Keeping with the tenor of a bitter arbitration hearing, fresh legal pursuits and dueling hostile statements, the attorney for Alex Rodriguez on Saturday said Major League Baseball teams, players and fans should demand from commissioner Bud Selig an explanation for money spent in the "witch hunt" that has targeted Rodriguez.
In response to an MLB statement that accused Rodriguez of, among other things, circumventing the Collective Bargaining and Joint Drug agreements, which was in response to a lawsuit filed by Rodriguez against MLB, Joe Tacopina scolded MLB for its friendly relationship with Tony Bosch, who ran the now-shuttered Biogenesis clinic, and, in his view, overspending on its investigation.
"Commissioner Selig's and MLB's inexplicable personal animus toward Alex Rodriguez has brought them down to the level of protecting and relying primarily upon a witness under federal investigation for dealing performance enhancing drugs to minors," Tacopina said in a statement. "Every player in the league, every fan who spends money on MLB tickets and gear, and every team whose money is being spent on this witch hunt should be asking Selig to explain and justify his actions."
[Photos: Wild scene outside MLB headquarters]
Tacopina defended the merits of the lawsuit filed in New York State Supreme Court, which he said was backed by "indisputable evidence" of "Selig's misconduct," among other alleged MLB transgressions.
Rodriguez and his attorneys spent the past week appealing the player's 211-game suspension before arbitrator Frederic Horowitz. Bosch is baseball's key witness. The hearing is expected to resume in about 10 days.
In its statement Friday, MLB denied the allegations of Rodriguez's lawsuit and said it would focus in the short-term on the arbitration process. The league has accused Rodriguez of possessing and using synthetic testosterone and Human Growth Hormone, along with obstructing the league's investigation into Biogenesis and its relationship with baseball players. Rodriguez's team has been vigorous in its defense, as evidenced by its lawsuit against MLB, and a malpractice suit against the doctor and hospital Rodriguez alleges misdiagnosed the hip injury he suffered a year ago.
Tacopina's statement concluded, "We look forward to the opportunity to continue to press our defense against Selig's crusade to banish Alex later this month, and to pressing forward in our damages suit against he and his lieutenants."