BOSTON (CBS) – It was one busy Monday for Alex Rodriguez, getting suspended by Major League Baseball and making his 2013 debut with the New York Yankees in a span of a few hours.
Rodriguez and 12 others were suspended for PED use on Monday, but while the 12 others received 50-game bans Rodriguez was slapped with a 211-game suspension. While the others accepted their punishment, Rodriguez will appeal his, which will allow him to play until that process concludes.
Gabe Feldman, the Director of the Tulane Sports Law Program, joined 98.5 The Sports Hub’s The Adam Jones Show on Monday night to talk about A-Rod’s suspension, and just how long the appeal process could take.
“That’s one of the many unknowns we’re dealing with here,” Feldman said of the appeal. “We could get a hearing within 20-30 days; Major League Baseball might try to get it done more quickly than that. A-Rod, if he had his way, would push it off until next season. So he may be on the field the rest of the season and postseason — if the Yankees make it that far.”
“It could be anywhere from a month to anywhere in the offseason,” said Feldman.
The Yankees do not have to pay Rodriguez while he serves his suspension, however long that might be, but Feldman said they will have a tough time voiding the contract all together.
“What we do know is if the suspension is upheld the Yankees don’t have to pay him for the game he misses; they get to save that money and it comes off the luxury tax as well. So the greater the suspension the greater the win for the team,” he said. “They will have great difficulty in voiding the contract… The CBA and joint drug agreement make it very clear that the exclusive authority for punishing for drug violation lies with the commissioner, and if the commissioner punishes, the Yankees can’t.”
“They’ll fight it… but it’s going to be an uphill battle,” said Feldman. “What we might see is the two sides reach a settlement. Rodriguez has already said he’d be willing to retire if he’s getting paid, but why would the Yankees do that – they’d at least want him to play if he’s getting paid. So they may end up splitting the difference so he may get $20-30 million just to go away. But it will be very hard for them to just cut him.”
Feldman also touched on the Johnny Manziel autograph situation in NCAA Football, as well as the arrest of former Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez.