ESPN: A-Rod Dropped Suit to Avoid Being 'Blackballed' From Baseball

Saturday, 08 Feb 2014 05:58 PM

By Todd Beamon

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New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez dropped the lawsuit challenging his full-season suspension for using performance-enhancing drugs on Friday because he did not want to be permanently "blackballed" from baseball — and blocked from becoming  a broadcaster or even a team owner, ESPN New York.com reports.

"It was a question of either becoming Pete Rose or Ryan Braun," a source told ESPN in reference to the fear that Rodriguez that he would be ostracized as Rose has been since reports surfaced that he had gambled on baseball while a manager.

Rose, now 72, is baseball's all-time hits leader. He was suspended in 1989 for gambling on games he managed with the Cincinnati Reds in 1987 and 1988.

Meanwhile, Braun, the 2011 National League's most valuable player, accepted a 65-game suspension for his use of performance-enhancing drugs and is expected to resume his career with the Milwaukee Brewers.

Rodriguez, 38, filed papers in federal court in New York on Friday dismissing his complaint against Major League Baseball. He filed the lawsuit last month after an arbitration panel found he “committed multiple violations” of the league's drug policy.

Rodriguez also dropped a suit against both the league and Commissioner Bud Selig, which had claimed that their investigation of him used abusive tactics and amounted to a “witch hunt.”

“We believe that Mr. Rodriguez’s actions show his desire to return the focus to the play of our great game on the field and to all of the positive attributes and actions of his fellow Major League Players,” Major League Baseball said in a statement on Friday. “We share that desire.”

The suspension will keep the three-time American League Most Valuable Player off the field until the 2015 season. It may also derail his chances to collect most of the remaining $30 million in bonuses included in his contract for his pursuit of Barry Bonds’s career record of 762 home runs.

Rodriguez was initially suspended in August after Selig said he used testosterone and human-growth hormone over multiple years and tried to obstruct its investigation of Biogenesis of America LLC, a now-closed anti-aging clinic in Coral Gables, Fla.

The 14-time All Star received banned substances from Anthony Bosch, the founder of Biogenesis, according to the league.

In the ESPN New York report, sources said that Rodriguez was considering dropping the lawsuits for several reasons, including the $10 million that he might have had to pay in legal fees. He lost $25 million in salary during his suspension.

But the sources also told ESPN that Rodriguez hoped to return to the industry after his playing days were over. His Yankees contract ends in 2017, and he has told confidantes that he plans to return to baseball next year.

Rodriguez hopes to pursue a career in broadcasting or even partial team ownership after his retirement, the sources told ESPN, and he feared that a long legal battled could lead him to be — as one source said — "blackballed" out of the sport.

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