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The hammer has fallen on Alex Rodriguez, but it’s not a lifetime ban. The New York Yankees third baseman has been suspended by Major League Baseball for the rest of the 2013 season and all of the 2014 season.

As has been well reported, A-Rod will appeal his suspension and will be playing tonight.

Deadspin reports:

Major League Baseball announced it will suspend Alex Rodriguez for the remainder of this season and all of 2014 for his role in the Biogenesis scandal. It becomes effective Thursday. That’s 211 games, by far the longest PED suspension ever handed out by baseball. He will appeal, and is expected to be in the Yankees’ lineup tonight.

From MLB’s statement, the unprecedented punishment is

based on his use and possession of numerous forms of prohibited performance-enhancing substances, including Testosterone and human Growth Hormone, over the course of multiple years…for attempting to cover-up his violations of the Program by engaging in a course of conduct intended to obstruct and frustrate the Office of the Commissioner’s investigation.

Of the dozen players under investigation, Rodriguez is the only one who did not strike a deal with MLB. Negotiations apparently went down to the wire, but Rodriguez is unwilling to admit wrongdoing in exchange for a shorter suspension (the lifetime ban talk was apparently just posturing), and will appeal his case. He can play while appealing, and will make his season debut for the Yankees in Chicago tonight.

So because A-Rod has refused to admit any wrongdoing and couldn’t reach a deal, he gets a bigger suspension than any of the other allegedly involved players (here is a list). Who does this make look worse; Alex Rodriguez or Major League Baseball?

To be clear, if all goes to plan, Ryan Braun was suspended 65 games; the rest of the players 50 games and Rodriguez  214 games. That’s $33 million in lost salary (for the 2014 season, about $8 million for 2013) for the Yankees slugger.

Let us know what you think of this debacle in the comments.

Photo: MLB