Update, Monday 12:00 p.m. Major League Baseball has delayed the scheduled suspension announcements until "later in the day," according to the Associated Press. So the wait for this story to finally reach its next chapter just got a little longer. There's no explanation given for the delay. The New York Daily News reported Monday morning that Rodriguez may play tonight in Chicago regardless of the suspension news. Rodriguez may suit up in the Yankee pinstripes one last time before being shipped off to steroid jail.
Original: The drawn out and dramatic saga between Alex Rodriguez and Major League Baseball is heading towards its inevitable conclusion after talks have allegedly broken down for the final time. The New York Yankees third baseman talked himself into a corner and will finally receive a lengthy suspension on Monday for his association with the Biogenesis steroid scandal.
According to reports from ESPN's TJ Quinn and Andrew Marchand, the New York Daily News's Bill Madden, Michael O'Keefe and Teri Thompson, and The New York Times's David Waldstein, negotiations between Rodriguez and league officials broke down Saturday and have, for all intents and purposes, ended for good. Rodriguez's comments after a game with the Yankees' Double A affiliate, the Trenton Thunder, apparently infuriated Major League Baseball commissioner Bud Selig. The embattled slugger tried to meet with the MLB on Saturday, but Selig refused. MLB Players Association executive director Michael Weiner reached out to organize a meeting between the league, the PA, the Yankees and Rodriguez's representatives on Saturday; the league declined the invitation.
Barring any last minute bargaining, Selig will finally suspend Rodriguez on Monday for the rest of this season and all of the 2013-2014 season, too. The suspension will cover more than 200 games and shave two years off the slugger's contract with the Yankees that's set to expire in 2017. Whether or not a lifetime ban is still in play is unclear. Twelve other players will be suspended with Rodriguez on Monday, with most receiving 50 games.
Rodriguez is planning to appeal any suspension, which would normally allow him to play until the appeal is sorted. But Selig is expected to invoke his powers as commissioner to keep Rodriguez off the field by using a clause to protect the best interests of baseball while the two sides determine a suspension with an arbitrator.
Now the Yankees stand to save around $36 million off A-Rod's contract if the third baseman is suspended for two whole seasons.
On Friday, Rodriguez said the league and the Yankees were conspiring to keep him off the field. "When all this stuff is going on in the background and people are finding creative ways to cancel your contract and stuff like that, I think that’s concerning for me," Rodriguez told reporters in Trenton. He hasn't played a game in the majors yet this season after having hip surgery in January. If a suspension isn't announced Monday, he's expected to rejoin the Yankees. "I'm flying to Chicago," where the Yankees are scheduled to play the White Sox, Rodriguez said Saturday.
Early reports suggested the league had a substantial case built against Rodriguez, one much stronger than the league's evidence against the Milwaukee Brewers' Ryan Braun, who was suspended last week for the rest of the 2013 season.
The league allegedly has Rodriguez nailed to a wall. The Miami New Times reported in January that Rodriguez's name appeared on records for the Miami "anti-aging" clinic that distributed performance enhancing drugs to some of baseball's biggest names. The league vowed to investigate the accusations to the end of the the earth. When Rodriguez attempted to purchase and destroy incriminating documents from Biogenesis employee Anthony Bosch, effectively impeding the league's investigation into the scandal, Major League added that crime to Rodriguez's list of charges. Once Bosch decided to cooperate with the league's investigation after Rodriguez wouldn't pay his legal bills, A-Rod was screwed.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
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