This, pointed out to me by Scott Lemieux of Lawyers Guns and Money, is most curious.
The big issue I have with the arbitrator’s ruling was his odd tap dance between section 7(A) of the Joint Drug Agreement — which provides for progressive, 50/100/lifetime discipline, and section 7(G) which gives Bud Selig “just cause” power to discipline players. As I argued last night, I think the arbitrator botched this and should have considered it all a first offense for A-Rod under 7(A).
But, in many ways, the issue is moot. Because, as Horowitz stated in his opinion, the MLBPA and A-Rod conceded the point, agreeing that section 7(G) and “just cause” apply:
But check this out, from A-Rod’s complaint filed in federal court yesterday:
See that? There A-Rod’s lawyers are saying they did not concede this. They think 7(A)’s 50/100/lifetime matrix applies.
So who’s wrong here? Did the arbitrator simply dismiss A-Rod’s objections to which discipline provision applies and state that everyone agrees, or are A-Rod’s lawyers misrepresenting the record and conveniently forget the fact that they conceded the point?
Cubs infielder/outfielder Ben Zobrist has been placed on the 10-day disabled list with back soreness. The move is retroactive to April 14. While it doesn’t appear to be the precursor to any serious injury, Zobrist has already missed six straight days of activity after feeling his back tighten up last weekend. Should he see the minimum time on the DL, as expected, he’ll be eligible to return by the start of the Cubs’ series against the Indians on Tuesday.
Prior to his injury, the 36-year-old outfielder raked an impressive .326/.408/.465 with three extra-base hits in 49 plate appearances. He last appeared for the Cubs during their homestand last weekend and helped propel the team to a 14-10 win over the Braves with three hits, two walks and two RBI. Provided that he can remain healthy going forward, it’s a promising start for the veteran outfielder, who has yet to return to the All-Star-worthy numbers he posted with the club in 2016.
With Zobrist sidelined for the time being, Ian Happ and Albert Almora Jr. have shared the leadoff spot and center field duties over the last week. Happ went 0-for-8 with six strikeouts in two games before passing the baton to Almora, who collected five hits and two RBI in 11 at-bats.