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Continued: Rodriguez sues MLB and Selig for 'witch hunt;' league calls suit 'desperate'

  • Article by: LARRY NEUMEISTER , Associated Press
  • Last update: October 4, 2013 - 2:40 PM

Baseball's "gratuitous leaks and public statements concerning Mr. Rodriguez's alleged actions have ensured that Mr. Rodriguez will not secure any endorsement contracts in the future," the lawsuit said.

The suit accuses the league and Selig of planting negative stories about Rodriguez in the media and trying to muddy his name and "intentionally and maliciously" subject him to a trial in the public arena.

"MLB's public persecution of Mr. Rodriguez has known no bounds," the lawsuit said. It said the league had repeatedly breached confidentiality itself and "went as far as to place negative news stories about Mr. Rodriguez — one of the league's best players — on his very own website."

The actions, the lawsuit said, were "consistent with Bud Selig's goal of cementing his legacy as the commissioner who cleaned up baseball."

In its statement, the league said none of the allegations "is relevant to the real issue: whether Mr. Rodriguez violated the Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program by using and possessing numerous forms of prohibited performance-enhancing substances, including testosterone and human growth hormone, over the course of multiple years and whether he violated the Basic Agreement by attempting to cover up his violations of the program by engaging in a course of conduct intended to obstruct and frustrate the Office of the Commissioner's investigation."

The court papers noted that Rodriguez's suspension was four times the length of the other 13 players suspended this year in connection with the Biogenesis probe and far longer than the 50-game penalty for a first positive drug test.

The lawsuit said the suspension will cost Rodriguez tens of millions of dollars in salary from his contract with the Yankees. As part of the $275 million, 10-year contract, he is owed $25 million next year, $21 million in 2015 and $20 million in each of the final two seasons. He also can earn $30 million in bonuses for reaching milestones.

Rodriguez said in a statement his lawyers were "doing what they need to in order to vindicate me and pursue all of my rights."

He said he still looked forward to separate arbitration proceedings and "for the day to come when I can share my story with the public and my supporters."

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