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A-Rod’s attorneys want his arbitration hearing open to the public

Oct 22, 2013, 9:36 AM EDT

Alex Rodriguez AP AP

There is much about what’s coming from A-Rod and his legal team right now that reeks of grandstanding and carnival sideshow-ism. That said, buried in this New York Post story about their latest gambit (i.e. to have the arbitration hearing open to the public) is a darn good point:

Tacopina accused MLB of “selective leaks” about the A-Rod case, and he noted an Associated Press story in which Manfred disputed an accounting of his testimony last week. The AP reported Manfred testified he wasn’t concerned whether MLB’s star witness Anthony Bosch sold illegal performance-enhancing drugs to minors.

“Rob Manfred releases his version of the testimony,” Tacopina said. “Put out the full transcript.”

Why Rob Manfred can publicly confirm or deny his testimony in a way which bolsters MLB’s side of the case while the arbitrators issue injunctions against A-Rod and his legal team from talking about the case from their perspective is a really damn good question.

No, P.R. shouldn’t and won’t ultimately decide this case, but behavior like this sort of suggests that A-Rod’s complaint of MLB having it in for him and singling him out has some validity.

  1. raysfan1 - Oct 22, 2013 at 9:45 AM

    Gotta admit that this is how I often feel about both sides in this case:

  2. schuch10 - Oct 22, 2013 at 9:47 AM

    “The AP reported Manfred testified he wasn’t concerned whether MLB’s star witness Anthony Bosch sold illegal performance-enhancing drugs to minors.”

    I would assume that this AP Report was a leak from a non-MLB source. Manfred’s public spin was merely in response to something that was already leaked, correct? So a leak, followed by another leak, must be remedied by complete, non-negotiated disclosure? Cray.

    • rbj1 - Oct 22, 2013 at 10:49 AM

      Remember, Manfred gathered evidence, is a witness in the hearing and is also on the three member panel with a vote. So essentially he’s a witness and n alleged neutral judge.

      • Old Gator - Oct 22, 2013 at 12:28 PM

        MLB has it in for A-roid?

        Aw, c’mon.


  3. deathmonkey41 - Oct 22, 2013 at 10:17 AM

    A-Rod should have went with Matlock. That dude gets all his clients off.

    • Caught Looking - Oct 22, 2013 at 10:30 AM

      and it would have been over in an hour.

    • unclemosesgreen - Oct 22, 2013 at 11:01 AM

      It has to be the seersucker suit. Who could say no to that kind of concentrated nattiness?

      • Old Gator - Oct 22, 2013 at 12:29 PM

        “Sucker” had to be a modality of the meme, for sure.

    • raysfan1 - Oct 22, 2013 at 11:01 AM

      Perry Mason would not only have gotten him off, but would have gotten someone else to confess to everything in open court.

      • proudlycanadian - Oct 22, 2013 at 12:03 PM

        Miss Marple would have him admitting everything.

      • Old Gator - Oct 22, 2013 at 12:30 PM

        Every one of the MLB high command would have stuck a knife in A-roid while he slept, too.

    • Jason @ IIATMS - Oct 22, 2013 at 1:28 PM

      C’mon, we all know ARod only gets off on the muscle-y types. And two at a time.

  4. righthandofjustice - Oct 22, 2013 at 12:41 PM

    Rob Manfred is a witness of this hearing. I don’t know why he is allowed to be a member of the arbitration panel. This whole arbitration arrangement is fishy to begin with.

    I expect the Bar Association will need a good explanation from arbitrator Horowitz if abnormalities come out of this arbitration process.

    • chip56 - Oct 22, 2013 at 2:08 PM

      The Players’ Association is also a witness in this hearing. They also have a member on the panel…that’s why there is a three person system.

      • righthandofjustice - Oct 22, 2013 at 2:20 PM

        Is the “witness” from the PA the same person on the arbitrator panel? The fact is Manfred is a witness against A-Rod and is also one of the three members on the Panel who DIRECTLY determine the outcome of the hearing. It literally gives an extremely unfair disadvantage against A-Rod.

      • chip56 - Oct 22, 2013 at 3:07 PM

        No it doesn’t.

        The only way Alex is hurt by having Manfred on the panel is if you can prove that another representative from MLB would have been inclined to vote against the punishment handed down by MLB in this case. That notion is silly. That’s the reason there is an independent third person.

        When you go into an arbitration hearing everyone knows that the MLB guy is going to side with MLB, everyone knows that the union guy is going to side with the player and then the deciding vote is the independent third member of the panel.

      • righthandofjustice - Oct 22, 2013 at 3:50 PM

        Representative of PA on the Panel doesn’t have to vote in favor of the player (in this case, A-Rod) for every decision if it is against the rules. Likewise, representative of MLB doesn’t have to vote in favor of MLB for every decision, although representative of his respective client will more than likely vote for the client he represents in the FINAL DECISION of the arbitration. For instance, the original representative from the PA assigned to A-Rod didn’t agree with A-Rod on everything but if it came down to the final decision he might very well vote for A-Rod.

        Manfred already said something stupid when he was busted for lying about the payment they made to acquire the Biogenesis documents. He said that would not change anything that he thought A-Rod was guilty. Essentially he already made up his decision before even hearing a word from the A-Rod side.

        You don’t need proofs to dismiss someone from the ruling panel that he is biased. You only need to establish doubts he will not make impartial judgement.

        Please identify a REAL WORLD situation where a decision making panel member also happens to be a witness and we can start from there…

    • dlf9 - Oct 22, 2013 at 4:49 PM

      Righthand – I serve as an arbitrator in labor disputes. Having one of the party appointed arbitrators testify is not uncommon and I’ve had it in cases I’ve adjudicated several times. Note that this is very different than the jointly appointed (i.e. neutral) member of the panel. The Bar Association also has no jurisdiction over this. And Horowitz certainly will not be asked for any explanation beyond the narrow confines of the final Opinion and Award by either the Bar or a reviewing court; the Award must speak for itself and the Arbitrator is not a party to any subsequent appeal.

      • righthandofjustice - Oct 22, 2013 at 6:46 PM

        Correct me if I am wrong… It seems like you think the the three member arbitration panel is not an impartial tribunal. Only Horowitz should be neutral but Manfred should do anything beneficial to MLB even if he knows it is incorrect and likewise the representative from MLBPA should not do anything against A-Rod.

        If this is the case then literally it is just a one-person panel. I also want to raise the question whether the original MLBPA representative assigned to A-Rod violated the Cannon of Ethics by doing disservice to A-Rod in a public radio show? And whether he has been disciplined by his boss, the current MLBPA representative of A-Rod accordingly?

      • dlf9 - Oct 22, 2013 at 6:55 PM

        There is no expectation that all three members of the panel are neutral. It is very common in management / union labor disputes for each party to select one arbitrator (usually a person employed by the company or union or their respective law firms) and for the parties to jointly select the third who is the de facto chair of the panel and who authors the final opinion. In almost all such cases, the final decision is 2-1. The party-appointed arbitrators have an obligation to represent their parties’ interests; they cannot do so illegally (e.g “knows it is incorrect”) but nothing prevents them advocating.

        What cannon of ethics are you referring to? Horowitz is probably bound by the National Academy of Arbitrator’s Code (adopted jointly with AAA and FMCS) but Weiner and Manfred are not. Weiner’s comment could be a violation of the union’s obligations under Duty of Fair Representation laws, but that is a very different issue.

      • righthandofjustice - Oct 22, 2013 at 7:56 PM

        ” The party-appointed arbitrators have an obligation to represent their parties’ interests; they cannot do so illegally (e.g “knows it is incorrect”)”

        Such as…
        – Charging the accused person of destroying evidence by “paying for the documents” but in reality the accuser is the actual one who paid and obtained the documents.
        – Making final “guilty” judgement in the public without hearing even one word from the side of the accused.
        – Stating openly the accusing side would only go after the accused and people in his same category (e.g. players) for potential criminal activities without doing anything to or even mentioning anything about the people on the side of the accusers regarding the same “criminal activities”.

  5. joestemme - Oct 22, 2013 at 1:04 PM

    Fuc# A-Roid and his arbitration.

  6. chip56 - Oct 22, 2013 at 2:05 PM

    This is the second time that Tacopina has cried that he wanted the hearings made public. MLB offered him the opportunity after the first ask and he ran with his tail between his legs at the notion of MLB being able to put their evidence out for public consumption. I have a feeling that the result of this latest ask will be no different.

    MLB has nothing to lose – everyone assumes they did shady things to collect evidence. On the other hand once that evidence is made public then Alex’s reputation goes even further down the crapper.

    • righthandofjustice - Oct 22, 2013 at 4:04 PM

      You are absolutely wrong!

      Tacopina didn’t ask the public for judgement on a selective piece of information. He didn’t even ask for public opinions. He also petitioned for the open hearing through proper procedure according to the CBA, that is, with prior consent of MLBPA and MLB and the arbitrator.

      However, in the case of Manfred’s “letter” for releasing the “information they have”, he didn’t obtain prior consent of “the player” and MLBPA. Hence, it was a violation of “rule change” of the CBA. Besides, MLB was only willing to present selected information they have and Manfred furthermore explicitly provoked the public to “judge” based on his “selected information”. It was the same dirty trick as Jack Clark’s polygraph test against Pujols.

  7. psousa1 - Oct 22, 2013 at 4:28 PM

    They could have it right in the Town Square and all the Magistrates will wear white powdered wigs If A-Rod loses he will have to be put in the stockade for 215 games.

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