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Sports Commentary 11/21/13 – The Accused & The Accuser

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THE ACCUSED AND THE ACCUSER

Alex Rodriquez may or not be a liar, at least in the case of his 211 game suspension by Major League Baseball and his greivance to have that suspension overturned.  Whether he’s a liar or not has yet to be determined.

Contrary to popular opinion, A-Rod never directly denied the allegations that he used performance enhancing drugs, attempted to conceal evidence and attempted to obstruct the investigation into his involvement with the Biogenisis lab.  Until now.  Until now A-Rod’s legal team has handled most of the responses.  Until now A-Rod has skirted the issue.  Yesterday he had a “come to terms with the truth” moment, or so it seemed, when he was informed that baseball commissioner Bud Selig, the man who started this whole process, will not be taking part.

A-Rod was always under the impression he would get his due process opportunity to confront his chief accuser, the same Bud Selig.  But yesterday Alex Rodriquez was informed by associate commissioner Rob Manfred that Selig will have none of it, not the hearing, not answering questions, not A-Rod.  A-Rod admitted later that his reaction may have been over the top when he slammed his fist on his defense table, swore at Manfred and stormed from the room, but his answers, when he made a b-line for the WFAN radio studios in New York, left little doubt that he’s putting his integrity, his reputation and his career on the line now.

“I shouldn’t serve one inning”, A-Rod said of the suspension, claiming his innocence on all counts in no uncertain terms and saying that Selig’s vendetta is, “One hundred percent personal, he hates my guts.”

The next move, it would appear, is Selig’s, and make no mistake about it, he should make it.  This is Bud Selig’s hearing.  He set the parameters, he’s the chief accuser and so far the only evidence the public has seen would make Alex Rodriquez no more a candidate for suspension than reigning World Series MVP and Selig favorite David Ortiz.

A-Rod says he is not guilty of hindering the investigation, Selig should show him, and us, the evidence that says otherwise.  A-Rod says he did not obstruct justice, Selig should be there to produce something to the contrary.  A-Rod said, for the first time yesterday, he did not use P-E-D’s, Selig should become part of the process and produce whatever he has.

Selig says precedent allows him to remove himself, because he’s never appeared at a grievance before.  There is no precedent for this.  There has never been a 211 game suspension, there is no stipulation in Major League Baseball’s drug policy that calls for one.  The question begs to be asked, “Why this number, why so arbitrarily?”, and A-Rod should be given the chance to ask it.  The chief arbitrator works for Major League Baseball, the other two members of the panel do as well, both have testified on Major League Baseball’s behalf, leading A-Rod to claim the deck has been stacked against him.

Selig couldn’t get Barry Bonds, he couldn’t get Roger Clemens.  The records they and Mark McGwire hold still stand.  It’s all on Selig’s head.  He’s the man most responsible for allowing steroids to become the hallmark of his era as commissioner.  He may be looking at this, as Alex Rodriquez says, as his last chance to save his legacy and he’s pulling out all the stops.  What he doesn’t seem to realize is he’s also on trial here.

A-Rod says it’s personal and he’s done nothing he’s been accused of.  It’s his right to be confronted by his accuser, and that’s Bud Selig, who now stands accused himself.  He owes it to all of us to go to New York and answer the charges against him.

With a comment from the sports world, I’m Scott Gray.

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