There was a time where it didn’t matter what a guy did in terms of breaking the rules in baseball, you didn’t give your opinion. The union was the voice for the player in question. That’s no longer the case, as many Major League Baseball players continue to speak out against those that allegedly used performance-enhancing drugs which came from the Miami-based clinic called Biogenesis. Specifically, Alex Rodriguez.
Tampa Bay Rays star Evan Longoria is not the least bit pleased that A-Rod is getting an opportunity to continue playing as the appeals process goes on, and said so very publicly in a podcast with Sports Illustrated’s Jimmy Traina:
I don’t think it’s fair for the other teams, because I’m in the American League East. Whether he is 100 percent or not, whether his mind is where it needs to be or not, he can affect the game in a positive way. He can affect the game in a tremendous way, which is being in the lineup. In a pennant race, he’s a guy you don’t want in the lineup. Looking at it from that perspective and that perspective only, I don’t think it’s fair that we can’t have an arbitrator hear the case sooner.
If you get in a bench clearing brawl and a guy punches another guy and is ejected from the game and gets a 10-game suspension, you appeal that and it’s heard in the next three weeks. You either get 10 games or six games or whatever. I don’t understand why that process can’t happen for this.
I pick up what Longoria is putting down, but this is the process that was collectively agreed to by MLB and the MLBPA. While Longoria may be right in the unfair advantage that A-Rod could give to the Yankees, you can’t fault the guy for fighting a suspension that is four-times longer than anyone else received. If someone was wrongly punished, would it be fair for them to sit out several games? Certainly not. This is as much of a rule as anything else.
I would venture a guess that at some point today, if not already, Longoria received a call from Michael Weiner, the director of the MLBPA. He will be told to keep his mouth shut, as he discredits the union with these types of words. In the past, the non-steroid users didn’t want testing, and fought alongside guys they knew were juicing. The MLBPA has always been known to be the strongest of all the sports unions, but all the anonymous comments and vocal ones like Longoria will create cracks in it, and that cannot happen.