First Pitch: A-Rod and the lifetime ban

At this point, you can't discount anything, but I don't think Major League Baseball can stick a lifetime ban on Alex Rodriguez. They might get him for 50 or 100 or 150 games, but I don't think he gets life.

It seems MLB is using the threat of the ban as a negotiating tool so A-Rod accepts the largest penalty they can dole out to him. If Ryan Braun, who, like A-Rod, had never failed a certified drug test (wink, wink, I know) but ended up with a 65-game suspension, how can Rodriguez be penalized far greater?

There is a "three strikes and you're out" drug policy, and right now, Rodriguez has no strikes, so it is hard to see how MLB can just kick him out of the game for good. You can't just make up rules because you don't like someone.

UP NOW: Rapid Reaction from last night's 3-1 loss to the Rangers, plus a blog on why Andy Pettitte was unhappy and "Five Things to Know" from last night's game.

Also, our story on the Yankees' and A-Rod's private battle going public after Dr. Michael Gross' magical media tour. Plus, Dr. Gross explains his link to steroids.

And Alfonso Soriano would accept a trade to the Yankees.

ON DECK: Series finale against the Rangers, with Hiroki Kuroda (9-6, 2.65) facing LHP Derek Holland (8-5, 3.10), who shut out the Yankees on two hits last month in the Bronx. First pitch at 2:05 p.m. ET. Clubhouse opens at 10:35 a.m. and Wallace Matthews will be there to get the lineups and all the pregame chatter, so start checking in around lunchtime.

He'll also be doing a live chat at 1:30 p.m. that will take you right up to first pitch, so check out Wallace's Twitter account, @ESPNNYYankees, for the link in the morning. And as always, thanks for stopping by.