Longoria to SI: Not "fair" for A-Rod to play, impact races while waiting on appeal
Rays 3B Evan Longoria, who tweeted Monday that the PED suspensions were good for baseball, told SI.com that it's not fair for Alex Rodriguez to play for the Yankees and impact the playoff races while waiting for his appeal to be heard.
Speaking with Jimmy Traina on his Hot Clicks podcast Longoria, per a transcription provided by SI, said:
"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.
"If you get in a bench clearing brawl and a guy punches another guy and is ejected from the game and gets a 10-game suspension, you appeal that and it’s heard in the next three weeks. You either get 10 games or six games or whatever. I don’t understand why that process can’t happen for this.''
Longoria also joined others in calling for harsher penalties for first-time violators than a 50-game suspension:
"There’s always going to be people that try and beat the system, regardless of what profession you’re in or what you do. . . . But as far as punishment goes, I definitely feel the risk needs to outweigh the reward. The risk of a 50-game suspension does not outweigh the possibility of a guy playing half or three-quarters of a season and putting up career numbers and getting the contract the next year based off their play. . . .
"I’m a voting member of the Major League Baseball player’s union, and my one vote by itself would mean nothing for changing policy, changing the way the punishment goes in the joint drug treatment and prevention program, but if everybody voted . . . because it seemed like an overwhelming number of players have spoken out on this issue whereas in the past it’s been very taboo, but it seems more players are starting to come forward and voicing their opinion negatively about cheating and PEDs.
"If it comes to this offseason or the next, where we have (a) formal meeting (take) place where everybody in the union is there, and we have keynote players in the game today speaking adversely, then policy could get changed. The penalties could get more severe because guys want it out of the game."