Buck says A-Rod ban bad for Birds
It’s been pretty easy as an O’s fan to gloat over the Yankees’ Biogenesis PED woes. There were the suspicions with second baseman Robinson Cano and the further fall of A-Rod, now facing a potential life time ban by Major League Baseball, and the sense that the big bad Yankees would finally get their comeuppance. Now it looks like all that bad-karma joy could come back to bite the rest of baseball on the ass.
O’s skipper Buck Showalter told the USA Today that a lifetime ban of A-Rod would mean some very bad news for Baltimore. If MLB bans A-Rod, then according to Buck, “I guarantee you in two years Matt Wieters is in New York.”
Frankly, just reading that coming from Buck was like a punch in the gut, but he’s probably right on the money, and money is the heart of this. If A-Rod is banned and the Yankees are freed from their contract, it puts them under baseball’s luxury tax and gives the Yanks another $86 million, the amount they currently owe A-Rod for 2014-2017, to play with.
As a Baltimore fan, just the thought of it sucks. After fourteen consecutive losing seasons, it was good feeling like one of the big boys, but the truth ain’t that. It’s hard not to think of the inequities of baseball’s economics in a time like this, and some form of revenue sharing (The Yankees’ payroll is more than ten times that of the Houston Astros), but I also think it points at something a little deeper.
As a fan, it can be tough not to assume everyone is juicing, and there is little shock in the biogenesis scandal. Like broken bats and rain delays , suspensions have become a part of the game. But while Major League Baseball has ridden the backs of its steroid riddled players for decades, players have suffered the consequences, but teams that looked a blind eye and reveled in the home runs and 100 mph fastballs haven’t been hurt at all.
If the suspension comes through, A-Rod will lose close to a hundred million in salary and any connection to the game he built his life around. The Yankees, who benefited from his juiced bat to the tune of a World Series victory in 2009, will get major salary cap relief and the ability to make another run at the next big stud free agent—maybe Matt Wieters. This is hardly McDonalds breaking the backs of its underpaid work force, but it’s another example of the corporate big guys getting off scott free, while the little guys (Well, not that little) pay the price.