Here’s the story…first, via Michael Schmidt -
Although [Alex Rodriguez] was scheduled to meet there on Friday with authorities who want to question him about his interactions with Anthony Galea, a Canadian-based doctor, the interview was postponed.
In brief remarks to reporters, Rodriguez said he still planned to meet with federal authorities, although he did not know when or where the session would occur.
“We’re going to continue to work together and cooperate and talk to the feds and Major League Baseball,” Rodriguez said, referring to himself and his lawyers.
Federal investigators have been seeking to question Rodriguez about Galea for much of the last month but have yet to do so. They attempted to meet with him earlier this month in Florida, but Rodriguez put it off.
In this instance, however, Rodriguez’s lawyers and the federal authorities jointly agreed to push back the meeting, according to several people who were briefed on what occurred but did not want to be identified discussing a continuing investigation.
Those people said there was concern on the part of Rodriguez and his lawyers that the widespread publicity surrounding the Buffalo meeting could create a spectacle of sorts, something they would want to avoid.
In his comments to reporters, Rodriguez seemed to confirm that sentiment, saying he wanted to keep a meeting with investigators simple “and not make it so much of a big show.” He said he hoped a meeting would take place before the season begins “so we can put this all behind us.”
However, at one point, Rodriguez went so far as to say there never had been a meeting scheduled for Friday. That statement, in turn, was disputed by the people who spoke on condition of anonymity. Two of those people said that after The New York Times reported Tuesday that Rodriguez was going to have to travel to Buffalo, the Yankees confirmed that there would be a meeting with investigators in that city and gave Rodriguez permission to miss the team’s game on Friday night.
In addition, Yankees Manager Joe Girardi told reporters on Wednesday that Rodriguez was likely to miss the Friday game. Instead, Rodriguez appeared at Steinbrenner Field at 3:30 p.m. on Friday, dressed in his baseball clothes and stretching.
But sooner or later, he will meet with federal investigators and when he does it will create significant issues for him, the Yankees and Major League Baseball.
Baseball’s investigators will be eager to follow up when the federal authorities are finished because they have their own questions for Rodriguez about Galea. All the Yankees and baseball officials know at this point is that last December, Rodriguez’s representatives told the Yankees that he had not been treated by Galea. That assertion has now been contradicted by Galea himself, who told The Associated Press in a recent interview that he had treated Rodriguez’s post-surgical hip last season with anti-inflammatories.
In general, baseball’s investigators would have less leverage with Rodriguez than federal authorities, who have subpoena power and the implicit understanding that a witness must be truthful with them or risk legal penalties.
And, next, via Michael Beebe -
Baseball star Alex Rodriguez’s much-anticipated trip to Buffalo to meet with federal investigators Friday never happened. And the New York Yankees’ third baseman said it wasn’t scheduled anyway.
Rodriguez, who was at spring training in Tampa, Fla., all day, told the New York Daily News he still doesn’t know when he will meet with authorities to discuss his relationship with Canadian doctor Anthony Galea.
“Nothing has changed,” the Daily News quoted the player known as “A-Rod” as saying. “We’re going to continue to work together and cooperate, and we’re going to talk to the feds and Major League Baseball shortly.”
Newsday said neither Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman nor manager Joe Girardi would comment Friday.
A-Rod’s non-appearance in Buffalo disappointed a posse of photographers and reporters who waited in 20-degree weather outside the U.S. attorney’s office starting at 8 a.m. Friday.
They waited outside the Delaware Avenue prosecutor’s office until shortly after 10 a.m., when James P. Kennedy Jr., chief of federal prosecutions, came out to tell them they were wasting their time waiting there. Kennedy refused to say more.
The posse then shuffled over to the nearby law offices of Rodriguez’s local attorney, Patrick J. Brown, at 181 Franklin St.
They watched as Brown, a short time later, left his office, walked to a parking ramp, got into his car and drove off. He declined to comment.
There also were reports that A-Rod’s plane flew into Prior Aviation, then was sent on to Niagara Falls, but there were no A-Rod sightings.
Finally, at day’s end, the media trooped into newly appointed U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul Jr.’s office.
After waiting out a news conference dealing with indictments of three people for financial frauds, the big question was popped.
Where was A-Rod? Did prosecutors talk to him?
“We have no comment,” Hochul replied. “We can’t confirm or deny any investigation.”
A-Rod says that “nothing was ever scheduled” for a Friday meeting in Buffalo? Well, then, where was he on Friday and why did the Yankees hold up their line-up waiting for him to show up? And, why did Girardi tell the media on Wednesday that Rodriguez was likely to miss the Friday game? Sounds like A-Rod is lying about that one, no?
So, the parties involved agreed to push this back because they wanted to avoid “a spectacle”? I think it’s a little late for that, right? And, if they’re really that concerned about it, the answer is simple: Have the feds drive (and not fly) down to Florida and meet Alex in a private conference room at Steinbrenner Field (in Tampa) before a game. The media is not going to tail the feds driving all the way down from Buffalo. And, having Alex duck into a private room at the Stein before a game can easily been done without much fuss.
Is this a little out of the way? Sure. But, if you want to get it done outside of the paparazzi spotlight, it would work.
In any event, in the meantime, the circus around this matter will continue. I’m sure the Yankees are just thrilled about that. Thanks Alex.