It appears Major League Baseball, along with the rest of the world, is finally sick and tired of dealing with Alex Rodriguez and his pending Biogenesis-related suspension. Rodriguez played a rehab game in Double-A Trenton Frday night and appears closer to returning to the Yankees lineup. On the plus side he hit a home run in the rehab game. Naturally those good vibes were short-lived since afterward he hinted the Yankees are trying to find “creative” way from getting out from under the remaining $100+ million they owe him.
Those comments appear to be the final straw on MLB’s front. The Daily News reported Saturday afternoon baseball is done trying to negotiate with Rodriguez and will hand him a minimum 214-game suspension on Monday.
Here’s the key takeaway from the Daily News report:
Following Rodriguez’s explosive comments after Friday night’s minor league rehab game in Trenton in which Rodriguez basically said Major League Baseball and the Yankees were conspiring to keep him off the field in order to void his contract, MLB officials have rejected Rodriguez’s request to negotiate a suspension settlement, a baseball source familiar with the situation said.
According to the source, Players Association chief Michael Weiner reached out to MLB on behalf of Rodriguez Saturday morning in an attempt to talk settlement but was told that baseball is no longer interested in negotiating with the disgraced third baseman.
"“They asked for a meeting this morning and were told ‘no,’” said the source. “Baseball is more than comfortable with what they have.”"
These are the comments from Rodriguez on Friday night that appeared to have enraged baseball:
"“I think that’s the pink elephant in the room,” Rodriguez said, referring to the remaining $100 million the Yankees owe him on his $275 million deal. “I think we all agree that we want to get rid of PEDs; that’s a must. All the players, we feel that way. But when all this stuff is going on in the background, and people are finding creative ways to cancel your contract, that’s concerning for present [players] and I think it should be concerning for future players, as well.”"
Were Rodriguez to accept this proposed 214-game ban it would keep him off the field until 2015. It would also mean he’d have missed two full seasons. Rodriguez turns 40 in late July of that year and the Yankees would still owe him $61 million through 2017. All signs still point toward Rodriguez appealing any suspension and dragging this to an arbitrator.
Lost in the headlines is it would seem MLB has might have softened its stance on a handing Rodriguez a lifetime. Perhaps Bud Selig and the rest of the MLB brain trust realized a lifetime ban would create another public relations headache in the wake of Buck Showalter’s comments earlier this week that a lifetime ban would be a huge help to the Yankees.
You wonder, if Rodriguez hits a few more home runs in Trenton, would the Yankees warm up to his return? Even at 50 or 60 percent of what he once was, Rodriguez is still an improvement over some of the players the Bombers have used at third base in the wake of Kevin Youkilis’ season-ending back injury.