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Must-click link: All of the sordid details in the Alex Rodriguez case

Nov 4, 2013, 12:37 PM EDT

Alex Rodriguez Reuters Reuters

Every week we get a story here or there in which Alex Rodriguez‘s lawyer or someone from Major League Baseball fires a missile at the other side. Or some odd fact falls out that puts one side or the other in a bad light. I obsess about A-Rod and PED cases more than most people, but even my eyes have begun to glaze over at it all to some degree.

But if you have to read just one story about the performance enhancing drugs investigation and arbitration surrounding Alex Rodriguez, read this one from the New York Times which came out today. It’s a fantastic overview of it all and, more importantly, a fantastic read.

The story puts all of those drips and drabs in context, and talks about how desperate each side has been to paint the other as the real wrongdoers here. Some of the details from the story, some of which are new, some of which are older, some of which are surprising, some of which are not and all of which illuminate each side’s all-or-nothing approach to this case:

  • Two baseball sources tell the Times that A-Rod failed a stimulant test in 2006 (players get suspended for a second positive). Which is a violation of the confidentiality of the drug-testing program;
  • Unsatisfied with investigative efforts, Bud Selig hired a second set of investigators without telling M.L.B.’s in-house investigative unit;
  • The pro-A-Rod protests by the group Hispanics Across America? Yeah, that group got a $100K donation. Anonymously, but with a stipulation that it be used to raise awareness of A-Rod’s plight;
  • One witness who signed an affidavit saying he saw A-Rod injected has disputed its contents and says that MLB investigators have followed him and his family around. He was subpoenaed while entering a toy store in New York;
  • Another witness — a former Biogenesis nurse — had a fling with an MLB investigator who was working on the case. A-Rod’s team paid her $100K for documentary evidence and access to her text messages. She claims she had no evidence about any baseball player using drugs;
  • Baseball paid witnesses hundreds of thousands of dollars for evidence that may or may not have been stolen, and then A-Rod paid those same witnesses large amounts of money for evidence that the evidence was bought;
  • Major League Baseball agreed to pay all of Anthony Bosch’s legal fees, travel expenses and to provide him personal security at a cost of $2,400 a day;
  • A golf course employee may or may not have heard MLB’s Rob Manfred talking out of school about the case against A-Rod while playing a round. A-Rod’s people tried to get his story.

All of the stuff that is bad for baseball is denied by baseball. All of the stuff that is bad for A-Rod is denied by his people. Naturally.

And all of this stuff was inevitable given the stakes involved. You level a suspension on someone as big as the one baseball leveled on A-Rod, and he has no choice but to fight back with everything he can muster. And if someone is shooting at you, you have to shoot back at them.  One wonders, though, whether all of this expense and vitriol could have been avoided if A-Rod was offered the same deal Ryan Braun got: a suspension that ended his 2013 season and let him start fresh in 2014.

Maybe MLB didn’t offer that because maybe A-Rod’s actions were far, far worse than anyone else’s. If so, though, they had better have the goods or all of this will have looked like a waste.

  1. nbjays - Nov 4, 2013 at 12:55 PM

    After all this crap is over, someone needs to turn all of this into a screenplay… or maybe a soap opera. You can’t make this stuff up.

    • blabidibla - Nov 4, 2013 at 1:28 PM

      Please… No.

  2. losangelesfan - Nov 4, 2013 at 12:56 PM

    Baseball was more fun when players were juicing. Everybody made loads of money. All those guys belong in the HOF. Pete Rose belongs in there too.

  3. chip56 - Nov 4, 2013 at 1:03 PM

    Amazing that Craig could only find items that put baseball in a bad light. It’s almost as if he has an agenda or something…

    • raysfan1 - Nov 4, 2013 at 1:23 PM

      The article state his side has tried to buy witnesses, same as MLB has been accused of, and it at least implies he bought the protestors. Those parts don’t count as casting Rodriguez in a bad light?

      • chip56 - Nov 4, 2013 at 1:26 PM

        touche.

      • righthandofjustice - Nov 4, 2013 at 2:46 PM

        This article stated A-Rod paid for the physical evidence that MLB threatened the witnesses to make false accusations about him (e.g. the videotape of the actual bargain between MLB and Gary Jones and the audio tape of the conversation between Mullins and the Biogenesis nurse which showed their secret intimacy).

        Nothing about A-Rod paid any money to testify on his favor. It also didn’t show anything a lot of witnesses other than the nurse and the private investigator who taped the MLB-Gary Jone unethical (unlawful?) bargain have been paid by A-Rod.

        When someone paid for the evidence to show other witnesses have been coerced into making false accusations against him/her, how is he/she casted in bad light?

      • raysfan1 - Nov 4, 2013 at 4:19 PM

        There are plenty of people who will view the same things you just described and call it trying to purchase testimony. He could push a child out of the way of a speeding bus and some would say it was for PR.

        Personally I have gotten to where I’d like to see serial slappings for all involved in this case. Someone really needs to present that as an option to the arbitrator.

  4. chip56 - Nov 4, 2013 at 1:08 PM

    Oh, of course there’s one thing that was left out – Alex did steroids…lots of them. And has now been caught and is trying to change the subject not to “I didn’t do it” but to, “whhhaaaaa, I don’t like how you caught me.”

    • sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Nov 4, 2013 at 3:13 PM

      Using steroids = 50 game suspension. If MLB had enacted that, there would be no story here and ARod would actually have been punished for PED use. MLB is overplaying their hand to the point where he may skate. Well done, Bud.

      • ilovegspot - Nov 4, 2013 at 5:39 PM

        We don’t know all the evidence so you point is not valid.

      • sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Nov 4, 2013 at 5:52 PM

        Time will tell…

      • bigharold - Nov 4, 2013 at 7:29 PM

        “We don’t know all the evidence so you point is not valid.”

        No, his point is valid. Even if MLB has all the evidence against A-Rod they say they have, that is still only a 50 game suspension. MLB can’t re-write the rules, or in the case specifically the sanctions, just because they deem it necessary. That’s what MLB is trying to do here and as pointed out they’ve overplayed their hand. It’s called a Collective Bargaining Agreement for a reason, both sides have to abide by it. MLB is not only jeopardizing their whole case they shown that they have no sense of propriety. Don’t you think EVERY other player is seeing what they are doing and the lengths to which MLB is apparently willing to go? The seedy underhanded and overbearing way they are going after A-Rod will certainly be remembered during the next CBA negotiation. If MLB can get away with these low rent Elmore Leonard tactics against A-Rod, .. with his resources, .. no other player stands a chance.

        MLB should have kept their collective mouths shut, given A-Rod his 50 suspension and been done with it. Then, if A-Rod challenged the suspension let the evidence speak for itself. Instead, they snatched defeat from the jaws of victory. They weren’t satisfied with merely winning they went on their scorched earth crusade and put A-Rod in a position where he had no choice but to fight. And, guess what, .. even if MLB has the goods on a-Rod they’ll still look like a bunch of refuges from the KGB. MLB is being stupid on an epic scale.

  5. farvite - Nov 4, 2013 at 1:19 PM

    Just can’t make this ish up!!

    Two absolute laughing stocks going at eachother.. Priceless!!

  6. proudlycanadian - Nov 4, 2013 at 1:20 PM

    So which of A-Rod’s lawyers paid off your roommates mom?

    • raysfan1 - Nov 4, 2013 at 1:28 PM

      The one that can’t do math and tell that if that is correct, and you add back in tax withholdings, she is working 12 hours a day 7 days a week. Sounds like fun, and not at all like bait to trap idiots.

  7. proudlycanadian - Nov 4, 2013 at 1:22 PM

    On reading the story, I immediately remembered Flanders and Swan singing “Mud, mud, glorious mud!”

    • bigharold - Nov 4, 2013 at 7:35 PM

      Upon reading the story I kept thinking of the saying;

      Never wrestle with a pig, .. you both get dirty but the pig likes it. I just can’t figure weather A-Rod or MLB is the pig.

      Is it wrong to want both sides to lose the hearing?

  8. missingdiz - Nov 4, 2013 at 1:22 PM

    A-Rod and his crew have done plenty of unsavory things. I suspect he was using PEDs again. I think probably he’s an A-Hole. But even a-holes have to be proven guilty in this country. What I’ve read about MLB’s case indicates that the “evidence” and “witnesses” are very questionable. The main fact in MLB’s favor is that all the rest of the accused caved in, at least implicitly acknowledging guilt. But I don’t think that would be sufficient to prove legally that A-Rod is guilty. At least I hope not–the principle of presumption of innocence is a lot more important than this case.

  9. shawndc04 - Nov 4, 2013 at 1:26 PM

    I can’t believe I’m saying this, but if half of this is true with respect to MLB’s “investigation” of ARod, I’m feeling some sympathy for the guy. This story is absolutely sordid, but like a train wreck, interesting to watch.

    • ilovegspot - Nov 4, 2013 at 5:41 PM

      Sympathy for aroid? Shawn is off the short bus.

  10. righthandofjustice - Nov 4, 2013 at 1:48 PM

    If just one of these numerous accusations about MLB was real, I don’t see how it is fair for Selig and Manfred to remain as executives of MLB. Especially, if Selig hired a second investigation unit to coerce witnesses into making up stories against A-Rod behind the backs of other MLB executives, Buddy boy should be put behind bars.

    Anyway, these are still just “rumors” at this moment… However, now all of a sudden these “anonymous” sources have their names revealed… While I see like 10 different witnesses testifying against Selig, Manfred, et al, the sole witness on the MLB side is the prime suspect of this entire whole Biogenesis mess, Mr Bosch, who also happened to be doing it for a hefty compensation.

  11. joestemme - Nov 4, 2013 at 2:21 PM

    F@CK A-Roid and his sordid details.

    • sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Nov 4, 2013 at 3:16 PM

      Unless you are a female body builder, I think your offer will be declined.

  12. Francisco (FC) - Nov 4, 2013 at 2:21 PM

    Come on HBT Bot! Do your thing!

  13. protectthishouse54 - Nov 4, 2013 at 2:27 PM

    “Another witness — a former Biogenesis nurse — had a fling with an MLB investigator who was working on the case. ”

    haha oh my…what a clownshow

    • educatedfools - Nov 4, 2013 at 2:47 PM

      This reminds me of the Seinfeld episode where they are testing whether or not the frozen yogurt is non-fat and Kramer has an affair with one of the scientists involved in the testing: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vZv0MdkVwkA

    • righthandofjustice - Nov 4, 2013 at 3:22 PM

      Hey yo nurse! My name is Mullin. I am the head of the department of investigations of a major professional sport. I need to do a panty investigation now.

      Do not oppose… or I will charge you of violation of the CBA!

  14. cur68 - Nov 4, 2013 at 2:46 PM

    What kills me is that Alex Rodriguez in all his douchiness probably did A LOT of banned drugs over his career. He’s probably as guilty as as anyone suspended thus far. Yet somehow, some way, Bud Selig and MLB are managing to bungle what should be a perfectly cut-and-dried investigation and suspension. With a sane handling of it all, Rodriguez gets his 50 games suspension, we don’t have to look at his douchey mug till 2014, and that’s that. Instead, The MLB Brain Trust decided to go this route with its re-DONK-U-lous suspension, and now we have this Side-Show-Bob Extravaganza as ARod does what any sane person would do and fight tooth and nail against it.

    These MLB guys acted like they were the 800Lb gorilla in the room and could do whatever they wanted. Now they’re finding out that you can’t just decide you dislike someone, no matter how dislikable they might be, and go after them like this. Its now become an epic pissing contest and neither side is shying away from acting as unseemly as possible.

    No one is going to come out of this looking good and both parties have only themselves to blame over it.

    • righthandofjustice - Nov 4, 2013 at 2:53 PM

      ROFL. No matter what comes out on A-Rod’s PED appeal, if this story is true, MLB coerced A-Rod’s trainer into making false accusations and threatened to ruin the business of the golf course owner if he didn’t cooperate in faking testimonies against A-Rod. That means CRIMES.

      • Kevin S. - Nov 4, 2013 at 5:08 PM

        Actually, it was A-Rod’s people who allegedly threatened to ruin the golf course.

      • righthandofjustice - Nov 4, 2013 at 5:32 PM

        The investigators quickly caught up with Jason Firestone, the caddie who had been with Mr. Manfred. Mr. Firestone said they told him that if he did not cooperate, “the golf course was going to go under.”

        “They kept calling me, telling me they were going to ruin my life,” Mr. Firestone said about his conversations with the investigators.

        Pretty clear Mr. Firestone said MLB threatened to ruin his life and the golf course according to NYT.

      • ilovegspot - Nov 4, 2013 at 5:45 PM

        righhand got it wrong again. Re Read the article. It was Aroid rep’s threatening the caddy. he email aroid reps asking to have them stop.

      • righthandofjustice - Nov 4, 2013 at 6:43 PM

        ilovewhat??? Why always put up nonsense without quoting anything?

      • Kevin S. - Nov 4, 2013 at 7:17 PM

        Yet, once the league had Mr. Bosch’s cooperation, the intensity of each side’s investigations hardly diminished.

        About five months later, around the time Mr. Rodriguez was beginning his appeal at arbitration, Mr. Manfred played a round of golf in Rockland County, shooting an 82 and beating his son and another M.L.B. executive. A former employee of Manhattan Woods Golf Club who was not at the course that day emailed a tip to a lawyer for Mr. Rodriguez, saying Mr. Manfred had been talking openly about Mr. Rodriguez’s case.

        The investigators quickly caught up with Jason Firestone, the caddie who had been with Mr. Manfred. Mr. Firestone said they told him that if he did not cooperate, “the golf course was going to go under.”

        “They kept calling me, telling me they were going to ruin my life,” Mr. Firestone said about his conversations with the investigators.

        The former employee who submitted the original tip then reached out to Mr. Rodriguez’s representatives again. He explained that he was a fan of the Yankees and Mr. Rodriguez, and had fabricated the story.

        Eric Gallowitz, the private investigator who questioned Mr. Firestone, denied that he bullied Mr. Firestone. “Never happened,” he said.

        Either that is the poorest use of identifiers in recent journalism, or they’re talking about A-Rod’s team.

      • Kevin S. - Nov 4, 2013 at 7:30 PM

        Nope. From Page 1:

        Investigators working for Mr. Rodriguez, meanwhile, had a target of their own. They had received a tip that Robert D. Manfred, the league’s second-in-command behind Commissioner Bud Selig, had apparently been speaking indiscreetly about Mr. Rodriguez during a round of golf at Manhattan Woods Golf Club in West Nyack, N.Y. Enticed by the lead, Mr. Rodriguez’s investigators tracked down a caddie to learn what Mr. Manfred had said.

        ‘Twas indeed A-Rod’s people with that particular shakedown.

    • paperlions - Nov 4, 2013 at 2:55 PM

      Here is my question (and it should be the question everyone has at this point): If MLB investigated EVERY MLB players as thoroughly as they have investigated ARod, how many of them would be discovered to have been significantly involved in PED use?

      Of course, I don’t know the answer….but I am sure the answer is > 0….and it is probably far greater than 10.

      • cur68 - Nov 4, 2013 at 2:59 PM

        Huh. Good question. They’ve pulled out all the stops to get him. Going WAY overboard with the heavy handed “make the witness an offer he can’t refuse” stuff. I bet if they did this to Fancisco Cervelli, a guy with way less of a bankroll that Rodriguez, Cervelli would be imprisoned on Elba by now.

      • sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Nov 4, 2013 at 3:21 PM

        And more importantly, would the sport be better off? Wouldn’t it make more sense to offer the end users some sort of protection or immunity in order to reach the suppliers? It seems to me that would do more to rid the sport of PED use, and even help with the grandstanding if by busting the suppliers MLB acquired a larger list of users.

        Of course, the current plan makes sense if MLB is happy to have PED boosting performance, but wants to create an appearance to the contrary. After all, injured superstars are no fun. Get em back out there to put butts in seats. Extend those old guys’ careers: MLB already invested heavily in their brands.

      • bh192012 - Nov 4, 2013 at 5:38 PM

        How do you go after the suppliers while giving end users immunity? You could make the players immune from suspensions, but the supplier could always leak their name in response to ruin their reputation. Also not all of the steroids are strictly illegal, you just need a flimsy excuse and a perscription. So suppliers it could violate MLB, but not the law necessarily and the suppliers are not employed by MLB.

      • sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Nov 4, 2013 at 5:59 PM

        BH – it would go like this: Dear ARod, please tell us everything you know about Biogenesis. If you help us, your suspension will be reduced.

        The DEA is not going after the mexican cartels in hopes of gathering evidence to bust my neighbor who smokes a joint sometimes. If MLB worked with the authorities to investigate drug sources they would do far more to rid the sport of users. I think that is not really their goal.

  15. righthandofjustice - Nov 4, 2013 at 2:49 PM

    “Over the following weeks, Ms. Moon said, Mr. Mullin met with Ms. Delgadillo three times, treating her to dinners and drinks at Town Kitchen and Bar and Akashi Japanese Restaurant, and a meal at Big Pink in South Beach.

    Ms. Moon said that Ms. Delgadillo said in the affidavit that she and Mr. Mullin became intimate, and he spent the night at her home.”

    Tell your roommate’s mom about this Mr. Mullin, department head of MLB’s investigation unit. Perhaps she will get paid more than $65 per hours like Ms Delgadillo”.

    • sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Nov 4, 2013 at 6:00 PM

      “a meal at Big Pink”

      I have a new favorite euphemism.

  16. makeham98 - Nov 4, 2013 at 2:56 PM

    Was the “golf course employee” the same clown who had “proof” that the Patriots videoed the Rams?

  17. sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Nov 4, 2013 at 3:14 PM

    Sorry to tell you, but your mom is a porn star.

    • NatsLady - Nov 4, 2013 at 3:23 PM

      I don’t think porn stars work for $55 per hour. The extras–yeah, maybe.

      • sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Nov 4, 2013 at 3:25 PM

        Perhaps “star” was too strong of a word…

  18. phantomspaceman - Nov 4, 2013 at 3:19 PM

    “Records from the case show that Mr. Jones said that he told Mr. Mullin that the first collection of documents had been stolen from Biogenesis by an employee, and that the second had been taken from the car.”

  19. tfbuckfutter - Nov 4, 2013 at 3:24 PM

    Girls are so lucky.

    I wish I could get paid to masturbate on the internet.

    I am so damned tired of doing it for free…..but you know, that’s just because I just got done. I’ll be fine in an hour or so.

    • tfbuckfutter - Nov 4, 2013 at 4:07 PM

      And now the initial comment has been removed and I look like a lunatic.

      I am actually fine with that.

      • doctornature - Nov 4, 2013 at 5:46 PM

        No, people don’t think you’re a lunatic…as far as you know.*

        Chevy Chase to Bill Murray, Caddyshack

      • tfbuckfutter - Nov 4, 2013 at 6:41 PM

        That one got my right in the lumber yard.

      • Kevin S. - Nov 4, 2013 at 7:32 PM

        You usually do look like a lunatic. Never change. ;-)

  20. shadowcell - Nov 4, 2013 at 7:27 PM

    Wow, what an intricate story! Writing all these interweaving plotlines and morally compromised characters must be a real feat! I can’t wait to see how Walt has been pulling the strings in the shadows the whole time.

  21. electstat - Nov 4, 2013 at 11:22 PM

    How about an interview with Tom House. Lets get the real info on steroids in baseball.

  22. peddealer - Nov 8, 2013 at 3:07 PM

    GOT JUICE?

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