Well, there’s one distraction out of the way as baseball and the New York Yankees approach spring training: Alex Rodriguez will drop his lawsuits against MLB and the players union, accepting his year-long suspension.
After an independent arbitrator determined a year-long suspension (including the playoffs) would be enough for usage of performance-enhancing drugs in the Biogenesis doping scandal, Rodriguez filed suit in federal court against the pair, arguing the penalty was unfair and that the players union had not effectively defended his interests. He had earlier filed suit against MLB and Commissioner Bud Selig, arguing he had been unfairly singled out for penalty and the victim of a “witch hunt” by MLB.
Today Rodriguez and his attorneys informed MLB that he was dropping all litigation and accepting the penalty. Probably the right move: he wasn’t given much of a chance of winning (the courts are loathe to overturn decisions from independent arbitrators; you’re not allowed to appeal just because you lose), and it preserves Rodriguez’s contract with the Yankees, which will pay him $61 million through 2017. The response from MLB was simple:
“We have been informed that Alex Rodriguez has reached the prudent decision to end all of the litigation related to the Biogenesis matter. We believe that Mr. Rodriguez’s actions show his desire to return the focus to the play of our great game on the field and to all of the positive attributes and actions of his fellow Major League Players. We share that desire.”
Similarly, the players union issued a simple statement: “Alex Rodriguez has done the right thing by withdrawing his lawsuit. His decision to move forward is in everyone’s best interest.”
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