Skip to content

UPDATE: A-Rod denies that he’s using the “I had no idea what I was taking” defense

Oct 2, 2013, 11:03 AM EDT

Alex Rodriguez

UPDATE: A-Rod’s team is denying the Daily News’ report:

 

11:03 AM: Or: Great Moments in Unoriginal and Implausible Excuses. From 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.

Given that Major League Baseball is still presenting its affirmative case it’s unclear whether this is actually a pillar of Rodriguez’s defense or if it was merely mentioned in passing by one of his lawyers. Regardless, it will not likely do much for him in the court of public opinion. We’ve heard this with Barry Bonds and Rogers Clemens and it rings pretty hollow, especially given that the suppliers of these allegedly legal supplements were shady dudes who gave injections in hotel rooms and private homes in the dark of night.

That said, there could be a reason to offer up such an argument, even if it’s weakly offered. With no blood or urine testing evidence against A-Rod around, MLB has to establish that he actually and knowingly took something illegal. They’ll do it with Anthony Bosch’s word. Combatting that with an “I was duped” argument may seem weak, but so too is Bosch’s word compared to, say, a positive drug test. In other words, it’s weak, but it’s something.

Moreover, a big part of A-Rod’s defense is that Bosch is a liar, and it would be consistent for him to say that everything that comes out of Bosch’s mouth is a lie. If you say he lied about ten things but then admit, well, yes, the stuff he gave me was illegal and I knew it, you pretty much have no defense on that point and you’re helping out his credibility, even if it’s in only a small way.

Will this persuade the arbitrator that A-Rod actually was duped? I seriously doubt it. But it could prevent the arbitrator from concluding that A-Rod’s knowing culpability was certain — a 100% lock — and for every little sliver of doubt inserted into the record, the basis for hitting A-Rod with the most severe penalty possible is undermined in some way.

Oh, and one other thing: it could cause Major League Baseball to alter its case a bit to counter such a claim. To spend time on the “knowingly taking” part of the case that could be spent doing something else. To, even for a few moments, put them on defense. It’s a tactic as old as the legal system itself. And it still exists because it works sometimes. Just ask the L.A. County prosecutors who spent months defending the forensic procedures in the O.J Simpson case. Go ask the MLB officials who were unable to make Ryan Braun‘s first suspension stick last year. Was it plausible that the crime lab and a drug test collector tainted samples? Nope. But it put people on their heels for a bit.

Upshot: crappy P.R. move, cynical tactical move but understandable legal move.

Latest Posts
  1. Yadier Molina swings a bat for first time since surgery for ligament tear in his right thumb

    Aug 20, 2014, 11:41 PM EDT

    yadier molina cardinals getty Getty Images

    Yadier Molina is beginning to make some progress. Brian Stull of STL Baseball Weekly reports that the star catcher took swings in an indoor batting cage Wednesday at Busch Stadium for the first time since tearing the ulnar collateral ligament in his right thumb July 9 on an awkward side-swiping slide into third base.

  2. Las Vegas hands South Philadelphia’s Mo’ne Davis her first Little League World Series loss

    Aug 20, 2014, 10:37 PM EDT

    mo'ne davis getty Getty Images

    Mo’ne Davis and the South Philadelphia Taney Dragons took their first blow Wednesday evening in the double-elimination Little League World Series.

  3. Starlin Castro excused from Cubs after death of cousin and three friends in car accident

    Aug 20, 2014, 9:59 PM EDT

    starlin castro getty Getty Images

    Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro was a late scratch from Wednesday night’s game against the Giants because what was called a family emergency. Now the heartbreaking details are out …

  4. Garrett Richards suffers ugly left knee injury

    Aug 20, 2014, 8:43 PM EDT

    garrett richards getty Getty Images

    The Angels just got dealt a potentially-major blow. Garrett Richards — who has suddenly developed into an ace this season at age 26 — was taken off on a stretcher Wednesday evening at Boston’s Fenway Park after suffering what looked to be a very serious right knee injury in the bottom of the second inning of his start against the host Red Sox.

  5. Video: Billy Hamilton pulls off heads-up double play

    Aug 20, 2014, 8:15 PM EDT

    billy hamilton getty Getty Images

    Watch as Reds outfielder Billy Hamilton pulls off a sensational double play Wednesday in St. Louis …

  6. Giants win protest, will complete rain-halted game at Wrigley Field on Thursday afternoon

    Aug 20, 2014, 7:39 PM EDT

    cubs tarp getty Getty Images

    A sudden torrential downpour Tuesday night in Chicago — and complications with applying the tarp — left Wrigley Field unplayable even after four hours of maintenance by the grounds crew, so the Cubs were awarded a 2-0 victory over the visiting Giants because that was the score when was play was halted after the top of the fifth inning. The Giants protested, and it actually worked …

  7. Padres reinstate Cameron Maybin from suspension

    Aug 20, 2014, 7:14 PM EDT

    cameron maybin getty Getty Images

    Padres center fielder Cameron Maybin has officially been reinstated from his 25-game amphetamine suspension.

  8. Masahiro Tanaka throws all his pitches in bullpen session

    Aug 20, 2014, 6:21 PM EDT

    masahiro tanaka getty Getty Images

    Yankees ace Masahiro Tanaka was diagnosed in early July with a partially torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow — the injury that almost always leads to Tommy John reconstructive elbow surgery — but he’s trying the rest and rehab route first and it’s actually going pretty smoothly so far.

  9. Rays activate reigning Rookie of the Year Wil Myers

    Aug 20, 2014, 5:17 PM EDT

    Wil Myers AP

    Wil Myers is off the disabled list after missing nearly three months with a fractured right wrist and the reigning Rookie of the Year winner is back in the Rays’ lineup.

  10. Carlos Beltran scratched from Yankees’ lineup with more elbow problems

    Aug 20, 2014, 4:46 PM EDT

    Carols Beltran Getty Images

    Over the weekend Carlos Beltran was cleared to play the outfield for the first time since May, but now his season-long elbow problems have returned and the 37-year-old has been scratched from the Yankees’ lineup.

  11. Nick Swisher undergoes surgery on both knees

    Aug 20, 2014, 4:20 PM EDT

    Oakland Athletics v Cleveland Indians Getty Images

    Swisher turns 34 years old in November and has two seasons remaining on his contract, at $15 million per year.

  12. Heyman: Jon Lester unlikely to sign with the Sox this offseason

    Aug 20, 2014, 3:30 PM EDT

    Jon Lester AP

    He’s going to have his pick of landing spots, and Boston is just one of a zillion teams who would like him.

  13. Pirates get Gerrit Cole back in the rotation

    Aug 20, 2014, 3:15 PM EDT

    gerrit cole throwing getty Getty Images

    Gerrit Cole’s lengthy minor-league rehab assignment is over and the Pirates have activated the former No. 1 overall pick from the disabled list for tonight’s start against the Braves.

  14. Royals might actually know what they are doing

    Aug 20, 2014, 2:58 PM EDT

    gordonholland

    Joe Posnanski says the Royals’ plan is finally falling into place and has their fans believing they can get back to the glory days of the 1970s.

  15. Derek Holland: “I feel like I’m ready, but that’s up to them”

    Aug 20, 2014, 2:50 PM EDT

    derek holland getty Getty Images

    Derek Holland’s minor-league rehab assignment has been a mixed bag, but after allowing four runs in his latest outing the Rangers left-hander proclaimed himself ready to rejoin the rotation.

  16. The Cubs are giving rain checks to fans at last night’s game. That was not postponed.

    Aug 20, 2014, 2:44 PM EDT

    cubs logo

    A nice gesture and some good customer service by the Cubs.

  17. HBT Daily: You had ONE JOB

    Aug 20, 2014, 1:31 PM EDT

    Wrigley Tarp Getty Images

    Jenna and I talk about the tarp problem at Wrigley Field last night

  18. John Lackey gives Pat Neshek a ball autographed by Babe Ruth in exchange for his jersey number

    Aug 20, 2014, 1:03 PM EDT

    John Lackey Getty Images

    A long and rich tradition of giving up expensive things for a jersey number continues.

  19. Spotted at the Des Moines airport: 1,023 career homers

    Aug 20, 2014, 12:48 PM EDT

    logo-dsm-airport

    No biggie, just two 42-year-old should-be Hall of Famers with a combined 20 All-Star game appearances and 1,023 career homers running into each other in the Des Moines, Iowa airport.

  20. Rockies consider September call-up for Rafael Betancourt after Tommy John surgery recovery

    Aug 20, 2014, 12:16 PM EDT

    San Diego Padres v Colorado Rockies Getty Images

    When the Rockies declined their $4.25 million option on Rafael Betancourt and re-signed him to a minor-league deal the assumption was that he wouldn’t be a factor this season following Tommy John elbow surgery last August.

Featured video

Who's to blame for Cubs tarp fiasco?
Top 10 MLB Player Searches
  1. R. Castillo (3058)
  2. M. Cuddyer (2877)
  3. A. Garcia (2250)
  4. J. Werth (2136)
  5. W. Myers (2096)
  1. A. McCutchen (2094)
  2. K. Bryant (2075)
  3. Y. Molina (1996)
  4. T. Frazier (1878)
  5. M. Fiers (1834)