Lawyers representing Alex Rodriguez in the appeal of his 211-game suspension were prohibited from disclosing information from what they termed a "whistle-blower" within Major League Baseball, they said Monday night in Manhattan.
Lead attorney Joe Tacopina informed a waiting media that an order prohibiting any discussion of the hearing had arrived shortly before the scheduled 5 p.m. news conference. Tacopina said the order required the signature of two of the three members of the panel: chief arbitrator Fredric Horowitz, MLB COO Rob Manfred and Players Association general counsel Dave Prouty. MLB said Horowitz issued the order.
"We think the arbitrator issued an appropriate ruling consistent with the confidentiality provisions of the Basic Agreement," MLB said in a statement. "The fact that they canceled the briefing shows that we were right in asking that they stop publicly commenting about this matter while we are in the midst of an arbitration hearing."
Tacopina said the whistle-blower, who was not going to appear before the media, was not going to divulge anything about the confidential hearing. A source later said the individual had information related to the investigation conducted by MLB in the Biogenesis probe, which linked Rodriguez to performance enhancing drugs from a now-shuttered anti-aging clinic in Miami founded by Anthony Bosch. Tacopina said the order prohibited him from disclosing if the so-called whistle-blower would testify at Rodriguez's appeal.
Tacopina said it remains the desire of Rodriguez's legal team to have transcripts of the hearing made public. A source said that would have to be negotiated by both sides as part of a change in the collective bargaining agreement.
The hearing resumes Nov. 18, when Tacopina will begin the presentation of Rodriguez's case to have his suspension overturned. A source said Rodriguez's legal team will be prepared to prove Bosch received a large sum of money -- the amount was listed as $5 million in court papers filed by Rodriguez in a separate suit against Major League Baseball -- to testify for MLB.