MLB asks federal judge to dismiss A-Rod's suit

Alex Rodriguez leaves the offices of Major League

Alex Rodriguez leaves the offices of Major League Baseball in New York, where he argued why his 211-game suspension should be overturned. (Sept. 30, 2013) Photo Credit: AP

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Major League Baseball is seeking a speedy dismissal of Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez's lawsuit challenging a season-long suspension.

Howard Ganz, an MLB lawyer, said in a letter to U.S. District Judge Edgardo Ramos that Rodriguez's claims do not come "remotely close" to what is needed to overturn an arbitration decision in federal court.

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Ganz's letter said the lawsuit should be tossed because a court is not empowered to re-examine the merits of an arbitration decision.

Ganz said in the letter that the standard for vacating an arbitration award "is purposefully high and specifically designed to prevent courts from substituting their own judgment for that of the labor arbitrators selected by the parties."

Ramos set Feb. 14 for a conference and directed lawyers for Rodriguez to respond to the league's claims in a letter of their own by Feb. 7.

MLB suspended Rodriguez for 211 games last August, and the players' union filed a grievance. Arbitrator Fredric Horowitz on Jan. 11 cut the suspension to 162 games and the 2014 postseason, concluding Rodriguez used banned substances each year from 2010-12 and twice tried to obstruct MLB's investigation.

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Rodriguez did not testify in the grievance proceeding, walking out after Horowitz refused to order commissioner Bud Selig to testify. -- AP

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