First and foremost lets get this out of the way; Alex Rodriguez is kind of a douchebag. Any by “kind of”, I really mean “is a huge”. But this aside, the man is getting a lousy deal.
Much like the NFL head office, the MPAA, and even our federal government, Major League Baseball is full of shit. For the uninformed, Alex Rodriguez has been suspended for 211 games for violating the leagues drug policy. Rodriguez was named, along with other players earlier this year, in attending a clinic in Florida known for giving professional athletes performance enhancing drugs. Among the other players was once American League MVP Ryan Braun, who besides Rodriguez, got the most severe penalty of 65 games. The typical punishment for first time performance enhancing drug offenders is 50 games, however Braun was subjected to a higher punishment because, well, he was a douche about the whole thing.
So then, why is Alex Rodriguez being given such a huge punishment, for basically being the same level of douche as Ryan Braun? Well just like everything else in the world, it’s purely financial. The New York Yankees were stupid enough to offer Rodriguez an unprecedented contract back in 2007 for almost $30 million a year. Since the signing of that contract, Rodriguez has mostly played like complete shit (which is partially why he is a a douche, see Figure 1 below). The Yankees will just about do everything in their power at this point to keep Rodriguez off the field to stop paying him. Rodriguez being injured was working out great for the team, because it’s well known professional athlete’s pay is covered by insurance when they are unable to play. However once he was better, the league conveniently handed down the sever punishment of 211 games, which would have been the remainder of the 2013 season and the following 2014 season. Rodriguez has appealed the punishment (the only player caught in the most recent scandal to do so), which is finally being ruled on now. Rodriguez reportedly stormed out of the procedure today because the MLB commissioner will not be questioned, which lead Rodriguez to call the process “fucking bullshit”.
Rodriguez’s analysis of the situation is fairly accurate. The commissioner was to be questioned by Rodriguez’s council as to why Rodriguez’s punishment is so much more severe than all the other players. Instead of defending the punishment to the arbitrator hearing the case, he has chosen to not show up at all. Even more suspicious is the fact that the arbitrator is not calling for him to be present either. How can a dispute be settled when one side does not even show up?