By Steve Kallas
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By now you know about the 162-game Alex Rodriguez suspension and you’ve probably either seen or heard the Tony Bosch interview on “60 Minutes” with Scott Pelley. Maybe you’ve heard the Joe Tacopina (one of A-Rod’s lawyers) interviews with Boomer and Carton on WFAN and on Fox-5 on Monday morning.
By now you probably know about the virtually impossible legal hurdles that A-Rod has to jump over to get a stay or an injunction or, eventually, an elimination or reduction of that season-long suspension.
It says here that he won’t be able to convince a federal judge of his “likelihood of success on the merits,” that is, that A-Rod is going to win the underlying case and have a federal judge review and overturn the arbitrator’s decision.
No likelihood of success on the merits, no injunction of any kind.
It says here that it will be almost impossibly difficult to convince a federal judge that he has suffered “irreparable harm,” that is, serious harm that cannot be fixed with a money award. His best chance to show irreparable harm is probably that, without an injunction, he won’t be able to try and break the most hallowed record in sports: the home run record.
No irreparable harm, no injunction of any kind.
CAN THE PUBLIC AT LARGE TELL WHETHER OR NOT A-ROD IS GUILTY?
It’s a fascinating question, and this may be the answer:
Sunday night, on “60 Minutes,” some of the “hundreds” of e-mails and text messages between Bosch and A-Rod certainly seemed to be more than discussions about legal supplements. Although Tacopina has vigorously defended A-Rod with respect to these communications (and even then it’s not entirely clear that they came from A-Rod’s BlackBerry), maybe an investigative reporter can find out the following:
What was the evidence that the 13 other Biogenesis suspended players supposedly looked at and then took their 50 games (or, in the case of Ryan Braun, 65 games)? There is at least one report out there that states that the information in those texts and/or e-mails was similar to those of a number of the others suspended in the Biogenesis investigation.
Specifically named as one of those people (that is, players who dealt with Bosch and eventually took 50 (or 65) game suspensions) is Braun.
So, if it is true that a number of the Biogenesis 13 had similar codes with Bosch, well, it would make it very difficult for A-Rod or his lawyers to convince the public that he did not use PEDs. While this additional evidence probably wasn’t introduced by MLB at A-Rod’s arbitration (probably due to confidentiality issues) and probably couldn’t be introduced in a court of law (remember, arbitrations have much looser rules of evidence than a federal courtroom), this information, in the court of public opinion, if true, would cause a wave of negative reaction against A-Rod.
WILL SUCH INFORMATION EVER BE DISCOVERED/LEAKED?
Well, apparently some people are already aware that this is true. If it gets out to the public (separate and apart from any court proceeding) and it’s true, then A-Rod will lose in the court of public opinion, a battle he has decided to fight both during the arbitration process and now, in his battle to stop, overturn, limit or even vacate the 162-game suspension.
It doesn’t look very good for Rodriguez. In fact, a federal judge might say that you had your chance to tell your story to the arbitrator and decided to walk out and not testify. It’s hard to believe that a federal judge will look favorably upon that tactic.
According to Tacopina, papers were to be filed on A-Rod’s behalf Monday in federal court in lower Manhattan.
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