According to the Daily News, Major League Baseball has fully embraced its role as the ersatz judicial branch of sports and is now accepting plea deals. Lest you forget that Alex Rodgriguez, Ryan Braun and their ilk—co-defendants, co-conspirators, maybe?—are the dregs of baseball society, MLB is here to let you know that even though it thinks they should be cast out for life, it's willing to let them plea to lesser charges.
Playing along, to whom does Alex Rodriguez (and possibly Braun and the others involved) plead in this kangaroo court? Bud Selig? Joe Torre? Fred McGriff? How does one plead down charges of performance-enhancing drugs? Honorable Selig, I admit I used these filthy drugs, but not as many as you all say I have. It was more like half. And why is Baseball allowing him to "plead" down a potential lifetime ban to a 150-game ban—which MLB thinks will have the same force and effect as a lifetime ban, anyway—if they have the goods on him? Did Manny Ramirez, Melky Cabrera or any of the other previous offenders get such a deal? What does Baseball get in return? Is A-Rod going to turn state's witness and start ratting out other players? From most reports, Baseball has an entire library of books to throw at A-Rod and the rest, so why not just throw them?
Damage control. That's what Baseball will get in return for loudly protecting the sanctity of the game it was complicit in destroying.
“That might be a victory for both sides,” said one of the sources, referring to the fact that a plea agreement would preempt the arbitration process and might salvage money and save face for everyone involved in what has become a highly contentious process.
If it wasn't already clear that Baseball doesn't care about the actual legitimacy or whatever line of bullshit it uses to justify these dog and pony shows—because that is exactly what drug suspensions are—it should be crystalized now. Baseball cares only about the appearance of protecting records and purity and all that other nonsense. It's why it is waiting until after the All-Star Game to punish these guys and it's why they are willing to cut a deal.
If what you believe, Baseball, is that these men cheated the game and are permanent black marks on the white linen that is Your Game, then get them out. All we ever hear about is the piles of evidence against them, so use it to clean up the game and get the bums out now and forever.
While MLB has been waiting, Ryan Braun has already sullied 58 games this year. Nine home runs are waiting to be asterisked. By his continued presence, Alex Rodriguez has not only made a mockery of Major League Baseball, but of the Minor Leagues as well. Who knows who else has taken a piss all over the record books this year. MLB has clearly decided to bypass any kind of collectively-bargained process with this whole Biogenesis scandal—there are no failed tests like there were for Manny, Melky and the others (and thus no deals)—so it's time to go all-in.
But Baseball doesn't give a shit about any of that. The Home Run Derby is tomorrow. The All-Star Game is Tuesday and only after will the suspensions come. Gotta preserve the sanctity of those games.
Photo credit: Getty
MLB may cut deal with Yankees' Alex Rodriguez to reduce his looming drug suspension: sources [NY Daily News]