Major League Baseball
is expected to suspend Alex Rodriguez later todayfor the rest of the 2013 season and the entire 2014 season.
However, the way MLB handled Melky Cabrera’s suspension in 2012 could force an arbitrator to reduce A-Rod’s suspension or overturn it completely.
Here’s the problem.
Bud Selig will argue that Rodriguez deserves more than a 50-game suspension because his case is unprecedented. In addition to using performance-enhancing drugs, MLB believes Rodriguez also tried to interfere with the investigation.
However, in 2012, Cabrera received the standard 50-game suspension for a first offence even though his representatives went so far as to create a fake website in an attempt to mislead investigators and overturn the suspension.
The website was created to promote a fictitious supplement and was used by Cabrera to try and show that he unknowingly ingested testosterone through what he thought was a legal product.
Investigators quickly discovered that the website and the product were fake. Cabrera would later release a statement accepting his suspension and admitting that he used an illegal product.
You can be sure that Cabrera’s suspension will be front-and-center when A-Rod argues his case to the arbitrator. Major League Baseball is going to have to explain why Cabrera only sat out 45 regular season games and the 2012 postseason while Rodriguez must sit out up to 214 games.
Even if A-Rod did more to interfere, there is a huge jump from Cabrera, who received no additional punishment, to A-Rod who must sit out an entire season in addition to the final 52 games of this year. And he must also forfeit his 2014 salary of $US25 million while Cabrera was free to sign a $US16 million contract with the Blue Jays as a free agent after his suspension.
Bud Selig wants lay the hammer on Rodriguez. But baseball’s own precedence in the Cabrera case is going to make that difficult.
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