by Ryan English
New York Yankees star third baseman Alex Rodriguez, also known as simply A-rod, has been caught cheating the system, himself, his teammates, the game of baseball, and its fans by taking performance-enhancing drugs. Now, because of the shortcomings of Major League Baseball’s appeals process, he is allowed to continue to play, a decision which affects the outcome of the current playoff race and could cost the Rays a spot in the playoffs as the American League wildcard team.
For many local fans, this is infuriating and very unfair as the New York Yankees are only 1 ½ games behind your Tampa Bay Rays for the last wild card spot in the American League. If the Yankees were to knock the Rays out of contention and claim the last playoff spot, the league office would never hear the end of it from fans. The league handed down suspensions to 13 players throughout baseball, and Rodriguez topped the list. All of the other 12 players accepted their punishments without a ruckus, as their suspensions were of the 50-game variety. Alex Rodriguez, the only one of the bunch to appeal, is now a repeat offender and will be facing a suspension of 211 games through the 2014 season. The question at hand, though, is the appeals process.
Why on earth will he be allowed to play and affect the outcome of this exciting 2013 playoff hunt? Many people around the Tampa Bay area do not take kindly to what A-Rod has done. When Rodriguez stepped to the plate recently at Tropicana Field in Saint Petersburg, he was met with a shower of boos.
“I’m absolutely furious,” said Stephen Kurnock, 30, a local restaurant worker. “He deceived many people and doesn’t deserve to play the rest of his career. I think if he does the crime, he must do the time.” Another fan at a recent game explained how the Rays fans have come up with a new type of boo.
“Juuuuuuuice!” said David Casey, a Rays fan from Clearwater sitting behind the left field wall. “I think he deserves to get banned from the game permanently.”
Rodriguez still has the opportunity to foil the Rays plan for another trip to the playoffs as the Rays battle with the New York Yankees in a pivotal 3-game late-season matchup wrapping up this Thursday night in New York. Many fans in the Tampa Bay area would like Rodriguez to be banned from Major League Baseball permanently. That sounds like a good idea, but how about a suspension for the rest of the season and playoffs? There is a start.