War of words between A-Rod, MLB continues

Tuesday, October 8, 2013 - 9:00pm

The court documents continued to fly in the ongoing legal battle between Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez and Major League Baseball.

As Rodriguez' appeal of his 211-game suspension went on hiatus this week so the arbitrator could tend to other matters, the MLB responded to his lawsuit against it and Commissioner Bud Selig with a motion to move it from state court to federal court in hopes it will be dismissed.

In its 426-page filing, the MLB argues that Rodriguez should abide by baseball's collective bargaining agreement and pursue his appeal solely through the arbitration process.

In response to the motion, Rodriguez' attorney Joe Tacopina told CNN, "As is its practice, MLB has chosen to share its filing with the press well before sending it to Mr. Rodriguez's legal team. Nonetheless, Mr. Rodriguez's claims against MLB and Commissioner Selig arise from their tortious conduct, separate and apart from the issues being decided in the arbitration process. It is ironic that MLB having filed suit in state court in Florida for tortious interference in order to obtain evidence to use in the arbitration proceeding -- now complains that Mr. Rodriguez's tortious interference claim must be heard as part of the arbitration. MLB knows that these state law claims properly belong where they were filed, in the New York State Court."

Last Friday Rodriguez filed suit against Selig and the MLB alleging that they "engaged in tortious and egregious conduct with one and only one goal ... to destroy the reputation and career of Alex Rodriguez."

The lawsuit claims that in its investigation of Anthony Bosch and his Biogenesis anti-aging clinic in Miami, Major League Baseball engaged in vigilante justice to prove that Rodriguez was using performance enhancing drugs.

"They have ignored the procedures set forth in baseball's collectively bargained labor agreements; violated the strict confidentiality imposed by these agreements; paid individuals millions of dollars and made promises of future employment to individuals in order to get them to produce documents and to testify on MLB' s behalf; bullied and intimidated those individuals who refused to cooperate with their witch hunt; and singled out (Rodriguez) for an unprecedented 211-game suspension the longest non-permanent ban in baseball history," the suit says.

Rodriguez, 38, says he is fighting for his life in an effort to overturn the suspension. He has hired a high-priced team of lawyers, publicists and investigators. He has shown up each day during this week's arbitration process at the MLB's Park Avenue headquarters. His lawsuit outside the arbitration process is an effort to save his reputation and his $25 million salary for the 2014 season.


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