Q&A: the Rodriguez case


Q: Who ruled on Alex Rodriguez’s suspension?

A: Fredric Horowitz, baseball’s chief arbitrator, issued the ruling. He weighed testimony he had heard during two weeks of hearings. Rodriguez was present for most of those hearings until he left in anger toward the end when Horowitz declined to order Commissioner Bud Selig to testify.


Q: Is this the longest suspension ever served by a baseball player?

A: It is the longest suspension for doping. Previously, the longest was the 105-game ban that Miguel Tejada received in 2013 for the use of amphetamines. Other players have been barred for life for other reasons, as in the Pete Rose gambling case.


Q: What does the ruling mean for the Yankees?

A: The Yankees are off the hook for the $25 million they were obligated to pay him for the 2014 season. But when the suspension ends, Rodriguez will still be owed $61 million.


Q: What does the suspension mean for Rodriguez’s playing status?

A: He is prohibited from playing for minor league teams affiliated with MLB, and because professional leagues in Japan, South Korea and Taiwan honor suspensions by Major League Baseball, he cannot play in those countries either. He might have an option via various independent minor leagues.


Q: Did Rodriguez fail a drug test?

A: Rodriguez’s suspension does not appear to involve any failed drug tests. Instead, Selig suspended him last August after Major League Baseball determined there was evidence Rodriguez had received banned substances from a clinic in South Florida.


Q: Will MLB ever publicly disclose the details of its case against Rodriguez?

A: Both sides are barred from releasing the details.


Q: Could Rodriguez have worked out a deal with baseball instead of letting this drag out?

A: MLB appeared willing to shorten the original 211-game suspension, but Rodriguez chose to keep appealing.


Q: What happens when the suspension ends?

A: Rodriguez will be eligible to rejoin the Yankees, but he will be 39 and has a recent history of hip operations, and there has been acrimony between him and the Yankees. A buyout of his contract is possible and would make him available to other teams.