The future of Alex Rodriguez

Alex Rodriguez could face a ban through the 2014 season for PED use. Rick Osentoski/USA TODAY Sports

PHILADELPHIA -- The news conference that Alex Rodriguez gave the other night was astonishing because it was like he stole the script that Ryan Braun had used 17 months before.

Rodriguez was indignant, he was resolute, he hinted at conspiracy, and above all, he professed his love for baseball, which apparently is the thing you're supposed to say after you trample all over the sport. The problem for Rodriguez is that everybody has seen the act before, including commissioner Bud Selig, who is said to be very comfortable now in the role of a steroid-fighting Wyatt Earp.

Once extremely tentative in his steps toward the high ground years ago, Selig figured out before the commissioners of the other major sports that when you're running a multibillion-dollar industry, spending tens of millions in a hyper-aggressive effort to keep your sport clean is like buying pest control for your house: It's worth the investment.

Baseball officials were appalled and angered by Braun's performance at that news conference, the brazenness of the lies. And so Rodriguez, with his knack for saying the wrong thing at the wrong time, said the wrong thing at the wrong time. Selig isn't negotiating anymore, believing that he has the evidence to take down Rodriguez. Perhaps by Saturday night, Rodriguez fully realized how deeply he has buried himself in this mess because he declined to comment.

That won't last, of course, because Rodriguez can never really help himself for long.