COMMENTARY | As Ron Burgundy would say, "That escalated quickly."
Yahoo Sports' Tim Brown reported Wednesday that New York Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez stormed out of his arbitration hearing after arbitrator Frederic Horowitz refused to allow commissioner Bud Selig to testify in the proceedings.
Rodriguez said in a statement after his own kind of walkoff: "I am disgusted with this abusive process, designed to ensure that the player fails. I have sat through 10 days of testimony by felons and liars, sitting quietly through every minute, trying to respect the league and the process. This morning, after Bud Selig refused to come in and testify about his rationale for the unprecedented and totally baseless punishment he hit me with, the arbitrator selected by MLB and the Players Association refused to order Selig to come in and face me. The absurdity and injustice just became too much. I walked out and will not participate any further in this farce."
The cynic in me questions the veracity of the timing. If this was indeed a spontaneous act, why was there a statement ready to be handed out so quickly?
In any event, MLB is hardly blameless in all of this. The tactics baseball has used to build a case against Rodriguez are ethically questionable, at best. When you're paying cash to a guy who might have sold performance-enhancing drugs to children, you sort of lose the moral high ground.
Baseball's offseason is a tedious process for fans in the best of circumstances. But this offseason, we've been treated to a very special kind of hell -- the Alex Rodriguez sideshow.
TNT thinks it knows drama? The television network has nothing on Major League Baseball.
Alex Rodriguez has opted for a scorched earth policy while conducting his defense, suing MLB for defamation while at the same time appealing his suspension through the sport's arbitration process.
Many fans have chosen sides, either supporting A-Rod (or at least decrying baseball's tactics) or coming down in favor of baseball doing whatever it can to get rid of Rodriguez.
So why can't we just do both?
There might be enough there for the Justice Department to haul MLB into federal court for the way it obstructed law enforcement's probe into the Biogenesis matter, and there also might be some criminal wrongdoing to be investigated behind baseball's mafioso tactics, spearheaded by the godfather, Selig, in building its case against A-Rod.
But can't we also just ban Rodriguez, too?
Make MLB accountable for what it did. Shove A-Rod out the nearest door we can find.
How is that not a win-win for baseball fans?
Phil Watson is a freelance commentator and journalist who covers the New York Yankees, Brooklyn Nets and New York Giants for the Yahoo Contributor Network. He is also editor of Golden Gate Sports and holds an editorial position at HoopsHabit.com.
- Sports & Recreation
- Alex Rodriguez
- New York Yankees
- Bud Selig