Alex Rodriguez suspension: MLBPA responds to lawsuit

Patrick McDermott

MLBPA head Tony Clark sees A-Rod's suit against the union as "baseless."

Major League Baseball Players Association head Tony Clark responded to the complaint Alex Rodriguez filed on Monday afternoon against the MLBPA for its role in his suspension for the 2014 season, saying the suit is "without merit" in a statement issued on Monday.

Replying to Rodriguez's allegations that the MLBPA did not uphold its duty to represent him and "engaged in numerous acts that were arbitrary, capricious, and taken in bad faith," Clark states:

"It is unfortunate that Alex Rodriguez has chosen to sue the Players Association. His claim is completely without merit, and we will aggressively defend ourselves and our members from these baseless charges.

The Players Association has vigorously defended Mr. Rodriguez's rights throughout the Biogenesis investigation, and indeed throughout his career. Mr. Rodriguez's allegation that the Association has failed to fairly represent him is outrageous, and his gratuitous attacks on our former executive director, Michael Weiner, are inexcusable. When all is said and done, I am confident the Players Association will prevail."

In his complaint, which is available here from NBC Sports, Rodriguez references statements made by late-MLBPA executive director Michael Weiner in section C of the document under the heading "Damaging Public Remarks Made by MLBPA." In this section Rodriguez cites a number of comments made by Weiner, who passed away on Nov. 21, that he refers to as "clearly inconsistent with MLBPA's duty to fairly and ardently represent" him.  He then concludes that these statements:

"reflect a prejudgement by MLBPA concerning MR. Rodriguez's guilt that irreparably corrupted the arbitration process"

For Clark, the references to Weiner appear to be particularly upsetting. Weiner had recommended that Rodriguez accept a suspension on several occasions and Bob Nightengale of USA Today believes that had Rodriguez taken that advice, he would have served a lesser sentence. Instead, the recommendation is now being used against the union. Brian Costa of the Wall Street Journal warns that fellow players will also not take kindly to Rodriguez's statements on Weiner, who was extremely popular during his time as head of the union.

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