Alex Rodriguez is going to have a clean slate.
Rodriguez is serving the longest drug suspension in the history of baseball right now, 162 games for obtaining performance enhancing drugs from the Biogenesis anti-aging clinic and obstructing an investigation of him. He is under contract to the Yankees next season – and beyond – and is expected at spring training.
And outgoing Major League Baseball commissioner Bud Selig said that when a player returns from a suspension, he has a clean slate in the eyes of the league.
“They do in my eyes. I’ve said that to a lot of players,” Selig said at Yankee Stadium on Tuesday afternoon, a visit that’s part of his farewell tour of all 30 MLB parks. “Listen, we’re a social institution. A guy does something, he gets disciplined, he comes back. We shouldn’t keep penalizing him.
“Whatever happens between Alex and the Yankees will happen. It’s up to them now.”
Selig presented Derek Jeter with the Commissioner’s Historic Achievement Award – something given by the commissioner occasionally for making a “major impact on the sport” and also lauded the retiring Yankee captain for being the face of baseball for two decades. He said he thought Jeter would make an excellent owner one day if he pursues the dream he has mentioned.
He also spoke of baseball’s progress to address domestic violence and speed up games.
Selig and Rodriguez were locked in a long battle that ended in the 162-game suspension. Selig initially handed down a 211-game suspension, which ultimately was changed by an arbitrator. Rodriguez and his cadre of attorneys sought an opportunity to question Selig in the arbitration but was denied the opportunity by Fredric Horowitz, the arbitrator.
Ask if he had any thought on A-Rod’s return, Selig sidestepped controversy by saying his role in the career of the scandalized slugger was over.
“I can’t – only because he’s entitled to come back next year and that’s a situation between him and the New York Yankees,” Selif said. “Major League Baseball? We’ve done all we can and should do and so the rest is up to Alex and the Yankees.”
Asked if he thought A-Rod’s return to the game would a positive or a negative, Selig replied “The game transcends everything – I learned that long ago. I don’t worry about things like that. Alex is working out I guess while coming back and that’s something for him and the Yankees to determine.”
BY Mark Feinsand
September 23, 12:29PM
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