UPDATED 8:27 P.M.: Alex Rodriguez stormed out of his appeal hearing with Major League Baseball early Wednesday and then went on WFAN and denied any wrongdoing in the Biogenesis probe while attacking commissioner Bud Selig and the league.
Just before noon, Rodriguez left the arbitration hearing after chief arbitrator Frederic Horowitz denied Rodriguez’s attorneys’ request to have Selig testify about the 211-game suspension handed down by the league on Aug. 5.
The Yankees third baseman released a statement earlier in the day addressing the situation.
“I am disgusted with this abusive process, designed to ensure that the player fails,” Rodriguez said in the statement. “I have sat through 10 days of testimony by felons and liars, sitting quietly through every minute, trying to respect the league and the process.
“This morning, after Bud Selig refused to come in and testify about his rationale for the unprecedented and totally baseless punishment he hit me with, the arbitrator selected by MLB and the Players Association refused to order Selig to come in and face me. The absurdity and injustice just became too much. I walked out and will not participate any further in this farce.”
Later, during a radio interview with Mike Francesa, Rodriguez denied, for the first time, using performance-enhancing drugs or obstructing MLB’s investigation into the former anti-aging clinic in Miami.
Major League Baseball said the hearing is set to resume at 9 a.m. this Thursday morning. Joe Tacopina, Rodriguez’s lead attorney, told ESPN Radio’s Michael Kay that the legal team had not yet decided if they would attend. The players association assailed Horowitz’s decision but said they would still appear.
“I lost my mind,” Rodriguez told Francesa. “Banged a table and kicked a briefcase and slammed out of the room. ... And the fact that the man from Milwaukee that put the suspension on me, with not one bit of evidence — something I didn't do — and he doesn't have the courage to come look at me in the eye and tell me this is why I did 211 [games]?"
Rodriguez challenged Selig, saying, “I know you don’t like New York, but you've got to come face me. This is my legacy. I’m part of history. You tell me why I should serve one inning.”
On his relationship with Selig, Rodriguez said, “He hates my guts ... One hundred percent this is personal.”