Lengthy Suspensions Common In MLB History
MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Major League Baseball dropped the hammer on Alex Rodriguez and 12 other players for their use of performance-enhancing drugs Monday by handing out lengthy suspensions.
But long suspensions are nothing new in baseball where everything from a few games to a lifetime suspension have been handed down at one point.
One of the most infamous lifetime bans surrounds the 1919 Chicago White Sox team that played in the World Series. The team was accused of throwing the series and the team was banned for life, including “Shoeless” Joe Jackson. The Black Sox, as they are known, have not been reinstated.
Jackson’s involvement in the actual conspiracy to throw the series has been the subject of decades of debate and the other players involved would eventually say he didn’t take part, but his lifetime ban has remained.
Another famous lifetime bans involves Major League Baseball’s all-time hits leader, former Cincinnati Red Pete Rose. He was banned for life by MLB Commissioner Bart Giamatti, but has been allowed to apply for reinstatement once a year for the rest of his life.
So far, Rose has not been reinstated despite finally admitting that he did bet on games, including games he was managing for the Reds.
Commissioner Fay Vincent banned New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner in 1990 for allegedly paying a private investigator to find compromising information about player Dave Winfield.
Steinbrenner was later reinstated by Commissioner Bud Selig in 1993 and didn’t retire as Yankees owner until 2006.
Even legendary Hall of Fames Mickey Mantle and Willie Mays faced a ban at one point. Both were banned in 1983 by Commissioner Bowie Kuhn after they took jobs at a casino in Atlantic City. Mays and Mantle were reinstated by Commissioner Peter Uberroth in 1985.
Then there’s the case of former pitcher Steve Howe. He was the rookie of the year in 1980 before drugs got the better of him. Howe was suspended seven different times by Major League Baseball during his career.
Former Texas Rangers pitcher Kenny Rogers famously got into a fight with a cameraman before a game and was hit with a 20 game suspension.
Rose also was suspended in 1988 for 30 games after he shoved umpire Dave Pallone twice while arguing a call.