Alex Rodriguez gets to start arguing his case today. In a New York hearing room before arbitrator Fredric Horowitz, lawyers for the New York Yankees third baseman will argue why the 211-game suspension imposed by Major League Baseball on Aug. 5 should be overturned.
“Obviously this is going to be a grueling process all the way through,” Rodriguez said. “This has been a burden. It’s been a big burden. So let’s get it on.”
A three-time American League MVP, Rodriguez is fourth on the career home run list with 654. The Major League Baseball Players Association says the penalty imposed by baseball Commissioner Bud Selig is excessive. Unless there is a settlement, a decision isn’t expected until the winter.
A veteran of baseball salary arbitration, Horowitz took over as the sport’s grievance arbitrator in June 2012 from Shyam Das, fired a month earlier by management after almost 13 years. Das had overturned a 50-game suspension of Milwaukee outfielder Ryan Braun in February after the players’ association argued the urine sample was not handled properly.
Cabrera wins batting title
Miguel Cabrera happily settled for a single crown. The Detroit Tigers slugger fell short in his bid to become the first player to win the Triple Crown in successive seasons. But Cabrera clinched his third batting title in a row, finishing with a .348 average after sitting out Sunday’s regular-season finale at Miami.
Astros strikeout record
The Houston Astros have broken the major-league record for strikeouts by batters in a season. J.D. Martinez took a called third strike from New York Yankees reliever Dellin Betances that ended the ninth inning Sunday, giving Houston 14 strikeouts for the game and 1,530 for the season. Arizona held the previous mark of 1,529 in 2010.
Stabbing witnesses sought
The father of a Los Angeles Dodgers fan stabbed to death after a San Francisco Giants game last week asked Sunday for witnesses who may have captured the fight on mobile devices to come forward and help both families find closure. Robert Preece, his voice quavering at times, spoke at AT&T Park. The fight Wednesday night ended with the death of his 24-year-old son, Jonathan Denver.
Around the bases
Mike Piazza has been inducted into the New York Mets’ Hall of Fame. The team honored its former slugger during a 30-minute ceremony at Citi Field before the season finale against Milwaukee. … Hunter Pence and the San Francisco Giants finalized a $90 million, five-year contract, a deal that keeps the outfielder off the free-agent market. … Angels center fielder Mike Trout has become only the third major-league player since 1900 with 190 hits, 100 walks and 30 stolen bases in the same season. … Major-league home run leader Chris Davis left the Baltimore Orioles’ regular season finale Sunday in the fourth inning with a sprained left wrist. … Right-hander Mat Latos has a bone chip that’s causing pain in his elbow and will be unavailable for the Cincinnati Reds’ wild-card playoff game Tuesday in Pittsburgh.