It’s a move that could be interpreted two ways: does he protest too much, or is this the case of an innocent man fighting to save his career and reputation? On October 4, representatives for suspended New York Yankees player Alex Rodriguez, who is still being allowed to play while his suspension is on appeal, went public with the information that the star is filing suit against Major League Baseball and Commissioner Bud Selig. You’d have to be living in a cave to not know that the star has had a rough couple of months, ever since the news broke that A Rod’s name was among the many names of professional ball players who allegedly used performance enhancing drugs provided by a defunct Florida anti-aging clinic, Biogenesis. A Rod received a 211-game suspension over the investigation into whether the allegations of performance enhancing drug use was true, and was handed down the punishment for violating the MLB drug and labor contract.
Rodriguez’s basis for his suit is that MLB entered into a campaign to ruin his career and reputation by making an example of him in the wake of the Biogenesis scandal. A Rod was the only one of the more than a dozen suspended players to appeal his suspension, a move that ensured he would be able to still practice and play until the appeal is heard. Rodriguez says in his filing that the suspension and resulting publicity smeared his character and also caused a potential monetary loss of over ten million dollars.
It seems A Rod is angered at what he sees as an intentional attempt to vilify and humiliate him by Major League Baseball and Commissioner Selig himself. In fact, he goes so far as to term what they have done to him a “witch hunt.” Specific allegations named in the lawsuit include MLB and Selig planting negative stories in the press, exacting a longer suspension for A Rod totaling four times the length and 161 more games than the 13 other suspended players, and the resulting negative press causing companies like Nike and Toyota to end their sponsorship of him. A Rod also was cut from the movie “Henry & Me,” where he had recorded the speaking part for one of the film’s animated heroes.
Whether or not it turns out that MLB and Commissioner Selig were targeting A Rod and making an example of him, there’s still the little fact that Alex Rodriguez’s name was contained in the documents a former Biogenesis employee brought to the Miami New Times . . . a document that detailed his use of Human Growth Hormone and other performance enhancing drugs over the course of several years.