After 211-game ban, A-Rod makes season debut for struggling Yankees
On what will be remembered as both a historic and unfortunate day in Major League Baseball history, Alex Rodriguez was hit with the most substantial penalty levied by Commissioner Allan H. “Bud” Selig as a result of the game’s lengthy investigation into the Biogenesis clinic, suspended for 211 games through the end of the 2014 season.
Rodriguez immediately appealed the suspension and was able to play in Monday’s game against the White Sox, going 1-for-4 with a bloop single as the Yankees lost, 8-1.
“I felt OK, for the first game,” Rodriguez said. “It was hard today, that’s for sure. [A] long day. I felt pretty good. From this moment on I want to focus on baseball like it’s do or die. Every game’s very important for us.”
As for his performance at the plate?
“Not bad, not bad,” he said. “I’ve been swinging the bat pretty well the last 10, 12 days. I know it was against some young kids at Double-A and Triple-A, but I felt good.”
After numerous reports indicating that Rodriguez might be hit with a lifetime ban or never appear in a Yankees uniform again, we can now accept this reality and move into a new stage. It’s important to note that the process is just beginning; Rodriguez’s appeal may not be heard until late September and coverage of the situation almost certainly will spill into the offseason.
What’s the end game here? It seems that Rodriguez’s best hope in the appeal process is to convince an arbitrator that his suspension should not be for 211 games. Despite his previous admission of steroid use from 2001-03 with thr Rangers, Rodriguez is considered a first-time offender under MLB’s Drug Policy. Thus, Rodriguez is expected to counter that his ban should be only for 50 games (as was the one accepted by Francisco Cervelli).
Either way, it appears that Rodriguez will be able to continue playing this season. Clearly, if his bat has anything left in it, the Yankees are willing to accept the help. They sat 9 1/2 back of the Red Sox in the American League East and 4 1/2 games out of the second Wild Card spot at the conclusion of play on Tuesday.
According to coolstandings.com, they have just a 3.4 percent chance of making the postseason and an 0.3 percent chance of winning the division. Those numbers speak volumes. Can Rodriguez’s reappearance (even with the accompanying sideshow) have much impact on the Yankees’ postseason hopes? The odds are against it.