Damn….baseball is really messed up right now, but I’d imagine that this would be a step in the right direction for the sport. From ESPN:

Major League Baseball came down heavy Monday on the players it found to have been involved with the South Florida clinic Biogenesis, suspending Alex Rodriguez through the end of the 2014 season and banning 12 others for 50 games, including three All-Stars Nelson Cruz of the Texas Rangers, Everth Cabrera of the San Diego Padres and Jhonny Peralta of the Detroit Tigers.

Rodriguez is expected to appeal the suspension, equivalent to 211 regular-season games, and will be allowed to play until his appeal is heard, sources told ESPN’s T.J. Quinn.

The players’ union made a late appeal to MLB for a deal for Rodriguez but was told there would be no more negotiations, sources said. He was punished under the Joint Drug Agreement and other areas of the league’s collective-bargaining agreement but will be allowed to play while he appeals.

The 12 other players agreed to deals for their suspensions in which they gave up the right to appeals. The other nine are:

• Antonio Bastardo, Phillies reliever
• Francisco Cervelli, Yankees catcher (on DL)
• Jordany Valdespin, Mets outfielder (minors)
• Jesus Montero, Mariners catcher (minors)
• Cesar Puello, Mets outfielder (minors)
• Sergio Escalona, Astros pitcher (minors)
• Fernando Martinez, Yankees outfielder (minors)
• Fautino De Los Santos, free-agent pitcher
• Jordan Norberto, free-agent pitcher

Beyond Rodriguez, the suspensions come with potentially stiff consequences for at least two of the players and their teams. Cruz, Cabrera and Peralta were each All-Stars this season, with Cruz’s Rangers and Peralta’s Detroit Tigers contending for playoff berths.

Milwaukee outfielder Ryan Braun was the first player to reach an agreement with MLB on a suspension for his connection to the Biogenesis case. The 2011 NL MVP accepted a season-ending 65-game suspension last month.

The Yankees have said they expected Rodriguez to be accused of recruiting other athletes for the clinic, attempting to obstruct MLB’s investigation and not being truthful with MLB in the past when he discussed his relationship with Dr. Anthony Galea, who pleaded guilty two years ago to a federal charge of bringing unapproved drugs into the United States from Canada.

The Yankees also expected Rodriguez to be eligible to play Monday night, sources told ESPN The Magazine’s Buster Olney, because they expected his suspension to be tied solely to a drug-policy violation and thus eligible to be appealed.

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