Posted August 16, 2013

Allegations that A-Rod’s camp outed players puts union in tough spot

Alex Rodriguez, Biogenesis, Ryan Braun
Alex Rodriguez, Yankees

Alex Rodriguez is playing while he appeals a 211-game suspension for his role in the Biogenesis scandal. (Kathy Willens/AP)

Citing “two sources with direct knowledge of the matter,” 60 Minutes reported Friday morning that “members of . . . Alex Rodriguez’s inner circle” obtained and leaked documents implicating Ryan Braun and Rodriguez’s Yankees teammate Francisco Cervelli in the Biogenesis scandal in February.

Allegations that Rodriguez obtained Biogenesis documents for the purpose of destroying them surfaced in April, and Major League Baseball’s given rationale for suspending Rodriguez for 211 games — as opposed to the 50- or 65-game suspensions handed down to the other major leaguers implicated in the scandal — hinges in part on its assertion that he engaged in “a course of conduct intended to obstruct and frustrate the Office of the Commissioner’s investigation.”

This latest allegation fits neatly into that narrative and corresponds exactly with the contents of this Feb. 5 report by Yahoo! Sports. According to 60 Minutes sources, the version of the documents obtained by the Miami New Times, the alternative weekly that initially broke the Biogenesis scandal in January, had the names of Braun, Cervelli and Orioles infielder Danny Valencia (the last of whom was not disciplined by MLB) redacted, but Rodriguez’s camp obtained unredacted versions of those documents and provided them to Yahoo! Sports.

The degree to which this will impact Rodriguez’s appeal of his suspension is unclear, because it’s not yet known whether or not this is something MLB already knew about. It does Rodriguez no favors in the court of public opinion, though it’s difficult to imagine he has much farther to fall in that regard. Rodriguez and his legal team continue to deny everything, telling 60 Minutes that “the drumbeat of false allegations continues.” Indeed, Rodriguez continues to insist that he hasn’t used performance enhancing drugs since 2003 and never had any relationship with the Biogenesis clinic or its founder Anthony Bosch.

McCANN: Legal ramifications from latest twist in A-Rod saga

If these latest allegations are correct, however, Rodriguez, assuming he is held responsible for the actions of his “inner circle,” would have violated the collectively bargained Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program, which lays out in great detail exactly who and what may be made public with regard to violations of the Program and in no way allows for third parties to publicly out players.

That would put the Players Association in a tricky spot. It is in the union’s interest to fight Rodriguez’s suspension because of the precedent it sets of allowing the commissioner to hand down lengthy suspensions outside of the schedule in the current Program. There is language in the program that enables the commissioner to levy such a suspension (specifically section 7.G.2, “A player may be subjected to disciplinary action for just cause by the Commissioner for any Player violation of Section 2 above not reference in Section 7.A through 7.F above.”) but this is the first significant use of that clause against a player in the union. However, if Rodriguez is in clear violation of the agreement and violated it by outing other players, his actions would seem to be indefensible, even by his own union.

It’s important to remember that the union represents the players and the players are becoming increasingly outspoken about their lack of tolerance for cheaters and their desire for stiffer penalties for those in violation of the Program. As one American Leaguer said to ESPN’s Howard Bryant last week, “Guy uses steroids. He then puts up better numbers than I do. He goes to free agency and gets the years and the money, takes a job I don’t get and now I have to scramble during the winter to find another slot. Then, he gets busted for steroids and we use my union dues for his lawyers, his defense and his appeal? And that makes sense to you? That bulls— is fair?”

With Rodriguez, the union is being forced to walk a tightrope between supporting stiffer penalties and keeping the power of the commissioner in check. It’s not clear that it can successfully do both in this case.

VERDUCCI: A-Rod finally being held accountable for his PED use

50 comments
woocane
woocane

I looked through the Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program, can't find anything that says a player can't tell the press information he has that another player is on PEDs (except with regard to positive tests).  I could have missed it -- please point out the section(s) that would make A-Rod's leak (if he did leak) a violation of the Agreement.

WHO*IS*ESPN
WHO*IS*ESPN

Funny Braun is now coming out to explain why he did it and say he is sorry.  yeah, i believe ANYTHING this says going forward but I never believed him before.  So good luck with having people even care about you again. 

billbellicheat
billbellicheat

if there's one thing i hate more than a cheat it's a rat.

cborgia
cborgia

The players union would defend almost any player for almost any abuse, and they especially defend players for PED cheating because half their members are PED cheats. I hope this discredits the union and Selig both. Arod hasn't had any credibility in years. 

Rickapolis
Rickapolis

I know that there have been more loathsome sobs in baseball than A-Rod, but none of them come to mind right now

Grand_80
Grand_80

Arod needs to be careful..... Snitches/new York = east river

CobyPreimesberger
CobyPreimesberger

go to USA Today, they have a story on this and Selig isn't shocked, why as he talked to owner's in private and said we know this and you'll see a story within 24 hours that A-Rat is a snicth.  Plus if this is true it would be a violation of the CBA, as MLB or player's are allowed to leak names while there was an ongoing investigation, also consider the source it's 60 Minutes, who hello 6 years ago when A-Rat had a chance to come clean with one of the softest interviewers in the world katie couric, when directly asked about PED's or HGH what was his answer it was no

espnrefugee0218
espnrefugee0218

Why did it take mlb 10 years to realize they can use instant replay?  im glad its going to happen but i still think bud selig is a grade A  knucklehead 

TeddyBloomquist
TeddyBloomquist

Where are all the Yankee fans who were saying this whole thing is a witch hunt and that 200+ games is unreasonable and unfair?

TexasSportsWarrior
TexasSportsWarrior

Stories like this puke discribe the majority of people in America since the late 1980's starting with our leaders. Like the Tom Cruise & Jack Nicholson film A Few Good Men. Cruise: I want the truth!!!! Nicholson: You can't handle the truth. The crowd majority idiots in America go along with Nicholson's character side not Cruise's character side. They follow the Devil instead of God!!!

TexasSportsWarrior
TexasSportsWarrior

A-Puke trying to cover his back while snitching on others. Selig trying to cover his back receiving A-Puke's juicy story. Like a plea bargain given to a scumball in court so he rats on the rest.

easyas0123
easyas0123

TexasWarrior, you seem to write a lot of pointless posts on here, get a life dude!

TexasSportsWarrior
TexasSportsWarrior

A-rod is making the fictional character JR Ewing of Dallas look like a Saint. He is making enemies on all sides even his own team side. He is worst than the enemies.

eddie767
eddie767

So not only is he a user,he's also a so called snitch. How much did he pay for the others records? This is wrong to tell on a teammate who was one of the few who supported him.

chris s1
chris s1

the PTI guya where talking about the 72 fins. not sure what to think about it. the presidents did not start this till 75' so not sure what to think.but if you bring any team in it should be them.

TexasSportsWarrior
TexasSportsWarrior

Another reason Selig is helping NFL to continue being America's Number 1 Sport into it's 3rd Decade in a Row. MLB died being Number 1 to me after Pete Rose was banned in September 1989.

TexasSportsWarrior
TexasSportsWarrior

Nice to read something positive about 1972 NFL Don Shula on SI as an interesting break from the joke that is MLB for years.

chris s1
chris s1

I read in a comments section that A-rod was a great guy. but that was copied and pasted from another comment section from a different web site which was quoted from a third web site with was really a quote from the 1st comment section.

chris s1
chris s1

Why does MLB not just put their case out to the public for all to see. With out this all I see is the man(puppet) against A-rod with the Yankees pulling the strings.

chris s1
chris s1

did Bruan  shoot ML Baseball from the Texas book depository while A-rod was the second shooter from the grassy Knoll?


chris s1
chris s1

Dear SI get to the point " This latest allegation fits neatly into that narrative and corresponds exactly with the contents of this Feb. 5 report by Yahoo! Sports. According to 60 Minutes sources, the version of the documents obtained by the Miami New Times," this is just too funny is this a he said he said he said thing. damn it get to the point quote only the real source. and name them. why is every source so secert?

TexasSportsWarrior
TexasSportsWarrior

It continues to come back to maybe if the idiot fans would start boycotting attending MLB then both the owners & players might give a damn. Every sport has the same problem. Both sides don't give a f--- about the fans just $$$$$$$$$$ and the same soap opera garbage will continue forever as long as the idiot fans keep showing up at the ballparks or games in every sport.

effeweall
effeweall

Arod is proving MLB is not actually testing players to catch them.  They have their head in the sand, and a newspaper article from rats led to this current drama and 13 suspensions.  Selig has single handedly killed baseball.

SDCardsFan64
SDCardsFan64

A-Rod was accused, while with Texas, of tipping his pitcher's pitches to opposing players for a "favor to be named later". It does not schock me that he's throwing players under the bus. A-Rod has always been about A-Rod.

effeweall
effeweall

This is a great commercial for MLB.  It is better then any PSA or home run chase.  Arod is saying he has not done any PEDs since 2003.  If he has been using HGH or variations of this to help him not age where is the crime?  Has MLB come out and actually stated anti-aging treatments are illegal?  This whole "cleaning up baseball" is a farce.  69 susspensions since 2004.  13 just now.  55.  of those 55 prior bans 24 were minor leaguers who had played MLB.  that leaves 31 PED bans in 9 years.  LOOK at the players.  The current tests are a joke.  These guys shoot in the off season, they pass the test before opening day.  Then they have to wait until the all star game.  Then they shoot and take all they can.  This is the true reason for 2nd half monsters.  Milky shot before the All Star break and gambled for a 16 million contract per year.  Got busted and STILL SIGNED FOR $8 million per year.  SELIG IS REALLY CLEANING THE GAME UP!!!!!

MidwestGolfFan
MidwestGolfFan

Will MLB have to warn opposing pitchers and managers not to make their displeasure evident?

gymviking
gymviking

"Rodriguez and his legal team continue to deny everything, telling 60 Minutes that “the drumbeat of false allegations continues.”  Well, it's true, I always turn to lawyers to get the exact truth of things. Triple A-Rod's suspestion and have him begin serving it while the appeal is in process.

sc00ter1808
sc00ter1808

And Pete Rose is still banned all these players should also be banned too!

Chipper4Life
Chipper4Life

this is just crazy... alex shouldnt be playing right now. he is a disgrace for the game we love

26terry
26terry

@easyas0123 lmao, when you start replying to yourself as he did, its time to get a hobby!

effeweall
effeweall

@TexasSportsWarrior MLB is releasing this story as a precaution.  Caue when Arod comes out in the arbitration hearing and says he did no do a PED as defined by baseball after 2003 they will look foolish.  so they are releasing all the ugly details of this fraud case as a tabloid ratings boost.  Arod does not mind any attention.  he has 200 million thru his career.The last arbitrator who sided with Braun was fired.  How is the new Arbitrator gonna reduce it to 50?  If he has not done steroids but took anti aging meds and supplements where is the problem?

Ozfest36
Ozfest36

@TexasSportsWarrior  We should appreciate Baseball Drug Policy... Is the toughest one to pass... I know for a fact 70 pct of football players use some type of steriods.. Football Drug Policy is not as tough as baseball, is way easier to pass...And Ray Lewis had the biggest head ever...

effeweall
effeweall

@chris s1 cause Arod will beat this case.  they have no proof he did steroids.  Just antiaging supplements and chemicals.  Arod is a bum who can not hit good pitching or make contact.  MLB is entertainment.  total garbage now.

cborgia
cborgia

@TexasSportsWarrior You finally said something that made sense, and when you did it was right to the heart of the matter.  I no longer attend baseball games. It's just like wresting. 

cborgia
cborgia

@effeweall I think that has been a cooperative effort between many parties: owners, players, Selig, fanboy writers, and credulous fans. 

RobOlds
RobOlds

@effeweall Sorry...the players are killing baseball by using PED's.  A Rod's lucky he's not being banned for life, as he and all other should be.  Selig may have been VERY slow to react, but at least MLB is catching up.  Now all they  need to do is toughen the penalties when players are caught.

MidwestGolfFan
MidwestGolfFan

@sc00ter1808  

You're comparing (rotten) apples and (moldy) oranges.  Both are putrid and horrible, but for different reasons.

Pete Rose knew that gambling carries a lifetime ban, but did it anyway.  He lied about it.  Then his lies were exposed, and he's been trying to game it ever since.  Rotten apple, keep him banned.

Roid-boys are just as rotten.  They cheated the game by making themselves bigger, stronger, and more robust than nature ever intended.  Ban them, too.

JimAntonicello
JimAntonicello

@TexasSportsWarrior @TeddyBloomquist I would not call them pointless just extremely negative and not based in any fact.  I am a lifelong Yankee fan and fell A-Rod will get what he deserves.  MLB is serious about ridding the game of PED's. It does not hurt that A-Rod's stupidity will help the Yankees rebuild faster.

cborgia
cborgia

@effeweall @chris s1 Many of you seem to think that HGH is legal. It is both against the law and against the rules of baseball. The union merely stonewalled a testing program. It won't help Arod to say he only used HGH. 

TexasSportsWarrior
TexasSportsWarrior

@RobOlds @effeweall What has any of them learned since MLB stopped in 1994 and 1995? Nothing any different than before it was cancelled. Fans be damned they keep coming back to the games no matter how much B.S. they continue being fed!!!

effeweall
effeweall

@TexasSportsWarrior @RobOlds @effeweall thats the issue.  in 1994 baseball told the fans bye bye.  When they came back no one cared, so the steroid express started.  McGuire and Sosa had everyone in USA tracking steroid HRs.  Bonds 3rd MVP and no one talked about it.  So he shot roids, became better then Miggy Cabrera, and was the greatest.  All UNDER SELIDS watch,  2003 steroids banned.  But HGH and antiaging chemicals not mentioned.  Arod is being hung to dry just like Sosa, McGuire and all the other roiders.  But Arod is slick and did not use steroids by definition after 2003.  He will sue MLB.

virtual_cynic
virtual_cynic

@MidwestGolfFan @sc00ter1808 Consider me one of the "toadstools." There has never been any proof that anything that Pete Rose did influenced the outcome of ANY game. An argument can be made that EVERY game Rodriguez played in after he doped he affected the outcome. Particularly any game in which he figured prominently in either a win or loss.