Alex Rodriguez dropped his lawsuit against Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig and the MLB Players Association in the very definition of a Friday afternoon news dump. The move changes little, if anything, with regard to Rodriguez's suspension, public perception and relationship with fellow players.
Rodriguez was suspended for 211 games in August for violating MLB's banned substance provision in the collective bargaining agreement. The penalty was reduced by an arbitrator to a full season, 162 games, and the 2014 postseason should the New York Yankees make it. Rodriguez brought the lawsuit to try to overturn the longest drug-related suspension in history, claiming bias in arbitrator Fredric Horowitz's ruling.
At the time, America's least popular slugger was blasted by the news media and players for what seemed like a very public, legal temper tantrum against a ruling that might have been considered excessive given previous punishments. More important, he was criticized for biting the hand the feeds him by targeting the MLBPA, members of which actually wanted to expel Rodriguez from the union. The thing is, A-Rod had to include the union in his suit against the league for his case to stand up in federal court. There are plenty of reasons to question his character, but going after the players' association isn't one of them.
Furthermore, most legal analysts gave the suit little to no chance of winning. By dropping his case, Rodriguez is sparing himself and the rest of us the spectacle of a very public trial that would only make him look worse than he already does (if that's possible). He'll serve his season-long suspension, as he would have anyway, the players can continue planning for when he's back on the field -- with a target on his back -- and Yankees fans can go back to wishing A-Rod had never put on the pinstripes in the first place.
(Kavitha A. Davidson is a Bloomberg View columnist who writes about sports. Follow her on Twitter at @kavithadavidson.)
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