Sunday, August 18, 2013

Why A-Rod's angry lawyer may actually have a point about the Yankee brass

It's an A-bomb for A-Rod -- and his attorney! Joseph Tacopina, one of Alex Rodriguez's attorneys, started a new war with the Yankees -- or maybe just continued the current war -- when he unleashed some pretty strong accusations against the team, and against Major League Baseball. Here's a link to the New York Times article with the accusations. And here's what I think of each main charge.

Among Tacopina's claims are the following:

"that baseball’s commissioner is determined to brand Rodriguez as the 'poster boy' for doping."
My thoughts: TRUE! This is a no-brainer. Nobody else involved in the Biogenesis scandal got any of the incessant leaks from MLB. Nobody else came even close to the 211-game punishment. And there has never been an explanation as to why Bartolo Colon, who had already tested positive, and who was also named in the Biogenesis scandal, did not get the scrutiny that A-Rod did, even though the fact that he is having arguably his best year at the age of 40 ought to have brought on more investigation. Instead, we're apparently supposed to think Colon only did PEDs that one lone time. Spare me.

 During the 2012 playoffs, Tacopina said, the Yankees hid from Rodriguez that a magnetic resonance imaging test had revealed that he had a torn labrum — essentially a hole in his hip — and continued to play him, even though he was struggling mightily.
“They rolled him out there like an invalid and made him look like he was finished as a ballplayer,” Tacopina said.
My thoughts: MAY BE TRUE! Here's why I cannot dismiss this charge -- my own eyes. I said all along during last year's postseason that I thought A-Rod looked injured. And I couldn't understand why Joe Girardi and Brian Cashman were so publicly adamant that he was not injured, when it clearly seemed like he was. It seemed to me very petty and mean-spirited to not offer him that fig leaf of the possibility that he was hurt, instead of just stinking for no reason. And the Yanks seemed more motivated by destroying what was left of A-Rod's reputation last year than in actually winning in the playoffs.

Rodriguez learned the extent of his injuries in the off-season, and the Yankees sent him to Dr. Bryan T. Kelly, a prominent surgeon at the Hospital for Special Surgery in Manhattan. Tacopina said Kelly later told Rodriguez that before the operation, Levine told Kelly, “I don’t ever want to see him on the field again.”
“It sent chills down Alex’s spine,” Tacopina said.
My thoughts: MAY BE TRUE! Randy Levine isn't exactly known as a nice guy. He was hired to be a jerk, and he continues to be a jerk. Nothing would surprise me when it comes to him. And why he still has a job is beyond me -- he screwed up bigtime on the StubHub stuff. In fact, I'm surprised he didn't find a way to blame StubHub for A-Rod!
Tacopina said he had copies of “very damaging” e-mails between Levine and Rodriguez. Those e-mails, along with recordings and affidavits gathered by Rodriguez’s advisers, will help Rodriguez in his suspension appeal hearing, Tacopina said.
Levine, however, said his e-mail communication with Rodriguez, over a period of years, would show that he was one of Rodriguez’s biggest supporters, encouraging him to get healthy and to play better.
My thoughts: TRUE. The only way I can see Levine writing the way he claims he did is if he wrote "You little bleep, you better bleeping get healthy and play better, you worthless bleep bleep bleep." I can buy Joe Girardi doing the warm and fuzzy thing. Randy Levine, no bleeping way!

Beyond Bosch, Tacopina accused baseball investigators, some of them former police officers, of serious misconduct. For example, he said, investigators were captured on video flashing what looked like police badges to gain access to a gated community where they wanted to speak with a witness. He said investigators also threatened to turn witnesses’ names over to the news media or call in law enforcement if they did not cooperate.
My thoughts: THIS WOULDN'T SURPRISE ME. MLB has been intent on drumming A-Rod out of baseball, and they made legal threats to Bosch to get him to cooperate. No shenanigans they may have done would surprise me.

Tacopina said he believed that baseball officials were “working in conjunction” with the Yankees to void Rodriguez’s lucrative contract.
“You don’t need to look much further from the top to figure out where this all comes from,” Tacopina said, referring to Selig, the commissioner.
My thoughts: TRUE. And MLB and the Yankees' damage control on this has been laughable. Levine told ESPN that the Yanks were kept "in the dark" about the pending disciplinary action for A-Rod. Puh-lease. Who believes that, especially given that A-Rod just happened to get cleared to play on the day the suspension was going down.

Sorry, folks, but for the past year or so, we have heard leak after leak from Yankeeland about how they want to get out from under A-Rod's contract, and in the last few months, we heard how MLB wants to ban A-Rod for life, and how they've been trying to punish him for years on various shenanigans, but have been unsuccessful. Now we're supposed to believe that this isn't really true, and that they weren't working in cahoots? I'm not buying it. A-Rod may have been a cheating jerk, and MLB and the Yankee brass are not exactly saints here. Maybe they should have thought first, before providing all those damaging leaks, whether true or untrue, to the Bill Maddens of the world.

Tacopina said: “The legacy of George Steinbrenner would be horrified. This is the New York Yankees. This isn’t some thug-culture club.”

FALSE! This would be right up The Boss' alley, especially given what he did with Dave Winfield by hiring Howie Spira. This was the most ridiculous part of Tacopina's claims!

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