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Report: Alex Rodriguez is also at odds with the players union

Oct 5, 2013, 4:48 PM EST

Alex Rodriguez AP AP

We learned yesterday that Alex Rodriguez filed separate lawsuits against Major League Baseball and a Yankees team doctor, but there’s still plenty of drama where that came from.

According to Serge F. Kovaleski and Steve Eder of the New York Times, Rodriguez grew so frustrated with what he perceived to be lack of support from the players union that he had one of his lawyers write a letter in late August to formally request that the union step aside as his chief representative on his arbitration panel for his appeal.

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.

The letter was addressed to David Prouty, the players association’s general counsel, with the aim of replacing the union’s lawyer for his arbitration hearing. It appears that Rodriguez got his wish, as Prouty served on the panel as his representative this week. Who knows where this is going, but our own Craig Calcaterra speculated yesterday that part of A-Rod’s grand plan may be to have the union take a stand against him in order to blow up the arbitration process.

While Rodriguez’s hearing is scheduled to continue in mid-October, his representatives are busy ramping up the rhetoric. According to Bob Nightengale of USA Today, attorney Joe Tacopina, issued a statement today calling MLB’s efforts to suspend Rodriguez a “crusade” and a “shameful endeavor.” Fun times.

  1. elwaysagenius - Oct 5, 2013 at 4:54 PM

    Who doesn’t he have problems with?

    • Old Gator - Oct 5, 2013 at 5:00 PM

      The guy looking back at him from the mirror. Kiss me again, he says.

      • proudlycanadian - Oct 5, 2013 at 7:12 PM

        Under the CBA which was agreed to by the union, performance enhancing drugs are illegal. The majority of today’s players also seem to be against PED use. If MLB caught Rodriguez using illegal substances and trying to cover it up, why the heck should the Union support him?

      • righthandofjustice - Oct 5, 2013 at 8:10 PM

        The answer is simple why the PA has to support A-Rod. It is because they know MLB doesn’t have anything thing to prove not only A-Rod, but also many other players should be suspended.

      • sysi45 - Oct 5, 2013 at 11:17 PM

        The problem is that he wasn’t caught. He didn’t test positive. The MLB and the Union was going by evidence submits by Biogenesis

      • spursareold - Oct 6, 2013 at 12:13 PM

        Testing positive isn’t the only violation of the MLB drug agreement. Lying or covering up an investigation is just as much a violation as peeing a cupful of PEDs, and he told MLB things that weren’t true.

    • dcfan4life - Oct 5, 2013 at 5:12 PM

      Most hated man in baseball. Maybe his mother still likes him. Maybe…

      • El Bravo - Oct 5, 2013 at 9:06 PM

        no way nick swisher is much much worse

      • historiophiliac - Oct 5, 2013 at 9:42 PM

        Why you hating, Brav-bro?

    • dickclydesdale - Oct 6, 2013 at 3:46 AM

      Arods gonna wind up in a trashcan in some alley. MLB is more powerful then the mob. They could easily hire a masked hitman. Ryan Dempster i hear has a nice aim.

  2. jhb64 - Oct 5, 2013 at 5:05 PM

    Get out of baseball you made your money

  3. heyblueyoustink - Oct 5, 2013 at 5:06 PM

    “Hateful day when I received life!’ I exclaimed in agony. ‘Accursed creator! Why did you form a monster so hideous that even you turned from me in disgust? God, in pity, made man beautiful and alluring, after his own image; but my form is a filthy type of yours, more horrid even from the very resemlance. Satan had his companions, fellow-devils, to admire and encourage him; but I am solitary and abhorred.’

    • vanmorrissey - Oct 5, 2013 at 5:11 PM

      Frankenstein’s monster, indeed.

      • Old Gator - Oct 5, 2013 at 7:08 PM

        Hump?

        What hump?

  4. spitfisher - Oct 5, 2013 at 5:29 PM

    This is an example of paying a player so much that they get disillusioned into thinking that they are bigger than the game itself, to the point of bad behavior, cheating and just being a shthead human being.

    • happytwinsfan - Oct 5, 2013 at 11:52 PM

      yeah could be that a rod is a self centered shithead. never having met him don’t know. but we, the sanctimonious fans are the real shitheads. we knew, though we pretended not to notice, that mcquire with his lil abner sized arms was using something during his 70 homer season – not to mention that the umpires were no longer calling the high strike, mcquirer’s career achilles heel. we ate it up. now we’re nothing more than a bunch of loud mouth couch potatoes imagining that we’re somehow better then the celebrity saps we choose to represent our athletic fantasies.

      • klingonj - Oct 6, 2013 at 9:51 AM

        because every olier than thou poster is positive that if they were in trouble they would refuse to use any means for themselves. if they had a speeding ticket or DWI, they would just plead guilty especially if they werent caught but someone said I know he did it. The worst part with all of these idiots is that I wind up defending A Rod which makes me want to take a shower

  5. DelawarePhilliesFan - Oct 5, 2013 at 5:34 PM

    I think somewhere around the 5th lawsuit, a relative needs to step in for the intervention “Alex, you f’ed up. It’s time to accept it and move on with your life”

    • righthandofjustice - Oct 5, 2013 at 6:01 PM

      One of his relative has already stepped up and talked to him:

      “Alex, let’s forget about my threat to sue you for naming and shaming me in your admission of PED usage in 2003. I can’t take these communist MLB officers who even have the guts to disturb peaceful civilian like me. It is time to show that arrogant used car salesman to accept his demise. I will give you and the State of San Jose a hand in throwing out ridiculous communist baseball rules that should not even be in a democratic country.”

      This relative of A-Rod filed a writ againt MLB. His name is Yuri Sucart.

    • km9000 - Oct 6, 2013 at 6:11 AM

      “It’s time to accept it and move on with your life”

      Maybe he wants to follow the lead of a certain group of politicians, and hopes to gleefully shut down all of baseball for a while.

  6. jt2663 - Oct 5, 2013 at 5:38 PM

    MLB should sue him for repeatedly, and willingly, hurting their brand image.

    • righthandofjustice - Oct 5, 2013 at 5:56 PM

      Nobody hurts MLB’s image more than Bud Selig. What professional sport has not only allowed a commissioner who admitted to hiding positive drug test results for more than 100 players to stay on a job, but also extended him for many more years? What professional sport has not punished their players for setting up a fake website?

      • DelawarePhilliesFan - Oct 5, 2013 at 7:24 PM

        “who admitted to hiding positive drug test results for more than 100 players ”

        That was a joint agreement with the Players Union so a baseline could be estaablished on what the extent was of the problem. I am sure he wold have loved to release the names – so blame Donald Fehr for that one.

        Not that I like Bud

      • righthandofjustice - Oct 5, 2013 at 7:30 PM

        I never said he didn’t want to release the names. But regardless, he lied about the test results of those 100+ players from the start and kept hiding the truth from the public until he was busted by the Congress.

      • DelawarePhilliesFan - Oct 5, 2013 at 10:19 PM

        Okay, well, again, I am not whatsoever defending Bud in general, as the guy desrves much criticism. But I don’t undertand your contention at all. The CBA signed in 2002 mandated that the 2003 test be kept confidential. Bud was contractually forbidden from discussing the results – and again, if you don’t like that fact, blame Donald Fehr.

        http://roadsidephotos.sabr.org/baseball/BasicAgreement.pdf

        ” During the 2003 season (which shall include spring training but
        not include the post-season), all Players will be subject to two tests
        (one initial test and one follow-up test conducted not less than five and
        not more than seven days following the initial test) at unannounced
        times for the presence of Schedule III steroids (“Survey Testing”). In
        addition, the Office of the Commissioner shall have the right to conduct
        additional Survey Testing in 2003 in which up to 240 players,
        selected at random, may be tested……. The confidentiality of the Player’s participation in the Program is essential to the Program’s success. Except as provided in Section 8, the
        Office of the Commissioner, the Association, HPAC, Club personnel,
        and all of their members, affiliates, agents, consultants and employees,
        are prohibited from publicly disclosing information about the Player’s
        test results”

      • righthandofjustice - Oct 5, 2013 at 10:47 PM

        Not releasing the names of the offenders was one thing. Telling people baseball was clean, only a few players used PED many times but only completely changed his testimony in Congress was another.

      • klingonj - Oct 6, 2013 at 9:52 AM

        his legacy is more than destroyed by the “the all star game counts” idiocy

    • runthebases - Oct 6, 2013 at 9:16 PM

      The FANS need to step in here and sue him. We are the ones who support this whole system every time we buy a ticket or MLB merchandise. Until one of these cheaters is held personally accountable, nothing will change. We need to hit him where it hurts; in his wallet.

  7. thesmedman - Oct 5, 2013 at 5:45 PM

    Rangers oughta take him. Enough tension there between Daniels and Ryan, and with Nellie Cruz, it would be a perfect fit!

  8. thegonz13 - Oct 5, 2013 at 6:00 PM

    Look, the postseason is underway. Why waste perfectly good time and space talking about this character?

    • km9000 - Oct 6, 2013 at 6:15 AM

      Well, this is the guy who opted out of his last contract during a World Series, so he’s either early here, or has even bigger news for us in store.

  9. ironman721 - Oct 5, 2013 at 6:09 PM

    Somebody is running out of bridges to burn. Enjoy “retirement” A-Roid!

  10. granted42 - Oct 5, 2013 at 6:13 PM

    The art of burning bridges, by A-Rod. The problem with burning all your bridges when you’re on the Island of Delusion is, eventually you find yourself stuck there with no way off the island, or out of your delusions.

  11. scoutsaysweitersisabust - Oct 5, 2013 at 6:27 PM

    Someone save my seat. I need to go get more popcorn.

    • historiophiliac - Oct 5, 2013 at 9:47 PM

      Beer run!

      • scoutsaysweitersisabust - Oct 5, 2013 at 10:07 PM

        While you are there, could you pick me up some Jager and some Red Bull? Thanks!

      • historiophiliac - Oct 5, 2013 at 10:13 PM

        Gross! Red bull. smh

      • DelawarePhilliesFan - Oct 5, 2013 at 10:20 PM

        Get Sierra Nevada Pale Ale.

      • historiophiliac - Oct 5, 2013 at 10:24 PM

        I got Stella and some Tripel Karmeliet to celebrate.

      • scoutsaysweitersisabust - Oct 5, 2013 at 10:37 PM

        Normally I would agree with you, however when mixed properly with Jager, it can be pretty tasty. Although any energy type drink can easily be substituted.

        Jager bombs = party drink
        Whiskey strait up = Relax and enjoy the game
        Beer = Nothing better to drink
        Clear Alcohol = Rich women on diets

      • historiophiliac - Oct 5, 2013 at 10:45 PM

        I am not a whiskey drinker.

        /pours a nip of vodka into a teacup and sips it, pinkie up

      • scoutsaysweitersisabust - Oct 5, 2013 at 10:46 PM

        Ron Swanson would like to have a few words with you…

      • historiophiliac - Oct 5, 2013 at 10:49 PM

        Who is that?

        Have you tried Tripel Karmeliet? It’s not a nothing-better- to-drink drink.

      • scoutsaysweitersisabust - Oct 5, 2013 at 10:53 PM

        Fictional character from Parks and Rec. Basically the most awesome person ever. And no, I have not. But I will now!

        http://flavorwire.com/303293/the-teachings-of-ron-swanson/

      • historiophiliac - Oct 5, 2013 at 11:08 PM

        That’s pretty funny.

      • scoutsaysweitersisabust - Oct 5, 2013 at 11:09 PM

        Second best comedy on TV. (Closely behind Modern Family)

      • historiophiliac - Oct 5, 2013 at 11:14 PM

        I pretty much just watch the Daily Show and baseball during the season. Mad Men when it’s on. I’ll have to catch some stuff in the off-season. That’s what SAD is for.

      • scoutsaysweitersisabust - Oct 5, 2013 at 11:20 PM

        It’s on Netflix. Really can’t recommend it enough. The first season (6 episodes) started off slow, but it picked up after that.

        Some of the writers came from The Office and FireJoeMorgan.com if that helps any.

  12. rjmarrella - Oct 5, 2013 at 6:34 PM

    Why won’t this guy just go away…

  13. rjmarrella - Oct 5, 2013 at 6:35 PM

    Well said granted42

  14. NatsLady - Oct 5, 2013 at 6:49 PM

    Seems to me he knows he will lose the arbitration. If he thought he was winning it, he would save his lawsuits for after, and use the win as a point in the lawsuits.

    • righthandofjustice - Oct 5, 2013 at 7:28 PM

      He is suing for different things that has nothing to do with his arbitration. Lawsuits may take years. Why wait later if he can start getting the money to his own bank from MLB, Selig and the Yankees earlier?

  15. sandrafluke2012 - Oct 5, 2013 at 7:16 PM

    I kinda feel bad for Arod. He deserves a break. Could it be his skin complextion ?

    • historiophiliac - Oct 5, 2013 at 9:51 PM

      Yours appears to be green.

    • DelawarePhilliesFan - Oct 5, 2013 at 10:21 PM

      That was sarcastic, right?

  16. timpaz - Oct 5, 2013 at 7:28 PM

    Quit giving this greedy liar the press he desires, he’s a washed up cheater , disgraced baseball. the YANKEES AND HIMSELF

  17. righthandofjustice - Oct 5, 2013 at 8:05 PM

    “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 REFUSED TO COOPERATE with their ‘witch hunt’ against the players — indeed principally Mr. Rodriguez,” the letter said.”

    Note that A-Rod mentioned “those individuals”. Evidently other than himself, he knew of many individuals who refused to but were bullied into cooperating with MLB’s witch hunt. MLBPA knew it too. I am sure we will hear more from other players such as Miguel Tejada, Nelson Cruz and some helpless minor leagues who were basically forced to accept the suspension or rot in minor league forever.

    • righthandofjustice - Oct 5, 2013 at 8:21 PM

      Add to that:

      In a statement, the players union said: “The union respects the confidentiality provisions of the Joint Drug Agreement, and believes all parties involved in the process should as well. Therefore, we will refrain from making any public comment at this time. Instead, we will continue to focus our attention on defending the rights of Alex Rodriguez and ALL UNION MEMBERS during this grievance procedure.”

      MLBPA mentioned they will fight for the rights of not only A-Rod but ALL UNION MEMBERS during this grievance procedure.

      Get the picture? MLBPA is not at odd with A-Rod. They will fight for ALL UNION MEMBERS against this witch hunt if they made good on their promise.

      • righthandofjustice - Oct 5, 2013 at 10:51 PM

        Tacopina is alleging that MLB paid Bosch $5 million for his testimony, while MLB’s investigators performed gross misconduct in their investigation of Rodriguez.

        “Every last allegation made in our suit pertaining to MLB’s and Commissioner Selig’s misconduct is supported by audio or video tapes, photographs, documents, witness affidavits, or otherwise indisputable evidence,” Tacopina said. “And on the law, if this shameful endeavor by Commissioner Selig does not constitute tortious interference, then it must be that no one ever can count on obtaining relief from that tort, no matter how egregious the facts. Fortunately, that is not the state of the law in New York.

        “We look forward to the opportunity to continue to press our defense against Selig’s crusade to banish Alex later this month, and to pressing forward in our damages suit against he and his lieutenants.”

        How can MLB not to support A-Rod if he got all these stuff that can incriminate Selig?

  18. racksie - Oct 5, 2013 at 8:21 PM

    Funny all the lawsuits are coming at the start of the post-season…..

    • righthandofjustice - Oct 5, 2013 at 8:27 PM

      What so funny? A-Rod said all alone he would refrain from talking about anything other than baseball during the season. Now the season is over…

      He has been doing everything he said.

  19. racksie - Oct 5, 2013 at 8:34 PM

    When I was much younger, I didn’t understand what “scorched earth” meant. Now if someone asked me to define it, I could point to A-Rod.

  20. anxovies - Oct 5, 2013 at 8:55 PM

    On the bright side it looks like the player’s union was successful in keeping the letter confidential for almost 6 weeks. This is a record in this case where leaks have occurred simultaneous with any event that was supposed to be kept between the parties.

  21. patsfan51 - Oct 5, 2013 at 9:12 PM

    I wonder if Tim Tebow can play baseball!

  22. retief1954 - Oct 5, 2013 at 9:18 PM

    The guy’s at odds with everybody, save his mother, and the pathetic vigil-ers who showed up in front of MLB offices to “support” him. They have nothing more important (like attending to their own lives) to do, I guess. Kinda like the pathetic losers who felt they needed to show up to “support” Michael Jackson at his child abuse trial. Mega-rich, mega-famous guys engaging in questionable and maybe worse behavior, then claiming “victim”, need anonymous admirers to show up and “support” them? What an “exceptional” culture we have, huh.

    • granted42 - Oct 5, 2013 at 9:57 PM

      Those weren’t “vigil-ers” They were probably employees being paid to be there, which is how they were attending to their own lives at the time. ;-)

    • theskinsman - Oct 6, 2013 at 7:20 AM

      the pathetic vigil-ers who showed up in front of MLB offices to “support” him.

      I missed a pic of Calcaterra with his pom-poms and signs. drat!

    • hockeydad91 - Oct 6, 2013 at 10:12 AM

      Jealous much???

  23. kappy32 - Oct 5, 2013 at 9:39 PM

    I’m not a Yankee fan, nor am I an A-Roid fan, but I think this is the right thing for him to do. His career is at stake here & he can’t just sit on his hands & allow the kangaroo court masked as MLB Arbitration Hearings to decide his fate. The Yankees & MLB have conducted a witch-hunt to screw Alex. Right or wrong, the way he has been treated has been unfair.

    • DelawarePhilliesFan - Oct 5, 2013 at 10:35 PM

      A) “His career is at stake” He has been in the bigs for 20 years, his career is mostly over, to put it mildly.

      B) “kangaroo court masked as MLB Arbitration” You realize you are talking about the process that ruled Ryan Braun testing 20 times the natrural limit for a exgenous susbatnce was due to FedEx.

      C) “The Yankees & MLB have conducted a witch-hunt to screw Alex” and it seems to me, they found the witch

      D) “the way he has been treated has been unfair” they were zealous, to be sure. But that does not at all change the fact that he went to Bosch to get PED’s. And he knew damn well that as againt the rules. Which is why he is in a spot 737 other Major Leaguers are not in

      • righthandofjustice - Oct 5, 2013 at 10:57 PM

        Witches don’t exist.

        Show the legal fact that A-Rod got PED from Bosch please. Don’t tell me thumb down counts as a fact.

      • DelawarePhilliesFan - Oct 6, 2013 at 7:49 AM

        Strictly speaking – yes, they do exist. But regardless – the OP was using the term “witch-hunt” as a metaphor, and so was I.

        Following me now Chief?

      • hockeydad91 - Oct 6, 2013 at 10:16 AM

        They exist only in his name being in the documents. Can you prove without a shadow of doubt he put the needle in his body? Zero failed tests, and only his name on documents don’t equal actual proof. This is the biggest hurdle MLB has. Proof without a shadow of doubt. Again, I’m no AROD fan, but I want to see the actual proof he used the drugs? Show me a guy that was there that saw him put the needle in his butt.

      • DelawarePhilliesFan - Oct 6, 2013 at 11:36 AM

        I have not seen the proof, nor have you. Many others have, including his own Union who advised him to accept 150 games. So unless you are claiming (comically) that the Union is on the side of the owners, it seems there must be some damning evidence against him.

        Also, keep in mind, the JDA does not at all require a failed test. Manny was suspended 100 games because of a prescription.

      • righthandofjustice - Oct 6, 2013 at 10:26 AM

        The proof to the existence of witches is a probatio diabolica. Same situation in the A-Rod witch hunt here. The proof is either non-existing or at least not available to the public so A-Rod is not a ‘witch’.

        Either show proof or A-Rod is not a ‘witch’.

      • DelawarePhilliesFan - Oct 6, 2013 at 11:31 AM

        Oh brother…..me thinks you are taking yourself a little too seriously using obscure Latin terms.

        But since you went to all the trouble, I’ll be sure to let my Wiccan co-worker (who freely and proudly uses the term witch to describe her beliefs) that she only exists probatio diabolica

      • righthandofjustice - Oct 6, 2013 at 4:48 PM

        Sometimes the meaning of a sentence can be better expressed in Latin than a lengthy and ambuigous paragraph. Think of expressions like de facto, ah hoc, vice versa, per se, bona fide, deus ex machina, etc. People use them all the time and they become more de facto English than common English, maybe just not you. Imagine the unwanted heated arguments some people may run into when they use the existence of God/devil in their sentences…

        Regarding your witchy co-worker… She can believe she is a witch but it is a fact she will never be a proven witch. However, She can show there is a chance she is a witch if she can show she can perform witchcraft magic.

      • DelawarePhilliesFan - Oct 6, 2013 at 5:35 PM

        Fascinating. Excpet I said “obscure” Latin terms. Ergo, your rebuttal is moot

    • granted42 - Oct 5, 2013 at 11:09 PM

      I do hate the Evil Empire, but have no animosity toward PED users in general, and A-Rod specifically. I do believe MLB was thuggish with its investigation, and that A-Rod was deceptive in his attempt to interfere with that investigation. However, I don’t see how these arbitration hearings are a kangaroo court. A circus, yes, but not a kangaroo court. It’s a system that the players’ union agreed upon, and used, since the JDA came into existence. It’s the same process that Ryan Bruan used to successfully beat the system the first time he was busted.

      The bottom line is, this is a case of a multi-billion dollar company vs. a multi-million dollar athlete, and nothing we say, or do, on this blog will affect the outcome. It’s important to remember the playoffs are here, and we only have a little bit of baseball left this year, so we should probably ignore this until November when ANY talk of baseball will be welcome.

    • hockeydad91 - Oct 6, 2013 at 10:25 AM

      I agree, make MLB show all of the evidence they have and then make a decision on whether to go forward. Also, in the mean time show all of the illegal way’s MLB used to obtain this info against not only him but all of the other MLB players. Somewhere there were some behind closed door meeting between MLB, The Yankees, and MLBPA making a few back door deals on how to get what they all wanted. MLB to look like they are being hard on PED users, The Yankees to find a way to get out from underneath that massive contract, and the MLBPA to look like they are fighting the good fight for the players. Again, I’m not a ARD gomer, I just want to see the real proof he took PED’s and not just some document that had his name on it. Give me actual proof he put them in his body. Until then he’s innocent. I know this won’t change the minds of any of those that hate him on this board.

  24. joestemme - Oct 6, 2013 at 4:12 AM

    F#$K A-Roid.

  25. hockeydad91 - Oct 6, 2013 at 10:11 AM

    All I read is the hate for this guy based on what??? Has he been tested and failed a test after his initial admission of taking them??? His name was in the Biogenesis records but do they have proof he actually took them (Did anyone see him actually put the needle into his body)?? Did MLB use illegal tactics to obtain these documents??? Did one of MLB’s investigators have an inappropriate relationship with a Biogenesis employee to obtain information??? How did MLB come up with a 211 game suspension when every other first timer got 50 (Ryan Braun). It sure seems to me some colluding between MLB and Yankees was going on to write off his contract. I’m no Arod apologist but it this were a murder case and I a juror, with the info I’ve seen so far I would have a hard time convicting him. All the haters on here seem to hate just for the sake of hating without looking at the evidence with a unbiased opinion. Maybe instead of lynching him first and then looking at the evidence, wait and see what all comes out. IF he did in fact do them and they can prove it without a shadow of doubt, then throw the bum out….If not, Bud and his band of merry men will have some real explaining to do in a civil court.

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