What it means: A-Rod has thrown up the white flag on his suspension. He is finally going to accept that he will miss the entire 2014 season. He still has three years and $61 million remaining on his deal, not to mention home run bonuses!
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Math equation: Rodriguez stands to lose $25 million with his suspension. No one gave him much chance, if any, of winning either of his lawsuits, and it would likely cost him about $10 million in legal fees. So he would be out $35 million instead of $25 million.
Noise: The longer the suits went on, the more noise they would make, the less it would be about baseball. MLB's statement was clear that they commended A-Rod for putting the focus on the game. If he had gone forward, we, and others, would have a lot of eyes on what A-Rod's next legal move would be. Now, that is off the table.
The game: Even people who don't like A-Rod know he actually loves baseball. It is where his identity comes from, and it is the realest thing about the man. If he wants to play again -- and who knows if the Yankees will want him back, even with the money owed -- he probably had to retreat. The earlier, the better.
So, if he can be on his best behavior, maybe, just maybe, he will be the Yankees' third baseman in 2015.
After the game: A-Rod might still be going the Pete Rose route -- being blackballed by the game he loves after he stops playing. However, with this move, he gives himself more of a chance today than he had yesterday.