I’m not going to get down in the weeds with every single one of these articles, but for the record let me say that this is both ridiculous and reckless nonsense from a major media outlet:
If baseball’s investigation corroborates the Miami New Times’ story about Tony Bosch and his ballplayers, what if Selig stood at his bully pulpit and decided to turn Alex Rodriguez into the honorary sacrifice of the steroid era? What if A-Rod, the guy who confessed once before and may yet again, becomes the skin Selig displays on his wall to ward off future intruders?
That might be asking too much, but by the power vested in Selig by the new Joint Drug Agreement, he doesn’t need a positive test to dole out suspensions. If he has evidence, he can suspend Rodriguez — or, if you’d prefer, El Cacique — for 50 games or more.
Calcaterra gives it the full fisking it deserves here. Long story short: No, Bud Selig can not suspend A-Rod for more than 50 games (at least not without some extraordinary new details coming out first) because the CBA explicitly prescribes the punishment for violating the JDA, and A-Rod can’t be arbitrarily singled out for an exception.
The thing I want to note, however, is this apparent trend in which some columnists have decided to write columns on the premise that the CBA is a mere set of guidelines subject to the whims of the commissioner and not, you know, a legally binding legal document that Selig has no choice but to abide. I understand that it makes good copy and that this is all just noise at the end of the day, but frankly, you’d think people who are supposed to be professionals might be just a little bit embarrassed by the sheer volume of ignorance they’re trafficking in. Between this line of thought and yesterday’s “insurance fraud ain’t no thang” thread, I daresay the nation’s baseba writers are coming away from this looking even more ridiculous than Alex.