A-Rod Is Negotiating With MLB Or Getting A 214-Game Ban. Who Knows?

Right now Alex Rodriguez is—depending on who you believe—either a dude trying to maximize his own leverage in a legal dispute with MLB and, implicitly, the New York Yankees, or a craven villain with whom the stout-hearted figures of central baseball are just plain tired of dealing. He may be engaged in tedious negotiations in which he has a lot of power; he may be on the verge of getting hit with a 214-game ban because of his sass. What to think? Let's go to the papers!

Here's what the New York Daily News reported:

Following Rodriguez’s explosive comments after Friday night’s minor league rehab game in Trenton in which Rodriguez basically said Major League Baseball and the Yankees were conspiring to keep him off the field in order to void his contract, MLB officials have rejected Rodriguez’s request to negotiate a suspension settlement, a baseball source familiar with the situation said.

According to the source, Players Association chief Michael Weiner reached out to MLB on behalf of Rodriguez Saturday morning in an attempt to talk settlement but was told that baseball is no longer interested in negotiating with the disgraced third baseman.

Hysterical, that! What does the New York Times say?

Alex Rodriguez, despite his tough stance Friday night that seemed to set him on a combative course with Major League Baseball, reached out to the Commissioner’s office on Saturday, through the players union, and contacted the Yankees directly to seek a meeting, according to two people who had been briefed on the matter and who were granted anonymity because they were not permitted to speak publicly on the matter.

Hmm. Seems no one knows what's going on there. We do know that at first, MLB was planning to hit A-Rod with a lifetime ban, putting him on par with World Series-throwing villains and managers who gambled on their own games, but that now, the threatened punishment is 214 games. What changed?

Yesterday, we held a chat with some sports law experts who explained that it would be difficult to uphold a lifetime ban against Rodriguez, and that such a penalty would in fact be unprecedented given what we know about what he's been accused of and what proof there is that he did it. Maybe that sort of thing plays into MLB's calculations; maybe not. Regardless of what happens, it should (hopefully) happen soon.

[NYDN|NYT]

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