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A-Rod: Bud Selig is trying to destroy me

Nov 20, 2013, 4:03 PM EDT

Alex Rodriguez AP AP

A-Rod bolted today’s hearing, and headed straight to Mike Francessa’s show on WFAN.

They’re talking as if it was a spontaneous eruption, but it’s almost as if it was planned that way.

Rodriguez and his lawyer, Joe Tacopina, were on the show (link here). It’ll likely be archived there later. For what it’s worth, A-Rod is fired up: “I’m so pissed off right now I can’t even think straight.” He is ripping into Bud Selig. He said Selig is “trying to destroy me. To put me on his big mantle on the way out, that’s a hell of a trophy.”

Other choice soundbites:

  • “I know [Selig doesn’t] like New York, but you gotta come face me.”
  • “And [Selig] doesn’t have the courage to come and tell me this is why I’m gonna destroy your career?”
  • “People have told me ‘I hate your guts, but what MLB is doing to you is disgusting.’ ”

Rodriguez said he was planning on testifying on Friday, but now that Bud Selig is not testifying, he is unwilling to go back.

A-Rod and Tacopina’s position: Major League Baseball has not carried its burden of proof. Indeed, Tacopina said that the league hasn’t put on a shred of evidence to justify a suspension and that if MLB came to him today with an offer of a 50-game suspension, A-Rod would turn it down. “He shouldn’t serve an inning.” he said.

Whether A-Rod is there or not, the panel will eventually make a decision. And it if it’s not to his liking, A-Rod’s appeal rights are severely limited, as courts tend not to review employment arbitration decisions. So there is no escaping the fact that by turning up the heat like he has, A-Rod is playing a dangerous game.

  1. Mark Armour - Nov 20, 2013 at 4:14 PM

    I am beginning to wonder if Rodriguez’s career might not be over. I would not have thought this a possible end-game a month ago, but I am trying to envision a scenario where he ends up playing again. If he gets the 211, I figure he will sue MLB, the Yankees, and possibly the MLBPA. That could take years, and, either way, how does do the Yankees take him back?

    Are his lawyers advancing a strategy that will protect the money, get him on the field sooner, or simply risking all of the above to win?

    Forget right or wrong, what is the path that leads him back to being a non-pariah in 10 years?

    • jm91rs - Nov 20, 2013 at 4:21 PM

      After his suspension the Yankees will have to take him back, even if he’s suing them. He’s under contract and I don’t see them paying him but telling him to stay away.

      • Mark Armour - Nov 20, 2013 at 4:38 PM

        Why not? The money is sunk. The question for the Yankees is: do they want him around? Once the answer becomes “no,” they release him.

      • dowhatifeellike - Nov 20, 2013 at 4:57 PM

        Why would they have to take him back? The money in his contract is guaranteed but the job isn’t. He can still be released.

      • jerrymacdaid - Nov 20, 2013 at 9:18 PM

        If they release him, some other team else can pick him and have him pay on the Yankee’s dime. Not happening.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Nov 20, 2013 at 5:03 PM

      If he gets the 211,

      Good lord can we stop this. He didn’t get 211 games. At the time, he got the remainder of the ’13 season, the [possible] ’13 playoffs, the full ’14 season and [possible] ’14 playoffs. This was the punishment. The only way it was 211 games is if the Yanks didn’t make the playoffs either year. However, if they did, it’d be longer than 211 games. This is the very definition of arbitrary punishment.

      I also don’t see any way this punishment stands up. Under the JDA the league can only punish Arod 50 games (long story short, can’t punish for a second offense prior to being notified of a first failure). So they’d have to create some serious interference to take on another 161+ games of punishment.

      • yournuts - Nov 20, 2013 at 6:47 PM


    • ilovegspot - Nov 20, 2013 at 6:46 PM

      They should ban aroid for this shot. amking out with himself in a mirror.

  2. proudlycanadian - Nov 20, 2013 at 4:19 PM

    I wonder if he plans to hire some people to conduct a “spontaneous” protest outside the location for the hearings?

  3. jm91rs - Nov 20, 2013 at 4:19 PM

    Please Please Please, get rid of the “you may like section”! I do not care about Jose Reyes’ contract negotiations with the Mets over 2 years ago. Aesthetically it’s not a good look on this fine site.

    • shaggylocks - Nov 20, 2013 at 4:28 PM


    • ezthinking - Nov 20, 2013 at 4:42 PM

      It pays for the site. We’re stuck with it.

      • ochospantalones - Nov 20, 2013 at 5:16 PM

        True, though I always wonder how these things can really generate much revenue. I instinctively skip over these things so efficiently I honestly had no idea that section was even there before jm91rs mentioned it. I had to go scroll back up the page and look around to figure out what he was referring to.

    • moogro - Nov 20, 2013 at 6:09 PM

      Saw it recently. Sighed. Ignored it forever.

  4. tfbuckfutter - Nov 20, 2013 at 4:30 PM

    Umm….is he making threats while holding no cards?

    Because that is what it looks like.

  5. shaggylocks - Nov 20, 2013 at 4:31 PM

    I really really hope A-Rod can win this one. The Yankees need A-Rod. More specifically, they need to pay his absurd contract. No team should commit to a contract extension like A-Rod’s 2007 extension and escape the consequences of the later years.

    • pjmarn6 - Nov 21, 2013 at 3:29 AM

      All of a sudden King Clown is coming down on the side of the anti PED crowd. The man who couldn’t make it as a lawyer wet his finger, held it to the wind and found out from which direction the wind is blowing.
      When the Rangers signed Rodriguez to that insane $250,000,000 contract, I knew that eventually the Yankees would get him.
      Way back then some intelligent sportswriter wrote that a team cannot have just one player. As his salary ate up 80%-90% of the Rangers salary budget, of course they couldn’t hire and pay well the other 24 players.
      Perhaps Ranger management thought that Rodriquez was all they needed as a drawing card.
      It didn’t work.

  6. righthandofjustice - Nov 20, 2013 at 4:38 PM

    I believe court will review an arbitration due to partiality, collusion, fraudulence witnesses/evidence, etc. Team MLB has also violated state government ordered. That’s fraud or alleged fraud itself too. That should be ground for a review too.

    Perhaps team A-Rod think they have collected enough evidence while team MLB have not shown anything. Even the evidence provided by their star (and perhaps lone) witness Tony Bosch is questionable. For instance, a Blackberry expert testified the text messages Bosch presented in the hearing could have been faked or altered as reported by Jon Heyman of CBSSport:

    On Day One of A-Rod’s defense, the Rodriguez team put on the stand a Blackberry expert who testified that the reams of texts exchanged between Rodriguez and Bosch, his alleged steroid supplier in 2010, 2011 and 2012, could have been “altered” or “faked.”

    When it goes to court, everything from team MLB is doubtful and A-Rod has never been tested positive…

    • Liam - Nov 20, 2013 at 5:02 PM

      I can’t think of a less useful profession than “Blackberry expert”.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Nov 20, 2013 at 5:04 PM

        “Blackberry expert”.

        Alex Trebek: Church, you buzzed in.
        Me: Who is Aaron Gleeman?

    • ilovegspot - Nov 20, 2013 at 6:38 PM

      Aroid will take his penalty and just bitch the rest of his life. He doesn’t want to tell the truth and he will have his dopey supporters. He wont testify here and doesn’t want to be deposed and risk a perjury charge. Bonds already made that mistake.

    • ilovegspot - Nov 20, 2013 at 6:43 PM

      handjob gets it wrong again. Aroid minion. Blackberry’s data security will be able to easily confirm wheather they texts are real. Technology forensics 101. Eveything is verifyable and backed up. One you click “Post” or “Send” it can be retrieved even after you delete it.

      • righthandofjustice - Nov 20, 2013 at 7:37 PM

        Ask MLB to get 10 experts to prove the messages were not doctored then. Going to every website, type in meaning junk and calling everybody minion is all you do?

    • ilovegspot - Nov 20, 2013 at 7:44 PM

      The real texts can be subpoenaed from Blackberry. Blackberry can’t provide false data. They would be breaking the law. Text messages and logs are used in court all the time. Get with the times. one doesn’t have to be a Blackberry expert, what ever that is. Technology 101.

      • righthandofjustice - Nov 20, 2013 at 7:50 PM

        Have MLB done anything to get the authentic messages? Tell me when they get them.

      • jerrymacdaid - Nov 20, 2013 at 9:16 PM

        RHOJ – Tacopina’s assistant? Or Cousin Yuri?

      • ilovegspot - Nov 21, 2013 at 10:21 AM

        Looking forward to the evidence to be made public. aroid has lied before and he is lying again.

  7. ezthinking - Nov 20, 2013 at 4:40 PM

    I can’t see a solitary benefit for him testifying. The press won’t believe him, and the focus is taken off MLB who has the burden of proof.

  8. uyf1950 - Nov 20, 2013 at 4:42 PM

    “A-Rod: If Bud Selig doesn’t go under oath, I’m not returning to the hearing”. And that comment is suppose to frighten Selig. I don’t think so, the hearing will continue whether or not A-Rod participates and the arbitrator will make his decision sometime in December with or without A-Rod there.

    If A-Rod gets the suspension for the entire 2014 season the Yankees will own him according to Cot’s $60MM +/-. They also are committed to “milestone Incentives” of $6MM each if A-Rod hits #(s) 660, 714, 755, 762 and then finally 763 beating Bonds record setting HR. At 654 HR’s to date the only milestone incentive A-Rod is likely to reach should he be suspended for the entire 2014 season is Mays 660 the remaining ones would be out of reach. My point is the Yankees could by him out of his contract after his suspension for about $66MM +/-. While certainly not chump change if the Yankees are able to reset their luxury tax clock back to 17.5% after the 2014 the luxury tax on $66MM is ONLY $11.55MM about 1/3 of the tax bill they incurred at the end of the 2013 season. And certainly both the buyout of $66MM and the $11.5MM tax are well within the Yankees financial resources to make happen.

  9. sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Nov 20, 2013 at 4:49 PM

    If ARod know that he can only incriminate himself or perjure himself by testifying, he is doing a better job than Clemens, Palmeiro, Sosa, McGwire etc with this little bit of theater. He knew Selig wouldn’t testify. By pinning his own testimony to Bud’s, he gives himself the appearance of taking the high-road by avoiding the witness stand.

    Not bad, Tacopina. The best thing Bud could do is show up and do what Levine did: Deny everything, then watch ARod testify.

    • ilovegspot - Nov 20, 2013 at 6:34 PM

      Aroid will not testify under oath until he is deposed if this case goes to court which I doubt it will because of that.

  10. larryravor - Nov 20, 2013 at 4:52 PM

    Rodriguez is a scumbag and deserves everything coming to him. He tried to buy off witnesses and threw fellow ballplayers under the bus. He is a liar and a cheat. They should take the records away from him, Maguire, Sosa and Bonds.
    If they have no evidence, why would you walk out of the hearing? What is he afraid of? The truth? If they have no evidence, stay and fight. He is a puss!!!!!

    And the Yankess deserve to have to pay off the balance of his contract. Feel bad for them? Right!!!!

  11. MyTeamsAllStink - Nov 20, 2013 at 5:08 PM

    Arod sounds like a bratty kid but I see his point.Selig couldn’t get Bonds,Clemons or Sosa so now he’s going full force after Arod.And Arod dares to defend himself.This is going to get uglier than it already is.

  12. Old Gator - Nov 20, 2013 at 5:12 PM

    A-roid: dead man walking.

  13. phillyphannnn83 - Nov 20, 2013 at 5:20 PM

    Crash and burnnnn!!

  14. zinger99 - Nov 20, 2013 at 5:57 PM

    A-Roid,you are a failure as a baseball player and a human being. Loser.

    • sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Nov 22, 2013 at 10:40 AM

      He’s actually one of the best baseball players ever to play the game, but of course everyone is entitled to their opinion on the human being side.

  15. bigyankeemike - Nov 20, 2013 at 6:05 PM

    You might want to make a correction there, Craig.

    Joe Tacopina was not on the show with Arod. It was Jim McCarroll. Tacopina did the Michael Kay Show on ESPN Radio-NY about a half hour before that.

    Tacopina and Francesa hate each other.

  16. gpk68 - Nov 20, 2013 at 6:24 PM

    Note: That was not Joe Tacopina, it was another one of Arod’s numerous lawyers.

  17. spacemaker101 - Nov 20, 2013 at 7:10 PM

    FREE A-ROD!!

  18. 7mantel - Nov 20, 2013 at 7:49 PM

    Bud wont testify because he can’t hide his true feelings for ARod !

  19. serbingood - Nov 20, 2013 at 8:23 PM

    Memo To Alex Rodriguez: THIS BUD’S NOT FOR YOU.

    Stay strong! Thanks for your courage; etc.

  20. xli2006 - Nov 20, 2013 at 11:30 PM

    Hmm, that OR you were part of an extended Steroids network and actively pursued a cover up?

    “Your legacy” is already tainted Alex, just do yourself a favor and retire.

  21. louhudson23 - Nov 21, 2013 at 2:40 AM

    Cold busted and no amount of but,but,but is going to change it….Taking your toys and going home isn’t much of a strategy when they are sending you home in the first place. He has no leg to stand on,except” I did not do what they say I did”.Which ,clearly,he did and clearly he knows they know he did….

    • sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Nov 22, 2013 at 10:43 AM

      We still have not seen any “smoking gun” implicating ARod in all this. With all of the leaks we have seen so far, I would imagine any shred of definitive proof would have come to light by now. Still waiting.

      Did he do it: probably. Does MLB have enough evidence to really pursue a suspension: maybe. Do they have the evidence to support a 211 game suspension: not that anyone has seen so far.

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