COMMENTARY | New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez ran out of his appeals hearing just before noon Wednesday after arbitrator Frederic Horowitz ruled MLB commissioner Bud Selig did not have to testify in the proceedings.
According to multiple reports, including Wallace Matthews' from ESPNNewYork.com, Rodriguez pounded his fist to the table and shouted, "This is ridiculous!" He then cursed at MLB COO Rob Manfred as he was leaving the room just after Horowitz laid out his ruling.
He reportedly told Manfred, "You know you are full of (expletive)!"
A-Rod, who does not have to be present for the hearings to go forward, released a statement not long after leaving the hearing.
"I am disgusted with this abusive process, designed to ensure that the player fails," Rodriguez's statement said. "I have sat through 10 days of testimony by felons and liars, sitting quietly through every minute, trying to respect the league and the process. This morning, after Bud Selig refused to come in and testify about his rationale for the unprecedented and totally baseless punishment he hit me with, the arbitrator selected by MLB and the Players Association refused to order Selig to come in and face me. The absurdity and injustice just became too much. I walked out and will not participate any further in this farce."
Rodriguez's outburst comes one day after New York Yankees president Randy Levine testified that he was not a part of any conspiracy to build a case with MLB to get A-Rod thrown out of the league.
From the beginning, Rodriguez and his team have labeled the suspension as going above and beyond what is warranted punishment, though never denying that he was a part of the Biogenesis scandal or that he took performance-enhancing drugs from the anti-aging clinic. Rodriguez's team has described the investigation as a fishing expedition with one purpose -- to try and rid the former All-Star from the league.
To me, it looks as if Rodriguez once again finds himself backed into a corner and the outburst is mostly a staged act hoping to drum up sympathy from the public. Rodriguez chose to fight this battle despite what must be mounds of evidence against him, considering the other players involved simply took punishments when they were shown documentation against them.
The aspect that sticks most with me is that he is not denying the use of the drugs or any relationship with Biogenesis founder Anthony Bosch. Rather, he is trying desperately to make himself out to be a martyr for baseball players when all he truly cares about is himself.
If the process drags into federal court as one of Rodriguez's spokesmen later proclaimed, the Yankees might have to make their offseason moves without knowing whether Rodriguez's salary will be a part of their bottom line in 2014. The Yankees are looking to make a splash this winter and having Rodriguez's $26 million salary off the books would go a long way toward accomplishing their goals, even with the goal of staying below the $189 competitive-balance tax threshold.
Once Rodriguez decided to fight the suspension, it was easy to speculate that it could become contentious, but it is crystal clear now that this process will get much uglier before it clears up. Further, there is not going to be a resolution to this anytime soon and because of that, the Yankees' offseason plans will become increasingly clouded.
Chris Carelli is a freelance sports writer/editor and the Director of Content Strategy for Sportsideo. Besides his work as a New York Yankees contributor for Yahoo Sports, Chris created and maintains his own blog site, The Baseball Stance , which provides commentary about all of Major League Baseball. Connect with Chris on Twitter , Facebook , Google+ and LinkedIn.
- Sports & Recreation
- Alex Rodriguez
- New York Yankees
- Bud Selig