Long Islanders on Rodriguez suspension: Take the punishment
Dominick Rappa has some advice for Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez: Take the punishment.
Rappa, a utility worker from Bellmore, has little sympathy for Rodriguez, whose reduced suspension for doping will cost him the entire 2014 season.
"Anybody caught cheating in baseball should get the full suspension," said Rappa, 54, as he left Modell's Sporting Goods in Farmingdale.
Many Long Island baseball fans agree, but some Saturday questioned the severity of the punishment and support Rodriguez's right to appeal further.
Dina Reynolds, 46, a state developmental aide from Deer Park, said Rodriguez, who has vowed to take the case to federal court, is justified in fighting the arbitrator's decision.
"If the person feels they didn't do anything wrong, I'd pursue it to get my name cleared," she said.
At the Main Event Restaurant and Sports Bar in Plainview, the Rodriguez suspension -- trimmed from an initial 211 games -- drew praise.
"I'm glad it's reduced," said Jeff Montaigne, 53, of Plainview, who works in health care business development.
Montaigne said Rodriguez is being singled out for something that others players have done.
"If they do it to him, they need to do the exact same thing across the board," he said.
If Rodriguez used performance-enhancing substances, "he needs to pay a price for that," said Dan Caragher, a commuter rail conductor from Malverne.
"He's lied to the game of baseball," said Caragher, 53.
But there was a hint of sadness when he predicted that the 38-year-old Rodriguez, should he mount a comeback after the suspension, will be "a shell of himself."
"He's come to a sad end," he said.
In Hicksville's Time Out Sports Café, where most eyes where glued to the Seattle Seahawks-New Orleans Saints playoff game, Mike Gibson of Hicksville called the length of the suspension "excessive."
Still, the 66-year-old retired schoolteacher said Rodriguez should accept the punishment and move on.
"He got caught and like everyone who got caught, he's got to pay a price," Gibson said.
The bar's owner, Nick Calvacca, 55, disagreed that the punishment is too severe.
"I don't think they should have reduced that at all," he said. "It's justified."
Labeling Rodriguez an "embarrassment to baseball," Calvacca said the former All-Star's career is coming to an end.
"It's probably over for him," he said.