Alex Rodriguez Sues Major League Baseball

Alex Rodriguez

In the midst of an appeal hearing over a suspension that would keep him out of baseball for all of next season and then some, Alex Rodriquez is pushing back:

Faced with baseball’s longest doping suspension, Alex Rodriguez sued Major League Baseball late Thursday, accusing it of buying the cooperation of Anthony Bosch, the head of an anti-aging clinic at the center of a doping scandal, as part of a continuing “witch hunt” to force him out of the sport.

In the complaint, Rodriguez’s lawyers claim an investigator paid $150,000 in cash for records related to Rodriguez, which were apparently stolen. A portion of the cash “was handed off in a bag at a Fort Lauderdale, Fla., area restaurant,” the lawsuit says.

The lawsuit specifically accuses Major League Baseball of engaging in “tortious interference,” essentially interfering with Rodriguez’s existing contracts and future business relationships.

The suit, in State Supreme Court in Manhattan, came just days after Rodriguez’s lawyers began appealing the 211-game ban issued by Major League Baseball. It is unclear if the suit will affect the arbitration hearing, which is taking place behind closed doors.

The suit does not address whether Rodriguez used banned substances.

In a statement, Rodriguez said: “The entire legal dynamic is very complex, and my legal team is doing what they need to in order to vindicate me and pursue all of my rights. This matter is entirely separate from the ongoing arbitration.  I look forward to the arbitration proceedings continuing, and for the day to come when I can share my story with the public and my supporters.”

That last part, of course, is simply incredulous. The idea that there’s no connection between the ongoing arbitration proceedings and this lawsuit that arises directly out of the MLB investigation into Rodriguez’s use of Performance Enhancing Drugs is simply absurd. The lawsuit essentially argues that MLB bought the cooperation of one of the chief witnesses against Rodriquez and the person who provided MLB with the documents that form a substantial part of the basis of their allegations against him. That’s not only not separate from the ongoing arbitration, it’s completely related to it. Quite obviously, A-Rod and his legal team are firing a shot across the bow at MLB that should indicate just how far they’re intent on taking the fight against this 211 game suspension. Whether this is a serious move, or a strategic one designed to force negotiations that would eventually lead to a shorter suspension is hard to tell.

Here’s the complaint:

Alex Rodriguez v. Major League Baseball by dmataconis

FILED UNDER: Law and the Courts, Quick Takes, Sports, ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Rob in CT says:

    One does not have to like ARod (seriously, who does?) or think he’s innocent of this round of steroids allegations (I’m sure he’s not) to notice that MLB’s tactics here were… questionable, at best.

    As Charlie Pierce likes to say (usually about politics): Nothing good will come of this. Nothing.

  2. Franklin says:

    @Rob in CT: Agreed. He’s an ass, but that doesn’t justify the witchhunt.

  3. al-Ameda says:

    I agree with the Rodriguez position here. The way this has been handled and how penalties have been applied is disgraceful.

    Quite obviously, A-Rod and his legal team are firing a shot across the bow at MLB that should indicate just how far they’re intent on taking the fight against this 211 game suspension. Whether this is a serious move, or a strategic one designed to force negotiations that would eventually lead to a shorter suspension is hard to tell.

    A big part of this might have something to do with the Yankees trying to get out from under their contract with Rodriguez. It would not surprise me in the least to find out that Yankee ownership had MLB’s ear on this one.

  4. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Franklin:

    He’s an ass, but that doesn’t justify the witchhunt.

    Doesn’t look like a witch hunt to me. Looks like an ass hunt, in which case they’ve found their intended target. As to MLB’s “tactics”, I’ll admit that I don’t know enough about how they went about it to comment, But let’s just say that, “In the complaint, Rodriguez’s lawyers claim an investigator paid $150,000 in cash for records related to Rodriguez, which were apparently stolen. A portion of the cash “was handed off in a bag at a Fort Lauderdale, Fla., area restaurant,” the lawsuit says. is an easy allegation to make, but I want to see the proof, and somehow or other, I doubt they have it.

  5. Tim says:

    Oh, please! I can’t believe all the commentators above who jump on A-Rod’s side against MLB. The man is lucky he wasn’t banned for life and, given his reaction to the suspension, he probably SHOULD be banned for life from the game.

  6. There is also a rumor going around the sports media guys on Twitter tonight that his lawyers are about to unveil a lawsuit against the Yankees team doctor for allegedly not properly diagnosing his injury at the end of last season.

    The thing is, I don’t see how such a lawsuit can avoid naming the Yankees, his employer, as a co-Defendant. He’s not just burning bridges at this point, he’s hitting them with Napalm

  7. al-Ameda says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    The thing is, I don’t see how such a lawsuit can avoid naming the Yankees, his employer, as a co-Defendant. He’s not just burning bridges at this point, he’s hitting them with Napalm

    I agree with you, and at this point with a season-plus of suspension on the line, and at his age, I don’t think he has much to lose here. I believe the Yankees are eventually going to move to void the remainder of the contract or force a settlement to get out from under what remains on the books.

    For me, this is a lot like the annual USC v. Notre Dame football game – I don’t really want either team to win.

  8. Ernieyeball says:

    @al-Ameda: For me, this is a lot like the annual USC v. Notre Dame football game – I don’t really want either team to win.

    Pretty much my sentiments when the Stink Lewis Cardinals play the Mets. Of course to facilite this outcome I always hope for the Cardinals plane to crash on the way to New York so the game never gets played.