CHICAGO—On Monday, Major League Baseball handed out the longest suspension ever for use of performance enhancing drugs (PED). A 211 game time-out was given to New York Yankee infielder, Alex Rodriguez. The ruling is due to take effect on Thursday and last through the 2014 season. In response, the three-time MVP played third base and batted fourth in an away game against the Chicago White Sox.
“Sure, I’ve been suspended,” said Rodriguez after the game. “But I’m appealing, which means I can still play until the matter has been settled by an arbiter. So, basically, game on.” He turned to wave at a gathered mob, dodging beer cans and popcorn.
Ken Moffet, sports agent and attorney, explained what will likely happen. “These things take time. I’m guessing A-Rod will play out the rest of the season before there’s a ruling. And by then, either he will have argued against the charges effectively or his hip will have given out and he’ll retire. So it’s win-win.”
Rodriguez had just returned to the line-up Monday night after a second career hip surgery. But he’s no stranger to comebacks. “Remember in 2009 when I admitted to using steroids?” Rodriguez asked with a wink. “I’m like the Terminator.”*
Described as insecure and generally not liked by fellow MLB players, Rodriguez will appeal as a first-time violator. His previous juicing admission fell within a period between 2001 and 2003, before penalties were handed out for doping. Some insiders say this was suspiciously convenient timing, while Rodriguez maintains it was just coincidence.
Rodriguez had little sympathy for the other 12 men suspended for 50 games each. “I’m not like those other guys — that dirty dozen. I gave up PED years ago, before they became illegal. Besides, some of them have a lot of time left in the league. If I can’t play baseball, all I’ll have is an obscene amount of money and endless free time.”
At 38, Rodriguez has played major league baseball for nearly 20 years. His net worth is estimated at over $30 million.
*Terminator actor Arnold Schwarzenegger admitted to using anabolic steroids while a competitive body builder.