MLB noted the following in its announcement of the suspension:
"Rodriguez's discipline under the Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program is based on his use and possession of numerous forms of prohibited performance-enhancing substances, including Testosterone and human Growth Hormone, over the course of multiple years. Rodriguez's discipline under the Basic Agreement is for attempting to cover-up his violations of the Program by engaging in a course of conduct intended to obstruct and frustrate the Office of the Commissioner's investigation."
That, to me, is enough for 211 games. However, despite that announcement, many people, including some in the media, still question the number games A-Rod received. Well, consider this:
Players don't have to test positive in order to be suspended. They can be found to have violated the rules for a non-analytic positive, meaning, they have left a paper trail which shows that they have acquired banned substances. In other words, "proof of purchase" is all that is needed to suspend a player.
When Alex Rodriguez met with MLB back on July 12th, he heard all of the evidence they had against him. Later that night, he was supposed to play for the Tampa Yankees in a rehab game. He never showed up. This is a guy for whom baseball is life. He eats, sleeps and breathes the game. Yet, he was a no-call-no-show that night. The evidence MLB presented in that meeting was enough to paralyze even a baseball fanatic like Alex Rodriguez.
And, finally, this:
There is the claim that Anthony Bosch regularly went to the home of Alex Rodriguez to personally inject him with banned substances. As the story goes, Bosch had trouble injecting A-Rod on one of those visits and there was blood everywhere. A-Rod became extremely angry and threw Bosch out of his house. Bosch reportedly expressed a great amount of fear and worry, wondering if Alex was going to fire him. Fire him. That in itself proves that Alex's role in this was HUGE. If he didn't own the clinic, he was definitely heavily invested in it.
That heavy investment, no-call-no-show and "proof of purchase" will likely all be considered by the arbitrator when A-Rod gets his chance at "the process," as he calls it. Like most other people, my guess is that, even if the 211 games don't hold up, he will still be out for the entire 2014 season.
It cannot come fast enough for me.