SBD/October 7, 2013/Leagues and Governing Bodies

Report: Alex Rodriguez Wanted His Legal Team, Not MLBPA To Represent Him

Rodriguez reportedly did not trust the MLBPA to look after his best interests
Yankees 3B Alex Rodriguez has "found himself at odds with the players union that is supposed to be representing him," according to Kovaleski & Eder of the N.Y. TIMES. Rodriguez in late August "grew so frustrated" with how the MLBPA was "defending him -- or, as he saw it, not defending him -- that his personal legal team wrote a letter formally requesting the union step aside from its prescribed role as his chief representative on his arbitration panel." It was an "unusual acknowledgment that Rodriguez did not trust the union to look after his best interest, and he wanted to pick his own representative." The four-page letter was addressed to MLBPA General Counsel David Prouty, and "aimed to replace the union’s lawyer for a crucial arbitration hearing regarding the suspension." It was unclear "how the union responded, but the letter apparently proved unsuccessful" (N.Y. TIMES, 10/6). In Newark, Craig Wolff cited a source as saying that the MLBPA "was not forewarned by Rodriguez or his attorneys of their plans to sue" MLB. The source said that the union instead learned of the suit "only after it was filed Friday, even though union officials were at the time sitting in the same room as Rodriguez and his legal team during his hearing at baseball's offices." Rodriguez at the moment has "at least four legal teams representing and advising him." The source said that the "dynamic has at times created confusion" between Rodriguez' lawyers and MLBPA officials (Newark STAR-LEDGER, 10/6).

WHAT DO THE SUITS MEAN FOR MLB? ESPN N.Y.'s Matthews & Marchand reported Rodriguez on Friday night "filed a second lawsuit" against Yankees Head Physician Chris Ahmad and New York Presbyterian/Columbia Univ. Medical Center, alleging "malpractice for misdiagnosing his left hip injury during the 2012 playoffs." The Yankees "were not named in either suit" (ESPNNY.com, 10/5). In N.Y., Ken Davidoff wrote the suit against MLB and Commissioner Bud Selig "comes off less like a disciplined airing of grievances and more like a fantastic collection of dirt." It is "put together so brilliantly to score some points in the court of public opinion" (N.Y. POST, 10/5). In Boston, Nick Cafardo wrote the suit against MLB "brings up all kinds of issues, such as full disclosure, opening up records, and in baseball's case, answering questions it would rather not in terms of steroids and how long it knew there was a problem before anything was done." Rodriguez "may get nothing out of his suit, but it's uncomfortable for MLB" (BOSTON GLOBE, 10/6). In Miami, Julie Brown wrote under the header, "Hardball: When Major League Baseball Investigators Came To Town." In their "zeal to clean up the sport, MLB investigators have been accused of discarding the rulebook much like the juiced-up ballplayers they were pursuing" (MIAMI HERALD, 10/5).
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