The biggest sports deals of 2013

The 10 deals -- or "big deal" events -- from this year that will pose the biggest impact on sports business in 2014.

1. Alex Rodriguez's suspension and appeal

2013 sports alex rodriguez

His 211-game suspension for alleged dirty dealings with Miami rejuvenation clinic Biogenesis of America set a new precedent: at last, some said, commissioner Bud Selig and the MLB took a vocal step toward declaring that performance-enhancing drugs will not be tolerated in this sport. But others said it was too harsh, that Selig overstepped baseball's Joint Drug Agreement. Rodriguez certainly believes the latter, and he sued MLB in October to dispute the suspension. He also sent a letter of complaint to the union, stating that they did not fairly defend him. An amended filing in November labeled Selig's actions "cowardly."

A-Rod's fight against baseball's powers-that-be is significant beyond the fate of just A-Rod himself: when a ruling comes (likely in January) on whether to uphold or adjust the most controversial suspension in league history, it will have lasting impact on the reputation of Major League Baseball as a business, on Selig's legacy, and on what players caught using PEDs can expect in the future. The current collective bargaining agreement ends after the 2016 season; MLB, which has been free of union disputes for some time, might face problems depending on how this case plays out.

  @FortuneMagazine - Last updated December 27 2013 08:41 AM ET
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