Too harsh or just right?

Did Bud Selig's punishment of A-Rod fit the crime?

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    51%
  •  
    49%

(Total votes: 4,360)

YES
NO

THEY GOT IT RIGHT

Begley By Ian Begley
ESPNNewYork.com
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After years of sticking their collective heads in the sand on performance-enhancing drugs, MLB's top brass made a major statement on Monday.

By banning Alex Rodriguez for 211 games, MLB told its players and fans that PEDs will not be tolerated in the game.

And they used A-Rod as the headline act in their high-profile show of strength.

Of course, many will wonder in the coming days if baseball was fair in its treatment of A-Rod.

As long as what's been reported about Rodriguez's role in the Biogenesis saga is true, I say they absolutely were.

Baseball's investigation found that Rodriguez went above and beyond in his efforts to cover up his misdeeds.

Not only did he lie about his use of PEDs during previous inquiries, but he also tried to interfere with baseball's Biogenesis investigation. In addition, he was misleading when asked about his involvement with Dr. Anthony Galea, a Canadian sports-medicine physician who is currently under investigation by the FBI for distributing HGH to athletes.

Rodriguez's camp believes that he should have received only a 50-game suspension based on clause 7G of the Joint Drug Agreement, which states that first-time offenders can only be hit with a 50-game suspension. Rodriguez has never failed a test.

But baseball asserted on Monday that Rodriguez used and possessed "numerous forms of prohibited performance-enhancing substances, including testosterone and human growth hormone, over the course of multiple years."

That, combined with Rodriguez's attempts to mislead MLB and cover up his wrongdoings leads me to believe that the 211-games ban is just punishment.

Hopefully they get it right from here on out.

TOO HARSH

Mazzeo By Mike Mazzeo
ESPNNewYork.com
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Alex Rodriguez may be a liar and a cheater, but Major League Baseball's decision to suspend him through the 2014 season was too harsh a penalty.

Rodriguez has never been suspended before and has never officially tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs. But baseball definitely has something on him, and despite having no strikes on his record before this, A-Rod deserves to be significantly punished.

Fifty games seems too lenient. So does 100. But 150 games feels about right.

You get that by adding up the failed test a decade ago when there was no system in place to penalize players (50 games), his involvement in the Biogenesis scandal (50 games) and his interference with the league's investigation (50 games).

That's basically a full season, a season A-Rod really can't afford to lose at this late stage of his career.

At the age of 38, Rodriguez is 13 home runs shy of tying Willie Mays (660) on the all-time list and 98 hits shy of 3,000.

You wonder -- given the records hes trying to reach and how polarizing a figure he is -- if baseball is going after A-Rod harder than it would another player with a lesser resume.

A-Rod is not without guilt. He said hes going through the fight of his life, and he put himself in that position because of the choices he made.

But a 211-game ban is too harsh for a guy with no previous strikes to his name.

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