Alex Rodriguez's grievance will be heard by Fredric Horowitz, 64, a Californian who rose from the ranks of serving on salary arbitration panels to become baseball's lone arbitrator for grievances. He was named after Shyam Das was removed after his 2012 decision to overturn Major League Baseball's 50-game suspension of the Brewers' Ryan Braun.

The arbitrator's salary is jointly paid by MLB and the Players Association. Either side can dismiss him for any reason.

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One arbitrator likened the elevation to arbitrator to being akin to papal succession. The new arbitrator is selected from an existing group of arbitrators, with one emerging when a change is made.

Being fired is part of the business. "You are not a good arbitrator if you have never been fired," one said.

Horowitz has been an arbitrator since 1988, presiding over such matters as salary arbitration in the National Hockey League to disputes in the airline industry, postal service and county civil service issues.

Horowitz is a member of the National Academy of Arbitrators and holds a law degree from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law.