A sordid affair for a Baltimore Orioles’ rival
We all know the Biogenesis scandal story by now, and of course it now even reaches the Baltimore Orioles given that they signed Nelson Cruz (who was suspended in the wake of that story – while with Texas). However there was no franchise that it affect more so than the NY Yankees, given that Alex Rodriguez was suspended for all of the 2014 season. And the fact is that the Orioles, along with most teams in baseball, probably didn’t have an issue with New York being the face of this scandal. Are there many people out there with much sympathy for them or for ARod? Probably not.
However, Ken Rosenthal of FOX published a very interesting article over the weekend. In a nutshell, if evidence is brought forth that ARod may have distributed PED’s baseball might have an opening to taking additional measures against him. Having said that, this is going to be a very unpopular stance – VERY unpopular. But at some point perhaps someone should in fact think of having some sort of sympathy for the devil.
My personal opinion is that MLB should leave well-enough alone with Rodriguez. There are two points here; first off Rodriguez’s
Courtesy of Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
attorneys, along with the MLBPA would argue that the league has already punished ARod for his involvement in the Biogenesis scandal. Secondly, does MLB really want to re-open this case given the fact that it brought the league through the wringer the first time around?
I agreed with the 162-game suspension for Rodriguez; in fact I thought it should have been longer. However the subsequent legal case(s) also showed that MLB was nothing if not blissfully naive as to what Rodriguez and other players were doing. This goes back to just after the 1994 strike when Bud Selig and others might have silently and begrudgingly given their approval to players using PED’s so as to make the game more lively in the wake of the strike. (MLB had to work harder than it ever had before at bringing fans back.) And even into more contemporary times, the fact is that the league has never been blameless on their side of the battle against PED’s.
So even for a villain like Alex Rodriguez, the very people that are persecuting him are partially to blame. This is not to say that he and others like him shouldn’t be held accountable, because they should be and they have been. I’m all about accountability in all aspects of life; but at a certain point all things can be taken too far. The legal side of this is that in fact the league has already disciplined Rodriguez. They might argue that new evidence has now come to light, and perhaps that’s true. But MLB could also find itself in a situation similar to what the NFL now faces with former Raven Ray Rice. If they knew about ARod’s dealings in distribution in some manner, then it comes off as “double jeapardy.”
Obviously this is all theoretical; we don’t know what MLB’s investigation turned up. What we do know, however is that ARod was granted legal immunity by the Government in exchange for his testimony against Biogenesis. That’s the law; he wasn’t granted immunity from further punishment by MLB. Distribution of illegal substances is often seen as more illegal than actually taking them. So…why else would he have needed legal immunity?
My point here is that trying to go after further disciplinary action could actuall make MLB look worse in that if it came out that they actually knew about the distribution, then it would be overstepping their bounds. At best, it would make the league look even more blissfully naive in their investigation of players. As I said, I thought at the time that 162 games wasn’t enough of a suspension for ARod. However the league did make an example of him (mainly because he lied about PED use and threw it in their faces at that), and I had no problem with that. But similar to a prisoner in the state pen, once a person’s served his suspension/debt to society, I believe he should be set free with no questions asked. MLB would probably be smart to do just that, and thus to simply move on.