Well, ain’t that a plot twist?
Via the Ledger –
Two reporters, “obsessed with ridding the sports world of performance-enhancing drugs,” tried to discredit Alex Rodriguez’s attorney by getting a past client — former New York City Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik — to file a false ethics complaint against him, according to a $15 million defamation lawsuit.
Joseph Tacopina’s federal lawsuit, filed in Manhattan, says New York Daily News reporters Nathaniel Vinton and Michael O’Keeffe have slanted coverage in their crusade to persecute Rodriguez, and also wrote a “hit piece” on Tacopina. Kerik and others are also named in the legal action.
Tacopina says he became a target while defending the Yankees third baseman in his dispute with Major League Baseball, which suspended Rodriguez for 211 games for allegedly using banned substances and then trying to cover up evidence.
Don’t have need to have some character in the first place for someone to defame it?
Via Yahoo Sports –
While Major League Baseball Players Association player representatives overwhelmingly agreed that Alex Rodriguez should be kicked out of the union during a 90-minute conference call the day he sued the MLBPA, union leaders said they could not legally pursue his expulsion, three sources on the call told Yahoo Sports.
On a conference call of perhaps 40 players and board members held Jan. 13 from 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m., outraged union members repeatedly requested that Rodriguez be expelled, sources said. Following a roll call of players present on the line, according to one participant and another familiar with the call, the first player to speak asked bluntly: Can we kick him out of the union?
Advised by union leadership that was not possible, more players nonetheless expressed the same opinion. Not a single member defended Rodriguez, one player said, in a forum where there are frequent disagreements.
“That’s what everyone was thinking,” the player said. “We wanted to get on this call and not let him back. [To say,] ‘This is our game and we don’t want you in it.’”
While many players allowed for Rodriguez to fight his suspension as he saw fit, they were incensed he would turn on his “brothers,” as one player termed the membership.
“It’s beyond disappointment,” said a player involved in union leadership who was on the conference call. “What brought it beyond disappointment was the fact he’s suing the union. Guys understand people make bad decisions, they lie when they’re embarrassed or trying to avoid punishment. Those are human qualities. Guys understand. But what made guys incensed is he would bring a suit against the union.”
Whether he’ll do so in a Yankees uniform, or otherwise, remains a question present on the minds of players who have trouble imagining him acclimating back into a clubhouse following the lawsuit. Should he return, players told Yahoo Sports, repercussions could manifest on the field.
“When he gets up to bat, you can hit him and hit him hard,” one player on the conference call told Yahoo Sports. “That’s what I’d do. He sued us. Jhonny Peralta and Nelson Cruz screwed up. You know what? They owned up to it. They took their medicine.
“[Rodriguez] needs to be scared of coming back and facing people he sued. If he can’t fear the wrath of getting kicked out or not being included, he’s going to be forced out.”
The last instance of the union blacklisting players was during the 1995 player strike, when several dozen replacement players – scabs, in the eyes of the union – subsequently were denied licensing money and union voting privileges for the remainder of their careers.
He’s some misunderstood…not!
So says Bill Madden -
And then there’s A-Rod (“It was disgusting. . . . the fact that the man from Milwaukee that put this suspension on me without one bit of evidence, something I didn’t do.”), who now proclaims to be looking at his year-long suspension as a “favor” from MLB, affording him a welcome vacation from the 20-year “grind” of mental and physical preparation that included an extensive regimen of testosterone and HGH injections. At a promotional appearance last week for a gym he supports in Mexico, A-Rod said he was looking forward to returning in 2015 and hoped “to play very well and finish my career in New York.” Just like he knew he had cheated, knew baseball, in fact, had the evidence against him, A-Rod knows playing baseball again for the Yankees — or anyone else — is pure fantasy on his part. His skills have eroded, and his body in the last couple of years was betraying him with the drugs. What does he expect to be after a year without them?
And make no mistake, MLB is not done with him yet. While he’s mentally and physically resting, he can expect frequent visits from the MLB drug-sample collectors. And, just in case he still hasn’t read the Joint Drug Agreement provisions, if he should fail a drug test, that’ll be grounds for permanent expulsion from the game. When Selig last summer threatened to take matters into his own hands and suspend A-Rod for life for conduct detrimental to baseball, he believed he had sufficient evidence to do so. But his advisers talked him out of it for fear it would rile up the Players’ Association and upset the delicate spirit of cooperation between MLB and the union on the drug issue. But that was before A-Rod decided to sue the union, too. What kind of support do you think he can expect from the union now on any grievance issue?
And speaking of that, MLB and the Yankees are looking into a reported advertisement for that gym in Mexico in which A-Rod is said to be wearing a Yankee cap. If so, he neglected to get permission from either the Yankees or MLB Licensing and will be subject to a substantial fine.
Meanwhile, Hal Steinbrenner called A-Rod “a great player” and “obviously an asset” last week when asked about his disgraced, fallen star’s future with the Yankees. These are the kind of disingenuous things you have to say in the face of more potential litigation from A-Rod and his handlers at even a hint the Yankees might be looking for a way out of his contract. Ultimately, there will be a buyout because A-Rod knows he won’t be able to play, especially without his regimen.
I wonder how often they will test A-Rod now? Then again, the tests don’t do a great job at catching these guys.
Via ESPN -
Four days after he was suspended for the season for violations of baseball’s drug agreement, Alex Rodriguez met with the media for the first time at a promotional appearance in Mexico and said the ban will allow him to “rest mentally and physically.”
Rodriguez also expressed gratitude for the support he’s received from everyone from his Yankees teammates to “retired players and players that are in the Hall of Fame” and voiced sadness that his suspension ordeal has dominated headlines in recent days.
“It’s a very sad story,” said the three-time AL MVP, who appeared somber as he spoke in Spanish at a press conference to open a gym he’s affiliated with in Mexico City. “And we hope we can take it out of the newspapers and I hope we can start concentrating on all the good things the big league is doing with all the young players moving forward.”
Rodriguez told the media that he wouldn’t address his suspension and other legal issues, but briefly talked about his future now that he’s facing a season away from baseball.
“I think that in the year 2014, the league could have done me a favor because I’ve played 20 years without a timeout,” Rodriguez said in his first public comments since his suspension appeal was rejected last week. “I think 2014 will be a year to rest mentally and physically prepare myself for the future and begin a new chapter of my life.”
As far as what happens when the suspension ends in 2015, Rodriguez said, “I have 3 years left on my contract starting in 2015 and I hope to play very well and finish my career in New York.”
Yeah, because, for the next 12 months, A-Rod is going to do the right thing, lay low, and keep himself out of the spot-light and trouble, right? Sure…
You know, there’s really not much that the Yankees can do with A-Rod now…outside of releasing him and paying his full salary for the remainder of his contract.
But, one thing they can do now…and/or later…that is totally within their control…and that A-Rod would have no recourse to address, anywhere – not even in the courts (!)…would be to issue someone else on the team #13 and reassign Alex another number on the roster…say, like, zero, or, eighty-six, or, sixty-one. (Each one of those has some special meaning here. Try and figure it out.)
They don’t even need re-issue #13 to someone else. Just take it away from Rodriguez now.
Of course, without question, if the Yankees did it, they would get flack for not taking the high road, etc. But, if they were really pissed at A-Rod, and, if they wanted to send a message about how unwelcome he is now, this is one way they could do it…and there’s nothing Rodriguez could do about it, other than whine and pout.
Via Jay Jaffe -
Despite having three years and $61 million remaining on his contract, Rodriguez may never play in the majors again. Assuming he’s unable to get his suspension overturned in federal court, he’ll head into 2015 as a 39-year-old who has played 44 games over the previous two seasons, and who has spent far more time at the center of an unseemly circus than on the field. The Yankees may well release him and eat the remaining money, in part because that will greatly decrease the likelihood that he will reach 660 home runs (he’s at 654), thereby triggering the first of several $6 million milestone bonuses. Perhaps some other team will pick him up and be on the hook for only the minimum salary, but between the precedent of the embattled Bonds not getting a nibble in 2008 while coming off a .276/.480/.565 line and the ongoing media attention that will inevitably surround Rodriguez, it’s difficult to imagine a team desperate enough to take a chance.
Has a team ever eaten as much as $61 million on a contract before? Granted, I get it – it’s like burning $61 million to save another $12 million when A-Rod would reach 660 and 714 homers. (I doubt that he can reach 755+ now. So, the rest of those bonuses are moot.)
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t feel bad for the Yankees. Anyone looking at his 2007 season with a brain could have figured out that he was on something. And, the Yankees turned a blind eye towards it. So, they get what they deserve here.
But, still…sixty million?
Then again, Brian Cashman wasted $46 million on Kei Igawa. And, they basically ate that – and no one in the front office was held to the fire for it. So, what’s another fourteen mill?
I wonder what A-Rod popped before doing work for the Taylor Hooton Foundation?
When I think of this whole A-Rod thing now, four snapshots in time stand out the most to me: When he lied during the Katie Couric interview, when he lied during the Peter Gammons interview, when he lied during the 2009 pre-season press conference in Tampa, and when he lied on the Mike Francesa after storming out of his hearing.
Here they are:
December 16th, 2007: In a “60 Minutes” interview with Katie Couric, Rodriguez tells her that he has never used performance-enhancing drugs. “I’ve never felt overmatched on the baseball field,” says Rodriguez.
February 9th, 2009: Admitting to his doping past following the SI report, Rodriguez tells ESPN’s Peter Gammons in a televised interview, “I did take a banned substance, and for that I’m very sorry and deeply regretful.” A-Rod admits to using PEDs from 2001-03 only, calls the era in which he doped “loosey-goosey,” and throws SI reporter Selena Roberts under the bus, accusing her of trying to “break into my house where my (two daughters) are up there sleeping.” Miami police deny there was any such attempted break-in.
February 17th, 2009: In Tampa press conference, A-Rod reveals his cousin, later identified as Yuri Sucart, procured PEDs for him from the Dominican and that the two used them from 2001-03. Rodriguez refers to using “Boli,” a street name for Primobolan. “It was his understanding that it would give me a dramatic energy boost and otherwise harmless,” Rodriguez says. “My cousin and I, one more ignorant than the other, decided it was a good idea to start taking it. My cousin would administer it to me, but neither of us knew how to use it properly, proving just how ignorant we both were.”
November 20th, 2013: Rodriguez storms out of arbitration proceedings on second to last day after Fredric Horowitz says Selig does not have to testify. A-Rod later tells Mike Francesa during interview that, “I shouldn’t serve one inning,” of the ban, while also adamantly denying any PED use (beyond the three years he admitted to in ‘09).
Is there any question why he is now in suspension?
Via the boys over at The Post -
Alex Rodriguez has turned on his own union.
In an effort to nullify the 162-game suspension he received on Saturday for his alleged involvement with Biogenesis, the Yankees’ beleaguered superstar filed a new lawsuit in Manhattan federal court Monday that names both Major League Baseball (and commissioner Bud Selig) and the MLB Players Association as defendants.
A-Rod’s team of attorneys alleged the Players Association “completely abdicated its responsibility to Mr. Rodriguez to protect his rights under the agreements between MLB and MLBPA.” In the suit, Team A-Rod asks for a finding that the Players Association “has breached its duty of fair representation” to Rodriguez, and that MLB “has breached the collectively bargained agreement,” by virtue of which his discipline should be vacated. It also asks for “such other and further relief as the Court deems just, proper and equitable.”
The lawsuit details several complaints in which Team A-Rod alleges the union, long viewed as one of the most effective and powerful unions in the United States, declined to intervene on A-Rod’s behalf. Among them are the failure to stop MLB’s lawsuit against Anthony Bosch, which led to Bosch cooperating with MLB; a refusal to let Rodriguez select his own representative (instead of the PA’s general counsel David Prouty) to the three-person arbitration panel; a lack of effort to halt media leaks about A-Rod’s case and public comments made by Michael Weiner, the former executive director of the Players Association who died on Nov. 21, that implied Rodriguez’s guilt in the matter.
On Aug. 6, the day after Rodriguez received his 211-game suspension from Bud Selig, Weiner told Chris Russo on Mad Dog Radio that, having seen MLB’s evidence against Rodriguez, he advised Rodriguez to accept a suspension of a specific, unidentified length. The suit contends these comments “were clearly inconsistent with MLBPA’s duty to fairly and ardently represent Mr. Rodriguez.”
The suit also alleges myriad transgressions by Fredric Horowitz, the independent arbitrator, during the 12-day hearing. Horowitz ultimately reduced the 211-game suspension to 162 games.
How long until the Yankees sue A-Rod to try and get out of the remaining money they owe him?
Reportedly, this is what A-Rod said to Tony Bosch when he approached him, wanting to become his client.
I can’t get that out of my head. It reminds me that, again, reportedly, this is why Barry Bonds started doping – because he was envious of Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa.
It’s just amazing that these guys (Bonds, A-Rod) were on Hall of Fame paths and their greed for greater stats got them into so much trouble. Or, was it more insecurity than greed? Either way, albeit driven by ego or lack of confidence, Barry and Alex made their beds and now have to deal with it.
Via the Daily News –
Desperate to regain the lofty status he once held as the game’s best player, Alex Rodriguez turned to a shady Miami drug dealer in 2010 and the two began a doping program that would include clandestine meetings, complicated regimens and injections of steroids, insulin and supplements, and ultimately, a historic suspension from the game he sought to rule.
The CBS news program “60 Minutes” will air the results of its nine-month investigation into the Biogenesis doping scandal Sunday night, including interviews with the chief witness against Rodriguez, Anthony Bosch, and MLB’s chief operating officer, Rob Manfred.
Among the bombshell revelations in the report is an exchange between Bosch and reporter Scott Pelley in which Bosch helps shed light on the motives of the player once considered a lock for Cooperstown and a challenger to the game’s most hallowed statistic, the all-time home run record of 762, currently owned by Barry Bonds.
BOSCH: “Alex cared. Alex wanted to know. He would study the product. He would study the substances. He would study the dosages, because he wanted to achieve all his human performance or in this case, sports performance, objectives. And the most important one was the 800 home run club.”
The “60 Minutes” report will also delve into the relationship between Rodriguez and Bosch, whose validation of as many as 500 Blackberry messages between the men was the linchpin of MLB’s case and a large basis of arbitrator Fredric Horowitz’s ruling. Bosch knew Rodriguez’s proclivities, his habits, his behavior, his desire to win — and not get caught.
The Daily News has also obtained text messages that describe a secretive Rodriguez and an accommodating Bosch, who often delivered the substances to Rodriguez at his home or his hotel.
“Try to use service elevators. Careful. Tons of eyes,” Rodriguez told Bosch in one Blackberry BBM message the day before he hit his 23rd grand slam, tying Lou Gehrig’s record in June 2012 in Atlanta.
In a spring training game in April 2012, in which he drove in three runs, A-Rod texted Bosch with what they both appeared to believe was good news.
A-ROD: “Really good. Explosive.”
BOSCH: “Go with same protocol.”
The “60 Minutes” segment also reveals how much it cost Rodriguez to do business with Bosch — $12,000 a month, according to the report — and says that Bosch personally injected Rodriguez because “Alex is scared of needles, so at times, he would ask me to inject.”
In Pelley’s interview, Bosch says Rodriguez’s associates intimidated him to try to prevent him from cooperating with MLB in its investigation, a claim Manfred took seriously.
“The concerns seemed credible, particularly given that he identified individuals that we had our own concerns about,” Manfred told Pelley, who pressed Manfred about the arrangement MLB made with Bosch to pay his legal fees and provide him with security in exchange for truthful information. “The credibility of any witness is determined by…looking the individual in the eye, listening to the story he tells and then lining it up with the other evidence. And frankly, nobody came in and contradicted what Mr. Bosch said.”
A-Rod really is Rafael Palmeiro, Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens all rolled into one, isn’t he?
Meanwhile, now, the MLBPA ain’t happy.
Via Ken Davidoff -
The verdict is in: Guilty. Very guilty.
Independent arbitrator Fredric Horowitz ruled Saturday that beleaguered Yankees superstar Alex Rodriguez must serve a full-season, 162-game suspension plus the 2014 postseason for his involvement with Biogenesis, the shuttered South Florida anti-aging clinic.
It’s a reduction from the initial 211-game suspension executed by Major League Baseball, but it’s nevertheless a clear loss — perhaps a career-ender — for A-Rod, who vowed that he wouldn’t yet surrender. He filed a lawsuit against MLB last October as a pre-emptive strike against this moment.
“I have been clear that I did not use performance enhancing substances as alleged in the notice of discipline, or violate the Basic Agreement or the Joint Drug Agreement in any manner,” A-Rod said in a statement, “and in order to prove it I will take this fight to federal court.
The suspension will cost A-Rod $25 million, and it gives the Yankees (who will owe a mere $3.16 million toward their luxury-tax calculation) a chance to achieve their goal of getting their 2014 payroll under $189 million — although that chance will blow up if the Yankees sign Japanese free-agent pitcher Masahiro Tanaka.
A-Rod’s team of lawyers is expected to file for an injunction to prevent the suspension from being enacted until the lawsuit has played out, although that qualifies as a legal Hail Mary given the courts’ general respect for binding arbitration.
Furthermore, the MLB Players Association, while releasing a statement that it “strongly disagrees” with Horowitz’s ruling, added, “We recognize that a final and binding decision has been reached, however, and we respect the collectively-bargained arbitration process which led to the decision.”
In other words, A-Rod is on his own with future litigation.
If this somehow holds up, the Yankees will still owe Alex $61 million over 2015 through 2017. Will they be willing to eat that? That’s what I want to know…
And, if this somehow holds up, I fully expect A-Rod to attempt a comeback in 2015. He wants 3,000 hits. And, he probably wants 660 and 714 homeruns – since that will get him another $12 million.
He’s not going away folks. Sorry.
Via the AP -
Alex Rodriguez is likely to find out in the next few days whether his drug suspension will be overturned.
People familiar with the case told The Associated Press on Friday that arbitrator Fredric Horowitz could issue his decision this weekend. The people spoke on condition of anonymity because no statements were authorized.
The New York Yankees third baseman, a three-time AL MVP, was suspended for 211 games on Aug. 5 by baseball Commissioner Bud Selig. The penalty was given for alleged violations of the sport’s drug agreement and labor contract and followed Major League Baseball’s investigation of the Biogenesis of America anti-aging clinic, which was accused of distributing banned performance-enhancing drugs.
The Major League Baseball Players Association filed a grievance saying the discipline was without “just cause.”
Horowitz, MLB’s independent arbitrator, heard the case over 12 sessions from Sept. 30 until Nov. 20. The sides submitted briefs last month.
Rodriguez’s lawyers have threatened to go to federal court in an attempt to overturn a decision not to their liking. The Supreme Court has given judges little leeway to alter arbitrator’s rulings.
Is there really any doubt that he’s going to be suspended? It’s just a matter of whether or not it’s the full two-eleven or something less than that…
And, is there really any doubt that A-Rod will take it to court?
Via the Daily News -
Alex Rodriguez will seek an injunction staying his suspension faster than it takes to turn a double play if arbitrator Fredric Horowitz upholds his 211-game doping ban or doesn’t slash it to A-Rod’s liking, sources familiar with the embattled slugger’s appeal have told the Daily News.
The sources say they believe Rodriguez’s attorneys will ask a judge to issue an injunction that would allow the embattled superstar to report to the Yankees’ spring training camp next month and play when the 2014 season begins while Team A-Rod attempts to have the suspension linked to the Biogenesis drug scandal overturned in court.
“The papers are all ready,” one source said. “They are just waiting for the announcement.”
Rodriguez’s lawyers will likely claim that the unprecedented suspension violates federal labor law because the arbitration process was unfair and biased against A-Rod.
Rodriguez and his advisers have been setting the table for this legal battle since last spring, alleging in interviews and in the lawsuit they filed against Major League Baseball on Oct. 3 that commissioner Bud Selig unjustly targeted the Yankees’ third baseman and that MLB investigators used unethical and illegal tactics to gather evidence to justify the ban.
Rodriguez attorney Joe Tacopina famously stated last year that his client does not deserve to be suspended for “one inning,” but the sources say the Yankee third baseman would likely accept a suspension of 65 games or less without a fight. The legal fees to combat a 65-game ban would likely cost Rodriguez, who is scheduled to earn $25 million in 2014, more than he would lose in salary.
A-Rod in Yankees camp? A-Rod playing with the team this year? Oh, what a mess that would be…
Steve Fishman shares some emails between Randy Levine and Alex Rodriguez. It’s must read material. How about this one:
July 30, 2012
Rodriguez is out with an injury, having fractured his hand five days earlier when hit by a pitch. Levine makes a reference to performance-enhancing drugs that he later refers to as a “bad joke.”
Levine: How r u feeing since u left Robby [Cano] under 200, he needs some steroids fast!
If MLB has any cojones, at the least, they will fine Levine for making such a statement…even as a private joke.
My 9-year old son and I spend a lot of time talking about hitting. And, to be candid, he knows more about swing mechanics than most kids in the 4th grade. Is this good? Well, if not, blame me…I suppose.
In any event, today, he’s not feeling all that great today – fever and a sore throat – and, it’s a soaker outside since the morning. So, we decided to chill in the family room this afternoon and pop the “2009 World Series Film” into the Blu-Ray player.
Well, we’re watching it – and the footage has a lot of A-Rod homers including a few in slow motion and super slo-mo.
After see a few of these Alex Rodriguez big flies, my son says to me “I don’t get it. A lot of times he seems to hit the ball off the end of the bat. But, when he hits it, the balls travels so far and goes out of the park.”
Out of the mouth of babes, right?
Paging Dr. Anthony Galea…
There’s no way anyone will let him play again if he does a tell-all book and documentary. The story, via the Post –
Alex Rodriguez is about to seal a multimillion dollar deal for a tell-all book about his legal battle with MLB, with which he plans to lift the lid on the “full dirt of Major League Baseball’s tactics” he claims have been used against him.
Sources exclusively tell Page Six that HarperCollins and Random House are two of the top publishers battling for the real A-Rod story, and that a deal could be signed in the next few weeks.
Alex has also recently had several meetings with filmmaker Billy Corben — whose work includes the acclaimed “Cocaine Cowboys,” which depicts Miami drug culture in the 1970s and ’80s — about making a documentary about his battle to stay on the field.
A source tells us: “A number of publishers are vying for the book, with offers coming in over $5 million. Alex has met with several publishers over the past few weeks and has meetings with others right after the new year.
“This book is going to go into the real low-down dirt of MLB tactics and collusion with the Yankees to get him out of the game. Alex has also had meetings with Billy Corben on a ‘30 for 30’-type documentary about his story.”
Corben’s studio, Rakontur, set up with partner Alfred Spellman, produced “The U,” a documentary about the championship history of the University of Miami football program for ESPN’s “30 for 30” series. It became the highest-rated documentary in the network’s 30-year history when it debuted in December 2009. Alex has long-standing ties with the university.
The source noted it’s unlikely ESPN would screen an A-Rod doc, given its close relationship with MLB, but Corben could take it to HBO.
The Yankee third baseman is waiting to hear if his 211-game suspension will be upheld by arbitrator Fredric Horowitz but remains optimistic that he will be allowed to play next season. The ruling is expected to be handed down in January.
The lucrative book deal comes at a good time. Alex’s legal fees from this process will be astronomical and, if he is suspended, he could lose more than a year’s pay — $25 million for 2014.
Via TMZ -
Alex Rodriguez’ expensive publicist is sneakily trying to torpedo MLB’s case to suspend A-Rod over his alleged steroid usage … so says MLB … and now the league wants the court to hold the publicist in contempt.
MLB just filed legal docs in A-Rod’s ongoing appeal of his 211-game suspension for using banned substances, claiming the Yankees star’s publicist is refusing to fly from L.A. to New York to testify in the case … despite a subpoena ordering him to do so.
According to the docs, Michael Sitrick doesn’t want to fly 2,400 miles because it would be “overly burdensome and unfair” … even though Sitrick’s PR company has an office there.
Sitrick’s people have offered to make him available via video chat, but MLB is demanding he appear in person.
A judge has since ruled that Sitrick MUST comply with the subpoena … so Sitrick has filed an appeal of his own in federal court, asking to be excused from flying to NYC. Now, MLB wants a judge to hold Sitrick in contempt and fine him for every day he refuses to show up.
The arbitrator in A-Rod’s appeal must make a decision ASAP — whether to uphold, overturn, or reduce his suspension — but MLB officials think Sitrick is trying to run down the clock … in order to force the arbitrator to make a ruling without his testimony.
Although Sitrick said he’d appear by video chat … ya gotta think he knew MLB lawyers would never accept that — so he gets to look like the good guy, while effectively stalling.
As a publicist, Sitrick has a lot to lose by testifying — if other clients start to think he’s a blabbermouth, his business could take a major hit.
You can read the whole thing that Steve Fishman did at New York Magazine.
Or, if you don’t have the time, see the summary that Ted Berg did at USA Today.
And, if you do read it, please feel free to share your comments on it here.
The whole thing is a mess. And, as a Yankees fan, it’s embarrassing that it centers around one of their players.
What are the odds that A-Rod and/or his lawyers will be on WFAN between the hours of 1 PM and 6 PM today?
Bob Raissman lets loose:
After dramatically storming out of Major League Baseball’s headquarters around noon Wednesday, how long before Alex Rodriguez, and his phalanx of lawyers, decided to proceed to the Holy Airwaves for an audience with Mike (Sports Pope) Francesa?
How long? Not long? We can only speculate as to whether God is on A-Rod’s side. No guesswork needed when it comes to the pontiff. Ever since the suspension came down, unlike the rest of Rodriguez’s legal team, Francesa has been doing pro bono work for the Yankees third baseman, serving as a combination lawyer, spin doctor and Pity Party Planner.
With Francesa working on the cheap, there was no reason for Rodriguez to bring Jim McCarroll, one of his attorneys, whose meter must have been running during the nearly 40-minute WFAN interview. About 15 minutes before A-Rod began confessing to the Pope, another one of his lawyers, Joe Tacopina, was on ESPN-98.7 with Michael Kay and Don LaGreca previewing what his client was about to deliver to Francesa.
No. No. No. That’s what Tacopina said. No, his client did not do PEDs since he admitted to using during 2002 and ’03. No, his client didn’t obstruct the investigation. No, he was not guilty as charged by Bud Selig and his MLB crew.
What a coincidence. A-Rod provided similar answers to Francesa. Team A-Rod’s advance preparation worked. Yet listening to the Pope, Rodriguez’s strong denials of the charges were more a vindication of Francesa’s decision to schlep A-Rod’s water.
“Listen, they (MLB) accused you. They said they had mountains of evidence. They said they could prove you did worse than this,” the Pope preached. “… You know how I feel. You’ve gotten railroaded… I don’t know if you’ve done steroids again or not, that’s your business. You’re stating here now that you’ve never done anything. You should be fighting this tooth and nail… I would’ve been outraged long before this.”
The Pope also is regularly outraged when fools (i.e. anyone who disagrees with him) suggest he’s fronting for Rodriguez but is quick to accuse others of going in the tank. After the A-Rod interview, a caller to Francesa said MLB Network’s Ron Darling and Jon Heyman were supporting Seligula & Co. Francesa accused the two of doing what their employers ordered them to do. Heyman dialed up WFAN. Francesa said the reporter, who does work for the station, had breaking news.
Heyman sounded like he wanted to break something, all right. He told Francesa no one tells him what to say, pointing out that he once defended Ryan Braun.
The denial likely didn’t register with Francesa. He was still mesmerized by his own genius, spellbound by the A-Rod interview. How shocking that Francesa would make part of his momentous one-on-one all about him. Or that he would he embellish an answer. Like after McCarroll denied A-Rod threatened any witnesses.
“A-Rod threatening someone? That would be the first time in your career, of your life,” Francesa said. “I didn’t know you had that much fight in you. I never saw you get mad.”
And Francesa didn’t give him any reason to during this spin cycle. Things got very sweet when Rodriguez denied ever trying to pick up that woman with a baseball containing his telephone number. Remember? The lady sitting behind the Yankees dugout during Game 1 of the 2012 ALCS against Detroit.
“With you, I’m not worried about the home runs or the girls,” Francesa said.
“And you,” Rodriguez would say later, “you don’t need any help with the ratings.”
How touching. Almost as heartwarming as A-Rod, the man who has “gotten more love walking around the city” since Seligula targeted him, lamenting that he missed his daughter’s ninth birthday. Or saying how he’s exposing a one-sided arbitration procedure (which was collectively bargained) that will prevent the “next 18-year-old kid” from getting justice.
The sad part of all this? I don’t think we’re nearing the end. This may just be the beginning. Someone get me a barf bag. Mad Magazine could do an entire series dedicated solely to this whole matter.
Anyone who doesn’t think this was planned and rehearsed is not paying attention…
Big Mike admitting that he’s A-Rod’s puppet?
Do dollars indicate who wants it more?
Via Ken Davidoff:
As Alex Rodriguez’s appeal hearing against Major League Baseball reached its halftime, The Post has unearthed details from what has transpired in the first eight days.
According to one source familiar with the proceedings, MLB COO Rob Manfred testified on Thursday, while being cross-examined by A-Rod’s attorney, Joseph Tacopina, that he authorized the payment of $125,000 in cash in return for documents from the shuttered South Florida anti-aging clinic Biogenesis.
A second source told The Post that A-Rod’s side testified to paying $305,000 for Biogenesis evidence, which would considerably boost MLB’s contention Rodriguez obstructed the league’s investigation.
At some point, do the Feds (IRS?) want to get involved with this since people are paying out this money?