry Bonds’ biceps grew in front of our eyes. Mark McGuire, Sammy Sosa, Roger Clemens all denied using PED’s, some even lied to the US Congress. Seemingly oblivious to the on field actions and results, MLB but did not react strongly until after The Mitchell Report findings were made public in 2007. Shameful, but not nearly as disappointing as the defiant Rodriguez who sued the league when he knew he was guilty.
Facts of the Biogenesis case began to unravel in 2013 when MLB and The Florida Department of Health forced Biogenesis and its employees to reveal information about players using performance enhancing drugs. Twelve other MLB players, including former star Ryan Braun agreed to suspensions without the possibility of appeal, with A-Rod being the lone Biogenesis hold-out. He finished the 2013 season while his appeal was filed. All other named players agreed to suspensions and took their punishment. But not A-Rod.
Rodriguez is above the rest of fans in many ways for sure, but denial and defiance of a sport that has been around since 1869 years is downright silly. Perhaps when he gets older and is retired from the game and recognizes his body will deteriorate like the rest of us, he may learn. Maybe not. The loss of $25 million probably will not hurt A-Rod; what would be a rare lottery winning for most fans. He saved millions dropping the lawsuit, so consider him ahead of the game, again. PED’s helped him get that salary in the first place. Risk versus reward works for Alex.
In the new asterisk era of Major League Baseball, not only will Rodriguez go down as one of the league’s best players, many will consider him the most arrogant and defiant. He is the youngest to 600 home runs, besting Babe Ruth’s record. The Babe must be turning over in his grave, as well as many other Yankee greats.
With an ego the size of Manhattan, Rodriguez considered himself above baseball’s rules and attempted to use the court of public opinion to win his case. He lost. MLB and the fans won. Perhaps Rodriquez will learn a lesson in humility, but most likely he will engage a public relations campaign to repair his image in preparation for the 2015 season. Just maybe, he will apologize to the game.
Rodriguez will go down in history as MLB’s most defiant player. The defiant one, he cheated a great game, then used his earnings from the game to sue the game. Honor be damned. Note to future players, no player is bigger than the game.
By Joel Thompson