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SBD/November 22, 2013/Leagues and Governing Bodies
Rodriguez' Grievance Hearing With MLB Ends, Arbitrator's Decision Expected In January
Published November 22, 2013
GOING THROUGH THE SPIN CYCLE: In N.Y., Bob Raissman notes even SiriusXM Radio's Chris Russo "is hard-pressed to explain why" WFAN-AM's Mike Francesa is "so infatuated with" Rodriguez. Russo on Thursday said, "I can’t understand. Mike is smarter than this, to be duped by A-Rod and fall into this trap. This is the guy you’re going to defend -- A-Rod? He knows A-Rod did steroids. What do you think, Mike’s stupid? He knows." Raissman writes Francesa "is on a crusade." He is trying to "convince the Free World Rodriguez has been singled out for cruel and unusual punishment by Bud Selig, who he claims is the mastermind behind MLB’s 'persecution' of Rodriguez." Russo said, "I know Mike doesn’t like Selig" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 11/22). Rodriguez' publicist, Ron Berkowitz, said Wednesday's appearance on WFAN "was a spur-of-the-moment event." Berkowitz added that there "was no campaign plan, no scripted rollout of television interviews" to reinforce Rodriguez' message. But in N.Y., Richard Sandomir writes the "noise that Rodriguez and his team have been making for months about MLB’s conduct has had some success in deflecting attention from accusations that he used drugs to an investigation that he has said he believes has been abusive and unable to turn up credible evidence against him." Without any evidence "for the public to examine, as in a trial, noise from a noisy Rodriguez is all there is to discuss" (N.Y. TIMES, 11/22).
APOLOGY FOR A BAD ANALOGY: In L.A., Austin Knoblauch noted MLB Network analyst Peter Gammons during a radio interview on Thursday "took the villainization of Rodriguez too far." While speaking with ESPN Radio 98.7 N.Y.'s Mike Lupica, Gammons said people within the Yankees organization say Rodriguez "wants to blow up the world. You know, he's like the marathon bombers. It's just, he's going to get them." Knoblauch noted it is "unclear whether someone in the Yankees organization made this comparison to Gammons or whether the longtime baseball analyst made the comparison himself." Regardless, he "shouldn't have said it." Gammons later "apologized on Twitter for his remarks." He wrote, "Stupidly worded comp of blowing up a process. He is owed, and gets my apology for misspeaking. ... Alex would never hurt a human. I hope I haven't hurt him" (LATIMES.com, 11/21). In Boston, Chad Finn writes the apology "seemed entirely genuine." But an analogy that compares "sports trivialities to a still-raw tragedy is one that never should be considered, let alone shared with an audience" (BOSTON GLOBE, 11/22).