SBD/November 25, 2013/Leagues and Governing Bodies

ESPN's Olney: Yankees Likely To Release Rodriguez Regardless Of Arbitration Outcome

Rodriguez would lose about $31M before incentives if his suspension is upheld
When Yankees 3B Alex Rodriguez' suspension in the Biogenesis case is "determined once and for all -- 11 games, 111 games, 211, whatever it turns out to be," the Yankees likely "will release him, effective upon the end of his suspension," according to Buster Olney of ESPN.com. Olney wrote he is "more convinced than ever" of that outcome following last week's developments in the case. Olney: "This is pure speculation, but I think the indignity of the A-Rod circus will compel the Steinbrenner family to move on" (ESPN.com, 11/23). In N.Y., Bob Raissman wrote Rodriguez' "scorched earth policy in this arbitration" is "not making him many friends in the world of sports television decision makers -- specifically the ones connected to baseball." A network exec said, "Before all this stuff happened, I really believed A-Rod had the potential to be a star either in the studio or in the booth. The contentious nature of what’s going on changed things." Raissman wrote the "risk of any of these networks damaging their billion-dollar relationships with baseball does not outweigh the reward Rodriguez’s presence could bring to a broadcast" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 11/24).

ARBITRATOR IS KEY: In N.Y., Ken Davidoff wrote Rodriguez' PR strategy of turning MLB Commissioner Bud Selig "into the villain has succeeded, at least based on my communication with fans." Plenty of folks are "complaining about Rodriguez’s lack of due process, his supposed right to confront his accuser." Davidoff: "It’s complete bunk. This is a private worker issue, not a private citizen issue." Rodriguez is "fortunate to belong to one of the country’s most powerful unions." His "'due process' comes in the presence" of MLB arbitrator Fredric Horowitz. There is "just too much history that courts don’t like diving into binding arbitration battles" (N.Y. POST, 11/23). On Long Island, Steven Marcus wrote Rodriguez' career and "millions of dollars hinge on the decision" of Horowitz. Rodriguez "stands to lose about $31 million before incentives if the suspension is upheld." He "would not be eligible to return" until '15, when he turns 40. Legal experts have said that the "chance of a federal court overturning the arbitrator's decision is considered slim." Horowitz also "could alter the suspension." Arbitrator Doug Collins said that Horowitz is "well-prepared to handle the case." Collins said, "Fred is very experienced" (NEWSDAY, 11/24).
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