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Report: MLB paid for Biogenesis documents, A-Rod may or may not have

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(USA Today)

We haven't heard a lot of specific news from Alex Rodriguez's appeal hearing against Major League Baseball over the past couple weeks, but that changed on Friday. Of course, the reports are somewhat conflicting, but the details and connecting of dots give us a semblance of clarity.

According to Ken Davidoff of the New York Post, the initial testimony in the hearing revealed that both Alex Rodriguez's camp and MLB admitted to shelling out money for Biogenesis documents. That's worth noting because it was A-Rod's lawyers who accused MLB of buying documents in one of their many lawsuits, but may have been guilty of the same thing. Of course, their intentions would be to destroy them before anyone else (specifially MLB) could get their eyes on them.

Here are the details from the report:

According to one source familiar with the proceedings, MLB COO Rob Manfred testified on Thursday, while being cross-examined by A-Rod’s attorney, Joseph Tacopina, that he authorized the payment of $125,000 in cash in return for documents from the shuttered South Florida anti-aging clinic Biogenesis.

A second source told The Post that A-Rod’s side has admitted to paying for Biogenesis evidence, which would considerably boost MLB’s contention Rodriguez obstructed the league’s investigation.

Great, so everybody's on the record admitting they went behind everyone's back for evidence. Now we're getting somewhere.

Or maybe not, according to A-Rod's lawyers.

Tacopina, also in a telephone interview to discuss Team A-Rod’s testimony, said, “The notion that we paid any money for any Biogenesis documents is patently false, and anyone who is leaking this information knows it’s false.”

So it was the word of Davidoff's second source against Tacopina. Thankfully, the report delves a little deeper and a third source may provide the clarity we're seeking.

A third source said Team A-Rod acquired copies of the Biogenesis information only recently and not by paying for it, and that was the precise information that emerged in the hearing.

With so many people attempting to twist and spin every detail on the story, it's almost impossible to know what's 100% fact and fiction. That said, it seems clear that Team A-Rod did acquire and examine Biogenesis documents. It's the means in which they acquired them that may or may not be shady. And who knows, they may have paid earlier and still peaked later.

At some point we may actually know the whole story. For now, though, it should just be noted that Manfred did not issue a denial about MLB purchasing documents, but did express disappointment in information from the hearing being leaked. So at least we can hold on to that until the hearing resumes in November.

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Mark Townsend is a writer for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at bigleaguestew@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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