A-Rod sues MLB, claiming “witch hunt” to drive him out of baseball

posted at 12:01 pm on October 4, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

Enough of the second-tier news stories about foreign policy and budget impasses. Let’s get to the real news about the evils of this world … major sports leagues conducting witch hunts to get its most bankable stars out of the game.  Er … what?  That’s what Alex Rodriguez claims in a new lawsuit filed after receiving the longest suspension for using performance-enhancing drugs:

Faced with baseball’s longest doping suspension, Alex Rodriguez sued Major League Baseball late Thursday, accusing it of buying the cooperation of Anthony Bosch, the head of an anti-aging clinic at the center of a doping scandal, as part of a continuing “witch hunt” to force him out of the sport.

In the complaint, Rodriguez’s lawyers claim an investigator paid $150,000 in cash for records related to Rodriguez, which were apparently stolen. A portion of the cash “was handed off in a bag at a Fort Lauderdale, Fla., area restaurant,” the lawsuit says.

The lawsuit specifically accuses Major League Baseball of engaging in “tortious interference,” essentially interfering with Rodriguez’s existing contracts and future business relationships.

The suit, in State Supreme Court in Manhattan, came just days after Rodriguez’s lawyers began appealing the 211-game ban issued by Major League Baseball. It is unclear if the suit will affect the arbitration hearing, which is taking place behind closed doors.

ESPN reported on a statement from A-Rod himself, which sounds something like The Godfather‘s “It’s not personal, just business”:

“The entire legal dynamic is very complex, and my legal team is doing what they need to in order to vindicate me and pursue all of my rights,” A-Rod said through his spokesman, Ron Berkowitz. “This matter is entirely separate from the ongoing arbitration proceedings continuing, and for the day to come when I can share my story with the public and my supporters.”

It’s “entirely separate” from his arbitration effort? His legal team just accused MLB of suborning theft in getting Rodriguez’ records.  It also seems to implicitly acknowledge that the documents used in determining whether Rodriguez violated league rules by using performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs) are legitimate.  How can that be “entirely separate” from the negotiations over the suspension resulting from those actions?

The complaint alleges that Bud Selig engaged in “vigilante justice” in order to “to gloss over Commissioner Selig’s past inaction and tacit approval of the use of performance enhancing substances (“PES”) in baseball (not to mention his multiple acts of collusion), and in an attempt to secure his legacy as the “savior” of America’s pastime.” It also claims that MLB has paid millions of dollars to get rid of him:

From the start of their investigation, Defendants have engaged in vigilante justice. They have ignored the procedures set forth in baseball’s collectively-bargained labor agreements; violated the strict confidentiality imposed by these agreements; paid individuals millions of dollars and made promises of future employment to individuals in order to get them to produce documents and to testify on MLB’ s behalf; bullied and intimidated those individuals who refused to cooperate with their witch hunt; and singled out Plaintiff for an unprecedented 211-game suspension-the longest non-permanent ban in baseball history. Moreover, when Plaintiff sought to defend himself against Defendants’ scorched earth investigation, Defendants falsely accused Plaintiff of interfering with their investigation by attempting to tamper with witnesses and evidence, and increased the length of his ban based on such spurious allegations.

Without a doubt, MLB has embarrassed itself on the issue of PEDs. Several of its stars testified before Congress, which somehow made this a priority over such things as budget reform and border security in order to deliver the modern equivalent of a public beating — and walk them into perjury traps.  That all took place several years ago, though, and none of those players put butts in the seats now.

That’s not true of A-Rod, though.  He had been one of the most popular players in the game, someone whose good looks and media savvy brought plenty of positive attention to baseball.  Why would MLB go way out of its way to spend millions of dollars to ruin one of their best ambassadors? As bad a commissioner as Selig has been, I find it very difficult to believe that he’d spend that kind of owner cash on the kind of crusade alleged in this complaint.

On the other hand, it is Major League Baseball, and one can never overestimate its ability to kill the golden goose, as we discovered in 1994.  The discovery process in this lawsuit should be … intriguing, anyway.

Addendum: One interesting note — the complaint does not make the allegation that the Yankees were involved, even though they may save $86 million if MLB voids A-Rod’s contract. Now that might be a real motive, and it’s at least notable that Rodriguez isn’t making that allegation. At least, not yet.


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Ugh. I hate the Yankees but they had good guys like Jeter, Rivera, Posade, & Pettitte.

I hope A-Rod loses this. He’s got rich lawyers so he might as well try.

22044 on October 4, 2013 at 12:05 PM

I had never heard of this guy before all this, and I never watch baseball, but if he’s guilty of using banned drugs then he has a lot of nerve suing now.

bluegill on October 4, 2013 at 12:06 PM

I wonder if the pawn shop is open yet.

Bishop on October 4, 2013 at 12:06 PM

Yeah but, what if on a witch hunt you actually catch a witch? Does that maker her not a witch?

Akzed on October 4, 2013 at 12:07 PM

A-Rod sues MLB, claiming “witch hunt” to drive him out of baseball

Witch hunt, drug screening, all the same really.

Gatsu on October 4, 2013 at 12:07 PM

A-Rod sues MLB, claiming “witch hunt” to drive him out of baseball

A-Rod is A-Fraud. Always has been, always will be.

rukiddingme on October 4, 2013 at 12:08 PM

What an ego driven, narcissistic loser. Never liked him.

major dad on October 4, 2013 at 12:10 PM

Yeah but, what if on a witch hunt you actually catch a witch? Does that maker her not a witch?

Akzed on October 4, 2013 at 12:07 PM

If he/she weighs the same as a duck…

22044 on October 4, 2013 at 12:11 PM

That’s a fair cop.

Akzed on October 4, 2013 at 12:11 PM

Hopefully, A-Roid loses.

VibrioCocci on October 4, 2013 at 12:13 PM

Millionaires and billionaires have a disagreement.

BobMbx on October 4, 2013 at 12:16 PM

A-Rod still hasn’t been as bad for baseball as Selig…that man is the worst!

nextgen_repub on October 4, 2013 at 12:18 PM

A-Rod is baseball’s equivalent to Obama. A liar and narcissist to the core.

Bitter Clinger on October 4, 2013 at 12:23 PM

A-Rod still hasn’t been as bad for baseball as Selig…that man is the worst!

nextgen_repub on October 4, 2013 at 12:18 PM

Selig’s been pretty bad, especially in comparison to some great commissioners in the past, e.g. Landis, Ueberroth, Giamatti.

22044 on October 4, 2013 at 12:27 PM

A-Rod is baseball’s equivalent to Obama. A liar and narcissist to the core.

Bitter Clinger on October 4, 2013 at 12:23 PM

What makes you say he’s a narcissist?

peski on October 4, 2013 at 12:27 PM

As much as I don’t like A-Rod, it’s pretty conceivable that MLB wants to destroy him and get him out of the game. He is probably the most hated player in the game and has given MLB a huge black eye with his steroids admission and the subsequent Biogenesis investigation. MLB did, after all, violated the collectively bargained labor agreements by breaching confidentiality and by suspending him 211 games for a first time offense (his first use does not fall under this agreement). Under the agreement, a first time offense is 50 games.

Bravesbill on October 4, 2013 at 12:29 PM

In other news, Satan has filed a personal damage suit against Jesus Christ claiming that God’s refusal to give him equal time on the Sermon on the Mount ruined his reputation and deprived him from doing his professional business, in addition to separate charges of God’s being mean-spirited, unfair, and showing an lack of willingness to compromise…

National media is running with the story and the secular messiah is rumored to be considering joining in the lawsuit.

Don L on October 4, 2013 at 12:30 PM

If Obama had a son.

derft on October 4, 2013 at 12:34 PM

A-rods complained that the Yanks have wanted to void his contract in the past. He’s a disgrace to the Yankees and baseball.

Iblis on October 4, 2013 at 12:36 PM

Who gives a sh*t.

rrpjr on October 4, 2013 at 12:38 PM

Ugh. I hate the Yankees but they had good guys like Jeter, Rivera, Posade, & Pettitte.

I hope A-Rod loses this. He’s got rich lawyers so he might as well try.

22044 on October 4, 2013 at 12:05 PM

Um, Pettitte admitted to using PEDs.

He just looked good compared to Clemens at the time.

mankai on October 4, 2013 at 12:39 PM

Here’s my take on this. If A-Rod is being investigated for steroids, this accusation is baseless. Why? Because the suspensions for using this is 50 games for a first-time offender, 100 games for a second offense and a lifetime ban for a third. Nowhere does it call for 211 games (which was calculated as the end of this season and all of next season). So, it would appear that MLB extended A-Rod a different sentence than the ones outlined.
If A-Rod is being investigated for prohibited substances, then this is different than what I described above. For A-Rod to get this 211 game suspension, he would have to have failed 3 times to get to the two year suspension limit. If it’s less than that, he has a case. If not, he is getting less than the two year suspension. There are 162 games in a season.
And, please remember Steve Howe who was banned back in the 80s for alcohol and drug abuse. This was before the age of steroids. So, is a 211 game suspension longer than a lifetime ban?

djaymick on October 4, 2013 at 12:51 PM

No worries, it’s just ‘roid rage.

jake49 on October 4, 2013 at 12:52 PM

To be fair, A-Rod’s suspension is more than four times longer than that spelled out in baseball’s collective bargaining agreement. MLB hasn’t shown why he should be punished so much more severely than anyone else.

It’s not so crazy to assert that MLB is trying to make a point with his punishment, and that Selig is trying to salvage his tarnished PEDS legacy.

blue13326 on October 4, 2013 at 12:53 PM

djaymick on October 4, 2013 at 12:51 PM

His 211-game suspension is not just for the PED usage but because MLB claims he lied and interfered with their investigation as well as supposedly steering other players to this particular PED source.

Bitter Clinger on October 4, 2013 at 1:00 PM

Um, Pettitte admitted to using PEDs.

He just looked good compared to Clemens at the time.

mankai on October 4, 2013 at 12:39 PM

That is true. I think he did so once and it will be costly to his legacy.

22044 on October 4, 2013 at 1:09 PM

I don’t think Selig has handled this at all well. It’s true, the suspensions given are not those outlined in the latest CBA. In fact, they’re clearly designed to make players miss the rest of the current season – 50 games for Jhonny Peralta, just when Detroit had just over 50 games left to play, and 65 for Ryan Braun, when Milwaukee had 65 games left to play. A-Rod’s 211 games would have finished him for this season AND next, so it’s quite obvious the number was deliberately chosen. By Opening Day on 2015, A-Rod will be 39, 40 halfway through the season. I don’t think MLB is trying to drive him out, but I can see why he might think so.

That said, the guy’s a narcissistic jerk. He practices kissing himself in the mirror, and hangs a picture of a centaur over his bed to boast of his sexual prowess. He’s been almost useless in the postseason. He had such promise at 19-20, the youngest player to meet a lot of milestones; I don’t understand why he even started playing around with steroids. I think baseball would be better off without him – there are lots of younger, more exciting players around.

Waggoner on October 4, 2013 at 1:13 PM

t’s not so crazy to assert that MLB is trying to make a point with his punishment, and that Selig is trying to salvage his tarnished PEDS legacy.

blue13326 on October 4, 2013 at 12:53 PM

The big problem they have with him is that he tried to cover up evidence and was also steering other baseball players to this “doctor.” I would not be surprised if he’s trying to help the Yankees, but MLB does have a legitimate beef with the guy.

Doomberg on October 4, 2013 at 1:16 PM

Witch hunt?

Obligatory.

Attila (Pillage Idiot) on October 4, 2013 at 1:18 PM

Eat a bag of d!cks, A-Roid.

You violated the rules of baseball multiple times by pumping your body full of banned substances.

You should be banned for life.

Turns out, Pete Rose had the wrong vice.

Sponge on October 4, 2013 at 1:20 PM

A-Roid you A-hole – go dial 1-800-WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA

Katfish on October 4, 2013 at 1:31 PM

A-Rod should just give it up already. He has already made hundreds of millions playing baseball, was caught cheating three times, and he’s 39 years old. Even if he wins his lawsuit, how much longer can he keep playing?

Time to take his ball and his money and go home, to a cushy retirement. Or maybe he could be a batting coach or manager for a minor-league team, where it doesn’t matter what drugs he takes.

The Yankees would probably be glad to see him go. A-Rod’s salary would be better spent on a younger third-baseman and several other good hitters to replace those who have been injured.

Steve Z on October 4, 2013 at 1:40 PM

the best defense-is a ridiculous offense

gerrym51 on October 4, 2013 at 1:50 PM

Discovery is going to be such fun, and exactly what Selig & co. do not want.

rbj on October 4, 2013 at 2:03 PM

I’m just going to go ahead and say it, okay?

Any schmuck ignorant enough, attention-whoring enough, to put his d*** in Madonna deserves everything bad in life to befall him. When A-Rod is a leg-less, arm-less, sore-ridden, deranged, babbling invalid, I will be happy to go p*** on him.

M240H on October 4, 2013 at 2:06 PM

Poor Baby. Breaking out my flea-sized violin.

Meanwhile my Boston Red Sox start the playoffs in about 45 minutes. Start of the game might be a tad delayed as it’s been raining there. And the Yankees fans will be sitting at home watching! Sweet.

Speaking of PED’s, a belated R.I.P. to one of the best pinch-hitters in MLB history, Gates Brown of the Tigers, who died last week. One of the members of the classic 1968 team, the only PEDs he used were…hot dogs.

Del Dolemonte on October 4, 2013 at 2:24 PM

B!tch T!ts!!

abobo on October 4, 2013 at 2:25 PM

A-Rod inects steroids on the field and goes on a rampage, killing 13 fans at the game. Calls prosecution a witch hunt sues MLB, claiming “witch hunt” to drive him out of baseball

That is probably a somewhat more accurate headline.

Physics Geek on October 4, 2013 at 2:42 PM

Witch hunt?

Obligatory.

Attila (Pillage Idiot) on October 4, 2013 at 1:18 PM

Obligatory II

22044 on October 4, 2013 at 2:44 PM

He has a point. He’s just one of the many who actually got caught.

Dr. ZhivBlago on October 4, 2013 at 3:01 PM

Er, “one of the few who got caught out of the many who use steroids.”

Dr. ZhivBlago on October 4, 2013 at 3:02 PM

Yeah, man, baseball without A-Rod, that’d be like, um…
a fish without a bicycle. (To steal an old analogy.)

Just another huge sports ego, thinks he’s more important than a CR and a debt-ceiling hike combined.

You ain’t all that, A-Rod.

Marcola on October 4, 2013 at 3:06 PM

OK, that argument only works if you’re not actually a witch, dude.

Ronnie on October 4, 2013 at 4:27 PM

“You shoulda shot A-Rod!”
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XWsUxkpv2_k

ugottabekiddingme on October 4, 2013 at 5:12 PM

In a sense it’s almost better if A-Rod wins. Without chemical enhancement, he’s, at best a .190 hitter with 12-13 scattered home runs-a mockery of his former self. These statistics will be lower yet if he has down-time for pulled muscles, hamstrings, etc. Perhaps it’s better to remember him as a clown-in-uniform. And not everybody loves this clown.

MaiDee on October 4, 2013 at 8:50 PM

Did you take steroids?
Did you lie about it?
Did you try to hide it?
GO AWAY!

easyt65 on October 5, 2013 at 7:04 AM

I love you guys, but saying A-Rod “had been one of the most popular players in the game” is just flat-our wrong. One of the best players, maybe, but certainly not one of the most popular.

Jeff A on October 5, 2013 at 8:07 AM