First Pitch: A-Rod and the lifetime ban

July, 25, 2013
7/25/13
6:00
AM ET


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.
Andrew Marchand is a senior writer for ESPNNewYork. He also regularly contributes to SportsCenter, Baseball Tonight, ESPNews, ESPN New York 98.7 FM and ESPN Radio. He joined ESPN in 2007 after nine years at the New York Post. Follow Andrew on Twitter »

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TEAM LEADERS

BA LEADER
Jacoby Ellsbury
BA HR RBI R
.286 8 47 47
OTHER LEADERS
HRM. Teixeira 17
RBIM. Teixeira 48
RB. Gardner 61
OPSB. Gardner .780
WM. Tanaka 12
ERAM. Tanaka 2.51
SOM. Tanaka 135