Via the Times –
First, it was Alex Rodriguez against Major League Baseball. Next, it was Rodriguez versus the Yankees, his own team. Then Rodriguez found himself at odds with the players union that is supposed to be representing him.
Alex Rodriguez’s lawyers asked the union to step aside as his chief advocate at arbitration.
In late August, Rodriguez grew so frustrated with how the Major League Baseball Players Association was defending him — or, as he saw it, not defending him — that his personal legal team wrote a letter formally requesting the union step aside from its prescribed role as his chief representative on his arbitration panel. It was an unusual acknowledgment that Rodriguez did not trust the union to look after his best interest, and he wanted to pick his own representative.
The move represented a significant escalation in the continuing battle over Rodriguez’s 211-game suspension, the longest doping penalty ever issued by Major League Baseball. The letter portrays Rodriguez as increasingly on his own, mistrustful of his accusers, the arbitration process and even the union lawyers assigned to defend him.
The letter, which was obtained by The New York Times and has not been previously reported, was dated Aug. 22 and sent on the letterhead of Reed Smith, one of the law firms representing Rodriguez. In it, Rodriguez’s lawyers notified the players association that they believed the union failed to “fairly represent his interests” regarding Major League Baseball’s investigation of Biogenesis of America, a South Florida anti-aging clinic that baseball officials say dispensed banned substances to ballplayers, including Rodriguez.
The letter argued that the players association had missed opportunities to challenge baseball officials’ aggressive investigative tactics; that the union had not strongly enough condemned baseball’s “gratuitous leaks” to the news media; and, most pointedly, that Michael Weiner, the union’s executive director, had publicly compromised Rodriguez’s position in a radio interview when he signaled that Rodriguez should have accepted some type of suspension “based on the evidence we saw.” Rodriguez and his personal lawyers have steadfastly maintained that Rodriguez should not have been suspended.
The union “has made matters worse by failing to protest M.L.B.’s thuggish tactics in its investigation, including paying individuals to produce documents and to testify on M.L.B.’s behalf, and bullying and intimidating those individuals who refuse to cooperate with their ‘witch hunt’ against the players — indeed principally Mr. Rodriguez,” the letter said.
I guess this means that Michael Weiner won’t be having sleepovers at A-Rod’s house any more.