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A-Rod takes “called third strike”

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Four weeks after arbitrator Frederic Horowitz largely upheld his season-long suspension from Major League Baseball (MLB), Alex Rodriguez has withdrawn his suit and accepted his ban.

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Rodriguez repeatedly claimed he never used performance-enhancing-drugs (PEDs) and sued MLB and the players union in federal court to have his penalty overturned. However, on the day he was scheduled to respond to MLB and union arguments that the suit should be dismissed, he withdrew it. Additionally, he withdrew a suit in which he alleged MLB and Commissioner Bud Selig were engaged in a “witch hunt” against him. Rodriguez is now the 14th and final player to accept a suspension resulting from MLB’s investigation of the Biogenesis anti-aging clinic.

In a statement, MLB referred to Rodriguez’s decision as prudent. “We believe that Mr. Rodriguez’s actions show his desire to return the focus to the play of our great game on the field and to all of the positive attributes and actions of his fellow major league players,” it said. “We share that desire.”

Rodriguez angered his fellow players by also suing the players union. “Alex Rodriguex has done the right thing,” the union said in a statement. “His decision to move forward is in everyone’s best interest.”

A-Rod is eligible to make a comeback in 2015 if he is physically able to play. Yankee General Manager Brian Cashman said the team expects Rodriguez, scheduled to earn $61 million for the 2015 – 2016 seasons, to return.

“His suspension runs for a year and when it expires, the expectation is that he will return,” Cashman said. “We’ll deal with that at the time, but we will try to do everything in our power to put every player we have in a position to help this club. But that’s for 2015.”

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