New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez received public support from a pair of New York state senators and the Hispanics Across America president following Thursday's hearing, reports Andrew Marchand of ESPNNewYork.com.
New York state Sen. Ruben Diaz, state Sen. Adriano Espaillat, Assemblywoman Gabriela Rosa and HAA president Fernando Mateo held a press conference outside MLB's offices. Espaillat called for the immediate retirement of MLB commissioner Bud Selig, telling reporters:
"Major League Baseball has not done a good job at policing the steroid crisis, and it has festered under Bud Selig. He should step down immediately. Today. Right now. We shouldn't allow him to just exit in so-called glory and retire. There is an asterisk next to Bud Selig's name forever."
Mateo went on the offensive against Yankees president Randy Levine, accusing the team official of wanting to void the final years of Rodriguez's ten-year, $275 million contract he signed before the 2008 season:
"Shame on Randy Levine for trying to renege on [Rodriguez's] contract. A contract that he signed. I consider it not very intelligent to give a 10-year contract to a 33-year-old aging ballplayer knowing at 43 the guy isn't going to see the balls anymore," Mateo said. "Now, at 38, he wants him out of the game so the Yankees can save $100 million and he can get a big bonus. That's unacceptable as well."
MLB chief operating officer Rob Manfred was dismissive of the comments, calling the politicians "ill-informed" while telling Marchand:
"Unless Mr. Rodriguez and his representatives have violated the confidentiality of the joint drug agreement, there is no way these individuals could know what wrongs have been allegedly committed. If they don't know what wrongs have been committed, I don't know how they can make a judgment on whether the punishment was unfair or unjust."
Rodriguez's case is scheduled to resume Friday, then will recess until November. The third baseman is appealing his 211-game suspension he received for his alleged involvement and interference with the Biogenesis case, as well as previous violations of the Joint Drug Agreement.