Aug 6, 2013 12:04 AM by Rebecca Taylor

Local reaction to Alex Rodriguez suspension

TUCSON - A historic day for Major League Baseball and professional sports, in general.

On Monday, the league handed down 13 suspensions for players in the middle of a steroid scandal, including Alex Rodriguez.

As expected, A Rod received the most severe: the rest of this season plus all of next season, which amounts to 211 games.

He is allowed to appeal the punishment which means he can play while that is being considered.

Before taking the field for his first game this season, because of injury, A-Rod said these last few months have been a nightmare.

"Obviously disappointed with the news today, no question about it but what we've always fought for was for the process and I think we have that and at some point we'll sit in front of an arbiter and give our case," said Rodriguez.

The other 12 players suspended, each received 50 game suspensions and agreed not to appeal.

Since A-Rod is appealing, he was allowed to join his team Monday night in Chicago.

Tucsonans weighed in on the controversy, there were strong emotions from athlete parents and coaches.

Some felt A-Rod's suspension should have been effective immediately.

At the Western Regional Softball Tournament players, coaches and spectators were enjoying some all American fun.

The mention of Alex Rodriguez got them talking.

Suzie Garcia, volunteer with Thornydale Little League says, "I'm glad MLB is taking care of this, chastising him, really penalizing him for using what he knew better."

Parent and Volunteer Greg Garner says, "He's delaying the process, and this is his second time with PEDs, and I just think he should be banned."

"If it wasn't a player who was in NY and wasn't being paid as much as A Rod, he probably would have gotten the death penalty," says Steve Lefler with District 5 Little League.

Instead A-Rod's punishment is 211 games suspended, the longest in MLB history. He's appealing.

News 4 Tucson's Rebecca Taylor asks, "What is your message to youngsters watching, when it comes to performance enhancing drugs?"

Lefler says, "Well obviously should be don't use them, Period. Even thought they help you in the short term, they will damage you and cause you illness and sickness in the long term."

"The old just say no is what you do, you just don't do it," says Garcia.

Garner adds, "Hard work pays off. Bottom line."

In Wisconsin, a youth sports complex named after Rodriguez, took down signs bearing his name.


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