As we reach the end of a Friday that we thought would bring forth Biogenesis news but which, alas, has not, the posturing continues. This from A-Rod’s side in Newsday:
“This guy is fighting this,” the source said Friday as Rodriguez was expected in Trenton, where he is scheduled to play Friday night and Saturday for the Double-A Thunder. “Alex is getting on the field, he’s excited to play, he’s ready to play. They’re [his legal team] all waiting and willing to fight anything that comes their way. The priority is to be on the field and play baseball.”
Never does it seem more clear that what Major League Baseball wants is to have an agreed suspension as opposed to having to fight any appeal, even if they are confident that they will ultimately be successful. By all accounts, Major League Baseball has considerable evidence and believes it can win if it has to. If that’s true, the only thing truly holding them back is the desire to avoid a fight altogether and the chance to wrap everything up in a bow. If that were not the case they would, one presumes, simply have suspended A-Rod already and invited him and his legal team to do its worst.
Rodriguez’s people know this. Reason suggests that they cut a deal which saves their client as much of what’s left on his contract as possible rather than risk a lifetime ban. But their awareness of MLB’s desire to settle has likely emboldened them. Made them think that they can force a bit better of a deal than what MLB currently has on the table. Obviously that’s all just speculation, but I’m struggling to think of what other sticking point there could be in this particular negotiation. It’s all a game of chicken as opposed to some multi-faceted deal. The only real variable being how many games.
Thus the posturing and thus the delay. It’s absolutely fascinating. I have no idea what will happen. No one outside the process really can know. But it’s oddly exciting to realize that a major chapter in baseball history is going to be written one way or another based, essentially, on whether Bud Selig or Alex Rodriguez blinks first.