Posted November 22, 2013

The rare official silence of Alex Rodriguez

Alex Rodriguez, Biogenesis

Lost in the briefcase-kicking, table-slamming, expletive-flying exit by Alex Rodriguez at his drug suspension arbitration hearing Wednesday was the history he made by choosing not to personally defend himself. Though often describing himself as fighting for his “life” and fighting for his “legacy,” Rodriguez became the first player not to testify at his arbitration hearing since the Joint Drug Agreement was collectively bargained in 2002.

There have been 12 known arbitration hearings under the JDA in which a player challenged discipline by the commissioner for PED use. In every case before Rodriguez, including the most recent ones involving pitcher Guillermo Mota and outfielder Ryan Braun, the player testified on his own behalf.

Rodriguez chose not to testify under oath at his proceedings, choosing instead the venue of a local sports talk radio show to say he never used PEDs. The hearing regarding Rodriguez’s 211-game suspension for PED use wrapped Thursday.

Rodriguez originally was expected to take part in an “investigatory interview” with MLB last week as part of the proceedings, but he called in sick. Then, two days before he was tentatively scheduled to testify, he stormed out for good Wednesday when arbitrator Fredric Horowitz ruled that testimony by commissioner Bud Selig was unnecessary — presumably because MLB chief operating officer Rob Manfred sufficiently presented the evidence and reasons why Selig suspended Rodriguez for 211 games. Rodriguez used that ruling as an excuse to bolt the hearing and never testify himself.

He told WFAN, “The system is wrong, and whether you’re in federal court or state court or in kangaroo court that we are today, players need protection. The union has already told me that if I go on on Friday and they think I lied, they can give me say another 100 games, so now you’re to 311. So now we’ll appeal that. In the appeal process, I would say I didn’t do it, so now you’re up to 411, and this can go on for the next seven or eight years.”

While Rodriguez’s choice not to testify on his own behalf is unprecedented, the excuse he used not to go under oath – that Selig did not testify – has been routine to the process. As MLB said in a statement Wednesday, the commissioner has not testified at any PED-related arbitration hearing since the inception of the JDA.

One of Rodriguez’s attorneys, Jim McCarroll, used the MLB statement as proof that MLB continues to “lie to the fans.” McCarroll pointed out that “the commissioner testified in five of the last seven hearings, and he was harshly criticized in the arbitrator’s decision for not voluntarily appearing in at least one of the two where he did not testify.”

Many news outlets ran with McCarroll’s quotes. But the lawyer had his facts confused. The hearings to which McCarroll referred all occurred before the JDA existed.

32 comments
BurtRonald
BurtRonald

and Verducci was 100% wrong. He said all the other players bought PEDs from Bosch. That is not true. It started with 20 players, and there were about 7 players let off, because they only purchased products that were not on the banned list

BurtRonald
BurtRonald

why would A-Rod testify, when he could get more games for lying. If he says he did not use PEDs, they will certainly say he is lying again. MLB never believed him from the get go. Why would that change?

Jonjoe1959
Jonjoe1959

Tom Verduccu, Here you go Lying again. The past Player's Arbitation was "Only About Punishment". These Players Tested Positive for PED Use or Confess/Admitted To PED Use. As You (Tom VerduccuIn) Know, in The Alex Rodriguez Case, Which is a "Non Analical PED Finding", (No Positive PED Test, over 40-test in all) and a Record 211 Game Suspension. At what point Tom Verduccu, will you Stop Lying???

ineedataxi
ineedataxi

when will this klown just go away

bhtcld
bhtcld

its amazing to me that such a moron can make so much money

Cool
Cool

Wow, did the MLB pay this writer to write this piece?  Is there a little extra money in the mailbox for Mr Verducci?  Why make is sound like A-Rod (whom I am not fond of at all.) is being sneaky by not testifying.. and giving Selig a pass for not testifying... saying his assistant said it all for him.  NO Mr Verducci, this is not fair and A-Rod is right in pointing it out.  Your thinking that if A-Rod might slip up under direct questioning has to be applied to Selig too.    Just what is it with SI this year.. all the writers that desperate for money that they have to write one sided stories like this????

njblue821
njblue821

The JDA has only existed for 18 months and Selig testified in the cases prior, as noted - geez Tom, maybe you could stop parroting MLB's technically-correct-but-misleading version of things!  It was not unreasonable for A-Rod's team to expect Selig to testify in hhis case, considering Manfred said that the unprecedented 211-game suspension (WITHOUT A POSITIVE PED TEST) was 100% Selig's mandate.

A-Rod also did NOT say on Francessa's show that he "never used PEDs" - he said he has not used them since the Texas Rangers.

I think A-Rod is a tool and I've never liked him - and Verducci clearly hates him - but to think Bud Selig, the same guy who looked the other way on PED use for ten years, is somehow angelic in this is very naive.  Verducci is usually excellent but when he opines on A-Rod, or the Yankees in general, what comes out is very slanted.  

MidwestGolfFan
MidwestGolfFan

The bottom line is that A-Rod didn't want to testify under oath.  It's pretty obvious why.

He's seen what happens to his brothers-in-juice, Barry and Roger.  Although Bonds and Clemens both beat the rap, it cost them a fortune and ruined whatever legacy they have left.  

Clever, clever, A-Rod.  Guys like him usually wind up outsmarting just one person--themselves.

sunalsorises
sunalsorises

He should just take a cue from David Ortiz and claim that he doesn't know why his name appears in connection with biogenesis but he will spend his time researching it and get back to everyone.  Then he can proceed to resume his career without ever explaining anything.  

Rickapolis
Rickapolis

So A-Rod AND his lawyer lied. We are all stunned. To think that a 'respected' baseball player and his legal counsel, an officer of the court, would tell an untruth...

M20
M20

Hilarious! He really thinks people are dumb enough to be fooled by this!

Whatever
Whatever

A-Roid's lawyer wasn't confused. He knew exactly what he was doing and saying to the media. He's trying to set up and influence a potential jury in the event A-Roid's case ever gets to trial, which it will not. The case will be dismissed because the players agreed to the arbitration process under the CBA and JDA.

Steve Cowan
Steve Cowan

Let's just realize that A-Fraud is after the millions he is owned if he's NOT suspended, and he doesn't give a damn about 'protecting his name' etc.  He took several baseball teams for a fortune, but now might forfeit that fortune... of course he's in denial/defense mode!

I wonder how he's gonna pay his attorneys if/when he is finally found guilty and doesn't get the money!  Or are they doing this on contingency?

OK
OK

"Many news outlets ran with McCarroll’s quotes. But the lawyer had his facts confused."

The lawyer was paid by A-Rod to lie through his teeth.

Jonjoe1959
Jonjoe1959

It's Amazing to me that You Can't Hit 600 plus Home Runs.

jamesbar
jamesbar

@Cool Cool is a fool. not fond of aroid?? that's questionable. If aroid was completely innocent than why didn't he make the vehement statements under oath instead of a publicity stunt?

jamesbar
jamesbar

@njblue821 njblue is a tool for buying into aroid theatrics. Anyone with half a brain knows aroid is guilty of taking PEDs over a long period of time.

njblue821
njblue821

@sunalsorises Don't forget that clapping hands outside the batter's box, smiling a lot and dropping an f-bomb on TV and in front of 10,000 kids at Fenway "humanizes" a player and makes him beloved, even though he juiced. 

jamesbar
jamesbar

@M20 one would have to be pretty stupid to buy into aroids antics. He is a known to lie and cheat. 

AdsdasDsfdfasd
AdsdasDsfdfasd

@Steve Cowan" I wonder how he's gonna pay his attorneys if/when he is finally found guilty and doesn't get the money!  Or are they doing this on contingency?"



uhh, with the money he's earned in his 17 years of playing? wtf

Sportsfan18
Sportsfan18

@Steve Cowan   I of course have no idea of Arod's finances and many athletes go bankrupt, but Arod, to this point in his career has "earned" OVER $353 million dollars.

One would think that he has enough money to pay his attorneys.

Even if his 211 game suspension is upheld and therefore he is NOT paid for those games, he'll still collect over $50 million more dollars on the remainder of his contract, plus another $6 million for hitting just 7 more home runs.


Jonjoe1959
Jonjoe1959

Why should he?? Alex Rodrigues Passing All of MLB Blood-Urine PED Test "Over 40 Test", Since The 2004 JDA with MLB & CBA. Now That's Evidence/Testimony. So tell us "jamesbar", What Piece of The So-Called Biogenies Evidence Convinced "You" of Alex Rodriguez PED Use??

Cool
Cool

@jamesbar @Cool My point is that Selig should be subject to the same questioning.  Why does this writer have a problem with A-Rod not answering questions, and perfectly fine with Selig letting someone else speak for him?  When Selig is held to the same standards as A-Rod is being expected to, then perhaps A-Rod would make those statements under oath.   Not that this is a real court of law, but if we use the same standards, it would be Selig who has to prove his case, not A-Rod, and in a court of law A-Rod would not have to testify.   If Selig is certain he acted responsibly than he should say why, under oath.

Starstruck
Starstruck

@Cool Apparently your reading skill is as lame as your reasoning. Selig is retiring as Commissioner soon, but the office of Commissioner remains behind. MLB does not want to establish the precedent that the Commissioner can be called to testify in future arbitration hearings because he did so in this one. As the writer explained, the Commissioner has never testified before since the JDA was establish in 2002. And BTW, ARod didn't have to testify, either. And he didn't.  

Cool
Cool

@jamesbar @Cool This is not arbitration about the use of steroids, it is about the suspension.  With that fact in mind, it is good for you to know that Selig had everything to do with that decision, and now it is only fair that he... not a rep... explains how he came to that decision.   I appreciate that you are stuck on the steroid part, and I am not debating that.. my point was and is, that Selig brought this on, and he needs to explain his reasoning in the same manner they are asking A-Rod to.

jamesbar
jamesbar

@Cool @jamesbar Selig has no business being there. His representation works fine. This is about Aroid and his actions. Aroid was dumb enough to do business with a low life non doctor out of a strip mall so that's where the evidence was and that's where MLB had to go to get it. All Aroid choices, not Seligs. 

Besides, It was the players union that fought stringent drug testing and still won't extend the penalties, not Selig. Get your facts straight.

jamesbar
jamesbar

@AdsdasDsfdfasd @jamesbar @njblue821This is simply about aroids actions and decisions. MLB was forced to work with the scum bags that aroid had purchased drugs from. Bud doesnt need to lower himself to a pos like aroid. It was the players union that fought stringent drug testing and still won't extend the penalties, not Selig.