A-Rod amends lawsuit against MLB
Alex Rodriguez amended his lawsuit against Major League Baseball and Bud Selig Tuesday to include more pointed criticism of the commissioner and more detailed allegations of misconduct by MLB's investigators.
The new suit, filed in Manhattan federal court and obtained by Newsday, says Selig "chose to hide in his office in Milwaukee rather than come testify'' last week at the request of Rodriguez's lawyers at A-Rod's appeal of his 211-game suspension for allegedly using performance-enhancing drugs.
The Yankees third baseman stormed out of the hearing in Manhattan a week ago after arbitrator Fredric Horowitz ruled that Selig's testimony was not necessary. Horowitz's decision is expected by early January.
"Mr. Selig lacked the courage of his convictions to explain under oath the reasons for the suspension and the conduct of his investigators,'' the lawsuit said. "His silence on these issues speaks volumes and leads to only one logical conclusion -- his actions, and those of the MLB personnel he controls, were aimed at destroying the reputation, career and business prospects of Alex Rodriguez.''
A spokesman for MLB declined to comment.
Selig also is pictured in the 33-page complaint smiling next to a fan who is wearing a shirt that says "A-ROID.'' The photo originally appeared on the website of the New England Sports Network, which said it was taken at the All-Star Game Fan Fest in St. Louis in 2009. That was the year Rodriguez admitted he used PEDs from 2001-03.
Underneath the photo, Rodriguez's lawsuit says, "One cannot imagine the commissioner of any other professional sport -- or indeed the CEO of any business -- doing something similar with respect to one of his or her players or employees.''
Jordan Siev, one of Rodriguez's attorneys, told Newsday, "We believe the additional detail in our amended complaint about commissioner Selig's actions, and inaction, further exemplifies his and MLB's improper purpose and tortious (cq) conduct directed at Alex Rodriguez.''
Michael McCann, director of the Sports and Entertainment Law Institute at the University of New Hampshire, said it makes sense for Rodriguez to want to frame Selig as being "more central to his case'' in the event he wants to compel a federal court to step in after an unfavorable verdict.
"Rodriguez wants to suggest that Selig not testifying in the arbitration discredited the arbitration even before Horowitz makes a decision,'' McCann said. "Rodriguez's attorneys know they have a steep challenge in convincing a court to get involved. Persuading a court that Selig's absence rendered the arbitration faulty is one strategy.''
The amended lawsuit also goes into greater detail about what it terms "the unethical and illegal behavior'' of MLB investigators. It cites detailed allegations of impersonating law enforcement officers, intimidating witnesses and the purchase of evidence for $125,000 in cash that was exchanged in a manila envelope at a Florida diner.
MLB suspended Rodriguez Aug. 5 after its Biogenesis investigation linked him to allegedly receiving PEDs from the former anti-aging clinic in Miami founded by Anthony Bosch, who testified on MLB's behalf during Rodriguez's appeal hearing.
Rodriguez sued MLB and Selig last month in state court, alleging they orchestrated a "witch hunt'' to push him out of baseball.
MLB responded by asking that the lawsuit be moved to federal court. Earlier this month, it asked a federal judge to throw out the suit, saying A-Rod's claims fall within the scope of the collective bargaining agreement between MLB and the Players Association.
The next hearing in federal court is scheduled for Jan. 23.