By Steve Kallas
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Wednesday, Oct. 2, was the third day of the scheduled (for now) five-day Alex Rodriguez arbitration at 245 Park Ave. According to the New York Daily News, the A-Rod team has added another high-powered lawyer: Michael Attanasio, who was very helpful to the defense in the Roger Clemens case.
Attanasio was the attorney who got Andy Pettitte to say, on the witness stand, that there was a “50-50” chance that Pettitte had misunderstood when he thought that Clemens had said that he (Clemens) had used HGH. This certainly helped in Clemens beating those federal charges.
Of course, it seemed pretty clear that Andy Pettitte wanted no part of sending his one-time friend/idol to jail (see Kallas Remarks, 7/5/11, laying out such a scenario before Pettitte testified in a Clemens trial). So, as good a job as Attanasio did, there is no such witness for Major League Baseball (that is, there would seem to be no witness who would be conflicted about testifying against A-Rod; no Pettitte to Clemens relationship for a witness against A-Rod).
Having said that, with Anthony Bosch, baseball’s key witness, on the stand for part of Monday, most of Tuesday and cross-examined by A-Rod’s legal team on Wednesday, it seems that it might be difficult to complete this arbitration this week, the time put aside for the A-Rod arbitration (according to published reports, there will be conflicts next week and, if not concluded this week, it is unclear when the arbitration will be concluded).
MORE A-ROD SUPPORTERS THAN EVER OUTSIDE ON WEDNESDAY
While on Monday afternoon, there were only a handful of supporters when A-Rod came out at the end of the day, on Tuesday afternoon there were about a hundred raucous supporters. When A-Rod left the building, he was mobbed and signed autographs and posed for pictures for about seven or eight minutes before leaving in a Lincoln Navigator.
On Wednesday afternoon, there were many more supporters, about 250-300. Crammed behind police barricades that were half on the sidewalk in front of 245 Park and half in the street on Park Avenue (no traffic in the right lane where the supporters stood), many of the supporters wore brand new No. 13 T-shirts with the slogan “Support A-Rod” above the number. In addition, there seemed to be a number of people who were given baseballs and Sharpies, presumably to get A-Rod’s autograph when he came out.
All the supporters were given pizza and water as well and they deserve it as they were out there all day on an uncommonly warm October Wednesday.
When A-Rod did finally emerge (at about 5:45 p.m.), he spent a full 15 minutes with his supporters, again signing autographs, posing for pictures and thanking his supporters. In fact, there was somebody lining up a select group of A-Rod fans in front of the Lincoln Navigator he now gets into every afternoon. When he finally made his way to that group, he stopped again to sign more autographs and pose for more pictures before getting in the Navigator a full 15 minutes after he had left the building.
Clearly there is a PR angle to all of this, but it will have little, if any, effect on the arbitrator’s decision. But somebody has made a decision that there will be many supporters outside 245 Park Ave. this week and that A-Rod will be more than happy to pose and sign for his fans.
Again, on Monday, there were just a handful and A-Rod was in the car in 20 seconds (literally). On Tuesday, with about 100 supporters, he posed for pictures and signed autographs for seven or eight minutes. On Wednesday, with about 250-300 supporters there, he signed and posed for a full 15 minutes.
We’ll just have to wait and see what Thursday, Day 4 of the A-Rod arbitration, brings both inside and out of the arbitration room.
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