Alex Rodriguez’s grievance hearing to overturn his 211-game suspension ended Thursday as both sides rested their cases. That came a day after the New York Yankees third baseman walked out of the proceedings and decided not to testify in his own defense.
A decision in the case is not expected until late December or early January, but that doesn’t mean things will be quiet until then.
On Thursday, Rodriguez’s attorneys showed their lack of faith in the proceedings by vowing to release all of the evidence on Friday and also claimed they would start preparing to take the case into federal court. They apparently plan to do that regardless of how arbitrator Fredric Horowitz rules.
Rodriguez spokesman Ron Berkowitz had the following to say about the legal team’s plans:
“We’re going to open up everything. We’re going to show everything we have to the press so they can show it to the American public.”
The assumption is that Berkowitz is referring to transcripts of witness testimony, sworn affidavits and information supplied to Rodriguez’s team by a whistle-blower who allegedly works for Major League Baseball and is apparently sympathetic to Rodriguez’s side of things.
A source told ESPNNewYork.com that the fact that Rodriguez’s team has made the decision to go public with evidence that is supposed to be kept private under the confidentiality agreement in baseball’s collective bargaining agreement shows that Rodriguez’s team doesn’t care what Horowitz’s ruling is going to be. They are basically saying they are ready to move on to the next phase of this fight.
When Horowitz ruled that baseball commissioner Bud Selig did not need to testify in the case, Rodriguez angrily stormed out of the proceedings. Rodriguez’s team has insisted that their star client will only testify if Selig agrees to do so as well.
Rodriguez’s lead attorney, Joseph Tacopina, has insisted that his client intends to force Selig to testify in some venue at some point. He had the following to say:
“We can’t kidnap him in Milwaukee and bring him here to testify. So what we’ll do is, we’ll head to another venue and we will be able to call up Mr. Selig one way or another.”
At this point we’d be shocked if Rodriguez’s suspension is not upheld by the arbitrator. What happens next is anyone’s guess.