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A-Rod Suspended for 211 Games; Plans to Appeal

8:05 PM, Aug 5, 2013   |    comments
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Video: MLB Suspends Alex Rodriguez Through 2014 Season; 12 Others for 50 Games

Alex Rodriguez singles in his first MLB at-bat of 2013. {Photo: Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports)


"Those players who have violated the Program have created scrutiny for the vast majority of our players, who play the game the right way." - Commissioner Bud Selig




"I am disappointed with the penalty and intend to appeal and fight this through the process..." - 
 Yankees third-baseman Alex Rodriguez


Update: Rodriguez hit a bloop single in his first at-bat. He was booed loudly by White Sox fans as he came to the plate. 

USA TODAY

Alex Rodriguez was suspended effective Thursday through the 2014 season and 12 other major and minor leaguers for 50 games in the most sweeping sanctions in Major League Baseball's decade-long battle against performance-enhancing drugs -- but the New York Yankees third baseman expects to be in the lineup for Monday night's game in Chicago.

The most significant other names on the list announced by MLB as part of its investigation into the Biogenesis anti-aging clinic include Texas Rangers outfielder Nelson Cruz, Detroit Tigers shortstop Jhonny Peralta and San Diego Padres shortstop Everth Cabrera. They follow Milwaukee Brewers All-Star Ryan Braun, who agreed to a 65-game suspension two weeks ago.

While the others accepted their punishment, Rodriguez can continue to play as he plans to appeal his suspension, which amounts to 211 games. Rodriguez is scheduled to play his first major league game of the season tonight after offseason hip surgery.

Rodriguez has 72 hours to file a grievance. The appeal would be heard within 10 days by arbitrator Fredric Horowitz, and he has 25 days to render a decision.

"Rodriguez's discipline under the Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program is based on his use and possession of numerous forms of prohibited performance-enhancing substances, including testosterone and Human Growth Hormone, over the course of multiple years," MLB said in a statement. "Rodriguez's discipline under the Basic Agreement is for attempting to cover-up his violations of the Program by engaging in a course of conduct intended to obstruct and frustrate the Office of the Commissioner's investigation. The suspension, which will become effective on Thursday, August 8, will cover 211 Championship Season games and any 2013 Postseason games in which Rodriguez otherwise would have been eligible to play."

Among the other players suspended for 50 games were: Philadelphia Phillies reliever Antonio Bastardo, New York Mets outfielder Jordany Valdespin, Yankees catcher Francisco Cervelli, Seattle Mariners minor league catcher Jesus Montero, Mets minor league outfielder Cesar Puello, San Diego Padres minor league pitcher Fautino De Los Santos, Houston Astros minor league pitcher Sergio Escalona, Yankees minor league outfielder Fernando Martinez and free-agent pitcher Jordan Norberto.

MLB also announced there would be no further discipline against Oakland pitcher Bartolo Colon, Toronto outfielder Melky Cabrera and San Diego catcher Yasmani Grandal. All were involved in the Biogenesis investigation but already have served 50-game suspensions.

Cruz's acceptance stunned the playoff-contending Rangers, who trail the Oakland Athletics by 2 1/2 games in the American League West and have no ready replacement for their right fielder. Cruz ranks fourth in the American League in home runs (27) and fifth in RBI (76).

Cruz would be eligible for the postseason but most significant for the 33-year-old is that he can enter this winter's free-agent market with his punishment behind him.

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