Posted February 07, 2014

A-Rod drops his lawsuit against baseball bringing possible closure to Biogenesis scandal

Alex Rodriguez, Biogenesis, Bud Selig
Alex Rodriguez, Yankees

Alex Rodriguez has decided to move on and focus on a possible 2015 return. (Kathy Willens/AP)

Alex Rodriguez’s legal team filed a notice of dismissal in his lawsuit against Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Association on Friday, the deadline for the prosecution to respond to the motion by MLB and the MLBPA to dismiss the case.

That action, initiated by Rodriguez, effectively ends Rodriguez’s fight against his now-162-game suspension for actions connected to the Biogenesis doping scandal and, in turn, brings something resembling closure to the scandal as a whole.

In response to Rodriguez’s decision, Major League Baseball released a statement praising the decision as “prudent,” citing the need to “return the focus to the play of our great game on the field” and “move forward.”

That sentiment was echoed by a statement from the union. Rodriguez’s spokesman, Ron Berkowitz, effectively seconded both statements while adding that Rodriguez’s team has “no further comment.”

This is a rather surprising and definitive cease fire from Rodriguez, who, according to his attorney, will not attempt to attend Spring Training with the Yankees, something he had at one point been considering. That said, it echoes his storming out of his arbitration case before taking the stand, thus preventing himself from having to answer, under oath, direct questions about his performance-enhancing drug use or baseball’s obstruction of justice charges. Viewed that way, Rodriguez’s actions today come as at the very least a partial admission of guilt.

In the short term, this is good for baseball. The league didn’t need this scandal making headlines through another championship season. Rodriguez’s fate for the 2014 season is now sealed, the other implicated players have already served their suspensions and been reinstated. From MLB’s perspective, 2014 can be about reconciliation with those players, while outgoing commissioner Bud Selig can oversee his final season having secured an apparent victory over performance-enhancing drug use, rather than as a defendant in a federal lawsuit.

I’m not sure it’s good for the game in the long term, however. From what we know, Baseball’s methods of acquiring evidence, coercing witnesses, and punishing players connected to Biogenesis were not entirely above-board, or at the very least would have had a hard time holding up in a proper court of law. I, for one, was eager to see MLB’s feet held to the fire in that regard, not so much for the benefit of Rodriguez and the other players implicated, but to remind baseball of the standards to which it should be held and should hold itself.

If there’s good news in that regard, it’s Selig’s impending departure. Rodriguez dropping his suit can’t help but embolden the commissioner with regard to his methods of investigation and punishment in such cases, but the emboldened Selig only has one more year at the helm. One hopes the criticisms of baseball’s tactics regarding the Biogenesis scandal have had, or will have, an impact on the next commissioner, whether that person proves to be MLB chief operating officer and Selig’s second-in-command Rob Manfred or someone outside of Baseball’s current power structure.

As for Rodriguez, he’ll be 39 in 2015, but I fully expect him to return to the Yankees for that season. He still has $61 million left on his contract, not counting the extra $6 million he’ll earn with just six more home runs (which would tie him with Willie Mays on the all-time career list). The year off is unlikely to do him as much good as he has suggested it might, but he’ll be back. In the meantime, I’m guessing he’ll still manage to make regular appearances on TMZ and Page Six.

28 comments
socko
socko

Hi-JoeSokoloff – 954-805-0669

I am the Pitching coach for Dillard High School in Ft. Lauderdale and also the Pitching coach at Joe Carter park – the largest Minority Park in Ft. Lauderdale.

I have developed a REVOLUTIONARYPITCHINGTECHNIQUE THAT TAKES THE PRESSURE OFF OF THE ARM. ELBOW, AND SHOULDER so young kids can throw curvrballs and sliders without hurting their arm.

Some articles have been written about my technique and a number of years ago when my son was pitching for Cooper Cith High School -channel 7 came out and did a story about the technique.The reporter at the time was Jasdon Jackson – he is now with the MIAMI HEAT.Ask Jason what he thinks of the technique.

In order to prove that my technique was better than the current one that has been used for over a hundred years it would be necessary to produce ALL STAR PITCHERS for all to see and since Major League Baseball is very interested in having More minorities play baseball – I have been developing minority pitchers for the past 6 years,

This summer – Major League baseball sponsored R.B.I. league for kids 15-18 years old.

After the league is done they have ALL-STARtryouts and my pitchers made the team.

My oldest pitcher – who will be a senior this year – who has been at Dillard High School while I was coaching will be in his Senior year at Norland High School in Miami this year.His name is CLEVELAND WESTBROOK.JUST RECENTLY – he made the UNDER ARMOR NATIONAL BASEBALL TEAM.

Another of my pitchers who will only be a Juniorthis yearis thenumberonepitcher for Northeast High Schoolin Ft. Lauderdale..

The others are only on Junior Varsity teams in the South Florida area.

One can only imagine what it would be worth to an organization to have a NEVER ENDING supply of star pitchers.

I will be trying to go to one of the islands in the near future so I can have a dozen players ready to sign a MAJOR LEAGUE CONTRACTwhen they are 16

Please let me know what you think.

Joe Sokoloff

brasscrest
brasscrest

"I’m not sure it’s good for the game in the long term, however. From what we know, Baseball’s methods of acquiring evidence, coercing witnesses, and punishing players connected to Biogenesis were not entirely above-board, or at the very least would have had a hard time holding up in a proper court of law."

The evidence didn't have to hold up in a court of law.  MLB is a private enterprise, not a government agency. These were not criminal charges.  Arbitration is not a trial.  And, even if it had gone to trial in a civil court, it's very likely that most of the evidence would still have been admitted, because the rules of evidence in civil trials are far less stringent than in criminal cases.  If there was coercion of witnesses, then that would have been a problem in court, but the documentary evidence would still have been pretty strong.



lenbiz68
lenbiz68

Well, A-roid, how's it feel to be neutered!?


Now just take your money and disappear, you scumbag!

j.goodwin.125
j.goodwin.125

Most likely reason for A-Rod to do this is possible threat of prosecution by the Feds using the RICO statutes against him for racketeering and using the 12 other suspended players as material witnesses against him.  This could drag into 2015 and make it impossible for him to come back to the Yankees and he would run the risk of losing contracted years 2015 to 2017 if  convicted and sentenced to jail.


Another reason, make greater use of the tax laws in his benefit.  He will be able to use income averaging to lower taxes for 2015-17 to cover the 25M lost in 2014.  He will receive 2.1M before the suspension per contract and he can live on that for one year.  He already sold his 25M mansion and bought a 2M condo.  Plus, save 10M in legal fees he would have to spend this year to fight the suspension which would have been a drag on his financial portfolio.


Had 2014 been his last year in baseball, I am sure he would have taken a risk and threw 10M at salvaging some compromise out of the suspension in the form of a payment of half the 25M he would lose.  But to spend 10M to get back 12.5M does not make much sense as he would still be pictured as a guilty party in this mess. 

ChiefG
ChiefG

I can sleep better now.

sunalsorises
sunalsorises

A-Rod should have consulted with David Ortiz that way he could have avoided being caught.

pamperofirpo
pamperofirpo

The comments stating that A Fraud was a Hall of Famer without steroids are totally off-the-mark. It is more likely than not that A Fraud has been taking steroids since the mid-90s. Does anyone really believe A Fraud was not taking steroids in the McGwire/Sosa/Bonds era?

JeromeAyalon
JeromeAyalon

whereas it is true MLb has been heavy-handed, to say the least, in its investigation, i don't think its a bad idea to instill some fear into players and make them understand the consequences of cheating.

as for Rodriguez, in theory, if he devotes this year to physical therapy  and healing, he might surprise everybody and come back to at least reasonable performance level. i think he has all the motivation in the world to do just that and stick it to the Yankees.


HarshRealities
HarshRealities

His lawyers have to be upset, they were planning on making millions of more dollars in billable hours taking this case all the way to the Supreme Court.

BrianHearon
BrianHearon

I totally disagree with Cliff Corcoran's assertion that this is not good for baseball in the long term. This should send a message that efforts to deceive and obstruct an investigation into PED usage will have consequences. This is a win for baseball fans and actually for players wishing to be honest and not having to use drugs to play ball and damage their health.

Voiceover310
Voiceover310

Next up will be an exclusive interview with 60 Minutes where he will finally come clean and ask for forgiveness. Shed a few tears and talk about the pressures of being A-ROD and playing in New York. A few days later, MLB will announce that A-Rod is banned for life and he can go buy a house next door to Pete Rose. 

Sportsfan18
Sportsfan18

So dumb all the way around.  There were reports several weeks back that Arod could have gotten away with only a 50 game suspension for this last year but he didn't think he deserved even that.


So, now he loses $25 to $28 million (whatever his salary is for 2014) PLUS all the money he spent on his attorneys during his arbitration hearing (the lead up to it) and the preparation for and filing of his lawsuit against MLB that he now dismissed.


I'll guess he's out about $35 million at least when he could have only been out 50 games worth of money or $8 to $9 million.


Yeah, sadly he has the money to throw away and that is sad.


How many people ever even see $26 million in their lives and he just flushed $26 million away like it was nothing.


sbp
sbp

So just as with Lance Armstrong, this is when groupies like ARODFAN will change their tune from "he never failed a test, there is no evidence, etc...." to "everyone was doing it."

parkbrav
parkbrav

This was a frivolous law suit anyway

riley8
riley8

Next they need to eliminate all of his statistics as if he never existed.  

The_truth_hurts
The_truth_hurts

A Fraud is a joke. Without the roids he is no better than a utility player on a bad team. Its pathetic if you think about it.

drbcool
drbcool

It ended not with a bang, but a whimper. Good riddance. Not much fight left in that dog.

j.goodwin.125
j.goodwin.125

@Sportsfan18  Legal fees are deductible against his taxes.  He will pay less in taxes because of what he had to spend on lawyers.  He fought the good fight against the bullying of baseball because of the threats levied against baseball by the feds (loss of lucrative long term contracts and increased popularity of soccer, NASCAR, PGA TOUR, WNBA against fan base.)


Selig is the real loser as he was willing to sell out the soul of baseball to placate the feds.

train805
train805

The sad thing is, players like him and bonds were first ballot hall of farmers without steroids. Now, they wont ever make it in without purchasing a ticket first.

lenbiz68
lenbiz68

@j.goodwin.125


There's always one moron in the crowd who supports lying, cheating, stealing, and criminal activity!