Rodriguez accepts season-long suspension

Published on NewsOK Modified: February 7, 2014 at 9:55 pm •  Published: February 7, 2014
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Rodriguez in 2009 admitted he used banned substances from 2001-03 while with Texas, before baseball had penalties in place for PEDs. After MLB's investigation was sparked 13 months ago by a report in Miami New Times, Rodriguez repeatedly said he had not failed any drug test and claimed evidence provided to MLB by Anthony Bosch, founder of the Biogenesis of America clinic, was not trustworthy.

When Horowitz issued his decision, the three-time AL MVP defiantly proclaimed, "No player should have to go through what I have been dealing with." He announced, "I am exhausting all options to ensure not only that I get justice, but that players' contracts and rights are protected."

But a few hours after the Arizona Diamondbacks became the first team this year to start spring training workouts, and with the Yankees a week from opening camp, Rodriguez folded quietly. He was in Miami on Friday and made no public remarks.

"The statements that were issued say everything that needs to be said. We have no further comments on this matter," Joseph Tacopina, one of Rodriguez's nine attorneys, said in an email.

Tacopina said Rodriguez no longer intended to report this month to the Yankees' training camp in Tampa, Fla. Suspensions only cover regular-season games and the postseason, with exhibitions specifically exempted.

Rodriguez will lose most of his $25 million salary — Horowitz ruled he is entitled to 21-183rds, which comes to $2,868,852.46. The third baseman will be 39 when he is eligible to return in a year, and he has incentive to play during the final three seasons of his contract. The Yankees owe him $21 million in 2015 and $20 million in each of the final two seasons of the record $275 million, 10-year deal.

But the 14-time All-Star has been hobbled by injuries in recent years and has not played a full season since 2007.

The timing of Rodriguez's decision was set in motion by U.S. District Judge Edgardo Ramos, who on Jan. 30 told the player's lawyers to respond by Friday to arguments from MLB and the union that the case should be dismissed.

Rodriguez does have one lawsuit remaining. He sued Yankees physician Dr. Christopher Ahmad and New York-Presbyterian Hospital in New York State Supreme Court in October, claiming they mishandled his medical care during the 2012 AL playoffs. Rodriguez later was diagnosed with a hip injury that required surgery and did not return to the Yankees until Aug. 5 — hours after his suspension was announced by Selig.

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