A-Rod's Already Serving a Suspension—in a Video GameS

You may be following the saga of Alex Rodriguez, who was suspended today by Major League Baseball for more than 200 games but kinda not really, because Rodriguez may continue to play as he appeals the penalty. He's expected to join the Yankees tonight in Chicago. Know where A-Rod isn't playing, though? MLB 13 The Show.

This morning, The Show rolled out its weekly roster update to account for all of the moves, injuries, trades and, yes, suspensions over the past seven days. Nothing Major League Baseball announced today, regarding a dozen suspensions for the use of performance-enhancing drugs, is reflected there.

What's interesting is Rodriguez remains on the Yankees' minor league roster in the video game, effectively barring the use of him in online play and also keeping him out of The Show Live, a mode that strives to deliver you all of the real-world matchups playing in Major League Baseball each day. This is probably because Rodriguez only this weekend completed a rehabilitation assignment in the minors, where he has spent the entire season so far trying to come back from a serious hip injury.

In any case, if you're pissed off that A-Rod gets to play as his lawyers battle MLB's well, justice! He's not playing on your console. Not for another week, likely. Rosters are updated each Monday.

Rodriguez's suspension is unprecedented—it is the longest suspension without being lifetime banishment. If his appeal is shot down, Rodriguez will be suspended for all of the 2014 season, which presents an interesting issue to any video game with license to use Major League Baseball players in it.

As it is now, a player who is suspended is listed as a minor leaguer on the game's official roster for, as said earlier, purposes of ranked matches and other things. This is where virtual Ryan Braun, suspended on July 22 for 65 games for PED use, is cooling his heels. Now, gamers still may do whatever they want to their own roster file, include bring A-Rod, Braun or anyone back to the lineup despite any real-world injury or suspension.

Next year though, Rodriguez is slated to sit the entire 162-game season unless he wins his appeal or has the term shortened. I've reached out to San Diego Studio, makers of The Show, to ask how this would be handled—if they'll even say, as it's technically a feature in next year's game. It's conceivable they'd just leave Rodriguez in minor league limbo for the entire year and leave it up to the user if he wanted to play with him offline (he's rated 88 this year) or reinstate him to his Road to the Show or Franchise world. Technically, A-Rod would still be an active player.

The Aug. 12 roster update will be a busy one, taking ten major leaguers, including Texas all-star Nelson Cruz, off the books for 50 games. Only Rodriguez is contesting his suspension.

Image by Al Bello | Getty

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