Yankees

On WFAN: Hispanics Across America Prez Defends A-Rod Backers, Blasts MLB

Fernando Mateo: Rodriguez 'Does Not Deserve To Be Crucified'
Fernando Mateo on October 2, 2013. (credit: Tom Lugauer/WFAN)

Fernando Mateo on October 2, 2013. (credit: Tom Lugauer/WFAN)

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NEW YORK (WFAN) — Hispanics Across America president Fernando Mateo joined WFAN’s “Boomer & Carton” program on Thursday to put the Yankees and Major League Baseball on blast for what he calls an “injustice” against Alex Rodriguez.

HAA has been protesting outside MLB’s offices on Park Avenue in Manhattan since Monday, when A-Rod began appealing his 211-game suspension related to baseball’s latest performance-enhancing drugs scandal in front of arbitrator Fredric Horowitz.

Mateo went on the attack against the league, the Yankees and team president Randy Levine. And at times he even got testy with radio co-hosts Boomer Esiason and Craig Carton.

“A-Rod deserves to be punished, but he does not deserve to be crucified,” Mateo said Thursday on WFAN. “That’s all we’re saying.”

PHOTOS: PROTESTERS COME OUT FOR A-ROD

Mateo defended those who have showed up to rally behind A-Rod, some of which apparently don’t know much about the player or his team.

Two protesters holding signs that read “Randy Levine is the devil” admitted this week to a New York Daily News photographer that they had no idea who exactly they were protesting against. Boomer and Carton even sent a show staffer on Wednesday to quiz supporters on Rodriguez, and it didn’t go too well.

A-ROD SUPPORTERS FAIL POP QUIZ

“We make the signs ourselves,” Mateo said. “We give them to them so that they can hold them up. Randy Levine to (the supporters) could be anybody. Now, did he ask them, ‘Do you know who the New York Yankees are?’ And did he ask them, ‘Do you know why you’re here?’ “

Mateo had more than just the A-Rod bone to pick with MLB. He accused the league and Commissioner Bud Selig of being “socially irresponsible” when it comes to recruitment.

“They go to third-world countries that have no freakin’ electricity, no power, extreme poverty and they do whatever the hell they want,” Mateo said, his voice rising. “We’re trying to change that culture. And you know what? The guy that should have been fired all along is Bud Selig, because he’s the guy that allowed the Steroid Era to be what it is today.”

KALLAS: OUTSIDE THE A-ROD HEARING — DAY 3

Mateo even took on Boomer and Carton, accusing the duo of putting words in his mouth and teaming up against him.

“You’re doing to me what Major League Baseball is trying to do to A-Rod,” he said. “You’re giving me a platform where you don’t let me express myself.”

As for Tuesday’s alleged run-in with a security guard outside MLB’s offices, Mateo, who wore a neck brace Wednesday, said he’s feeling some lingering effects. He also accused the guard of intentionally throwing coffee on him.

“My neck and my back are a little tense and I feel totally disrespected,” he said.

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