Today is Day 1 of Alex Rodriguez’s appeal hearing. It’s expected to last several days while Rodriguez’s lawyers argue against Major League Baseball, each side pleading its case to an independent arbitrator who will decide whether Rodriguez serves all, none or part of a 211-game suspension stemming from his connection to the Biogenesis clinic.
“I’ll be there every day,” Rodriguez said. “I’m fighting for my life and my whole legacy. I should be there.”
This hearing will determine how much Rodriguez is allowed to play — and how much the Yankees have to pay — next season. The ramifications are obvious for both the player and the team, a pivotal offseason event beginning on the offseason’s very first day.
“Obviously this is going to be a grueling process all the way through,” Rodriguez said. “(After) it’s completely over, I told you guys (during a rehab assignment) in Trenton that you’ll hear the full story when the time is right for me. That time is not just now.”
It’s interesting that Rodriguez actually had a sort of return-to-form season before hamstring and calf injuries sapped his power and mobility down the stretch. He was plenty productive for about a month and a half, suggesting he could be a legitimate help to the Yankees next season. But at what cost? The Yankees need offensive help, and Rodriguez might be able to provide it, but it’s still pretty easy to think the Yankees would be better off getting his contract off the books and searching for a third baseman fill-in elsewhere.
“I think I was pleasantly surprised while I was healthy the first month,” Rodriguez said. “I was able to move around well at third, drive the ball, improve my hitting against right-handed (pitchers), hit balls that are 95-plus; all things I wasn’t able to do the year before. Those things, you build on those. I look forward to immediately getting into the hard-core workouts to help this team win again.”
These next few days will determine whether Rodriguez is actually allowed to do that.
Associated Press photo