The Curse of Jerry Hairston, Jr./Eric Hinske:

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

TGS NY: Yankees eye voiding A-Rod’s contract

If Major League Baseball disciplines Alex Rodriguez over the latest illegal performance-enhancing drug allegations, the New York Yankees plan on exploring multiple avenues in an attempt to void the star third baseman’s contract.

“(The Yankees) can’t do anything until the MLB investigation is concluded and they take action, if any,” a source told

According to several baseball sources who spoke to on the condition of anonymity, Rodriguez might be in little danger of having his contract voided, even if the charges turn out to be true. There is no precedent to successfully void a contract in baseball over PEDs.

I’d be amazed if there was any way to get out of Rodriguez’s contract, but you can’t blame the Yankees for trying it.  With five years and $114M left on it, they’d be lucky if they got 10 wins above replacement level over the remainder and it’s handicapping them from improving the team elsewhere.

That being said, I’m hoping this stuff ends up not being true.

--Posted at 8:00 am by SG / 64 Comments | - (0)


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[0] Gio Gonzalez denying it makes it seem like there is some chance that it’s all BS. Of course, Bartolo Colon and Melky Cabrera being on that list makes it seem like it’s very likely true.

So, let’s say Rodriguez gets suspended for 50 games. He doesn’t get paid, right? Does that lessen his AAV? I feel like the PED suspension rules were meant to hurt the player, not the team, which is why the guys can be on the DL, etc.  Probably some unchartered CBA territory.

[1] There’s no reason for any of them not to deny using PEDs.  It’s not like they’re under oath and risk perjury charges.  It’s a little fishy that there’s a spreadsheet with their real names right next to their fake names - but there are dumb criminals in this world.  And I’m sure that there is a lot more evidence to sift through - especially if the Feds decide to get involved.

I think Mike K. fleshed out the numbers in the last thread that ARod being suspended 50 games in 2014 works out to be $8 mil of savings.

[2] There’s no reason for any of them not to deny using PEDs.

Sure there is.  If this is true, even if it doesn’t end up in a suspension, it’s a huge PR hit for these guys. The blow is softened if they come clean right away.  A few players did that after the Mitchell report - Pettitte, Roberts, some of the clowns who are hanging on with ESPN as ‘experts.’  In fact, I think it’s been fairly well established that the real way to make this PED issue ruin your life is to deny it when the evidence is stacked against you - the longer you deny it the more the truth hurts when it comes out (Clemens, Armstrong, Cabrera, etc.)

EDIT: I suppose the difference is that the Mitchell Report guys didn’t face suspension, and these guys do. That said, if you’re guilty and you know it, I think it’s been shown that the evidence is coming out sooner or later and you’re better off fessing up.

[3] - Yeah, A-Rod came out and admitted it right away in 2009.  Did that get him a pass? 

Pettitte, Roberts, and some collection of clowns get a pass because of their talent level.  No one really cares.  People care about Clemens, Bonds, A-Rod, and others because they are Hall of Fame talents who broke records and put up some of the best numbers of all time.

[4] Huh?

We’re talking about Gio Gonzalez. Good pitcher - probably in the same category as Pettite and Roberts.

The question/discussion point was whether he had reason to not deny it. I think he does - as we saw with guys like Pettite, it helps in the long run. The notable difference here is that admitting it almost automatically gets you a 50 game suspension, but if your drug mule got busted, maybe you figure that’s eventualy happening anyway.

After David Ortiz and the Union’s defense of him, I don’t think any player would confess to anything unless caught with evidence. Rodriguez must have felt like the biggest idiot after watching that unfold.

sd, that’s not a fair comparison. A-Rod never gets a pass on anything.
(Sometimes, admittedly, it seems as if that’s actually the right approach with him.)

[5] - I can’t think of the player anymore (maybe Jason Grimsley) but who was the reliever who denied the Mitchel Report?  Does anyone care about him? It’s talent level that matters and if Geo thinks he ever has a chance to be a Cy Young winner or a hall of famer one day or even a big free agent contract in a few years then he should fight it.

A-Rod’s criteria for admission seems to be not “it’s inevitable I’ll get busted, I’ll admit it” but rather only “I’ve already been busted, now I’ll admit it.”

[6] At this point, I think they’d have to be caught with a needle sticking out of their ass to admit they were using.  Even then, “it’s just a vitamin shot!”

[7] - What HOF talent has gotten a pass?

[11] Hank Aaron and his amphetamines? And Andy Pettitte is pretty borderline Hall of Famer.

At least there will only be a few hundred people in DNYS to boo him when he returns.

Right or wrong, amphetamines aren’t viewed the same as PED and even then Aaron only admitted to trying them once. 

As for Pettitte, if he actually starts getting serious consideration for the HOF, let’s see if he continues to get a pass.

Judging by the way things are going, his admission pretty much destroyed any chance he had for the Hall. In 6+ years when he is eligible, the voters will probably still be sorting through the overachieving abusers that they are currently snubbing, and the only way to get in front of that line would have been to maintain a clean image.

[9] ARod was ‘busted’ by an SI article (in 09). Is that much different from the situation with Gonzalez?

The Hall of Fame is one thing, to be sure, but yes, it is pretty amusing to see the San Francisco Giants make Melky a pariah for his failed drug test while keeping Mota on the postseason roster after he finished his SECOND suspension for PED use.

Or the St. Louis writers ripping McGwire while celebrating Ryan Franklin’s All-Star election.

I think it just comes down to whether people are motivated to give a shit about you.

Obviously, in A-Rod’s case, they’re always going to be motivated into giving a shit about him so he will never get to live it down.

At least there will only be a few hundred people in DNYS to boo him when he returns.

Another reason for us to switch allegiance to the M’s. They hate him there, and boo him even when he’s in the dugout.

A-Rod didn’t admit it immediately, but it was clear that the proof was extensive and more or less irrefutable.  Didn’t he first try to smear the reporter, in fact?
We’re still just watching the first few moments of this lovely spectacle.  If it becomes clear that they really have the goods - and I imagine they do - then we’ll be in a similar place, yes.

I couldnt really care less about this stuff but the last people I feel sorry for are the New York Yankees owners / organisation.

The org is basically printing money but ARod is somehow the bad guy for accepting it and we are all supposed to feel sorry for Steinbrenners????

Count me out of that one.

[19] Yeah, you’re right. I think it was like 3 or 4 days of “that crazy bitch is a liar” until he found catharsis and fessed up in a press conference.

That reporter deserved smearing.  She did a total hatchet job on the Duke lacrosse players and still won’t admit any mistakes.

[20] I don’t see anyone here feeling sorry for the Steinbrenners.  I see a lot of people,  Mel Hall included, reviling Hank for entering into a ten-year deal for eleventy trillion dollars when no one else was bidding for Arod’s services.  Any lack of sympathy for the Steinbrenners, however, should not excuse Arod’s fraud in the inducement, if that’s what it was.

In a not surprising result a google search for underpaid baseball players returns 276,000 results whereas for overpaid baseball players returns 822,000 results.

Just remember the poor owners were victimised by lying ARod and they can barely feed their children they are so poor.

“should not excuse ARod’s fraud….if thats what it was”

Obviously but I very much doubt it was.  Why does Mel Hall care what Hank Steinbrenner does?  He is making more than eleventy trillian dollers?  Maybe I get paid more than I deserve but who cares?

(as long as there is no fraud)

[23] Exactly. And if it means we get a lower quality team to watch, we’re sorry for us, not the Steinbrenners.

Mel’s my lawyer, I hire him to care.

Odds are extremely long the Yankees will be able to void Arod’s contract. I believe the realistic best case scenario from a payroll perspective is for Arod to comeback at the All-Star break and hit the 13 HRs needed to tie Mays and collect the $5MM bonus while having the investigation drag on for the entire season. Then have the findings from the investigation result in a 50 or 100 game suspension beginning in the 2014 season, which as mentioned in a previous post would give the team the immediate payroll relief it seeks.

I care about colin very much.  Too much, in fact.

Yeah, I was going to say [26].  No one cares about voiding A-Rod’s contract because they feel bad for the Steinfamily.  They want it to happen so the team can be better.

And if it means we get a lower quality team to watch, we’re sorry for us, not the Steinbrenners.

Yep.  If the Yankees are going to lower payroll while having the worst contract in MLB history on the books, it only means the team is going to be worse than it ought to be, especially since we know they can afford to carry a larger payroll, they are just making the choice not to.

You can’t blame Rodriguez for signing his contract, but you can be annoyed at the buffoons who agreed to it in the first place, which is where I think most of us fall.

I’m not saying this is what happened, but if I were running a sleazy business where I was peddling snake oil cures along with illegal substances, and I had connections with a number of famous athletes with a history of PED problems—because, for example, I provided them samples of “negative-charged water” or some nonsense like that—I might think it was a good idea to create some documentation referencing their names as customers to whom I had sold PEDs.  Then, when the feds came knocking, I could offer them up those big names in exchange for leniency while protecting my actual customers.

Steve Lombardi has totally gone off the deep end:

“Hopefully, he will go into retirement and never been seen again. Then again, if he ended up like O.J. Simpson someday, that would not shock me either…”

[33] The point is that right now, who really knows?  It should be common sense to say it, but we should wait until all the evidence is in.  Except for freely speculating and bashing ARod, Yankee ownership, the press, the union, and mlb in the meantime, that is.

Yanks interested in Pronk.  I, Mellus Hallus, approve, provided the terms are reasonable.  In addition, signing Pronk would be in keeping with the current youth movement.

I bet Roger Clemens could still pitch out of the pen.

Jesse Barfield is available. Mel Hall has recently achieved work release status.

[34] I’m no fan of his, but I’ll say this. He went on and on about Anthony Galea for years following 2009, and it looks like he was right.

1) The Yankees won’t successfully void his contract. Not gonna happen.

2) He’s not gonna let the Yankees off the hook and retire. That is first degree insanity.

If i were the Yankees I’d insist he start doing more PEDs, corking his bat, stealing signs. Because after all, this would be a lot more palatable if he could still produce.

The other thing they could do is trick him into gambling on baseball.

[40] Sounds reasonable.

@29 I don’t know how any investigation is going to get him suspended no matter what the investigation turns up. The only way he gets suspended is if he tests positive. Period.

[42] The only way he gets suspended is if he tests positive. Period.

Pretty sure that the research done by the thousnads of talking heads of who have been dying to talk about how much Rodriguez sucks have been overwhlemingly consistent in reporting that he can be suspended without a failed test.

He can be suspended if possession is proved.  A positive test is not required.

Ok learn something new every day, but I can’t imagine proving possession is all that likely.

while having the worst contract in MLB history on the books

Personally, I still think the Ryan Howard deal is worse.  *Seems* better since it’s half the length and (roughly) have the $$‘s.  But if you take the time and think about it, it’s worse.

[45] It’s hard to do.  When I was a DA, I had a case where a guy was charged with possession of a crack pipe.  He was pulled over for DUI and the cops found the pipe under the passenger seat of his car.  He was not literally holding the pipe, so the charge was constructive possession.  The jury found him guilty on the DUI charge and not guilty on poession.

[40] I agree with 1 and 2…at least for the next several years.  He’s going to play in 2013 and 2014; I’m sure he still thinks he can contribute (even if he’s been on PED’s), so he’ll play 2013.  For 2013, he already has built in excuses if 2013 go poorly; rehabbing from major injury, stress of the PED scandal etc.  If both seasons go very poorly, he MIGHT do like Mike Schmidt (who I believe he professes to admire), and retire rather than continue to disgrace himself.  Possibly as early as mid-season 2015, probably not until after 2015 at the earliest.  So the earliest I can see the Yankees getting out of ARod’s contract - unless there is some special clause no one has noticed in his contract - is mid-2015.

[45] I also think it will be difficult.

[47] I would think this would be a little different.  For one, the commissioner is the one who decides the penalty.  ARod can appeal, but also I don’t think he’ll get the objectivity that Braund did.  I imagine all Selig would need would be 1) Some video evidence or 2) multiple eye-witnesses (I doubt they need to be credible or 3) if he was stupid enough to pay by check, and they can match check dates/amounts to what is listed by the clinic 4) ad admission or 5) if Feds raid ARod’s home and he is dumb enough to not already have disposed of evidence.

Assuming of course that ARod’s denials are false, I think 3 and 5 are the most likely.  ARod will have already shown a lack of common sense.

[47]  But what is the procedure in baseball?  I don’t think Joe Torre or whoever has to convince a jury of A-Rod’s peers.

[40]  The best solution I have heard.

[34]  If Lombardi ACTUALLY quits doing his blog, then something positive will have been achieved.

[33]  BD, I think you are smarter than Bosch the Younger.

ETA, more or less what Mike said; but I suspect the MLB process doesn’t need anything like what you might call “proof” in a court of law.

I think the Albert Bell route is the best case scenario for getting out of A-Rod’s contract early.  He still gets paid, the Yankees collect insurance (or at least remove his salary from luxury tax considerations).

Hafner is a really good fit for the lefty DH.

[52] If they sign him, it’ll be interesting to see for how much. They ‘missed out’ on 2 or 3 players that we figured they’d be interested in, and then 2 days after they find out that there’s a good chance that they’ll save $8M in 2013 because Rodriguez is likely to be suspended for 50 games, they are all of a sudden interested in Hafner.

Hafner would be a nice signing. He has the potential of winning the everyday DH job.

Pronk can’t be asking for anything close to $8 million, right? I figure he’s a $2-4 million level guy.

[52-55] From RAB, he wants more than a MiLB deal.  My bet would be something like $2MM base, with incentives that could reach up to $6MM.  So like $1MM each at 200PA, 250, 300, and 350.  Or something like that, maybe the thresholds are a little different (200, 300, 400, 500, starting at 300 and every 50, etc).  I think that’s fair and Yankees will do that.  I don’t think ARod’s potential suspension has anything to do w/ it.

Very good article on how we should apply innocent-until-proven-guilty to ARod and other players.  I like the closing paragraph:

I don’t know if A-Rod has been doing PEDs again, and neither do you. We can all guess and suspect, but we should be hesitant to immediately assume the role of judge and jury, especially this early in the game. Prior events, admissions, and connections to steroids won’t make this particular case a slam-dunk in favor of the prosecution in People v. A. Rodriguez. He may be guilty for all you or I know, but if he isn’t, only one side can say they didn’t want to throw the book at someone before they knew the entire story. If you are the type who would rather rush to judgment than reserve opinion, be my guest. I won’t try to stop you. However, I would ask that you kindly excuse yourself from jury selection if I ever happen to be charged with a crime.

we should be hesitant to immediately assume the role of judge and jury

I think we should all definitely avoid doing this.  On the other hand, playing the role of public opinion, which could crucify him (figuratively), would be entirely appropriate.

On a more ominous note: Mel Hall, DA? Boss Hogg couldn’t have chosen more (less?) wisely.

Part of A-Rod’s unwritten social contract at this point in his career entailed staying out of these types of newspaper stories in the first place.  I could pretty much care less what Selig or a court’s findings are.  Not being found is far superior to being found not guilty.

[58] My problem with the public opinion poll is like what Mel brought up about the Duke lacrosse players.  Jump to opinions, and even if later proven wrong sometimes you have difficulty letting go of your previous opinion.  I think most people here are above that, but maybe not.

Part of A-Rod’s unwritten social contract at this point in his career entailed staying out of these types of newspaper stories in the first place.

I think as of right now he’s denying having any contact with that company.  So…I don’t think ARod can stay out of these types of newspaper stories.  Really isn’t possible.  He could become a member of the Swiss Guard and live in the Vatican, and they’d still write stories about his possible involvement.

The Vatican is not where I would go to stay scandal free. Maybe there is a tiny village in Minnesota that will take him.

[60] A valid point.  I think if Alex really did become a member of the Swiss Guard and lived in a drug-free school zone, his name would not be on the spreadsheet.  Just because something’s “not your fault” doesn’t make it unavoidable.  The Caribbean societies in particular (geography lesson: just south of Miami) are home to many, many priveleges and no rights, and they do deliver brutal beatdowns to those who ignore these norms.  I’m probably a bit hypersensitive as my last visit to the USA was in 2011.

[57] I’m in favor of the state being forced to jump through hoops before using its monopoly on violence against anyone.  I don’t see why individual people have to follow the same procedures in assessing evidence.

I don’t see why individual people have to follow the same procedures in assessing evidence

Not neccessarily the same procedures or standards.  But I think a basic level of fairness should be a decent standard.  And to me it’s fair to not rush to judgement, allow people the opportunity to defend themselves, and also allow whatever evidence is presented to be fully invesitaged.  I don’t think that we should let a person’s celebrity status - or our personal opinions of them - lower that standard.

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