A-Rod Suspended in Biogenesis Scandal

Alex Rodriguez hit a home run, possibly his last, on Friday night for the Double-A Trenton Thunder. (Image Source: Sports Illustrated/CNN.com)

Alex Rodriguez hit a home run, possibly his last, on Friday night for the Double-A Trenton Thunder. (Image Source: Sports Illustrated/CNN.com)

One of the greatest sluggers in Major League Baseball history might have hit his last home run. Alex Rodriguez, third baseman for the New York Yankees, was suspended today for his role in the Biogenesis drug scandal. His suspension lasts until the end of the 2014 MLB season, for a total of 214 games.

Rodriguez, 38, has not appeared in a game since last October, when the Yankees lost to the Detroit Tigers in the ALCS. A-Rod underwent surgery this past January to repair a torn labrum in his hip and a strained quadriceps muscle. He completed a two game rehab assignment with the Double-A Trenton Thunder this weekend, going 1-2 with 4 walks and a long home run to left field. Rodriguez completed a long workout with the Thunder Sunday, but did not play in the team’s evening game.

On Saturday night, Rodriguez addressed the media, and stated that he was “going to fly to Chicago” after his workout Sunday to meet his Yankees teammates for their Monday night game against the White Sox. The Yankees could use Rodriguez’ help in the lineup; despite being 4 games over .500, the Yankees have the fourth lowest team batting average and have scored the sixth fewest runs in the majors. Rodriguez will appeal the suspension and play tonight against the White Sox.

A-Rod has had an incredibly successful career in baseball. The 1st overall draft pick in 1993 by the Seattle Mariners, Rodriguez has played 19 MLB seasons for the Mariners, Rangers, and Yankees. His 647 career home runs are the fifth most of all-time, and he ranks 7th with 1,950 RBI. He won the American League MVP Award three times (2003, 2005, 2007), has made 14 All-Star appearances, and won 10 Silver Slugger awards. He is a career .300 hitter, but hasn’t reached the .300 mark in a season since 2008.

But for all his career triumphs, Rodriguez has endured his fair share of controversy. In 2009, Sports Illustrated reported that A-Rod tested positive for anabolic steroids from 2001-2003, while a member of the Texas Rangers. This suspension involves Rodriguez’ relationship with Biogenesis of America, a Florida-based anti-aging clinic. Rodriguez reportedly received human growth hormone (HGH) treatments from the clinic, which is illegal under MLB rules. A first-time drug suspension in the majors is 50 games, but A-Rod obstructed an investigation into his drug usage. Therefore, Major League Baseball elected to hand down a harsher suspension.

Rodriguez is not alone. Twelve other players were suspended for 50 games each today, including Rangers outfielder Nelson Cruz and Tigers shortstop Jhonny Peralta. Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun was suspended for 65 games earlier this season for his relationship with Biogenesis of America, prompting debates as to whether the 2011 NL MVP should be allowed to keep his award.

In an age of baseball known affectionately as the “Steroid Era”, the Rodriguez suspension is the harshest penalty handed down by Major League Baseball. Instead of continuing his storied career as one of baseball’s best, Rodriguez joins names like Rafael Palmeiro and Manny Ramirez on the list of suspended sluggers. This sad story of greed and cheating is not uncommon in this day and age, and goes to prove that the “Steroid Era” is still alive in Major League Baseball.

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