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Clark: Union has no beef with A-Rod

The SportsXchange

Tony Clark, Major League Baseball Players Association executive director, said all is good between suspended New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez and the union.

Clark said he expects Rodriguez to be back on the playing field next year when he comes off his season-long ban and does not expect any retribution against him from players who were reportedly angered that he filed a lawsuit against the union.

"Alex is a member of the players' association," Clark said at the Yankees' spring training facility in Tampa, Fla, on Monday after having a conference call with players.

"As such, he will serve the penalty that he's been given by the arbitrator, he will come back in spring training ready to go, wherever that happens to be," Clark said. "He's under contract to the Yankees, so I would expect him to be in camp with the Yankees. Am I concerned about anything beyond that? No."

Rodriguez did drop his lawsuits against the players' association and MLB earlier this month. He initially filed the complaints after unsuccessfully appealing his suspension in connection with the Biogenesis scandal. MLB handed him a 211-game ban that was later reduced to 162 games by an arbitrator.

Clark, a teammate of Rodriguez's on the Yankees in 2004, said he has not spoken to him since he withdrew the lawsuits.

"The page has been turned," he said.

Clark would not reveal what was said during his conference call with players but did deny that any player requested Rodriguez to be kicked out of the union. He also did not directly answer when he was asked if Rodriguez was a subject of the conference call.

"That would constitute me telling you guys exactly what was discussed in the room," Clark said to reporters. "But rest assured, obviously anything going on with Biogenesis and the Joint Drug Agreement is part of that conversation. You can trust that anything that was in a headline at some point in time is something that we discuss."

Clark was named the union's executive director in December after the death of Michael Weiner to a brain tumor in November.

Many players were upset with Rodriguez when he filed his lawsuit against the MLBPA because it was critical of some statements made by Weiner while he was seriously ill and accused the union of misrepresenting him during his appeal.
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