Well, this was inevitable.
Just hours after arbitrator Fredric Horowitz announced Alex Rodriguez would be suspended for the entire 2014 regular season and postseason, the Long Island Ducks of the independent Atlantic League extended an offer to A-Rod to join their team in 2014.
Newsday's Mark Herrmann has the report and a statement from Ducks' president and general manager Michael Pfaff.
"While some MLB suspensions have been honored by the Atlantic League in the past, if Alex Rodriguez were unable to participate in the Major Leagues this season, we would be open to exploring giving him a chance to play, stay sharp and compete against a high level of competition while helping the Ducks chase a third consecutive championship."
Nobody saw that coming. Nope.
— N.Y. Sports Guy (@NYSportzGuy) January 11, 2014
Though predictable, it's actually not a bad idea for the Long Island Ducks as this invitation is likely to garner plenty of attention.
Besides that, if A-Rod really wants to play in 2014 and can get the Yankees to sign off on it (which would be required since he's under contract), his options would be limited since other professional leagues usually honor Major League Baseball suspensions. For example, heading to Japan would sound like a good option on paper, but they're among the leagues that generally uphold MLB rulings. The Atlantic League, on the other hand, has no affiliation or relationship with MLB, so their teams are free to extend invitations to any players they want.
Who knows what will be going through A-Rod's mind in the coming months, but it's not beyond the realm of possibility that he would try to play for Long Island or another independent team. That's one way to ensure the spotlight stayed on him. Plus, if he's playing on Long Island he'd still be very close to the New York media. That would probably be the most important consideration on his side.
Chances are nothing actually comes of the Ducks offer, but the invitation is open and the A-Rod circus has been enabled. They have a brand new home if they can figure out a way to get there.
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