Alex Rodriguez is not going to be allowed to play baseball for a long, long, looooooong time. He just received a 211-game suspension from Major League Baseball because of his connection to Biogenesis and Anthony Bosch—making him the 13th player to be suspended by MLB today—and will have to sit out until at least the 2015 MLB season. Er, at least, that's what you would think.
In actuality, A-Rod is scheduled to make his return to the New York Yankees lineup tonight when they take on the Chicago White Sox. That's because he will reportedly appeal his 211-game suspension. So rather than start serving his suspension tonight, he'll actually make his first start of the 2013 MLB season! Confused? Yeah, us, too. So we decided to try and clear some things up in light of A-Rod's suspension. Hopefully, this will help us all make some sense of what is happening with A-Rod right now…
Did Alex Rodriguez get suspended today?
Yes. MLB handed A-Rod a 211-game suspension because he broke the terms of the Joint Drug Agreement that MLB has in place. That means that he is scheduled to miss the rest of this season as well as all of next season. It's a pretty crazy suspension.
Then why is he allowed to play tonight?
Because of the way baseball operates, MLB players are allowed to appeal any suspension that is handed down to them. In theory, all of the guys who were suspended by MLB earlier today—and even Ryan Braun, who was suspended by MLB last month—could have appealed their suspensions. But for a variety of reasons, they didn't. A-Rod, however, is choosing to appeal his suspension, which makes him eligible to play against the White Sox tonight.
When will his suspension begin?
It's uncertain at this point. A-Rod's representatives will have to file an appeal of the 211-game suspension immediately. That appeal will then have to be presented to an arbitrator, who will have the final say on whether or not A-Rod will be suspended for 211 games. He could ultimately receive a lighter sentence—or no sentence at all—if the arbitrator rules in his favor.
When will his suspension end?
It all depends. If an arbitrator decides that A-Rod does not deserve a 211-game suspension, he could be back way sooner than 2015. As we mentioned in the last answer, he could also not be suspended at all. The problem here is that if A-Rod loses his appeal, his 211-game suspension will last into the 2015 MLB season. That means he could be out of action for the rest of this season, all of next season, and a chunk of the season after that.
Will he get paid while he's suspended?
No. And that, Complex Sports readers, is why A-Rod seems to be fighting so hard in order to try and get his suspension reduced. If he sits out for 211 games, he will leave approximately $34 million on the table. Yes, $34 million. So it makes sense for him to try and do whatever he can to get every last penny of that $34 million.
Why didn't MLB Commissioner Bud Selig ban him from baseball for life?
A lot of people out there—Yankees fans included—want A-Rod banned for life. But it doesn't sound like MLB has the evidence needed to ban him for life. Also, banning A-Rod for life would indirectly give the Yankees a financial advantage over a lot of other teams out there, since they wouldn't have to pay A-Rod the remainder of his contract if he got banned. So you might want to be careful about rooting too hard against A-Rod if you're a fan of another MLB team.
Aren't A-Rod's teammates pissed at him because of all this?!
Surprisingly, no. We're sure that some of them are upset with all of the negative attention that he's bringing to the Bronx Bombers right now. But quite a few of them are going to welcome him back tonight with open arms. "We're going to be happy to see him back in the lineup, especially the way we've been playing," Robinson Cano said recently. "He can come up and help us win some games."
Whew! What a crazy, crazy set of circumstances. We will be sure to keep you updated with the latest on A-Rod and his suspension as more information becomes available.
MLB has released a statement about A-Rod's suspension:
The Yankees have also released a statement on A-Rod over here.
[via USA Today]