By Steve Kallas
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In what is now becoming the arbitration with no ending, Yankees President Randy Levine testified on Day 10 of the Alex Rodriguez appeal of his unprecedented 211-game suspension by Major League Baseball for using performance-enhancing drugs.
Levine took the stand shortly after 2:15 and, according to published reports, only testified for 10-15 minutes. Levine exited MLB headquarters at 245 Park Avenue at 2:47 PM. His only comment, after telling a number of reporters that he was told “not to discuss the case,” was that “it didn’t take very long, that’s for sure.”
The crux of his testimony, according to Steven Marcus of Newsday, was simply to deny any and all allegations that he and/or the Yankees were involved in any conspiracy to keep A-Rod off the field.
Indeed, according to Newsday, Levine said “no” to numerous questions from A-Rod lawyer Joe Tacopina, including whether Levine would get an eight-percent commission if the Yankees did not have to pay the remaining $89 million of A-Rod’s contract, whether he told a Yankees doctor that he “wanted him (A-Rod) off the field permanently,” whether he would get a bonus or commission if the Yankees keep their 2014 payroll under $189 million and whether he and the Yankees want to get out of A-Rod’s contract.
Levine did answer “yes” to whether he had ever spoken to A-Rod about rumors of him (A-Rod) using steroids, saying there were rumors all the time, but he did not say it was in connection with Biogenesis.
MEANWHILE, DOWN IN FEDERAL COURT…
According to MLB, in lower Manhattan yesterday, federal judge Edward Ramos signed an order compelling Michael Strick to comply with a subpoena from Fredric Horowitz to testify at the A-Rod arbitration and bring documents with him relating to the case.
Strick, the head of public-relations firm Strick & Co., supposedly provided Anthony Bosch/Biogenesis documents to Yahoo Sports, which led to Yahoo Sports implicating former MVP Ryan Braun in the Biogenesis scandal. Braun agreed to a 65-game suspension after being presented with the evidence.
WHEN WILL THIS ALL END?
Well, arbitrator Horowitz has set aside all of this week and Monday and Tuesday of next week for this arbitration. If it is not finished by then (and it may not be if A-Rod really does testify), the arbitration will continue into December.
Day 11 of the A-Rod arbitration begins on Wednesday morning.
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