After months of speculation about his future, New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez was suspended for a total of 211 games on Monday, which will carry him at least through the end of the 2014 season. His suspension will begin on Thursday.
The 38-year-old’s suspension comes due to his involvement in the scandal surrounding the Miami-based Biogenesis anti-aging clinic. Rodriguez’s suspension also stems from subsequent efforts to obstruct evidence that he purchased HGH and other performance-enhancing drugs from clinic owner Anthony Bosch. This comes according to a statement released from the Commissioner Bud Selig’s office. Part of the text is below:
“Rodriguez’s discipline under the Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program is based on his use and possession of numerous forms of prohibited performance-enhancing substances, including Testosterone and human Growth Hormone, over the course of multiple years. Rodriguez’s discipline under the Basic Agreement is for attempting to cover-up his violations of the Program by engaging in a course of conduct intended to obstruct and frustrate the Office of the Commissioner’s investigation. The suspension, which will become effective on Thursday, August 8th, will cover 211 Championship Season games and any 2013 Postseason games in which Rodriguez otherwise would have been eligible to play.”
Rodriguez’s suspension becomes the longest non-lifetime ban in the history of Major League Baseball.
A-Rod, who had previously vowed to fight any suspension in the past, will file an appeal of the ban and have his case heard in front of an independent arbitrator later this year. Since he will be allowed to continue playing for the Yankees until his appeal is resolved, Rodriguez will make his season debut with the team on Monday night in Chicago.
Rodriguez expressed his beliefs during a Friday night press conference that performance-enhancing drugs were bad for baseball and needed to be eliminated.
“I think we all agree that we want to get rid of PEDs,” said Rodriguez. “That’s a must. I think all the players feel that way.”
During that same press conference, Rodriguez indicated his belief that the Yankees and Major League Baseball were conspiring to keep him off the field.
“There’s more than one party that benefits from me not ever stepping back on the field,” Rodriguez had said. “That’s not my teammates, and that’s not the Yankees fans.”
Rodriguez acknowledged that he felt singled out by the process, referring to himself as “the pink elephant in the room.” It was these explosive remarks which caused Major League Baseball to refuse to continue negotiations on a potential deal.
The three-time American League MVP currently ranks fifth on Major League Baseball’s all-time home runs list with 647 and is just 99 hits shy of reaching the 3,000 plateau. He has yet to play in 2013 as he works his way back from off-season hip surgery and more recently, a Grade 1 quad strain.
During his weekend rehab assignment from that quad strain, Rodriguez went 1-for-2 with a home run and five walks in two games with the Double-A Trenton Thunder.