One of the most high-profile labor disputes in the news recently is between star third baseman for the New York Yankees, Alex Rodriguez, and Major League Baseball. Rodriguez has long been under
investigation for using performance-enhancing drugs in violation of league policies and rules. The MLB investigators claimed that Rodriguez was part of the Biogenesis scandal that resulted in
suspensions of 14 professional baseball players for a total of almost 900 games. Twelve players were suspended last August for 50 games each; one made a deal with the MLB for a 65 game suspension, while Rodriguez was suspended for a whopping 211 games. Rodriguez was the only player to appeal his suspension and, recently, an arbitrator upheld his suspension but reduced it to 162 games, or one season. Rodriguez is not finished fighting the charges, and even stated that he now plans to appeal the arbitrator’s decision in court.
Smear Campaign Accusations
Beyond the suspension, which would cost Rodriguez millions of dollars, the player who was once one of the best in baseball claims that the MLB is intentionally ruining his reputation. Rodriguez specifically asserts that Bud Selig, the MLB Commissioner, and Rob Manfred, the MLB Chief Operating Officer, are especially out to destroy his name. Rodriguez claims that they are targeting him because of his talent, and want use him as an example in the war on performance enhancing drugs.
On January 12th, 2014, Selig and Manfred participated in a segment on the national television show, 60 Minutes, regarding Rodriguez and his suspension. Also involved in the segment was the performance enhancing drug dealer for Biogenesis, Anthony Bosch, who initially leaked the names of involved players. Some of the statements made by Bosch included that Rodriguez had used “testosterone, insulin growth factor-1, human growth hormone, and some different forms of peptides,” and that “Alex is scared of needles, so at times he would ask me to inject.”
Rodriguez has claimed that Bosch is a criminal and an unreliable witness who is lying about Rodriguez’s involvement with Biogenesis or performance enhancing drugs. A-Rod made the following statement regarding his upcoming lawsuit:
“I am confident that when a Federal Judge reviews the entirety of the record, the hearsay testimony of a criminal whose own records demonstrate that he dealt drugs to minors, and the lack of credible evidence put forth by MLB, that the judge will find that the panel blatantly disregarded the law and facts, and will overturn the suspension.”
The Major League Baseball Players Association slammed the MLB for unnecessarily trying to further damage A-Rod’s reputation by going to the media. The MLBPA believes the MLB executives acted
unprofessionally and should have let the arbitrator’s decision speak for itself. Meanwhile, the MLB has done nothing but exude confidence in its chances of a court upholding the suspension, calling Rodriguez’s claims “rhetoric.”
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