In what could end up being the most ironic use of a rare, extreme commissioner privilege, Bud Selig plans to use Article XI, Section A1b of the game’s collective bargaining agreement to immediately ban Alex Rodriguez and prevent him from playing while he appeals a reportedly imminent suspension, according to the New York Daily News. Selig would do this to “preserve the integrity of the game,” which of course is a joke, but whatever.
We saw yesterday that the MLB is pursuing either a 200+ game suspension or a lifetime ban for A-Rod, depending on whether the slugger prefers to admit to being a fraud and saving some money, or deny being a fraud and potentially lose millions (yes, this is the wacky situation we find ourselves in). Then A-Rod’s lawyer said that they would fight any discipline handed down by the league — which then spurred Selig to reveal his plans for using Article XI, Section A1b.
Rather than suspend A-Rod for violating the league’s drug program — which would merit perhaps a 50 game suspension — the league is going after him for “interfering with MLB’s year-long investigation into Biogenesis,” which he did by allegedly intimidating witnesses and attempting to buy his own evidence to keep it out of the league’s hands.
By using this clause rather than looking to suspend A-Rod through drug violations, Selig will be able to keep A-Rod off the field but also opens himself up to a federal court case and showdown with the players’ union — that is, if the union wants to aide Rodriguez, which it probably does not. Yet Selig appears ready to do anything to prevent Rodriguez from playing in the majors again.
Whether the Yankees have the commissioner’s ear on this one, or Selig feels that A-Rod has personally slighted him, isn’t clear. But if Bud is hoping to preserve the game’s integrity, he needs to build a time machine, go back about two decades and kill Jose Canseco. Many of baseball’s most cherished awards and records are held by cheaters. And don’t get me started on the nonsense use of instant replay. Baseball has as much integrity as Benedict Arnold at this point. Banning A-Rod is just something fun to do, with the added bonus of not having to put up with his bullshit anymore, and we all know it.
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