Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Says Selig, Mlb Are out to 'Destroy' Him

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Says Selig, Mlb Are out to 'Destroy' Him

Article excerpt

Alex Rodriguez angrily bolted from his own grievance hearing Wednesday, declaring it "a farce," then emphatically denied MLB's current claims that he has used steroids and impeded its investigation into the matter -- claims that led to his 211-game suspension by baseball.

In New York with his battery of attorneys, the embattled Yankees slugger capped a whirlwind afternoon by blasting commissioner Bud Selig - who "hates my guts"-- on WFAN-AM.

"[It's] about his legacy ... he's trying to destroy me," A-Rod told host Mike Francesa, regarding the outgoing baseball commissioner's unprecedented ban. "And to put me on his big mantle on the way out, that's a hell of a trophy."

A-Rod's fire was lit by arbitrator Fredric Horowitz's ruling Wednesday that Selig would not have to testify in the hearings at MLB's Park Avenue offices.

"I don't have a chance," Rodriguez said, his voice occasionally shaking as he spoke on WFAN.

Later, Rodriguez acknowledged slamming his hand on a table, kicking a briefcase and cursing at MLB chief operating officer Rob Manfred as he exited Wednesday's hearing.

"I am disgusted with this abusive process, designed to ensure that the player fails," Rodriguez said in a statement. "I have sat through 10 days of testimony by felons and liars, sitting quietly through every minute, trying to respect the league and the process.

"This morning, after Bud Selig refused to come in and testify about his rationale for the unprecedented and totally baseless punishment he hit me with, the arbitrator selected by MLB and the players association refused to order Selig to come in and face me.

"The absurdity and injustice just became too much. I walked out and will not participate any further in this farce."

On WFAN, Rodriguez furiously called Selig "the man from Milwaukee who put this suspension on me without one bit of evidence [for] something I didn't do.

"I shouldn't serve one inning," A-Rod said in his strongest defense since he was linked to the Biogenesis scandal. "[Selig] doesn't have the courage to come see me and tell me why he is going to destroy my career."

MLB issued a statement regarding the "contractual grievance process" negotiated between MLB and its players.

"Despite Mr. Rodriguez being upset with one of the arbitration panel's rulings today, Major League Baseball remains committed to this process and to a fair resolution of the pending dispute."

In its statement, the players association claimed it "argued strenuously" that Selig testify and that "we continue to vigorously challenge Alex's suspension within the context of this hearing."

Also at stake is Rodriguez's base salary of $25 million next season, on a contract that runs through 2017.

Milwaukee slugger Ryan Braun received a 65-game suspension and 12 other players received 50-game bans for their ties to the former South Florida clinic headed by Anthony Bosch - now MLB's prime witness. …

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