Alex Rodriguez ended his legal battle against Major League Baseball today in which he wisely dropped his ongoing lawsuit and accepted his 162-game penalty. Rodriguez and his legal team, who also had lawsuits against baseball Commissioner, Bud Selig, and the MLB Players Association, dropped every last piece of litigation.
Rodriguez was initially suspended for 211 games for his serious involvement with Biogenesis, a Miami-based clinic that supplied performance enhancing drugs to clients. His suspension was reduced to only one complete season earlier this year. A-Rod was ruled to have violated the joint drug agreement set by MLB. His suspension will cost him $24 million this year, which is what his contract with the Yankees would have paid. On Friday, the Major League Baseball Players Association made a statement.
“Alex Rodriguez has done the right thing by withdrawing his lawsuit. His decision to move forward is in everyone’s best interest.”
In his prime, Rodriguez was seen as a once-in-a-generation talent who seemed destined to legitimately challenge the all-time home run record. He was a role model to many, one of the main faces of the MLB, and a statistical monster. This all changed when rumors of steroid usage starting swirling around his name. The accusations and proof of his guilt tarnished his once-legendary career.
If Rodriguez wants to even begin a recovery process for his past actions and behaviors, then this was a positive first step in the right direction. By wisely accepting his 162-game penalty and dropping his lawsuits, Alex Rodriguez now stands a chance of being accepted in a clubhouse if he plays in the 2015 season. Dragging on the suspension battle and the lawsuits only hurt his chances to play in 2015 as it even more so hurt his already damaged image. A-Rod had to move onwards from this dark point in his life, and the MLB needed this to end so it can start recovering from this corrupt and current era.
The next step to earn some respect back is for Alex Rodriguez to publicly apologize for everything and take full responsibility of his actions. But A-Rod’s main opportunity for a sincere apology may have already passed him by in order to make amends with fans and fellow players. In 2010, Rodriguez admitted his usage of performance enhancing drugs, but he placed blame on the era he played in and the culture of the game. His only apology was the following: “I did take a banned substance. And for that, I am very sorry and deeply regretful.” President Barack Obama once even called Rodriguez’s steroid admittance a “depressing” moment.
In 2013, Ryan Braun, who had also been involved in the Biogenesis scandal, issued an apology to his fans, organization, and fellow players. Critics called the apology hollow and unapologetic, but it still was an apology that A-Rod has not formally given. Braun will be back playing with Milwaukee this year after his suspension last year.
A-Rod should be trying to reconcile with the baseball world if he ever wants to play again. Instead of dragging on his suspension and legal battles, Alex Rodriguez wisely took the high road for a change when he dropped all lawsuits and accepted his penalty. He does have a long road to go, but it is possible to become a player that stays out of the spotlight instead of being a distraction. It just takes a changed and humbled person who has learned from their mistakes.
By Glen Parris