|View single post by lobo316|
|Posted: Wed Nov 20th, 2013 09:48 pm||
|NEW YORK -- Alex Rodriguez took his fight against Major League Baseball out of the hearing room and onto the airwaves Wednesday afternoon, flatly denying on a radio show he had used any performance-enhancing drugs supplied by Anthony Bosch or Biogenesis.
"I did nothing. About the Bosch nonsense? Nothing," Rodriguez said in an interview on WFAN 660 about four hours after he stormed out of his own grievance hearing upon learning MLB commissioner Bud Selig would not be required to testify.
"It was disgusting," Rodriguez said of arbitrator Fredric Horowitz's decision not to allow Joseph Tacopina, Rodriguez's lead attorney, to question Selig under oath on Thursday. "This thing should have ended with Selig on Thursday and me (testifying) on Friday. But he did not have the courage to look me in the eye."
Rodriguez said he was unlikely to return to the hearing room when the grievance resumes Thursday morning at the Park Avenue offices of Major League Baseball. "I don't think I'm going back," he said. "What's the point?"
Jim McCarroll, an attorney who accompanied Rodriguez to the interview, added, "If Selig doesn't testify, Alex is not going back."
Neither Rodriguez's side nor MLB would provide the exact reason for why Horowitz ruled that Selig did not have to testify, although earlier in the day, Tacopina told Michael Kay on ESPN New York 98.7 FM that Horowitz did not consider Selig "a necessary witness."
The double-barrelled media blitz -- Tacopina appeared on one show at 3 p.m. and Rodriguez on the other about a half-hour later -- capped an explosive day in which Rodriguez slammed his hands on a table, shouted "This is ridiculous," and directed a stream of profanities at Rob Manfred, baseball's COO, who directed the Biogenesis investigation, before storming out of the room shortly before noon.
Four hours later, the Yankees third baseman was still steaming.
"I'm so pissed off right now I can't even think straight," he said.
But Rodriguez and McCarroll found the composure to issue blanket denials of any PED usage connected with Biogenesis and Bosch, who is MLB's key witness against him, and to accuse Selig of conducting a vendetta against him.
"Why did Ryan Braun (only) get 65 games with a failed drug test? Because he's from Milwaukee?" Rodriguez asked, a reference to the team Selig owned before he became commissioner.
As for the 211-game suspension levied on him, Rodriguez said, "I shouldn't even serve one inning."
Rodriguez also acknowledged being "angry" at the Yankees, but said he hopes to be playing third base for them on Opening Day.
"All I want to do is play baseball," he said. "This has been a disgusting process for everyone. I'm embarrassed to be involved in it."
Rodriguez denied having named other players in an effort to exonerate himself and questioned Selig's motivation in slapping him with the most stringent penalty ever given a baseball player for an alleged PED violation.
"He hates my guts," Rodriguez said of Selig. "It's 100 percent personal. This is all about his legacy. To put me on his mantle would be a big trophy for him."
Rodriguez also said that at one point in the hearing, Manfred said to him, "This wasn't my decision, it was Bud Selig's decision."
It was unknown whether Rodriguez's lawyers will continue with his defense minus their client.
"There will be some kind of group discussion some time tonight," Tacopina said. Asked if he would be back at the hearing on Thursday, Rodriguez said, "I'm going home to see my daughters."
Baseball released a statement following A-Rod's walkout in the afternoon expressing its faith in the fairness in the process, and in the evening, the Major League Baseball Players Association issued its own statement disagreeing with Horowitz's decision to excuse Selig from testifying.
"The MLBPA believes that every player has the right under our arbitration process to directly confront his accuser. We argued strenuously to the arbitrator in Alex's case that the commissioner should be required to appear and testify. While we respectfully disagree with the arbitrator's ruling, we will abide by it as we continue to vigorously challenge Alex's suspension within the context of this hearing," the statement read.
"I have no regrets," Rodriguez said about waging a fight that appears to be rapidly nearing its conclusion. "I would do it again. It's the system that is wrong."