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Continued: A-Rod bolts grievance hearing after arbitrator refuses to order Selig testimony; lawsuit looms

  • Article by: RONALD BLUM , Associated Press
  • Last update: November 20, 2013 - 9:40 PM

"The MLBPA believes that every player has the right under our arbitration process to directly confront his accuser," the union said in a statement. "We argued strenuously to the arbitrator in Alex's case that the commissioner should be required to appear and testify. While we respectfully disagree with the arbitrator's ruling, we will abide by it as we continue to vigorously challenge Alex's suspension within the context of this hearing."

McCarroll blamed Horowitz for precluding evidence Rodriguez wanted to introduce and hinted of a court fight.

"Whether the case is finally decided in this forum, created by Major League Baseball, Bud Selig's forum, or another forum, nobody is throwing the case out," he said.

Joseph Tacopina, another Rodriguez lawyer, spoke on CNN and accused Selig of "cowardice and hypocrisy." He said Manfred testified the decision on discipline was Selig's.

Rodriguez denied using performance-enhancing drugs or obstructing MLB's investigation into the Biogenesis of America anti-aging clinic. Rodriguez was the only one of the 14 players disciplined this summer to challenge his suspension.

"Over time, the arbitration process in baseball has been amazingly pro player," MLB spokesman Pat Courtney said. "It was that process which created free agency. It allowed Steve Howe to remain on the field despite numerous drug violations and resulted in the shortening of suspensions like John Rocker's. The notion that this same process is not fair enough or good enough for Alex Rodriguez is ridiculous."

Rodriguez said he had hoped to testify Friday. MLB had insisted Rodriguez submit to an "investigatory interview" prior to his testimony, but he canceled his scheduled appearance last week, claiming illness. MLB agreed to waive its right to penalize him for testimony during an interview it might deem untruthful, one of the people said.

"The system is wrong, and whether you're in federal court or state court or in kangaroo court that we are today, players need protection," Rodriguez said on WFAN. "The union has already told me that if I go on on Friday and they think I lied, they can give me say another 100 games, so now you're to 311. So now we'll appeal that. In the appeal process, I would say I didn't do it, so now you're up to 411, and this can go on for the next seven or eight years."

He repeatedly disparaged Selig, who has been in charge of baseball since 1992 and said in September he plans to retire in January 2015. Rodriguez said Selig wants him as "a trophy" to put "in his big mantel on his way out."

"My only message to the commissioner is, I know you don't like New York, but come to New York and face the music. He hates my guts, there's no question about it," Rodriguez said. "One hundred percent it's personal, and I think this is about his legacy, and it's about my legacy, and he's trying to destroy me."

Rodriguez said four years ago he used PEDs while with the Texas Rangers from 2001-03. He has denied using them since.

He briefly discussed his relationship with Biogenesis head Anthony Bosch, who is cooperating with MLB's investigation.

"It was nutrition and it was weight loss," Rodriguez said. "And Bosch wasn't the only guy. I traveled the world to see doctors, cutting-edge stuff, but always between the parameters of Major League Baseball. And I have hundreds of emails that will be part of evidence which I can't get into that backs me up 100 percent."

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