Most of the circus surrounding Alex Rodriguez‘s appeal of his Major League Baseball suspension has been contained to commissioner Bud Selig‘s New York offices.
But the few things that are leaking out reveal that good old A-Rod may still have some tricks up his sleeve. Rodriguez’s camp is defending the slugger by saying that, while he did buy supplements from the Biogenesis clinic in South Florida, he thought the products he bought were legal, according to the New York Daily News.
Expect there to be a lot of he-said, they-said with MLB and A-Rod’s camps. As quickly as the Daily News reported that tactic, A-Rod’s camp refuted it.
"We cannot provide any details of this hearing, as the chair of the arbitration panel has issued an order prohibiting all parties from commenting publicly on the confidential proceedings, but what is being reported is not true," said Ron Berkowitz, who is Rodriguez’s publicist, in a statement issued Wednesday. ESPN New York also reported that his lawyers had yet to present evidence or arguments past an opening statement.
While Biogenesis founder Anthony Bosch is all-in on helping MLB take down Rodriguez, who is the last of the baseball players caught in this round of performance-enhancing drug suspensions, Rodriguez’s group is trying to get Rodriguez out of some or all of his suspension by working around Bosch’s claims.
From the Daily News report, their main tactic is to admit that Rodriguez bought the supplements, since there is plenty of record of that — but to say that he was duped into doing so. They say Rodriguez didn’t know that Biogenesis was trying to sell him something illegal. Rodriguez’s team is set to cross-examine Bosch on Wednesday and to try to poke holes in his story, especially since Bosch has received financial aid from MLB for siding with the league in taking down players.
The hearings are not expected to be over for some time, with the Daily News saying they could stretch into November due to scheduling conflicts. The New York Post is also suggesting this week that the many “supporters” out to back Rodriguez may, in fact, be being paid to be there by Rodriguez’s camp.