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A-Rod sues Major League Baseball and the MLBPA in an effort to get his suspension overturned

Jan 13, 2014, 4:40 PM EDT

Alex Rodriguez Getty Images

We knew it was coming and here it is: Alex Rodriguez sued Major League Baseball and its players’ union Monday, seeking to overturn his 162-game suspension. The best part: as part of his suit, he had to attach the arbitrator’s decision from which he appeals. We’ll be going through it here at HBT soon and finding all the fun bits. The takeaway from arbitrator Horowitz, however?

“While this length of suspension may be unprecedented for a MLB player, so is the misconduct he committed,” Horowitz wrote in his decision Saturday.

The claims against the union revolve around A-Rod’s contention that it “completely abdicated its responsibility to Mr. Rodriguez to protect his rights” and “this inaction by MLBPA created a climate in which MLB felt free to trample” on Rodriguez’s confidentiality rights.

Read the full complaint here

As we’ve said before, the likelihood of A-Rod getting the arbitrator’s decision overturned is low. And the addition of the player’s union should be seen in the context of trying to get the arbitration to be considered a train wreck. Given how clear it was that A-Rod wanted his own legal team to take the lead, however, it’s hard now to take his claims that the union was ineffective at face value. He all but told them to get lost.

Still, fun times ahead.

  1. chacochicken - Jan 13, 2014 at 4:46 PM

    • irish2u2 - Jan 13, 2014 at 6:02 PM

      Rodriguez is a classic narcissist who believes not only he is above the “law” but he gets mightily annoyed when the “little” people take up his valuable time trying to enforce those laws. This whole sordid affair will only get uglier because Rodriguez has convinced himself he can salvage his reputation and legacy if he throws enough money at the problem. That is why he is taking on both MLB and MLBPA which is a classic legal defense maneuver where he will throw myriad and often absurd charges and mountains of paperwork at both organizations in an effort to get either his sentence overturned or at the very least drastically reduced. But there is another side and that is now all the evidence that MLB has amassed can be used and exposed to the very public Rodriquez is hoping will rally to his cause. That’s sad because baseball fans, including Yankee fans, are mostly over ARod and his antics. When those texts and emails come to light Rodriguez will be toast as the Mafia was a few years ago because code words aren’t protection in a court of law when their meanings are so obvious.

      • jwswans - Jan 13, 2014 at 7:01 PM

        Fancy word for a Guy who also is amoral in values? Justwhat our kids need to be as mentors?

        This BUM couldn’t hold a candle To babe Ruth , without his super duper muslce man dope meds?

        I Love Me and I am a Fool should be a New sign on the Block?

        The Yankee team managers seems to blink at doping and did little to avert his cup of tea
        strained in Body juice he has stuck himself with? Really How can The Dollars spent on this BUM ever be reconciled with Pennant winning That should be removed in my estimation?
        The League should Annul a whole TEAM for ONE member who dopes up in a world series?
        Nice Stategy to get Yankee managemnet to wake up to Play Ball not Drugs?


        the ole slugger

      • pjmarn6 - Jan 13, 2014 at 7:15 PM

        UHHHHHHHHHHHHH when I stated that Rodriguez was not a good role model and should act as a leader and mentor for kids, I was almost assassinated by the thumbs down. Commentors decried the fact that these multimillion spoiled brats should behave themselves and demonstrate that honesty, hard work and ethics are necessary to reach one’s goals in life. Now we know first hand, that doing something illegal, cheating, lying, narcissism and back stabbing is the way to the top and then quickly the bottom. It looks more every day that the only baseball that Rodriguez is ever going to pay again is on a sand lot.

    • maestroaria1964 - Jan 13, 2014 at 6:17 PM

      Hmm, so ARod is suing the MLBPA for not standing up for his rights and ensuring that he wasn’t suspended when he: 1) broke the rules (and not the first time) and 2) told the MLBPA’s association that he didn’t want them representing him and he was hiring his own legal representation. Does that strike anyone else as slightly hypocritical and even more comical? It’s not about baseball, at this point — it’s about money!

      The funny thing is that the Yankees are hoping that this guy’s suspension isn’t overturned so that they don’t have to pay him $28 million to spend most of the time on the IR and hit .244 when he isn’t on the IR — of course, they won’t say that publicly! lol

      • pjmarn6 - Jan 13, 2014 at 7:12 PM

        UHHHHHHHHHHHHH when I stated that Rodriguez was not a good role model and should act as a leader and mentor for kids, I was almost assassinated by the thumbs down. Commentors decried the fact that these multimillion spoiled brats should behave themselves and demonstrate that honesty, hard work and ethics are necessary to reach one’s goals in life. Now we know first hand, that doing something illegal, cheating, lying, narcissism and back stabbing is the way to the top and then quickly the bottom. It looks more every day that the only baseball that Rodriguez is ever going to pay again is on a sand lot.

  2. captainwisdom8888 - Jan 13, 2014 at 4:47 PM

    this dude is such a weasel. zero accountability for his own actions. those are the worst kind of people

  3. chip56 - Jan 13, 2014 at 4:50 PM

    Just an aside, given the number of players who can’t get elected to the MLB Hall of Fame based on the fact that they played during the Steroid Era and thus are tainted by it whether they used or not – wouldn’t it be poetic justice for Bud Selig to be kept out of the Hall of Fame for being the commissioner who oversaw the Steroid Era?

    Look, we all know and accept that the climate in negotiations between the league and union have changed greatly since Don Fehr and Gene Orza stepped down and that change, as much as anything, is what led to a JDA. Odds are that if Fehr was still running the union there wouldn’t have been any JDA and certainly no suspensions. But Bud does share the blame (as do all owners and executives) for turning a blind eye.

    I have no problem with Alex suffering a punishment that was clearly intended as a message by a league that is pissed it couldn’t penalize Bonds, Canseco, Clemens or the rest – the fall is always harder from the top – but at the same time, Selig doesn’t get a pass.

    • natsattack - Jan 13, 2014 at 5:03 PM

      As an unofficial rule, it seems commissioners, no matter how ineffective, always receive a free ticket Cooperstown.

      • natsattack - Jan 13, 2014 at 5:06 PM

        *to Cooperstown

      • bankboy2012 - Jan 13, 2014 at 5:34 PM

        Spike Eckert would like a word with you.

      • raysfan1 - Jan 13, 2014 at 5:38 PM

        See Kuhn, Bowie.

    • drunkenhooliganism - Jan 13, 2014 at 5:52 PM

      You’re cool with Rodriguez receiving an “unprecedented” penalty because Barry Bonds and Jose Canseco didn’t get suspended?

      Bonds wasn’t technically suspended, but he wasn’t offered any jobs after posting a 1.045 OPS. He was banned from baseball without a hearing.

      • chip56 - Jan 14, 2014 at 9:55 AM

        I’m cool with the notion that when you go fishing you don’t catch all the fish. Sucks for the fish you do catch, but that’s life.

        As for Bonds, no one wanted to offer a 42 year old with tons of baggage a job. That’s life too.

    • pjmarn6 - Jan 13, 2014 at 7:23 PM

      How the worm has turned! It was only yesterday that King Kong, aka Craig, was frothing at the mouth defending Rodriguez, swearing eternal loyalty and faithfulness. “WOT HAPPENED?”
      Now that Rodriguez is tied to the stake, King Kong is piling on the firewood and soaking him with gasoline! OH MY GOD! The ex-lawyer should know, that he cannot abuse his client or say anything against him. He should be leading the charge to aid him to be exonerated! As King Kong has often said, Rodriguez never failed a drug test and even if he had the maximum punishment would be 50 games! King Kong has yelled, screamed and pulled his hair out stating that everyone was against poor lil old arod.
      Now he can’t wait for the back lash by MLB, MLBPA, Yankees, sports writers, arbitrator and courts.
      If Rodriguez keeps it up, he just might be managing an inmate population on the finer points of the game.

      • Old Gator - Jan 13, 2014 at 7:46 PM

        Your description of Craig’s stance towards A-Roid is as profoundly intellectually dishonest as it is just plain stupid.

  4. coltzfan166 - Jan 13, 2014 at 4:53 PM

    Just give him a 50 game suspension and move on.

    • chip56 - Jan 13, 2014 at 4:57 PM

      Why? The court isn’t going to overturn 162.

    • pjmarn6 - Jan 13, 2014 at 10:20 PM

      old gator, put your money up. King Kong had defended Rodriguez every day except today.

      • pjmarn6 - Jan 13, 2014 at 10:35 PM

        Old Gator. Care to explain King Kong’s love post on the net about Rodriguez? “Major League Baseball: If you strike A-Rod down, he shall become more powerful than you can possibly imagine.”
        There are a hundred more, supporting and admiring the cheat. You want to go back the last two years and read them?
        There is a difference between reporting baseball news and slanting the editorials in favor of a player that King Kong obviously favors. But then lawyers and ex-lawyers have an image to uphold.

      • Old Gator - Jan 14, 2014 at 1:02 AM

        For your claim of “a hundred” more, your one example, which was plainly satirical – assuming you have even rudimentary interpretive skills, which you didn’t prove that time – is pretty pathetic. I don’t need to put anything up. You made the ridiculous and insupportable claim, not me. If there are a hundred examples of Craig defending A-Roid, let’s see one that sticks. And we’re not talking about defense of due process or criticizing exaggerations about A-Roid’s stature or lack of it – we’re talking about defending his PED use. Craig has never done this. He has defended A-Roid’s right, and all other accused ballplayers’ rights, to due process. You’re not the only idiot who can’t read who has made the same witless accusation, and you’re also not the only one who has failed to cite a concrete example. You’re just a parrot full of sound bytes.

      • pjmarn6 - Jan 14, 2014 at 12:24 PM

        Old Gator, if you are not going to clic on King Kong and read his comments on Rodriguez going back at least two years, then anything you say in defense of King Kong and Rodriquez is worthless.

  5. paperlions - Jan 13, 2014 at 4:53 PM

    The MLBPA’s duty is to ensure to the best of its ability that players are treated fairly and in accordance with the CBA and JDA. They do not have a duty to get you off for anything you may be guilty of doing, just to ensure that you are penalized appropriately. According to the arbitrator, 162 games is fair. No sure what else he thinks the MLBPA should have done.

    • historiophiliac - Jan 13, 2014 at 4:56 PM

      I think A-Rod got the worst attorney money can buy.

      • nelsonsaint - Jan 13, 2014 at 5:03 PM

        Bob Loblaw wouldn’t have allowed this mess.

      • paperlions - Jan 13, 2014 at 5:06 PM

        Pretty close.

        I think ARod may be suffering from a Dunning-Kruger effect. Not only is he too dumb to realize that he is dumb, he is too dumb to distinguish between intelligence and stupidity in others. He seems to make decisions based on fantasies. He hired the lawyer that talked a big game and said all of the thing that Alex wishes were true and would come true….rather than a lawyer that knew what he was doing.

      • proudlycanadian - Jan 13, 2014 at 5:07 PM

        Worse than Rusty? On second thought, he just might be worse than Rusty.

      • billybawl - Jan 13, 2014 at 5:07 PM

        He has more than one. At least one seems like a clown, but the firm Reed Smith is well respected and know what they are doing. Doesn’t mean he’s taking all their advice.

      • historiophiliac - Jan 13, 2014 at 5:58 PM

        That’s true. I was just thinking about the dude on the interview last night. He didn’t seem the quickest of the ambulance chasers.

  6. sdelmonte - Jan 13, 2014 at 4:55 PM

    Here is my only comment: I still don’t know why A-Rod deserved such a long suspension. So I have to think that if I were a member of an union and were subjected to unusual punishment, the union would have my back. I am very bothered by the MLBPA protesting in a way that makes them seem weakened.

    Of course, if someone were to spell out just why a first offense deserves 162 games, I might change my mind. And I am sure that no matter how ink is spilled on this frustrating, overripe, and rather dull story, no one will ever tell me that outright.

    And after this, I plan to speak only about things not related to A-Rod.

    • billybawl - Jan 13, 2014 at 5:04 PM

      Other stories emerging that Rodriguez had a chance to take a 50-game suspension early on and for whatever reason, didn’t go through that door while it was opened. It also sounds like Rodriguez’s legal team took control of his representation from the MLBPA, at least when it became clear the MLBPA was recommending accepting penalties to players caught up in Biogenesis. I can only speculate, but MLBPA doing what it could have under the circumstances isn’t necessarily inconsistent with the results.

    • rangermania - Jan 13, 2014 at 11:00 PM

      With all due respect I am telling you outright – – A-Rod kicked the MLBPA off his case. Now he is stupidly complaining about his own actions.

      Second this is his second offense (he already admitted the first) and these are MULTIPLE offenses of lying, destroying evidence and intimidation. He deserves more punishment than he got.

      To top it off he has filed suit against everybody. The Yankees doctor, the MLB and the MLBPA.

      He will probably earn the title of baseball’s worst.

      There is no reason for anyone to speak of A-Rod again.

  7. stinkfingers - Jan 13, 2014 at 4:55 PM

    In the words of Vince Neil… Don’t go away mad, just GO AWAY

  8. Jason @ IIATMS - Jan 13, 2014 at 4:55 PM

    Why not just sell this to a major network and pimp the crap out of it like The Voice or Idol. We can select 4 “judges”, from new school to old school to fomer players and every week, we examine and cross-examine a section of this.

    And put it under subpoena power so Bud and Alex have to appear under oath.

    Fry ’em all

  9. themanytoolsofignorance - Jan 13, 2014 at 4:57 PM

    A sad and predictable move by Rodriguez. When this fails, as it surely will, what then? Alex Rodriguez does not appear to have any sort of safety net. In his increasing anger and desperation will he sue the Yankees next? There doesn’t appear to be any sort of voice of reason in his life because he should not be going down this path.

    Any playwright worth a hill of beans could make one hell of a stage play of this tragedy.

  10. DelawarePhilliesFan - Jan 13, 2014 at 4:57 PM

    In other news, I just filed my lawsuit to be declared King of Saskatchewan. Legal analysts say I have a better shot at winning than A-Rod.

    • proudlycanadian - Jan 13, 2014 at 5:09 PM

      Gordie Howe beat you to it.

      • DelawarePhilliesFan - Jan 13, 2014 at 9:33 PM

        I will have you know I was originally going to say King of Canada, but did not want to cause offense should you be reading. Seriously :)

        Plus Saskatchewan has a “k”, and the letter k is always funny

      • proudlycanadian - Jan 13, 2014 at 9:58 PM

        You might be a better King than Prince Chuck who is first in line to succeed Queen Liz.

      • nbjays - Jan 14, 2014 at 7:41 AM

        I thought Tommy Douglas was the undisputed King of Saskatchewan… even dead.

      • proudlycanadian - Jan 14, 2014 at 8:27 AM

        Ownership of the crown in Saskatchewan is now under review. Will the instant replay provide a definitive answer?

  11. billybawl - Jan 13, 2014 at 4:59 PM

    FWIW, for a union member (Rodriguez) to sue an employer (MLB) for violating a CBA, you have to bring suit under Labor Management Relations Act Sec. 301. One of the things you have to show to win damages against the employer is that your union (MLBPA) breached its duty of fair representation. You don’t necessarily have to name the union as a defendant, but most plaintiffs do on the theory that there’s more defendants with deep pockets.

    Short of it is, this isn’t surprising, and isn’t necessarily raising the stakes. He naturally would have waited to file until after the arbitration decision came out.

  12. throwmetheidol - Jan 13, 2014 at 5:01 PM

    The guy is a complete joke! He should stop and take his 162 games. At least he gets to come back unlike Pete Rose does.

    • Reflex - Jan 13, 2014 at 5:12 PM

      To be fair, Rose did far more damage to the game than A-Rod’s sideshow has.

      • historiophiliac - Jan 13, 2014 at 6:02 PM

        Please post the link again to the story about steroids at Rose’s gym.

      • Reflex - Jan 13, 2014 at 6:26 PM

  13. clydeserra - Jan 13, 2014 at 5:07 PM

    Craig: when looking through the document for me (thanks) can you tell us what evidence they had of the corpus of the PEDs? I mean, who said that Alex Rodriguez, did in fact, ingest a banned substance?

    Something I can’t really reconcile has been the fact that most of these guys tested negative. Who is to say that this Bosche guy was actually using PEDs? why couldn’t he tell his wealthy clients “here are steroids and HGH that are undetectable” and then give them and shoot them up with a saline solution?

    • Reflex - Jan 13, 2014 at 5:16 PM

      I’ve been wondering if testosterone in tablet formats would even be absorbed by the body. Given that they could pass a test right after the game I would guess not, but that would also mean that it had zero effect beyond perhaps a confidence booster.

      • Reflex - Jan 13, 2014 at 5:18 PM

        Based on this it appears that oral ingestion of testosterone does indeed have almost no effect. So it seems he could give them such tablets and they would pass drug tests because the drug itself is simply not absorbed effectively.

        Basically he gave them very expensive sugar pills.

      • paperlions - Jan 13, 2014 at 5:36 PM

        Here is a place to start if you want to look at some studies done on changes in baseball composition:

        There is a lot more info if you follow the provided links, but most of the take home messages are summarized.

      • Reflex - Jan 13, 2014 at 6:37 PM

        Ah, back to that page again. That paper has some serious flaws, I’ve pointed them out in the past. But here are the largest questions it raises for me:

        1) They state virtually zero change in ball properties over 11 years. That depends tremendously on storage conditions and location. We know for a fact that baseballs in Colorado lose density a measurable amount over the course of a season, this is why the humidor was implemented. Over 11 years unless both comparison balls were stored in the same conditions it is unlikely one did not experience some change. This really is a problem of sample size, and they did not address it beyond ‘logic-ing’ their way to their conclusion.

        2) The calculations done based on this paper which you have also linked to before have a seriously fatal flaw: They fit the gain in offense perfectly. As a scientist yourself you know that is incredibly suspicious since it implies that no either no other factor was relevant, or even more improbably that all other factors cancelled each other out perfectly. This smacks of a conclusion that sought proof rather than evidence that built to a conclusion. I cannot believe that expansion, ballparks, newer training programs, performance enhancing substances, international recruiting expansion and a host of other factors either had zero effect or cancelled each other out. I pointed out before that new ballparks almost perfectly correlate with the change in offense, both in the offensive explosion and the pitching resurgence. I don’t claim its the only factor, but it matches up way better than ball conspiracy theories.

        3) What happened after 2004? Did MLB bring back the original baseball? Why has offense steadily declined? It should not be very difficult to acquire a baseball from the 2004 and 2005 seasons to compare to each other.

    • chacochicken - Jan 13, 2014 at 5:18 PM

      His claim of micro-testosterone gummies and lozenges is pure tripe at least. There is no chance oral testosterone isn’t showing up in a post game urine test. I’m guess he gave them caffeine, amphetamines or a straight up placebo.

    • themanytoolsofignorance - Jan 13, 2014 at 5:22 PM

      These are good points. We need a physician to weigh in here. Was Anthony Bosch a fraud PEDs dealer?

      • raysfan1 - Jan 13, 2014 at 5:55 PM

        I am a physician. I can’t tell you if he gave real drugs or not. Testing positive requires a number of things–
        1) the tester has to actually test for the substance taken
        2) dosing has to be high enough to trigger a positive test
        3) timing of the test has to be soon enough after use to detect the substance (HGH, for example, is very hard to detect even with blood tests because it metabolizes very fast)

        If the “gummies” were low enough of a dose of testosterone, then it’s completely possible to take them and be metabolized and gone from the blood stream within a few hours. However, if the dose was low enough not to trigger a positive test for urine metabolizes either, then it’s also likely the dose was low enough to not have much effect at all.

        Regardless, the thought that one can take a steroid hormone and suddenly have a great game is magical thinking anyway. That’s not how they work.

      • themanytoolsofignorance - Jan 13, 2014 at 5:58 PM

        Thank you for your reply. Does this apply to amphetamines? As I understand this PEDs business and as a quick trawl through the internet seems to confirm, it is amphetamines that will give the bigger boost on a dose to dose basis. Can a person take amphetamines as a sub lingual (is this the correct term?) drug?

      • raysfan1 - Jan 13, 2014 at 6:08 PM

        Amphetamine will indeed give a much more immediate boost. Amphetamines as a class of drugs are mostly available in tablet or capsule form. There are two that can be obtained as a liquid. I know of no sublingual, quick-dissolving troches.

      • themanytoolsofignorance - Jan 13, 2014 at 6:12 PM

        Thank you.

        Food for thought (pun intended) indeed. So Bosch hands out the steroids in low undetectable, unenhancing doses. And is seen as a miracle worker when the predictable placebo effect comes into play.

        At this point, Rodriguez has a more compelling reason to be suing his drug dealer and not MLB.

      • raysfan1 - Jan 13, 2014 at 6:41 PM

        True enough except he’s a dry well, not enough money to be worth the bother, not to mention that would require admitting he cheated, which he’s not doing.

  14. mvp43 - Jan 13, 2014 at 5:12 PM

    Ever hear the phrase… “cut your losses”

  15. cackalackyank - Jan 13, 2014 at 5:13 PM

    I do not really think the court will hear this matter. But, his lawyers are doing real well on this. Might not be real smart suing the Players Association though.

  16. tonyz6060chevy - Jan 13, 2014 at 5:16 PM

    in other words Joe Torre was right about”A-Fraud “in his autobiography . Rodriguez is just like Lenny Dykstra, Full of himself. He needs to take all of his millions he took from the Yankees and open up a Bowling alley and string of used car dealerships ! He’s not going into the Hall of Fame,he’s going to be a curiosity of the “Steroid era”!

    • sabatimus - Jan 13, 2014 at 5:25 PM

      Cooperstown should open a House of Wax-style museum with all the roiders in it. Presided over by the newly-exhumed Vincent Price, of course.

  17. glenuendo - Jan 13, 2014 at 5:18 PM

    His lawyers will love the billable hours.

  18. sabatimus - Jan 13, 2014 at 5:24 PM

    Argh. Call me crazy, but I’m pretty sure this story is never going to end.

  19. cjasfenton - Jan 13, 2014 at 5:29 PM

    Craig, you’re famous!! He cites you on page 12 as authority that the MLB vs Biogenesis suit was a sham. Aren’t you proud?

  20. cjasfenton - Jan 13, 2014 at 5:29 PM

    Craig, you’re famous!! He cites you on page 12 as authority that the MLB vs Biogenesis suit was a sham. Aren’t you proud?

  21. drewsylvania - Jan 13, 2014 at 5:31 PM

    I walked out of this movie. Why is it getting good reviews?

  22. cjasfenton - Jan 13, 2014 at 5:33 PM

    Dangit. My buddy sent me the wrong one. This is his old complaint for tortuous interference. Never mind.

  23. yournuts - Jan 13, 2014 at 5:34 PM

    I remember when Curt Flood sued to create free agency. Everybody thought he was a douch bag then, nobody wanted to see free agency. I wonder if by this lawsuit if real transparency will happen, I wonder if the MLB leadership will be found out for how the act and what they are? I wonder what the legacy of Arod and this acandel will be 50 years from now.

    It should be worth watching.

  24. djstat - Jan 13, 2014 at 5:39 PM

    It’s one year. Pete rose for life and what you did destroyed the game a lot more than rose

    • clydeserra - Jan 13, 2014 at 5:45 PM

      How did Alex Rodriguez destroy the game?

  25. ironman721 - Jan 13, 2014 at 6:48 PM

    Most hated man in all of sports. Just saying…

    • raysfan1 - Jan 13, 2014 at 10:22 PM

      No, when this calms down, that title will still rightly belong to OJ Simpson.

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