NEW YORK — Major League Baseball is challenging Alex Rodriguez’s lawyer to allow the sport to make public the evidence that led to the 211-game suspension of the New York Yankees star.
MLB executive vice president Rob Manfred wrote to lawyer Joseph Tacopina on Monday, urging him to waive his client’s confidentiality.
He says the league would disclose “all drug tests” and “all prior violations” of Rodriguez, plus documents related to the player’s relationships with Anthony Bosch, Dr. Anthony Galea and Victor Conte, and evidence tied to whether Rodriguez obstructed MLB’s investigation of the Biogenesis clinic.
According to the letter, which was released by MLB, Rodriguez’s side also would be able to disclose documents.
Interviewed on NBC’s “Today” show, Tacopina did not say whether he would agree to Manfred’s request. He did not respond to a message from The Associated Press.
Rodriguez is playing pending his appeal, which is not expected to be decided by an arbitrator until November at the earliest.
On “Today,” Tacopina said Major League Baseball’s evidence against Rodriguez is so weak he shouldn’t serve even one inning of his 211-game suspension.
The league recently suspended Rodriguez, along with more than a dozen other players, for their relationship with a clinic accused of distributing performance-enhancing drugs.
MLB’s case is based on evidence from Biogenesis clinic founder Anthony Bosch, who Tacopina said has “no credibility.”
“I know the evidence against Alex Rodriguez, and I will tell you this: It will never stand up in a court of law or in an arbitration-panel courtroom. Never,” Tacopina told host Matt Lauer.
“Alex Rodriguez, when we confront this evidence, will have been found not responsible to the point where he shouldn’t serve one inning of a suspension as opposed to 211 games,” Tacopina said. “I know the evidence in this case.”
Lauer asked Tacopina if A-Rod would have agreed to a 50-game ban, as 12 other players did without appealing.
“If he listens to me, if I were advising him based on the evidence and based on what I know about the evidence,” Tacopina said, “I would tell him, ‘Don’t take one inning, Alex. Forget 50 games. Don’t take one inning.’ “