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Cliffs Notes: A-Rod hearing resumes

The Alex Rodriguez appeal resumed on Monday in Manhattan. Since there has been so much noise, we figured we'd make it concise for you so you don't have to read the whole book to pass the test at the end. (Note: there will be no test.)

Here are ESPN New York's A-Rod Cliffs Notes:

1. THE END IS NEAR (MAYBE): The appeal resumes on Monday, but there is no telling when it will end. However, all sides want it done before Thanksgiving and have vowed to work through the weekend to make it happen. So for the next 10 days -- if need be -- they are expected to meet. A-Rod's side is up to bat and he may or may not testify on his own behalf.

2. WHEN WILL THE RULING COME DOWN?: The 211-game suspension should be upheld, reduced or eliminated by Christmas, probably a bit sooner. After the appeal hearing's conclusion, arbitrator Fredric Horowitz will have 25 days to decide. He can come to a decision at any point. In other words, I will be keeping my cell phone on.

3. WILL IT BE OVER WHEN IT'S OVER: What do you think? Of course not. If A-Rod loses he could try to get a legal stay. By leveraging his lawsuit against Bud Selig and MLB, Rodriguez could attempt to have the suspension postponed until he knows the fate of the suit. Whether that will work is unclear.

But either way, the lawsuit will keep the fight between A-Rod and MLB going for a long time.

4. WILL A-ROD PLAY FOR THE YANKS AGAIN?: People have been guessing about this for a long time. Some even thought he wouldn't play last season. The best answer: Who knows? No point in predicting something so unpredictable. The Yankees still owe him $60-plus million after the 211-game suspension, so I doubt they would just swallow that even though they want him to go away.

5. IMPACT ON THE FREE-AGENT MARKET: Some of the top free agents might wait to see if the Yankees will have an extra $30-plus million or so to spend this offseason if Rodriguez is out the whole year. That is a good amount of change that the Yankees could have at their disposal and could cause agents to pause.