NEW YORK (WFAN) — A lawyer representing Alex Rodriguez is going on the attack against Major League Baseball after Biogenesis founder Anthony Bosch detailed the league’s case against A-Rod in a bombshell “60 Minutes” interview.
Joe Tacopina, joining WFAN’s “Boomer & Carton” show Monday, called the interview a “charade” and said the Yankees third baseman has every intention of showing up at spring training despite an arbitrator’s ruling to reduce his suspension to 162 games plus the 2014 postseason.
“You know what? It’s really easy to believable when you’re not being cross-examined,” Tacopina said. “It’s really easy to be believable when you’re not being asked by the interviewer from ’60 Minutes’ about his dealing (performance-enhancing) drugs to kids, and whether that had any basis for him becoming a witness against Alex Rodriguez.”
Arbitrator Fredric Horwitz made his ruling public on Saturday. The Bosch sit-down — which included explosive allegations of death threats — aired Sunday on CBS. Tacopina and Commissioner Bud Selig were also interviewed for the “60 Minutes” segment.
The Major League Baseball Players Association ripped the league in a statement Sunday night. Tacopina said the union’s distaste came directly from some of its members.
“A lot of the players are up in arms,” Tacopina said. “We’ve gotten so many reach-outs from players and players’ agents saying, ‘How could MLB do this?’ ”
In the interview, Bosch said it was a “cake walk” to beat baseball’s drug-testing system. He claimed to have administered an intricate $12,000-per-month doping protocol for Rodriguez beginning in 2010, including testosterone lozenges nicknamed “gummies” that were sometimes taken prior to games.
“That’s why that interview was so misleading in so many ways,” Tacopina said. “This guy was on the witness stand (in arbitration) for three days. … Here was his takeaway under oath: he had no masking program whatsoever.”
Tacopina suggested that Rodriguez — who is suing the league for what he calls a witch hunt — could file “additional actions” and defamation lawsuits based on assertions made by Bosch and MLB chief operating officer Rob Manfred.
“There were a few things that came out of that ’60 Minutes’ piece that are going to be something that I think we’re going to consider,” Tacopina said. “Mr. Manfred made some statements that I think he wants to reconsider, or at least we’re going to evaluate.”
Rodriguez was originally banned 211 games by MLB under the joint drug agreement.
The 38-year-old has vowed to challenge Horowitz’s decision. And that process will start Monday, when A-Rod’s team plans to file an injunction in federal court to halt the suspension.
Tacopina said A-Rod would “absolutely” testify under oath.
In August, 12 players accepted 50-game suspensions related to MLB’s investigation into Biogenesis and PEDs. Milwaukee Brewers star Ryan Braun served a 65-game ban. Tacopina insisted there was “no basis” for the length of Rodriguez’s suspension under the JDA or the collective bargaining agreement.
“Fifty games was never offered to Alex,” Tacopina said. “And these guys took 50 because sometimes, in their eyes, it was easier to put this behind them than fight in a proceeding where the cards are stacked against you.”
Rodriguez has denied ever using banned substances since his time with the Texas Rangers (2001-03).
“Alex is 12-0,” Tacopina said, referring to drug tests administered to Rodriguez. “He’ll probably set another MLB record in that category.”
Rodriguez effectively put an end to his appeal hearing when he stormed out Nov. 20. He would later grant an explosive interview with radio host Mike Francesa at the WFAN studios in Manhattan, where he rebutted any wrongdoing related to Bosch or Biogenesis.
Tacopina said it’s possible that A-Rod will tell his side of the story — and soon — in a contentious setting.
“That’s something that he’s contemplating doing right now as we speak,” Tacopina said. “It would not surprise me if this week you saw him in one of those settings, in not a friendly forum.”
When asked if A-Rod intends to show up at spring training, Tacopina replied, “Yes, he does.”
Rodriguez will forfeit $25 million in salary if his suspension holds. He’s due $61 million from 2015-17 plus bonuses depending on his ascension on the all-time home runs list.
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