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Yankees' Alex Rodriguez sues MLB and Commissioner Bud Selig

New York player claims that league officials paid witnesses in an effort to destroy his career. MLB calls the suit desperate.

October 04, 2013|By Bill Shaikin
  • New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez accuses Major League Baseball and Commissioner Bud Selig of trying to tarnish his character.
New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez accuses Major League Baseball… (Kathy Willens / Associated…)

Even if an arbitrator upholds baseball's record suspension for Alex Rodriguez, the embattled New York Yankees third baseman has filed two lawsuits that could leave Major League Baseball fighting him for years.

In a lawsuit filed against MLB and Commissioner Bud Selig, Rodriguez claimed that league officials trampled on their own rules and paid off witnesses in an effort to "destroy the reputation and career" of Rodriguez so that Selig could "attempt to secure his legacy as the 'savior' of America's pastime."

On Friday, Rodriguez also sued a Yankees team doctor and a New York hospital for malpractice, alleging misdiagnosis of his hip injury last year.

The suits come at the end of the first week of an arbitration hearing in which Rodriguez is appealing a 211-game suspension for violating baseball's drug policy.

In a statement Friday, MLB dismissed the suit against Selig and the league as "a desperate attempt to circumvent" the MLB drug policy and labor agreements. The league said the suit was a distraction from "the real issue": Did Rodriguez violate baseball's drug policy on multiple occasions and interfere with the league's investigation?

The MLB suit does not address whether Rodriguez used performance-enhancing substances.

In the suit, Rodriguez claims that MLB is paying $5 million to its star witness, Tony Bosch, who ran the now-defunct Biogenesis clinic that was the center of baseball's most recent drug scandal. Bosch, who has testified in this week's arbitration hearing, denied through a spokesman receiving "$5, let alone $5 million."

The suit also claims an MLB investigator paid $150,000 for "stolen documents" and "engaged in an inappropriate sexual relationship with a [Biogenesis] witness."

Although Rodriguez does not ask for a specific amount in damages, the suit claims that Selig and MLB have improperly interfered with Rodriguez's contractual relationship with the Yankees, putting tens of millions in salary and bonuses at risk. Also, according to the suit, Nike and Toyota have cut off negotiations for potential sponsorship deals with Rodriguez.

Twitter: @BillShaikin

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