Major League Baseball's battle with performance enhancing drugs has been widely documented, including here on WPN, but the latest string of players being persecuted for use is starting to show just how damage the fight can be to the sport.
No current player, save maybe former NL MVP Ryan Braun, is poised for more of a downfall than A-rod himself, Alex Rodriguez. While it is still unclear just how MLB will attempt to punish the Yankees slugger, the possibilities that are being thrown around range from a severe slap on the wrist to ending his career.
Sources with knowledge of the situation have told ESPN's "Outside the Lines" that some officials would like to seek a lifetime ban for Rodriguez, who was once seen as the golden boy of the big leagues.
The reasoning behind that decision would be that Rodriguez would have to defend himself in arbitration if slapped with a ban. A suspension would allow him to appeal and continue to play. Some officials would view that as a slap in the face since they claim to have a hefty amount of evidence showing Rodriguez's guilt.
The sources also believe that MLB would rather Rodriguez and his team of attorneys accept a long-term suspension in order to same the sport from further tarnishing during an arbitration that would drag some of the demons of the steroid era into the light. Such a suspension would likely keep Rodriguez off of the field for the entirety of next season, but would not end his career.
Rodriguez's attorneys have stated that they will fight any suspension, but when faced with a possible lifetime ban they may reconsider. Either way, Rodriguez's image will likely never recover, and another titan of the game will go down in history as nothing more than another cheater.