Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION
A-Rod threatened with lifetime ban
MLB wants Yanks star to accept long suspension
NEW YORK -- Major League Baseball is threatening to kick Alex Rodriguez out of the game for life unless the New York Yankees star agrees not to fight a lengthy suspension for his role in the sport's latest drug scandal, according to a person familiar with the discussions.
The person spoke to The Associated Press on Wednesday on condition of anonymity because no statements were authorized.
Whether Commissioner Bud Selig would actually issue a lifetime suspension was unclear and a permanent ban could be shortened by arbitrator Fredric Horowitz to about 200 games, the person said.
The number of players likely to be disciplined stood at 14 Wednesday.
Front and center is Rodriguez, baseball's highest-paid player and the most prominent one linked in media reports over the past seven months to Biogenesis of America, a closed Florida anti-aging clinic that allegedly distributed banned performance-enhancing drugs.
The Yankees expected Rodriguez to be accused of recruiting other athletes for the clinic, attempting to obstruct MLB's investigation, and not being truthful with MLB in the past. Baseball has considered suspending him for violations of its labor contract and drug agreement.
Even if he is banned from baseball, there is precedent for a shortened penalty: When pitcher Steve Howe was given a lifetime ban in 1992 in his seventh suspension for drug or alcohol use, an arbitrator reduced the penalty to 119 days.
A three-time MVP, Rodriguez acknowledged four years ago he used performance-enhancing substances while with Texas from 2001-03 but repeatedly denied using them since.
He's been sidelined all season since hip surgery in January and then a quadriceps strain during a minor league rehabilitation assignment in July. The Yankees say he'll start another rehab Friday -- Double-A Trenton appeared to be the likely destination.
"Hopefully, Alex will be back shortly thereafter," Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said.
Rodriguez didn't stop to talk with reporters after his workout Wednesday at the team's minor league complex in Tampa, Fla.
At first, MLB and the union thought talks on the Biogenesis probe could be completed by Friday, but negotiations to avoid grievances are likely to push back announcements until at least Saturday or Sunday.
Others accused in media reports of receiving performance-enhancing drugs from Biogenesis include a trio of 2013 All-Stars: Texas outfielder Nelson Cruz, San Diego shortstop Everth Cabrera and Detroit shortstop Jhonny Peralta.
Most of the players face 50-game bans as first offenders. Both sides felt urgency to complete the process because by the middle of next week, teams will have fewer than 50 games left. And that would force players to complete suspensions during the playoffs or at the start of next season.
Detroit general manager Dave Dombrowski protected against a possible suspension of Peralta by acquiring slick-fielding infielder Jose Iglesias from Boston in a three-team trade Tuesday night.
"If it were a 15-day thing, like a typical injury, I think we could have comfortably dealt with it with the players we already have," Dombrowski said Wednesday. "But when you start to talk about 50 days and a possible playoff run, we feel better going ahead with Jose."
While MLB told the union which players it intends to suspend, it hasn't issued formal notices of discipline. Because of that, the countdown hasn't started under baseball's Joint Drug Agreement, which says the suspensions are effective on the third business day after the notice is issued.
The sides also haven't decided whether suspensions for first-time offenders who challenge the penalty can be announced before an arbitration decision.
If some stars knew their seasons were about to be cut short, they weren't letting on Wednesday, at least publicly.
-- The Associated Press
Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition August 1, 2013 D3
Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.
Having problems with the form?Contact Us Directly
(1 of 50 articles for this week)5:38 AM 0
Photo Store Gallery
- Padres pull off another big move, acquiring slugger Justin Upton from Braves for 4 prospects
- LA Angels acquire second baseman Johnny Giavotella from Royals for pitcher Brian Broderick
- Yankees send Prado and Phelps to Marlins for Eovaldi, Jones and minor leaguer
- Padres obtain third baseman Will Middlebrooks from Red Sox for catcher Ryan Hanigan
- Toronto Blue Jays sign Canadian left-hander Andrew Albers to minor-league deal
- Seattle Mariners sign 2 pitchers, infielder to minor-league deals with spring training invite
- Woman injured in fall at Fenway Park sues Red Sox owner, elevator company
- Preller has Padres singing new tune with deals for Kemp, Myers, Upton, Norris, Middlebrooks
- Recently acquired RHP Rick Porcello looks to make new Fenway memories with Boston Red Sox
- 6th man pleads guilty in MLB performance-enhancing drugs investigation
- Person with direct knowledge of deal: Cubs, Motte agree to $4.5 million, 1-year contract
- Yankees GM views Alex Rodriguez as full-time designated hitter, not 'the same player' he was
- Things to know about Major League Baseball free-agent signings
- Person familiar with agreement: Lester sets records with $30M signing bonus, $15M up front
- Blue Jays sign Wilton Lopez, Caleb Gindle, Jake Fox to minor league deals
- Things to know about the most recent moves in Major League Baseball
- Atlanta Braves and infielder Alberto Callaspo finalize $3 million, 1-year contract
- Person with knowledge of negotiations: Alex Rios, Royals agree to $11 million, 1-year contract
- Chase Headley, Yankees agree to $52 million, 4-year deal, signalling end of A-Rod at third base
- Brian Cashman views Alex Rodriguez as full-time DH, not 'the same player' he was
- Blue Jays trade Lawrie, prospects to Athletics for all-star Donaldson
- Shutout: All 10 baseball Hall of Fame candidates fall short in Golden Era committee voting
- Giants ride Bumgarner, Crawford into NLDS showdown with Nationals
- Bumgarner goes distance, Crawford hits grand slam as Giants rout Pirates 8-0 in wild-card game
- Column: Playoffs open with epic game, but baseball is in need of fixing
- Washington's Strasburg to face guy he admires, San Francisco's Peavy, in Game 1 of NLDS
- Pirates carry 3 catchers to protect hurting Martin; Giants put Peavy on wild-card roster
- Diamondbacks infielder Chris Owings to undergo labrum operation
- The 1st of October: Mike Trout makes playoff debut when MLB-best Angels host upstart Royals
- Texas gets pitcher Figaro on waiver claim from Rangers, Font designated for assignment
Ads by Google