A-Rod should be banned from baseball

The highest-paid player in baseball, New York Yankees star Alex Rodriguez, also known as A-Rod, received the stiffest penalty ever Monday for a player involved with performance-enhancing drugs.

It should have been tougher. A-Rod should be banned from baseball, as Commissioner Bud Selig suggested last week could occur. He deserves a more severe penalty not just because he used the performing enhancing drugs, but because he apparently lied about it and allegedly impeded the investigation into a Florida doctor who supplied PEDs to many baseball players.

Think Lance Armstrong with a bat, glove and cleats.

Instead, the 38-year-old slugger will be suspended for 211 games, through the 2014 season. However, in one of the strangest flukes yet in this sorry saga, Rodriguez was actually scheduled to make his 2013 Major League debut Monday night in the Yankees game against the White Sox.

Due to off-season surgery on his hip, A-Rod hasn’t played for the Yankees all year. He has played for a minor-league Yankees team, however, and has feuded with the team management about when he was ready to return to the big leagues.

This week, his name was added to the lineup on the same day he was suspended.

A-Rod’s suspension has to do with his involvement with the now-closed Biogenesis anti-aging clinic in Florida. A dozen other players were also suspended Monday for receiving performance enhancing drugs from the same clinic. However, because they all acknowledged their drug use and agreed not to appeal, they all received 50-game suspensions and could be back on the diamond in time for the playoffs.

Rodriguez repeatedly rejected offers from Selig for a negotiated settlement. He has maintained his innocence and has claimed there is a conspiracy against him that apparently involves the Yankees management and Selig.

Additionally, MLB officials believe he has continually lied about taking PEDs this time around (he admitted taking them in the early 2000s while playing for the Texas Rangers). And, according to various news sources, MLB officials have evidence that Rodriguez led other Major League players to the Biogenesis clinic, then obstructed baseball’s official investigation into the matter.

As baseball tries to bring to an end its sorry era of the use of steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs —when some of its biggest stars and most beloved records were tarnished by these drugs — it cannot allow drug-using players to go unpunished. But even more importantly, it cannot afford to have one of its top stars thumb his nose at the rules, at the truth while impeding efforts to unearth the full story.

Like confirmed gambler Pete Rose in the 1980s, Rodriguez has shown no remorse and no willingness to acknowledge his mistakes.

It’s unfortunate that A-Rod will ever swing a baseball bat in a Major League game again.


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