The alleged reaction of Alex Rodriguez to MLB’s latest PED scandal really is a sight to behold.
According to the New York Daily News, the Yankee third baseman now believes that the team and perhaps MLB in general is out to get him, having framed A-Rod as part of the latest PED crackdown in an effort to push him out of the game. The Yanks are reportedly looking for a way to void the remaining years on A-Rod’s contract, and the latest PED issues are seen as a possible excuse for the team to do just that.
It is fairly easy to dismiss these claims as little more than paranoia, especially considering A-Rod’s record on PED usage and his general lack of self-awareness.
At the same time, the issue that A-Rod brings up is exactly why baseball should be weary about making termination of contract an option for punishing PED users.
Baseball’s latest PED scandal has caused many to conclude that the only way players will stop using PEDs is if it affects their pocketbook, leading some to call for the ability of MLB to terminate contracts of players who test positive for the very first time.
As great as this idea sounds on paper, it would be a rule that has the potential to cause far more problems than it would solve.
Allowing teams to void contracts for players who test positive would essentially be giving franchises a get-out-of-jail-free card for every contract on their roster. How tempting would it be for teams to tamper with test samples in an effort to be rid of unfavorable contracts? And what incentive would there be to stop teams from doing so?
Would this not be the franchise equivalent of a player taking PEDs in an effort to land a big payday?
And do not say that MLB is incapable of enacting such a devious scheme; after all, this is the same sport that got caught in a collusion scandal in the late-1980s in an effort to suppress player salaries. A scandal involving a player whose contract was terminated as a result of a tampered test would make that scandal look tame by comparison.
The MLBPA would fight tooth-and-nail against any termination of player contracts, while the owners have no interest in another scandal that would further tarnish their reputations. This is why it is unlikely that voiding the contracts of PED users will ever be considered a viable option.