Earlier in the week, Evan Longoria gave his thoughts on the BioGenesis suspensions, calling it a “sad day for baseball.” Yet, despite that, he saw the positive in the situation, as he felt that the suspensions were a step in the right direction for the sport.
Given his willingness to speak out about the suspensions, it was seemingly inevitable that Longoria would speak out about the Alex Rodriguez suspension, and subsequent appeal. In an interview with Jimmy Trania on his podcast ‘Hot Clicks,’ Longoria spoke out against Rodriguez being able to play while appealing his suspension.
"“I don’t think it’s fair for the other teams, because I’m in the American League East. Whether he is 100 percent or not, whether his mind is where it needs to be or not, he can affect the game in a positive way. He can affect the game in a tremendous way, which is being in the lineup. In a pennant race, he’s a guy you don’t want in the lineup. Looking at it from that perspective and that perspective only, I don’t think it’s fair that we can’t have an arbitrator hear the case sooner.”"
Longoria certainly has a point about the affect that Rodriguez could have in the pennant race. Even though the Yankees are fading in the American League East and in the Wild Card chase, Rodriguez is still an upgrade over the plethora of AAAA players that have manned the hot corner this season. What makes Rodriguez being able to play even more egregious is that other players that were suspended, and accepted their punishments, were important parts of their teams playoff pushes. Think the Rangers would have wanted Nelson Cruz playing, or the Tigers would want to have Jhonny Peralta‘s bat in the lineup? Yet, these players accepted that they broke the rules and were caught, taking their punishments and fading away for the rest of the year.
However, this is essentially par for the course for Rodriguez. He seemingly has a tendency to feel that he is never wrong, and is almost always being targeted due to his success. But if players like Longoria get their way, this type of situation would not arise again.
Evan Longoria has been saying what most of the fans and other players feel, as they have been demanding that baseball be as clean as possible. Given the outrage among the players, that anger may actually do more to prevent PED usage than any testing. As a voting member of the player’s union, it is good to have a player like Longoria in the forefront of the fight against PEDs.