MLB

Rosenthal: Have you left no sense of decency, A-Rod?

Alex Rodriguez is friends with David Ortiz. Well, maybe not anymore.
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Ken Rosenthal

Ken Rosenthal has been the FOXSports.com's Senior MLB Writer since August 2005. He appears weekly on MLB on FOX, FOX Sports Radio and MLB Network. He's a member of the Baseball Writers Association of America. Follow him on Twitter.

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As Alex Rodriguez and his legal team continue their smear-a-day campaign, I am reminded of Joseph Welch’s famous scolding of Sen. Joseph McCarthy during the Army-McCarthy hearings in 1954.

Welch, the head counsel for the U.S. Army, confronted McCarthy after the senator accused a junior attorney in Welch’s law firm of associating with an organization believed to have Communist ties.

“Have you no sense of decency, sir?” Welch asked McCarthy. “At long last, have you left no sense of decency?”

On Monday, a lawsuit filed by Rodriguez against Major League Baseball and the players’ union included what the union accurately labeled “gratuitous attacks” on its late and beloved union leader, Michael Weiner.

On Tuesday, Rodriguez’s attorney, Joseph Tacopina, told ESPN Radio that he did not want to name other players accused of PED use, “but some of them are God-like in Boston right now.”

Tacopina seemed to be referring to Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz, who considers himself Rodriguez’s friend.

Has Rodriguez no sense of decency? Unfortunately, I think we all know the answer.

The scary part is, Rodriguez likely has knowledge of players who did PEDs. If he starts naming names, the impact could be similar to that of Jose Canseco’s book, only in real time.

Such is the threat raised by Tacopina’s remark, in particular. The effect of an all-out smear campaign would be McCarthy-esque, chilling. The accused could always sue Rodriguez, but who knows what they might have to hide?

More to the point, what would stop Rodriguez, who believes that baseball’s investigation of him was unfair and that the arbitrator who suspended him for 162 games displayed “manifest disregard for the law?”

In Rodriguez’s mind, he would be doing unto others what baseball has done to him.

Ortiz, like Rodriguez, was on a list of players who reportedly tested positive for PEDs in 2003, when baseball did not penalize for PED use.

Weiner said the list was flawed and perhaps inaccurate after the supposedly anonymous tests became public in 2009.

Ortiz said he never used steroids or bought them, but was careless buying over-the-counter supplements and vitamins. He repeatedly has denied using PEDs, most recently last season.

Thanks to his good friend A-Rod, he will need to deny it again.

D-BACKS: WINDFALL COMING?

Been wondering how the Diamondbacks could make a monster offer for Carlos Beltran, consider a monster offer for Shin-Soo Choo and emerge as a possible contender for Masahiro Tanaka?

PRICEY ROSTERS

See which teams shelled out the highest MLB payrolls in 2013.

Follow the money.

The D-Backs’ reported eight-year, $250 million contract with FOX expires after the 2015 season. Club officials have informed agents that the team has “money coming,” seemingly indicating that they are on the verge of a new TV deal.

Such a deal, however, is not yet close, according to major-league sources. The D-Backs’ sudden willingness to spend big likely is based on their expected influx of new revenue. But even then, an investment of say, $120 million in Tanaka would be a major gamble.

The expectation throughout the industry is that either the Dodgers or Yankees will land Tanaka.

The deadline for him to sign is Jan. 24.

SPEAKING OF NEW TV DEALS ...

Agent Scott Boras says he is concerned that teams are “hiding” their local TV revenue, decreasing the amounts they must contribute in revenue sharing.

A dispute over the way the clubs report TV dollars could leave the owners and players with another thorny issue to settle after the current labor agreement expires in 2016.

“Franchise values and revenue streams are being hidden in MLB through the operation and ownership of regional networks,” Boras said. “Thereby, the revenue sharing intended in 1996 to create parity for the fans is no longer operating to the standard of good faith that it was intended.

“Methods that accurately reflect the true rights value of a regional sports network compensating a club are a central issue in the next CBA negotiation. To bargain in good faith and honor past revenue-sharing provisions of the CBA, this issue needs to be resolved.”

YANKEES RUNNING FOUR CORNERS?

Talk about lag time.

The Yankees reached agreements with free-agent left-hander Matt Thornton and second baseman Brian Roberts on Dec. 17, pending physicals.

Well, Thornton’s deal did not become official until Jan. 10, and Roberts’ was not announced until Jan. 13.

PRIDE OF THE YANKEES

Which pinstripe greats made the list of the best Bronx Bombers ever?

Some rival executives expressed frustration with the delays, saying the Yankees put off the announcements to avoid bumping players off their 40-man roster, which was full.

The Yankees designated outfielder Vernon Wells for assignment to make room for Thornton, then added Roberts to replace Rodriguez, who moved to the restricted list after he was suspended.

Club officials surely could mount a reasonable defense for the delays, citing holdups caused by the holidays or perhaps disagreements over contract language. But it’s also possible that the Yankees used the system to maximum advantage to avoid losing a younger player.

“It’s a definite loophole – it allows teams to decide when to make a move,” one executive said.

The exec added that baseball applies pressure on clubs in such situations, but cannot force them to act if a dispute over contract language is the explanation.

Tagged: Red Sox, Yankees, Brian Roberts, David Ortiz, Alex Rodriguez, Matt Thornton

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