NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Alex Rodriguez is attempting to play nice with the Yankees.
The disgraced slugger, who is serving a season-long performance-enhancing drug suspension, dropped his malpractice lawsuit against the team doctor and the affiliated hospital on Friday, his attorney told Newsday.
It appears A-Rod’s intention is to perhaps get back into the Yankees’ good graces before returning to them next season.
“He does not want to have any legal distractions in preparing and entering the new season for the New York Yankees,” Rodriguez lawyer Alan Ripka told Newsday. “That is the sole and only reason why this case is being discontinued.”
Rodriguez initially sued Yankees team doctor Chris Ahmad and Columbia Presbyterian Hospital last October because he said they misread an MRI and misdiagnosed his left hip injury in 2012. Rodriguez had left hip surgery in January of last year.
“Dr. Christopher Ahmad is pleased that Alex Rodriguez has voluntarily withdrawn his claims, demonstrating, as we have always held, that Dr. Ahmad’s care was appropriate. Dr. Ahmad wishes Mr. Rodriguez the best for his future,” Peter Crean, Ahmad’s attorney, told the Daily News.
Rodriguez, who also filed and later dropped lawsuits against Commissioner Bud Selig and the Major League Baseball Players’ Association, apparently had been mulling dropping the suit against Ahmad and the hospital for some time, his attorney said.
“We’ve been considering it and thinking about in terms of his careers, in terms of the Yankees, in terms of him moving forward in his life,” Ripka said. “This was determined to be the best decision.”
Rodriguez was initially suspended 211 games, but that ban was reduced by an arbitrator to 162 games.
After serving his entire suspension, Rodriguez will still be under contract for the 2015, ’16 and ’17 seasons, with the Yankees owing him $61 million.
The odds are it would have been difficult for A-Rod to return to the Yankees with the lawsuit still in play, and his attorney said that’s something the veteran third baseman just didn’t want to find out.
“Who knows what the consequences of (continuing the lawsuit) would have been?” Ripka said. “But in essence we won’t have to know because we’re done.”
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