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?
Via the Post -
Just call him a-john. An upcoming book reports that not only did Alex Rodriguez enjoy the services of prostitutes — he frequently turned the double play by hiring them in pairs.
The tattered reputation of the Yankee slugger will get shredded some more in “House of Outrageous Fortune: Fifteen Central Park West, The World’s Most Powerful Address,” a book by “740 Park” author Michael Gross due in time for spring training.
A-Rod rented a $30,000-a-month apartment in the pricey limestone tower in 2010, becoming neighbors with Sting, Denzel Washington and Bob Costas, plus Wall Street titans Lloyd Blankfein, Sandy Weill and Daniel Loeb.
A building worker told Gross, “He got hookers all the time. Usually two at a time, two times a week. One time he had two go up, they came down and left, and 10 minutes later, Cameron Diaz walks in.”
“Fifteen [Central Park West] became A-Rod’s home plate,” Gross writes, where the $275 million man scored with Madonna and Kate Hudson, as well as Diaz. “But apparently they weren’t enough for A-Rod.”
Though a broker called Rodriguez “the best tenant” in the book, the 15CPW staff didn’t agree. “He was a douche, an unfriendly narcissist,” another building worker said. “I hate the guy. He thought he was God.”
A-Rod’s spokesman, Ron Berkowitz, says, “This is a further effort to fabricate scandal around Alex. The allegations concerning prostitutes are categorically false.”
“House” will be published March 11, 2014, by Atria/Simon & Schuster.
Well, now we know that A-Rod is twice the man that Brian Cashman is…
And, A-Rod and Bosch were in the men’s room when it happened.
You cannot make this stuff up.
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.
The news today -
New York Yankees player Alex Rodriguez has sued Major League Baseball and its Commissioner Bud Selig, accusing them of improperly gathering evidence to destroy his reputation and career.
Rodriguez, suspended from 211 games by Major League Baseball for doping, claims MLB interfered with his contracts and business relationships.
The lawsuit, filed on Thursday, seeks unspecified damages.
Via the Daily News -
According to a source with knowledge of Rodriguez’s ongoing arbitration hearings, the embattled Yankee and his lawyers have presented a case based partly on the idea that Rodriguez believed the substances he procured from the Biogenesis anti-aging clinic were innocent legal supplements.
That narrative conflicts with the version told by Anthony Bosch, the founder and proprietor of the now-shuttered facility, who spent part of Monday and almost all of Tuesday testifying before the three-person panel that will decide on the appropriateness of the 211-game doping ban Major League Baseball commissioner Bud Selig imposed upon Rodriguez in August.
Bosch, who is cooperating with MLB, has spent much of that time validating a vast trove of Biogenesis documents as well as his own electronic communications with Rodriguez. The league believes the evidence reflects a deep dealer-source relationship. If the Biogenesis products were legitimate, MLB argues, why were they so expensive and why were the transactions so secretive?
That’s right up there with the dog ate my homework. A-Rod really expects anyone to believe this?
Via Deadspin -
Alex Rodriguez has hired a new lawyer named Joseph Tacopina, and he’s accusing the Yankees of asking the doctor performing Rodriguez’s surgery to make sure Rodriguez remained hurt and never played for them again. Tacopina is a lawyer who’s made his reputation with outlandish statements, so this accusation doesn’t really have any weight without evidence.
For what it’s worth, here’s Tacopina’s explanation in the New York Times:
During the 2012 playoffs, Tacopina said, the Yankees hid from Rodriguez that a magnetic resonance imaging test had revealed that he had a torn labrum — essentially a hole in his hip — and continued to play him, even though he was struggling mightily.
“They rolled him out there like an invalid and made him look like he was finished as a ballplayer,” Tacopina said.
Rodriguez learned the extent of his injuries in the off-season, and the Yankees sent him to Dr. Bryan T. Kelly, a prominent surgeon at the Hospital for Special Surgery in Manhattan. Tacopina said Kelly later told Rodriguez that before the surgery, [Yankees president Randy] Levine told Kelly, “I don’t ever want to see him on the field again.”
“It sent chills down Alex’s spine,” Tacopina said.
Rodriguez asked Kelly if Levine’s comment was a joke, Tacopina said, and was told that “it wasn’t a joke.”
Yankees president Randy Levine dismissed these allegations as “specious and completely false,” adding that he would release transcripts of his phone calls with Kelly if desired.
Tacopina also called the Yankees a “thug-culture club.” No word as to whether or not he spends his free time as a Yahoo Sports commenter.
Geeez…there’s so much here. But, isn’t it interesting that Randy keeps transcripts of his phone calls? What’s that all about?
Anywho, the A-Rod circus continues…what’s next? It’s really a war, now, right?
Via CBS -
Members of Alex Rodriguez’s “inner circle” leaked documents implicating Yankees teammate Francisco Cervelli and Milwaukee Brewers star Ryan Braun in Major League Baseball’s latest performance-enhancing drugs scandal, according to CBS’ “60 Minutes.”
Cervelli and Braun were linked on Feb. 5 to Biogenesis, the shuttered Florida anti-aging clinic accused of distributing PEDs. A bombshell report in the Miami New Times tied Rodriguez and other baseball players to the clinic in late January.
Team A-Rod “obtained unredacted versions” of documents published in the New Times – the hand-written records of Biogenesis operator Anthony Bosch — “and leaked them to Yahoo! Sports,” “60 Minutes” reported.
“The allegations are untrue and are another attempt to harm Alex — this time by driving a wedge between Alex and other players in the game,” A-Rod’s lawyer, David Cornwell, said in a statement to “60 Minutes.” “While Alex focuses on baseball and repeatedly states that he is going to respect the appeal process, the drumbeat of false allegations continues.”
Cervelli and 11 other players were suspended 50 games last week for their ties to Biogenesis. Braun, who denied using PEDs in the past, previously accepted a 65-game suspension.
Danny Valencia of the Baltimore Orioles was also listed in the Yahoo! Sports report. He was later cleared in MLB’s investigation.
Rodriguez is currently appealing his 211-game suspension.
In an Aug. 5 statement, MLB said A-Rod’s ban was for “his use and possession of numerous forms of prohibited performance-enhancing substances, including testosterone and human growth hormone over the course of multiple years.” The league also accused him of “attempting to cover-up his violations … by engaging in a course of conduct intended to obstruct and frustrate the office of the commissioner’s investigation.”
You can be a lot of things in Gen Pop and get away with it. But, if you’re going to be a snitch, then you can expect to get a shiv in the back when you least expect it. A-Rod should be very careful, if this report is true.
Via the Post -
Sources close to Alex Rodriguez claim the slugger is innocent, or at least not as guilty as MLB makes him sound, and is willing to go to court to prove it, according to TMZ.
The gossip site reported on Wednesday that Rodriguez is planning to sue MLB in federal court next month if the 211-game ban, given for alleged PED use through his ties with Biogenesis, that he is currently appealing is not lifted. The sources say that Rodriguez has multiple reasons for this:
- He hasn’t “knowingly” used PEDs since 2003.
- He has been drug tested 11 times since 2011 and all have been negative.
- A-Rod feels “persecuted” and the length of his suspension compared to Brewers’ Ryan Braun’s 65-game ban is “absurd.”
– There’s “no proof” that A-Rod impeded MLB’s investigation.
This could just be bluster from the Rodriguez camp as they aim to put some pressure on baseball and get his side of the story out with an appeals process that is not expected to be completed until November or December.
I almost want this to happen…so that MLB can have Alex testify, under oath, on the stand, and answer questions on certain topics.
Via the Daily News -
Last spring, a year before Anthony Bosch catapulted into the center of Major League Baseball’s latest doping scandal, Alex Rodriguez secretly sought out the advice of the man at the heart of its first major steroid crisis: Victor Conte.
Now, the BALCO founder — who served four months in prison for masterminding a huge steroid conspiracy that enveloped Barry Bonds, Jason Giambi and Olympic track star Marion Jones, among others — met last week with two investigators from Major League Baseball’s Department of Investigations.
Conte said he spent more than two hours with the officials — Dan Mullin and Eduardo Dominguez Jr. — on Wednesday at his lawyer’s office in San Francisco.
He described how Rodriguez showed up uninvited on his doorstep in May 2012 with admitted BALCO steroid casualty Bill Romanowski, the former NFL linebacker, to discuss legal products that could give Rodriguez an edge.
Conte said Rodriguez had been trying to set up a sitdown through Romanowski for two months before they finally met, the day before the Yankees kicked off a three-game series with the Oakland A’s.
Romanowski had tried to convince Conte to fly to New York or Los Angeles to meet with Rodriguez, but Conte said he declined the offer.
“I flushed it out with Romo before they ever showed up at the office,” Conte said. “I clearly told Romo it (anything he could do for Rodriguez) was about legal performance enhancement.”
According to Conte, Romanowski called him at the offices of Scientific Nutrition for Advance Conditioning (SNAC), the sports supplement company he operates with his daughter Veronica Conte in San Carlos, Calif.,to tell him he was with Rodriguez and they would arrive at the office “in about five minutes.”
Most of Conte’s staff was getting ready to go home for the evening when Romanowski parked his dark blue Cadillac Escalade in the SNAC parking lot with Rodriguez in his passenger seat.
Rodriguez waited in the vehicle and sent the former NFL star into SNAC’s offices to make sure nobody was around to see who was about to come in.
“He was real secretive,” Veronica Conte said of the Yankee third baseman. “He wanted to make sure no one was here.”
Conte said he met with Rodriguez and Romanowski for about 45 minutes. Conte said he believes Rodriguez was looking for products that would give him a legal edge, but that the Yankee didn’t want their transactions to become public knowledge.
“If the media knew I was talking to you, that would be bad,” Veronica Conte remembered Rodriguez saying. “We both have these histories. He was basically saying, ‘I can’t have any trace of Victor Conte.’ ”
Conte agreed to consult with Rodriguez under the condition that he provide Conte with a blood test, a requirement for any athlete Conte works with “so that I know nothing funny is going on.”
If A-Rod really wanted a “legal performance enhancement,” then why not consult with the Yankees staff to see what was available?
In any event, it’s clear that A-Rod lied to everyone back in 2009 and he has used something since Selena Roberts exposed him has using something before he joined the Yankees. And, at this point, if someone wanted to assume that he used something even further back, I wouldn’t object.
The dude is no different than Jose Canseco, Sammy Sosa and Rafael Palmeiro. And, in terms of a legacy, he should be grouped in with those guys. Gosh, I can’t wait for him to go away.
Via Jon Heyman -
Alex Rodriguez plans to appeal his 214-game drug suspension related to the Biogenesis case and play Monday night for the Yankees against the White Sox, according to people involved the case. But he may be the only one of 13 or so players to appeal.
While a couple of Biogenesis-linked players suggested behind closed doors they were seriously considering appeal, with a few hours to go before the announcement there was no confirmation anyone was joining A-Rod in appealing his suspension.
Rangers outfielder Nelson Cruz has told people he will not appeal after some earlier reports suggested he might. He is said to have received encouragement to possibly appeal from some teammates who are concerned about their pennant push, but he must understand it would be difficult to fight this case.
Rodriguez will be announced as suspended through the 2014 season for what is described as “massive violations” of the baseball’s Joint Drug Agreement. The other players are all in line to receive 50-game bans, which will contain their penalty within the 2013 season.
Rodriguez has told people he doesn’t believe he deserves a ban for more than the 50 games the others are receiving since he has never previously been suspended, and further suggested he deserves “less than [Ryan] Braun,” referring to the Brewers star who agreed to a 65-game ban in the case.
The evidence is said to suggest Rodriguez is said to have bought or used steroids in 2010, 2011 and 2012. However, all of it will be heard at a hearing within 20 days. Baseball’s arbitrator, Fredric Horowitz will then have 25 days to render a verdict.
MLB plans to make the announcement this afternoon, at which time they could lay out a bit of their case against Rodriguez. Word is that there’s corroborating evidence, including texts, well beyond the testimony of former Biogenesis proprietor Tony Bosch.
Nine of the other players to be suspended are known: Cruz, Tigers shortstop Jhonny Peralta, Mariners catcher Jesus Montero, Padres shortstop Everth Cabrera and Yankees catcher Francisco Cervelli, plus minor leaguers Fernando Martinez, Jordan Norberto, Fautino de los Santos and Cesar Puello.
Three other players’ name are expected to be on the suspeneded list. Those players have yet to be definitely identified in media reports. But it won’t be Bartolo Colon, Melky Cabrera or Yasmani Grandal, who are linked to Biogenesis but considered to have served their time with their past suspensions.
Rodriguez will be eligible to play while on appeal, which could take up to three weeks according to the drug agreement. Yankees manager Joe Girardi told reporters Sunday that A-Rod was being penciled into the lineup Monday night.
“It’s going to be a circus,” one Yankees person predicted.
At this point, I am sick and tired of this whole situation. And, for what it’s worth, that expression – “sick and tired” – is one that people throw around pretty loosely at times. But, I am truly and sincerely, sick and tired, of this whole A-Rod mess.
On one hand, I can’t believe that this self-serving pathological and narcissistic ass-hat is going to get to play in a major league game tonight. (Although, I totally understand “why” – it’s the way that the system works, coupled with MLB’s fear to do anything that might be seen as going outside the system.) Yet, on the other hand, I know that the Yankees created this mess when they extended A-Rod after 2007. (And, don’t let the Yankees fool you here – they were more than happy with the juiced up A-Rod when he was hitting 50 homeruns a season and when he was an inhuman wrecking ball in the 2009 post-season.) So, I sorta/kinda want to say they’re getting what they deserve.
At this point, I don’t even want to read, hear, or see any of this any more. And, the only “blessing” here is that the Yankees season is already down the crapper and this sideshow isn’t going to mess with a post-season run or something like that.
Just tell me when it’s all over.
The latest on the A-Rod mess via Jon Heyman -
Barring a last-minute change in tone and strategy by embattled Yankee Alex Rodriguez, Major League Baseball is expected to suspend Rodriguez through 2014 when it announces at least 10 suspensions Monday.
Rodriguez still has a day to try to cut a deal for a slightly lesser ban, but based on his latest suggestion according to a person briefed on the matter that he serve only 100 games, then “walk away from the game,” the hope for a settlement is diminishing as the clock ticks.
Rodriguez reached out to both MLB and the Yankees on Saturday looking to make a deal for less than half MLB’s offered ban of 214 games, then bizarrely threw in the suggestion that he could retire with full pay after he served the 100 games.
Of course, the reality is that he wouldn’t be paid if he retires, a major point he apparently missed as he tries to recoup as much of the $95 million remaining on his Yankees deal as he can.
Previously, Rodriguez had suggested to people involved in the case that he should receive a penalty of “less than (Ryan) Braun,” figuring that since he didn’t fail a non-survey test he should be lumped in with the other nine or so Biogenesis-linked players never previously suspended.
Rodriguez’s new offer to “walk away” seems to call into question how badly he wants to come back to play for the Yankees and seems to emphasize the financial aspect of things instead.
If A-Rod went to MLB people and admitted his wrongdoing — what is said to be “massive violations” — and agreed to a penalty in the range of one year (162 games), it’s possible MLB would listen. But Rodriguez appears more likely at the moment to decide to appeal the 214-game ban through ’14 and take his chances with new MLB arbitrator Fredric Horowitz.
A lifetime ban, while mentioned earlier, appears to be off the table.
Rodriguez doesn’t seem to have the right mindset to accept even a 214-game ban. “He thinks he’s the victim. He can’t take responsibility,” said one person involved in the case.
Yet another involved person put it more bluntly, “He’s clueless as to what he did wrong.”
MLB and the union declined comment.
O.K., let’s say that this thing, in the end, results in A-Rod being suspended for the rest of 2013 and all of 2014 – and it’s supported by the arbitrator after the appeal. So, then, my question is: What happens in February of 2015 when then 39-year old Alex Rodriguez shows up in Yankees Spring Training down in Tampa and says “Hey, here I am to play. I still have three years on my contract and $61 million that you owe me. And, I’ve been working out for the last 19 months on my own and I’m ready to go!”
What the heck do the Yankees do with him then? Think this is a mess now? Just wait until 2015…
Via Bill Madden -
Alex Rodriguez just talked himself out of a possible settlement with Major League Baseball and faces a 214-game suspension to be handed down on Monday, the Daily News has learned.
Following Rodriguez’s explosive comments after Friday night’s minor league rehab game in Trenton in which Rodriguez basically said Major League Baseball and the Yankees were conspiring to keep him off the field in order to void his contract, MLB officials have rejected Rodriguez’s request to negotiate a suspension settlement, a baseball source familiar with the situation said.
According to the source, Players Association chief Michael Weiner reached out to MLB on behalf of Rodriguez Saturday morning in an attempt to talk settlement but was told that baseball is no longer interested in negotiating with the disgraced third baseman.
“They asked for a meeting this morning and were told ‘no,’” said the source. “Baseball is more than comfortable with what they have.”
Another source told the Daily News that despite accusing the Yankees Friday of trying to get out from under his contract, Rodriguez also reached out to the club Saturday in an attempt to discuss negotiating a settlement on the remaining $100 million the Yankees owe A-Rod. The Yankees also declined to talk with Rodriguez about his contract, according to the source, telling him this is a drug issue under the purview of MLB.
Via Newsday -
Alex Rodriguez said he was ready to board a plane for San Diego to join the Yankees after Friday night’s game for Double-A Trenton and vowed to “keep fighting” amid the latest reports that Major League Baseball is prepared to hand down its Biogenesis-related suspensions as soon as Monday.
But even after launching a towering two-run homer over the 32-foot-high leftfield wall at Arm & Hammer Park, A-Rod saved his biggest swings for the postgame news conference, when he took some hacks at those he believes are singling him out for persecution. He refused to mention anyone by name but dropped some hints along the way — and took a veiled shot at the Yankees and MLB.
“I think it’s pretty self-explanatory,” he said. “I think that’s the pink elephant in the room.
“I think we all agree that we want to get rid of PEDs — that’s a must. I think all the players, we feel that way.
“But when all this stuff is going on in the background, and people are finding creative ways to cancel your contract and stuff like that, I think that’s concerning for me, it’s concerning for the present and should be concerning for future players as well. There is a process . . . and I’m going to keep fighting.”
MLB reportedly has given a deadline of 6 p.m. EDT Sunday for the Biogenesis players to come to a plea agreement before suspensions are announced Monday. Rodriguez refused to address that question directly, but a source repeated Friday that he has no intention of making any deals. “This guy is fighting this,” the source said.
MLB could give him a lifetime ban if Rodriguez declines to accept a lesser suspension, one that possibly carries him through the 2014 season. But A-Rod did not sound as if he is prepared to do so.
Rodriguez, who is scheduled to play seven innings Saturday for Trenton and then have a short workout Sunday, said he expects to play for the Yankees on Monday in Chicago unless he is “hit by lightning.”
And if he’s not allowed to join his team then?
“There’s a lot of layers to this,” Rodriguez said. “As I go, my job is to do everything I can physically and mentally to get back on the field to help my team win. As far as all the legal stuff, to me, it’s been confusing. The one thing I’ve gotten from so many people, so many fans, some teammates — they’re like, what’s going on?
“There’s a lot of people that are confused. A lot of people that don’t understand the process. There is a lot of layers. I will say this: There’s more than one party that benefits from me not ever stepping back on the field, and that’s not my teammates and it’s not the Yankee fans.”
When asked who that is, he said, “I can’t tell you that right now. And I hope I never have to.”
I think we all agree that we want to get rid of PEDs — that’s a must. I think all the players, we feel that way?
Meanwhile, via Jon Heyman:
Word is, MLB has evidence to suggest Rodriguez bought or took steroids every year since 2009, the year he admitted to taking steroids in the “loosey goosey” days in Texas, from 2001-03, and challenged fans to “judge me from this day forward.”
There’s also a suspicion A-Rod may have directed some others to Biogenesis, whose former proprietor Tony Bosch is one of baseball’s star witnesses, and there’s some belief Rodriguez tried to impede MLB’s investigation by trying to buy Biogenesis documents — though if true, Rodriguez may try to suggest he was merely conducting his own investigation.
Bosch’s credibility would be an issue at any appeal hearing, but MLB is thought to have reams of paperwork, including text records, corroborating much of his testimony.
At this point, A-Rod needs to go away. And, he should hope that some idiot comes along to take him off the hot plate the way that he’s doing it now for Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds. But, I suspect, knowing A-Rod’s history, he’ll be more like Pete Rose – and, Alex will also be popping up somewhere to complain that he got the shaft and how he wants to be back in baseball.
How anyone can still support this guy is beyond me.
I guess there are people out there who feel bad for Anthony Weiner, Riley Cooper and Bernie Madoff too.
Via Gari Meacham in her blog post entitled “Full Circle with A-Rod” –
After spending thirty- two years in the game you begin to think that nothing will surprise you, but Bobby and I were surprised one cloudy morning in October, 2009 when we received a call from the Yankees general manager explaining that we lost our job as third base coach for the team we loved. He told us that Alex Rodriguez got us fired by complaining to the owners; citing he was uncomfortable with Bobby as a coach. We were stunned…
Was it because I had consoled his wife (now ex-wife) and prayed with her about the struggles she was enduring in their marriage? (A week later he was publicly paling around with Madonna…) Was it because Bobby was closer to other infielders on the team and A-Rod felt threatened? Could he sense a spiritual tug as we covered him in daily prayer; only to get thrown under the bus by the very man we prayed for?
Whatever the case, the fall-out from that firing was painful. We counted a financial loss of around 1.2 million dollars as the Yankees went on to win the World Series the next year, and had many playoff appearances and pay increases in the years to follow. We spent sixteen years in the minor leagues before landing that job, each of us working two to three jobs a piece to try and make ends meet. We knew our hope was in the Lord, but at times it was difficult to watch A-Rod garnish a string of titles and accolades. His stunning looks and baseball presence seemed to keep him exempt from the harsh winter of reality. Even after allegations of performance enhancing drug use stung his stellar record of accomplishments a few years ago–he seemed unfazed by consequence or regret.
A few weeks ago the minor league team Bobby manages for the Toronto Blue Jays had a double-header with the Tampa Yankees. And there on third base was A-Rod, nursing a hip injury as he staged a rehab stint on his way back to the big league team. Bobby has seen A-Rod in passing over the years, but this visit proved to be more. A “full-circle” encounter if there ever was one…
Alex’s eyes locked on Bobby as he moved towards the coaches box next to third base. As Bobby thrust his hand out to shake, Alex lunged forward into an awkward hug. The kind of hug that lasts a bit longer and holds a bit tighter than usual. A bit stunned, Bobby pulled back and looked Alex in the eye. As the pitcher took extra time to warm up, Bobby realized God was giving him the gift of time. Stolen moments to speak into this ballplayer’s life.
“I’ve been praying for you Alex” Bobby said with a warmth in his smile. ”I know you’re going through a lot right now and I want to tell you something.”
Alex remained frozen on third base. As if time stood still, Alex leaned in to listen. “All the things you’re going through right now (drug investigation by Major League Baseball and the threat of a life-time ban from baseball) it’s too much for you to handle on your own. Without God, you’ll struggle to make it.”
Alex listened intently as Bobby continued. “I want you to know that you’re not alone. The Lord is with you, and He won’t fail you. No matter what you’ve done, or what lies ahead, He loves you.”
Alex quietly lifted his voice as his eyes looked through Bobby; as if he was in communion with something Bobby couldn’t see. “I guess I’m learning what’s really important” he whispered. “You are,” said Bobby “so don’t forget what God teaches you.”
File this under: A-Rod and Yuri meets Davey and Goliath?
So many chapters to add on when Selena Roberts decides to update her book…
Via the Daily News –
The feds just gave Alex Rodriguez another reason to seriously consider cutting a deal with Major League Baseball.
Federal prosecutors have renewed their interest in Anthony Bosch and his Biogenesis anti-aging clinic, raising the specter of criminal drug distribution charges; if they subpoena Rodriguez, any sworn statements he might make in arbitration while challenging his pending suspension could put him in legal jeopardy.
News of the government’s new scrutiny came Thursday as A-Rod and his advisors were deciding whether to fight MLB’s looming discipline or accept a doping ban the way Brewers star Ryan Braun did last week. MLB and players’ association officials spent Thursday trying to finalize deals with the eight other players who will be suspended, but according to a source, those deals might not be completed until Sunday. If those players accept their 50-game suspensions, they would begin Monday. As of Thursday night, MLB and Rodriguez remained far apart on any kind of settlement, according to sources, although the involvement of the U.S. Attorney puts a different kind of pressure on Rodriguez.
“I think it’s devastating for Alex,” a source familiar with MLB’s investigation into Rodriguez and other ballplayers who are believed to have violated baseball’s collectively bargained drug program told the Daily News. “He would be under oath in an arbitration, and all the evidence baseball has on him would be available to prosecutors.”
MLB investigators have hundreds of emails, text messages and phone records linking Rodriguez to Bosch, sources have told The News, as well as documents and notes indicating transactions, dates and drug purchases. They may also have other evidence reflecting stronger financial ties between Rodriguez and Bosch.
“It’s 100 more reasons for him to settle,” added the source.
The Miami Herald reported on Thursday that prosecutors Patrick Sullivan and Sharad Motiani of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Miami will lead the investigation and that they have contacted former Biogenesis employee Porter Fischer, who earlier this year leaked documents to a South Florida weekly that linked Rodriguez and the other players to Bosch and his clinic.
I just got an email from the Trenton Thunder which read:
New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez will participate in a rehabilitation assignment for the Trenton Thunder as they face the Reading Fightin Phils (Philadephia Phillies) on Friday, August 2 and Saturday, August 3 at 7:05pm at ARM & HAMMER Park in Trenton.
The Thunder expect a large crowd for the game and additional details regarding ballpark opening time and parking will be posted on trentonthunder.com soon.
Rodriguez has been sidelined all season due to offseason hip surgery followed by a strained quad.
Rodriguez is a 14 time All-Star (1996–1998, 2000–2008, 2010, 2011), 10 time Silver Slugger Award winner (1996, 1998–2003, 2005, 2007, 2008), five time American League home run champion (2001, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2007), two time AL RBI leader (2002, 2007), two time Gold Glove Award winner (2002, 2003) and the 1996 AL batting champion. He was a World Series champion with the Yankees in 2009. Last year with New York he hit .272 with 18 home runs and 57 RBIs in 122 games.
Really, what are the odds that this is going to happen?
Buck showalter thinks so. Via Paul White-
The longer Alex Rodriguez could be suspended, the more it could help the New York Yankees. And that infuriates Baltimore Orioles manager Buck Showalter.
Forget the money and drugs – it’s competitive imbalance that has Showalter steamed.
Showalter, who managed Rodriguez on the Texas Rangers, says he has no interest in discussing the suspension possibilities surrounding the Yankees third baseman but is taking aim at how New York could benefit.
Getting Rodriguez’s $25 million salary off their 2014 books would effectively reset a Yankees payroll projected to exceed a $189 million luxury tax threshold the club hoped to slip under. And if they’re freed from the $86 million owed Rodriguez from 2014 to ’17? Showalter fears Commissioner Bud Selig’s zeal to ban Rodriguez might turn the Yankees into free agent predators again.
“If Bud lets them get away with that, they’re under the luxury tax,” Showalter told USA TODAY Sports. “If they can reset, they can spend again and I guarantee you in two years Matt Wieters is in New York.”
According to the Collective Bargaining Agreement, the portion of a player’s salary that he does not collect while suspended also does not count toward his team’s payroll and the luxury tax threshold.
Rodriguez is to be paid $25 million in 2014. Subtract that and the Yankees not only would have a better chance of staying under $189 million, but also might be able to afford to add players.
In 2007, coming off a 52-homer season that netted him a third AL MVP award, Rodriguez opted out of a 10-year, $252 million contract originally signed with the Texas Rangers. The Yankees nonetheless re-upped Rodriguez for 10 years and $275 million shortly thereafter.
Rodriguez’s decline began almost immediately. He needed hip surgery after the 2008 season, but rebounded to play a key role in the Yankees’ run to the 2009 World Series title.
But Rodriguez’s on-base plus slugging percentage (OPS) declined every season after 2007. A second hip surgery in January ensured he’d miss the first half of this season; the Biogenesis flap that broke weeks later put him in MLB’s firing line.
Now, it may give his team a get-out-of-jail-free card.
“They’re the ones who signed him to that contract,” Showalter said of the Yankees.
Buck’s not shy to say what’s on his mind, is he?
Via ESPN -
After Alex Rodriguez’s lawyer said his client would fight any discipline from Major League Baseball, a source familiar with discussions told ESPN’s “Outside the Lines” Wednesday that A-Rod’s representatives are now negotiating a possible settlement that could result in a lengthy suspension.
The source said MLB officials have told Rodriguez’s attorneys that they are willing to ban him for life, although sources said it was not clear commissioner Bud Selig was prepared to make such a move, knowing Rodriguez would fight it in arbitration.
Several sources have told “Outside the Lines” that some MLB officials have pushed for a lifetime ban, saying they would rather force Rodriguez to defend himself than agree to a suspension that allows him play while he appeals. Rodriguez was presented with MLB’s evidence in recent days, detailing what sources said were “volumes” of documents establishing a connection between Rodriguez and Biogenesis clinic founder Tony Bosch.
Sources said MLB was also given evidence supporting accusations that Rodriguez attempted to coerce at least one witness in MLB’s investigation. That accusation is the basis of MLB’s argument that Rodriguez may be punished for his conduct, in addition to multiple violations of the game’s joint drug agreement.
MLB is apparently hoping that Rodriguez will accept a lengthy suspension that could keep him off the field through at least next season, without the time and trouble of an arbitration hearing.
Rodriguez’s attorney, David Cornwell, has consistently said they will fight any suspension. MLB is expected to issue suspensions for Rodriguez and other players connected to Bosch within the next few days.
Well, in this game of chicken, right now, the score is: MLB uno & A-Rod zip.
Via Bob Nightengale this evening –
Commissioner Bud Selig is prepared to levy a lifetime suspension on New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez, while suspending about eight others before the weekend, two people with knowledge of the negotiations told USA TODAY Sports.
The people were unauthorized to speak publicly because no announcement is expected until Thursday or Friday.
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“I hope he does it,” former Commissioner Fay Vincent told USA TODAY Sports. “It’s right for baseball. The harder he comes down, the better it is for baseball.”
Rodriguez, according to his attorney, David Cornwell, will appeal any suspension, regardless of the severity. The other players are expected to receive 50-game bans, and most are considering accepting the discipline without appealing, according to one of the people.
In banning Rodriguez for life Selig could invoke Article XII (B) of the CBA, which states:
“Players may be disciplined for just cause for conduct that is materially detrimental or materially prejudicial to the best interests of baseball, including, but not limited to, engaging in conduct in violation of federal, state or local law.”
MLB will contend that, in addition to lying about performance-enhancing drug use, Rodriguez lied to MLB officials while attempting to sabotage their investigation, according to one of the people.
When asked if MLB is planning to impose a lifetime ban on Rodriguez, union executive director Michael Weiner said in an email: “I can neither confirm nor deny.”
An appeal would be heard by arbitrator Fredric Horowitz and would likely not occur until September. Should MLB suspend Rodriguez under the CBA, he would be ineligible to play until Horowitz’s decision.
The most recent example of Article XII (B) being used came when Selig suspended Atlanta Braves closer John Rocker in 2000 for 28 days and fined him $20,000 for inflammatory comments made to Sports Illustrated. The sentence was reduced to 14 days by arbitrator Shyam Das.
“I think that given the Collective Bargaining Agreement,” Vincent said, “he has room to use the best-interest clause in the CBA if there are criminal acts. And I think the courts are very protective of commissioners using the best-interest clause.”
Mike Francesa is on vacation this week, right? Who is A-Rod going to call now?
Seriously, raise your hand if you once said that baseball would never try (and succeed?) in banning A-Rod for life…he says, with his hands held firmly at his side.
Clearly, baseball wants A-Rod out…and, for good. Move over Pete Rose, you’ve got company coming. And, way to go Alex. Not even Barry Bonds managed to get himself banned. You’re one up on him now.
As first reported by the Daily News, Major League Baseball officials met with union leaders in Manhattan yesterday to formally notify them of the forthcoming suspensions. Just how many players will be disciplined is still unknown—the Daily News counts eight, Yahoo “upward of a dozen.”
Yahoo reports that the “vast majority” of the implicated group, which includes Nelson Cruz, Jhonny Peralta, and Everth Cabrera, do not plan on appealing their bans. In exchange they’re expected to receive suspensions of 50 games (or a little more—say, the rest of the 2013 season), which is allowable without a failed test under the “non-analytical positives” section of MLB’s drug policy.
The Associated Press’s sources say both MLB and the union are trying to reach as many agreements as possible to head off embarrassing, and potentially CBA-shattering grievance hearings. The drug policy indicates that suspensions become effective on the third business day after punishments are handed down, so that makes Friday the most likely day for a public announcement.
But by all accounts, there’s one player who has no intention of making a deal. Alex Rodriguez’s lawyer said Monday he plans to fight any suspension, and it could get ugly. Because MLB is going after Rodriguez for interfering with its investigation as well as for PED use, it is expected to punish him not under the drug policy, but under a catch-all “best interests of baseball” clause in the CBA. If so, Rodriguez would remain suspended while an appeal is heard by baseball’s independent arbiter. Beyond that, his recourse could be to a federal court, or if the union decides to go to bat for Rodriguez, it could force the re-opening of negotiations on the CBA itself. The remaining $100 million or so Rodriguez’s contract isn’t the only thing at stake; the long labor peace that baseball is so proud of could be in danger as well.
Jessie J was wrong. It seems like … It is all about the money, money, money…
Sorry, Coconut man, Moon Heads and Pea…
Is that Bud humming the Jaws theme?