NEW YORK (WFAN/AP) — He’s had enough.
Alex Rodriguez walked out of his grievance hearing Wednesday after arbitrator Fredric Horowitz refused to order baseball Commissioner Bud Selig to testify.
He later showed up at the WFAN studios to talk to host Mike Francesa about it. And during that conversation he dropped a gigantic bombshell on a saga that’s been filled with one page-turning headline after another.
Rodriguez vehemently denied any wrongdoing in the case, including saying that he’s not used PEDs at all since 2003. He also denied having leaked documents about Ryan Braun to Yahoo! Sports, calling that accusation by Major League Baseball “laughable” and “disgusting.” Finally, he denied any obstructing of justice during the course of this case, one of the several reasons given by MLB to give Rodriguez the biggest drug-related suspension of all-time.
“I can’t make any decision now. I’m way too hot,” Rodriguez told Francesa when asked to state for the record whether he’s guilty of the latest allegations. “I did nothing, Mike. With the (Anthony) Bosch nonsense, nothing.”
PHOTO GALLERY: A-Rod In Studio With Mike Francesa
Horowitz was in the midst of the 12th day of hearings on the grievance filed by the players’ association to overturn the 211-game suspension given to Rodriguez last summer for alleged violations of the sport’s drug agreement and labor contract.
After Horowitz made his ruling, the New York Yankees third baseman slammed a table, uttered a profanity at MLB chief operating officer Rob Manfred and left.
“I lost my mind,” Rodriguez told Francesa. “I banged a table and kicked a briefcase and slammed out of the room, and just felt like this system … I knew it was restricted and I knew it wasn’t fair, but what we saw today, it was disgusting.”
Rodriguez lambasted Selig, telling Francesa in so many words that baseball’s commissioner is a coward.
“And the fact that the man from Milwaukee that put the suspension on me,” Rodriguez said, “with not one bit of evidence — something I didn’t do — and he doesn’t have the courage to come look me in the eye and tell me this is why I did 211? I shouldn’t serve one inning.
“For this guy — the embarrassment that he’s put me and my family through — and he doesn’t have the courage to come see me and tell me this is why I’m going to destroy your career? And I have to explain this to my daughters everyday?”
The three-time American League MVP said that he has offered to meet with both Selig and Manfred in a coffee shop “man to man,” but they replied with “we don’t want to see you.”
On Wednesday night CBS 2’s Otis Livingston reported that Major League Baseball said that Selig has never testified in a single case under the Joint Drug Agreement and that Rob Manfred, the COO of MLB, was selected as the leagues witness to explain the penalty imposed in the case.
The slugger also admitted that he’s angry with the Yankees, but he understands his commitment to the club and will be fully ready for Opening Day 2014, if he’s able to play.
“This has been a disgusting process for everyone,” Rodriguez told Francesa. “I’m more embarrassed than anyone to be on the front pages of the news. This is the game that I love more than anything. This is what I have my PHD in and I love it.
“I watch your show, I watch the Yankees, I watch the Mets, I watch the Dodgers. I’ll be the 75-year-old watching three or four games a night. This is what I do, I live it.”
Rodriguez said that he’s “taking one fight at a time,” but he continued to call out Selig throughout the interview.
“He hates my guts, there’s no doubt about it,” A-Rod said. “I don’t think they like big salaries. 100 percent it’s personal. I think it’s about his legacy and it’s about my legacy. He’s trying to destroy me and, by the way, he’s retiring in 2014. And to put me on his big mantle on the way out, that’s a helluva trophy.
“I’m done. I don’t have a chance. You let the arbiter decide whatever he decides. My position doesn’t change. I didn’t do it.”