Alex Rodriguez and his cohort of lawyers have updated their lawsuit against Major League Baseball to include language that accuses Bud Selig of purposefully "destroying the reputation, career and business prospects" of the Yankees third baseman, reports Ken Davidoff of the NY Post.
Echoing the words Rodriguez used to describe Selig in his infamous WFAN radio interview last week, the updated briefing attempts to deliver a point-by-point blow illuminating the commissioner's alleged bias against A-Rod:
"Despite the fact that he (a) signed the Notice of Discipline imposing a 211 game suspension on Mr. Rodriguez; (b) deemed it acceptable to go on David Letterman’s show in July and joke about a looming suspension of Mr. Rodriguez; and (c) publicly defended MLB’s investigation during the World Series, Mr. Selig chose to hide in his office in Milwaukee rather than come testify at the hearing grievance hearing in New York...
"In Mr. Selig’s world, apparently the "buck" does not stop with Bud."
The suit then states that the commissioner "lacked the courage of his convictions" to testify at Rodriguez's appeal hearing last week, which, to the legal team, indicates that his actions were "aimed at" ruining the three-time MVP's career.
The section of the brief personally implicating Selig ends by again questioning his "courage," calling his stance on the issue "cowardly" and juxtaposing the argument with this picture of the commissioner posing with a fan in an A-ROID t-shirt:
A-Rod today added this photo of Selig and a young baseball fan as evidence in his suit v MLB that Uncle Bud hates him pic.twitter.com/vVRKt8Blif— wallace matthews (@ESPNNYYankees) November 26, 2013
Not really sure that's the kind of thing that holds up in court, but it is at least hilarious.
The suit against MLB has been moved up to federal court, but isn't expected to proceed until Jan. 23, when the two sides will hold a conference. The arbitrator in Rodriguez's appeal case will have made a final decision on his suspension at that point, so if he does anything but wipe the slate clean, A-Rod's team will call for an injunction on the ruling. Decisions in labor disputes are notoriously difficult to appeal, so their chances of success on that front are likely slim.
Even without the injunction, A-Rod's pending 211-game suspension is sure to put a temporary hold on the Yankees' offseason plans. New York is currently on the hook for $25 million in salary -- and $27.5 million against the luxury tax -- to Rodriguez next season (and $86 million total over the next four years), but will get to recoup all of that back into its budget if the suspension is upheld.
The Bombers were able to dole out a pretty hefty sum of money to Brian McCann last week, but might not have the room to add Robinson Cano and other pieces while staying under their luxury tax goal ($189 million) until the decision comes in on Rodriguez.