Once upon a time, Alex Rodriguez was a sure-fire Hall of Fame player. He broke the 600 home run barrier, looked to be baseball’s all-time home run king, and was supposed to wash away the stain of Barry Bonds and all the other steroid cheats. After all, A-Rod has always been a power hitter and had never failed a steroid test since baseball instigated testing for performance-enhancing drugs. Then, the admissions came. First, he owned up to steroid use during his days as a Texas Ranger. Then, he started to find himself caught up in stings and raids on drug-distributing “anti-aging” clinics throughout South Florida. Then, Biogenesis happened and Bud Selig has had enough. Baseball is reportedly pursuing a lifetime ban against Alex Rodriguez.
Of course, if Rodriguez agrees to a long ban, he may escape the baseball death penalty. However, it appears that Rodriguez wasn’t just a Biogenesis client, but a recruiter. Baseball’s investigators believe that Rodriguez recruited other athletes for the clinic (like all-stars Nelson Cruz of the Texas Rangers, Everth Cabrera of the San Diego Padres, and Jhonny Peralta of the Detroit Tigers). In addition to his recruiting actions, he also is being accused of obstructing the investigation and of deliberately misleading MLB investigators in the past. There are 14 total players who look to be headed for a suspension; most of those face the 50-game ban for first-time offenders.
Even in baseball, lifetime bans usually aren’t lifetime. Steve Howe failed drug tests throughout his career, but he kept getting allowed back into the game and his last lifetime ban lasted only 120 days. However, Pete Rose has been far less harmful to the game of baseball than Rodriguez has been (if the allegations are true), and he’s still banned from the game. It all depends on just how angry Bud Selig and baseball’s upper echelon are at A-Rod.
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