Wednesday, November 13th, 2013...11:26 pm

Alex Rodriguez expected to testify in front of arbitration panel Monday

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By Brian Cruikshank

At one of his last at-bats to save whatever is left of his career and public perception, Alex Rodriguez has to do something that the fourteen time all star has never been able to do on the baseball field: appear genuine. When his appeal of the 211-game suspension Major League Baseball handed down to A-Rod resumes Monday, Rodriguez is expected to testify that he never received steroids from Anthony Bosch, owner of the shady Biogenesis clinic in Miami.

From inside my Yankee Fan Cocoon, I want to believe that Rodriguez has nothing to worry about. I want to believe that when he appears in front of the arbitrator on Monday, all he has to do is say that he has never ever taken any performance enhancing drugs. I want to believe the 654 home runs he has hit had everything to do with his now surgically repaired hips and nothing to do with a similar substance to what Roger Clemens was putting in his ass. But, as it is always with A-Rod, it’s not that easy.

Bud Selig, commissioner of baseball, has been working to unseal testimony that Rodriguez gave at the hearing of another shady steroid provider, HGH smuggler Anthony Galea. If Selig can make that testimony public, he can compare it with Rodriguez’s testimony on Monday to look for discrepancies. A-Rod’s stories must match up or he risks perjuring himself on Monday, suffering the same fate that Home Run King* Barry Bonds did when he lied, under oath, about taking steroids.

Rodriguez’s best chance is to make a passionate plea that he ceased using performance-enhancing drugs after he moved to New York. Or that he rejected any further use when he realized that people looked up to him as the man that would wipe away the stain of the steroid era from baseball’s record books and assume his role as the clean option for the home run king title.  It shouldn’t be too hard to play the victim when Selig and Major League Baseball are coming at him for a suspension nearly a full season longer than the suspensions for all of the other Biogenesis patients. But, as it is always with A-Rod, it’s not that easy. Remember, this is the same guy who hung a painting of himself as a Centaur in his bedroom. The same guy who opted out of a $252 million contract only to sign a $275 million contract, which appear as numbers 2 and 1, respectively, on the list of highest athlete contracts of all time.  For Rodriguez to appear genuine in front of the arbitrator he will have to summon more effort and perseverance than he has in his entire twenty-year career, all in the hope that he can play for one more.

For my part, I hope Rodriguez wins his appeal and I get to watch one of the greatest players of all time hit a couple more home runs over the short porch at Yankee Stadium. I want this steroid era to be over so we can marvel at the accomplishments of players today, not the faults of players yesterday. I want A-Rod to apologize to his fans and teammates and make an impassioned plea for why he is a guiltless victim of Selig’s last attempt to fix the mess he presided over before Selig retires next year. But, as it is always with A-Rod, it’s not that easy.

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