Niagara Gazette

Sports

August 4, 2013

AP Source: A-Rod can play during suspension appeal

(Continued)

Niagara Gazette — Many players were expected to agree to penalties and start serving them immediately, but an appeal by a first-offender under the drug agreement would postpone his suspension until after a decision by an arbitrator.

Milwaukee outfielder Ryan Braun, the 2011 NL MVP, agreed July 22 to a 65-game ban through the rest of the 2013 season for his role with Biogenesis. Braun was given a 50-game suspension for elevated testosterone that was overturned last year by arbitrator Shyam Das because of issues with the handing of the urine sample,

Since spring training, the union has said it will consider stiffer penalties starting in 2014.

"The home runs that are hit because a guy's on performance-enhancing substances, those ruin somebody's ERA, which ruins their arbitration case, which ruins their salary," Los Angeles Angels pitcher C.J. Wilson said. "So it's a whole domino effect."

Rodriguez's return from hip surgery was slowed by a quadriceps injury. He completed his second minor league injury rehabilitation assignment on Saturday night, a two-day stay at Double-A Trenton. Rodriguez walked in all four plate appearances, a day after hitting a two-run homer.

Following Friday night's game, Rodriguez all but said he thought MLB and the Yankees were conspiring to keep him from getting back to the big leagues.

"There is more than one party that benefits from me not ever stepping back on the field. And that's not my teammates and it's not the Yankee fans," said, adding: "When all this stuff is going on in the background and people are finding creative ways to cancel your contract and stuff like that, I think that's concerning for me."

He last played in October, going 3 for 25 (.120) with no RBIs in the playoffs. Rodriguez is owed $8,568,306 of his $28 million salary from Monday through the rest of the season and $86 million for the final four years of his contract with the Yankees. Girardi didn't think A-Rod's arrival would create more turmoil than the Yankees already are used to.

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