If Alex Rodriguez is going to go down in his fight against Major League Baseball, he's going down swinging. As his appeal of his 211-game suspension continues, Rodriguez has filed a separate lawsuit against Major League Baseball, claiming the league has overreached its authority in a "witch hunt" to take down Rodriguez.
Rodriguez and his army of lawyers pull no punches in the 33-page document, starting with the very first paragraph:
"Major League Baseball, Commissioner Allan H. 'Bud' Selig and other officials at MLB have — throughout at least all of 2013 — been engaged in tortious and egregious conduct with one, and only one, goal: to improperly marshal evidence that they hope to use to destroy the reputation and career of Alex Rodriguez … Commissioner Selig and MLB persistently have employed powers not available to them under the collectively-bargained agreements between MLB and its union in order to make an example of Mr. Rodriguez, so as to gloss over Commissioner Selig's past inaction and tacit approval of the use of performance enhancing substances in baseball (not to mention his multiple acts of collusion), and in an attempt to secure has legacy as the 'savior' of America's pastime."
Those are some fighting words. In the complaint's following pages, Rodriguez's allegations against MLB include:
– Violating the confidentiality guaranteed by the CBA during the Biogenesis investigation
– Paying individuals millions of dollars and promising employment in exchange for documents and testimony
– Bullying and intimidating those who refused to cooperate (including impersonating police officers and running cars off the road)
– "Falsely accusing" Rodriguez of interfering with the investigation (referring to the reports that surfaced of Rodriguez trying to buy Biogenesis documents so he could destroy them)
– Filing a "sham" lawsuit against Biogenesis just to get access to the clinic's documents on clients
– Buying stolen documents and paying for them under the table
– An MLB investigator having a sexual relationship with a witness he interviewed for the investigation
– Paying Anthony Bosch a total of $5 million to cooperate
More fun follows on page six of the complaint, under the eloquently-titled section, "The Disastrous Tenure of Commissioner Selig." The section details some of Selig's lower points: the free agent collusion of the mid-1980s when he still owned the Milwaukee Brewers, the strike that canceled the 1994 World Series and turning a blind eye to PEDs during the home run record chase of 1998. All of this, Rodriguez's lawyers claim, led Selig and the league to aggressively go after Rodriguez and the other players tied to Biogenesis.
But they don't stop there. Claiming MLB not only wants Rodriguez out of the game, but also wants to destroy his future earning potential, the suit claims MLB continued to gather evidence against Rodriguez even after imposing his suspension. Since any evidence collected after handing down the suspension wouldn't be able to be used in defending their case in arbitration, Rodriguez's attorneys surmise that MLB only did this to "harass and embarrass Mr. Rodriguez and prevent him from performing his agreement with the New York Yankees and from obtaining endorsement deals."
According to the complaint, Rodriguez is seeking "compensatory and punitive damages … as a result of such misconduct, which has interfered with his actual and prospective contractual relationships with third parties, including the New York Yankees."
Considering Rodriguez has made more money playing baseball than anyone in history, it's hard to feel bad for him missing out on future income as the result of this investigation. Still, on the surface, it seems like he at least has a solid chance of winning the case. Basically, he's claiming MLB has severely and constantly overstepped both the CBA and the law during this investigation, which is true. He feels baseball wants to get rid of him at all costs, which again seems true.
Whether or not Rodriguez will be able to escape suspension remains up in the air, but at the very least, he's exposing some of the league's dirty tactics and making it painfully clear that there may not be anyone to root for in this case.