Just Sayin': A-Rod and the Biogenesis suspensions

The SportsXchange

Alex Rodriguez was handed a 211-game suspension after Major League Baseball ruled that he received banned performance-enhancing drugs from the Biogenesis clinic and then attempted to thwart the sport's investigation. A dozen other players received 50-game bans and declined to appeal.

Here's a look at what some baseball figures and media members are Just Sayin' about A-Rod and the Biogenesis suspensions:

Ian O'Connor, ESPNNewYork.com

A-Rod can't blame past or present enablers, crisis managers, lawyers, spokespeople, you name it. He can't even blame his supplier, because if it wasn't (Biogenesis founder Tony) Bosch it would've been some other shadowy figure down the road.

No, Rodriguez can blame only the man in his bathroom glass.

Rodriguez never liked what he saw in that mirror, even if he once kissed his own reflection for a regrettable magazine spread. A-Rod needed something more, something that would make him the best player of his time, maybe of all time. Something that would make him a greater Yankee than his sworn frenemy, Derek Jeter.

The Yankees slugger who needed pills and potions to feel whole must live with his own destructive choices. Today, Alex Rodriguez might consider himself the loneliest man on the face of the earth.

Scott Miller, CBSsports.com

At this point, you have to figure that his real name isn't even Alex Rodriguez, right? And he probably isn't even really a member of the human race.

Everything about the guy has been a lie for more than a decade now. Possibly for his entire life. Especially his earnest tales of yore that he pulled himself up by his baseball bootstraps with good, old-fashioned blood, sweat and batting practice.

Maybe he's really Beldar, from some distant galaxy where lies are truth and reality is whatever you say it is. I bet the hair on his head isn't even real. I know his 647 career homers aren't.

Tampa Bay Rays third baseman Evan Longoria, via Twitter:

Today is a sad day for MLB, the fans of this great game, and all players who may have been negatively affected by others selfishness ... Ultimately, although today will be a day of infamy for MLB, it is a tremendous step in the right direction for the game we love.

Christine Brennan, USA Today Sports

A-Rod assumes the infamous mantle of being the worst steroid user to be documented in the history of baseball. That's a title Rodriguez never wanted, but it's one he'll live with for the rest of his life. ...

Whatever it decides about its past, MLB is definitely moving ahead on its future. The league intends to toughen penalties for its cheaters, likely after this season is complete. The relatively soft punishment of 50 games for a first offense, 100 games for a second and a lifetime ban for a third should be replaced by the Olympic model: two years for a first offense and a lifetime ban for a second.

Mike Lupica, New York Daily News

The narrative for Rodriguez and his lawyers and his flacks and his crisis managers will be that Rodriguez has in fact been singled out here, that none of this is his fault, that MLB and the Yankees have somehow constructed a conspiracy to essentially defraud him of the remaining $100 million on the contract extension he signed with the Yankees after he hit 54 home runs and knocked in 156 in the 2007 season. ...

The truth -- painful as his hips -- about Alex Rodriguez is that he chose the path that brought him to this day, a long time ago, maybe all the way back when he was a kid. He always thought of himself as more special than everybody else. Now he is.

Boston Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia, to the Boston Globe:

"It's a good day for baseball. Nobody wants an uneven playing field. I'm glad this happened. You want everybody on the same page. We shouldn't be competing against guys who use drugs like that. You always want to compete on the same level. That's all I want. That's all everyone else wants. Today is bad for baseball and the fans. But as a player, this is what you want."

Tim Brown, Yahoo! Sports

In the hours before he'd play as one of the greatest ever to be accused of cheating, in the weeks before he'd probably become one of the greatest ever to be suspended for it, Alex Rodriguez sat down, said the past seven months -- the approximate duration of the sport's investigation into him -- have been "a nightmare," and did not take the occasion to deny any of it.

Not the testosterone. Not the HGH. Not the cover-up. Not the attempts to, as Major League Baseball's press release noted Monday, "obstruct and frustrate" the league's investigators.

Asked two or three times -- So, Alex, did you do this? So, Alex, what's the appeal about? So, Alex, why won't you deny it? -- Alex talked only of how difficult it's been to be him, about the process, and about the fight ahead. You know, conceptually speaking.

The take-away, right or wrong, is that, yeah, something might have happened, some bad decisions might have been made, some rules might have been broken. But, sheesh, 211 games? And, like, thirty-million bucks? His expression said, does that sound excessive to anyone else?

Washington Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman

"Alex Rodriguez, Ryan Braun, those guys are unbelievable talents, and they were going to be good baseball players anyways, and it's unfortunate they had to use those things or for whatever reason they thought they needed to use those things. But to have some closure and suspend and punish some guys that are that high up in this league, it shows nobody's safe."

Mark McGwire, admitted former PED user and current Los Angeles Dodgers hitting coach

"I just really hope and pray that this is the end of it. Everybody, especially the players, don't want any more part of it and I hope this is the end of it. ... I wish I was never part of it."
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