MLB, Players Association endorse arbitrator's ruling on Alex Rodriguez suspension

January 11, 2014 - 8:04 am

Both Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Association issued statements suggesting that, while they disagreed with the ultimate decision of the arbitrator to suspend Alex Rodriguez for 162 games in 2014, they respected the arbitration process and felt that the matter of Rodriguez's appeal, for their purposes, had been concluded. MLB noted that it did not want the suspension reduced from its initial 211 games to 162, but endorsed arbitrator Fredric Horowitz' role in making the decision about his final sentence. "For more than five decades, the arbitration process under the Basic Agreement has been a fair and effective mechanism for resolving disputes and protecting player rights," MLB said in a statement unattributed to any individual. "While we believe the original 211-game suspension was appropriate, we respect the decision rendered by the Panel and will focus on our continuing efforts on eliminating performance-enhancing substances from our game." The MLBPA, in a statement attributed to the organization rather than an individual, likewise expressed its disagreement with the ruling, but endorsed arbitration as the appropriate mechanism for resolving Rodriguez's suspension. "The MLBPA strongly disagrees with the award issued today in the grievance of Alex Rodriguez, even despite the Arbitration Panel's decision to reduce the duration of Mr. Rodriguez's unprecedented 211-game suspension," the MLBPA said in its statement. "We recognize that a final and binding decision has been reached, however, and we respect the collectively-bargained arbitration process which led to the decision. In accordance with the confidentiality provisions of the JDA, the Association will make no further comment regarding the decision." In other words, if Rodriguez wants to pursue federal action in an effort to overturn the arbitrator's decision, he will do so without the backing of his union.