The Alex Rodriguez circus took another turn on Saturday. The lawyer for the suspended Yankees third baseman accused the team of hiding an injury, essentially forcing Rodriguez to play while hurt during the 2012 playoffs, per a report from Steve Eder of the New York Times.
Joseph Tacopina, the attorney representing Rodriguez in his appeal of a 211-game suspension for his involvement with Miami-based Biogenesis and performance enhancing drugs, said the Yankees hid MRI results from Rodriguez that showed a torn labrum in his hip in October 2012, an injury that would eventually require offseason surgery and sideline the third baseman for the first four months of the 2103 campaign.
Rodriguez hit just .120 (3-for-25) during the 2012 playoffs for the Yankees, who lost the ALCS to the Tigers.
"They rolled him out there like an invalid and made him look like he was finished as a ballplayer," Tacopina told the New York Times.
Controversy this season has surrounded Rodriguez, who was one of 14 players disciplined in the Biogenesis scandal. Rodriguez got by far the longest suspension at 211 games, though he is currently playing while appealing. On Friday Rodriguez was accused in a report by 60 Minutes of leaking information in the Biogenesis case that implicated Ryan Braun and teammate Francisco Cervelli.
Rodriguez vehemently denied the charges before the Yankees played the Red Sox at Fenway Park on Friday, telling reporters, "Let's make one thing clear: For the next seven weeks it's going to be a very, very bumpy road. Every day, expect a story like this, if not bigger."
Tacopina also accused the Yankees of wishing Rodriguez, signed for four more years and $86 million after 2013, would never play again, and Rodriguez's attorneys said Major League Baseball commissioner Bud Selig has a vendetta against the third baseman.
Yankees president Randy Levine told the Times the allegations were "completely false," and MLB executive vice president Rob Manfred called the claims from the Rodriguez camp a distraction.
"The bottom line on this," Manfred said, "I have yet to see Alex Rodriguez or any of his representatives say that Alex Rodriguez didn’t use P.E.D.’s. They’ve adopted a strategy to make a circus atmosphere of irrelevant allegations."