When Alex Rodriguez said he would "fight" the 211-game suspension given to him by Major League Baseball in August, he probably didn't mean this.
The New York Daily News is reporting that A-Rod's lawyer, Joe Tacopina, nearly came to blows with Julio Ayala, one of the attorneys for Biogenesis clinic owner Anthony Bosch. It happened a couple weeks ago, in the early days of A-Rod's appeal hearing at the MLB offices. Bosch, who ran the Miami-area clinic and testified that he gave PEDs to A-Rod and other players, is MLB's key witness against A-Rod.
Here's how the scuffle went down, according to the Daily News:
The sources told the Daily News that Tacopina — who was frustrated that Bosch’s testimony had dominated the first three days of the hearing — asked another MLB attorney how long he planned on having baseball’s most important witness on the stand during the break in the testimony on Oct. 2.
The attorney, the sources said, told Tacopina that Bosch’s testimony would take several more hours and might spill over to the next day. “Well, I guess we have all of October, and by then Mr. Bosch will be in jail,” Tacopina replied, referring to the fact that Bosch and his now-defunct clinic are being investigated by Florida state authorities and federal law-enforcement officials from the Southern District of Florida.
“If he is, he is not going alone,” Ayala fired back, implying that if Bosch goes to prison, he is taking Rodriguez with him. Tacopina, a former hockey player who holds the Skidmore College record for most penalty minutes in a season, then made a derogatory statement about Ayala and “his lying wife,” Susy Ribero-Ayala, another attorney representing Bosch, angering Julio Ayala. Tacopina then “bull-rushed” Ayala, who went toe-to-toe with Tacopina, in the words of one source.
Ayala, a former high school football player, stood his ground, but other attorneys restrained Tacopina before any punches were thrown. Eventually, the two men calmed down and the hearing resumed after the break.
Tacopina is a bulldog of a defense attorney, regarded as "the most hated lawyer in New York" by the New York Post.
Maybe intimidation was one of his tactics here? Or maybe he just has a short fuse? Both? Just look at Tacopina in this picture behind A-Rod. He's ready to throw down, if A-Rod needs him.
If you, like us, visualized this fracas, and wondered what A-Rod was doing while it was going down — the New York Daily News has that nugget too. And it's a good one. Spoiler: He wasn't Vine-ing it. And that, folks, is another reason to boo A-Rod in October.
Rodriguez and Bosch did not witness the confrontation — they were both using the men’s room when things got heated in the arbitration room.
Hopefully they had a lovely time remembering the good ol' days.
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