Keeping Score

What Alex Rodriguez Left Out Of His Lawsuit

His complaint against MLB, and Bud Selig, doesn't tell the full story

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As you may have heard, Alex Rodriguez has filed a lawsuit against Major League Baseball, and commissioner Allan Huber “Bud” Selig (that’s how the commissioner’s name is spelled out in the complaint). If you’ve been paying too much attention to baseball’s excellent playoff series to notice, congratulations.

Rodriguez is suing MLB and the commissioner for tortious interference; he accuses the commissioner and other officials of “improperly marshal[ing] evidence that they hope to destroy the reputation and career of Alex Rodriguez, one of the most accomplished Major League Baseball players of all time.” In August, MLB suspended A-Rod for 211 games for his alleged possession and use of performance enhancing drugs connected with Biogenesis, the now shuttered anti-aging facility that also acted as a PED farm.

If you haven’t read A-Rod’s complaint, again, congratulations. We’ve gone ahead and done it for you, and two things stand out. First, nowhere in the document does Rodriguez deny the use of PEDs. Just sayin’. And second, the complaint leaves out some key facts. The omissions say more about A-Rod than the accusations against MLB and Selig. We’ll go ahead an amend a few passages, with what A-Rod should have said, if he were telling the whole story. (Additions in italics).

Mr Rodriguez is considered one of the most talented baseball players of all time — thanks in part to steroids, which he admitted to using from 2001-2003, when he played for the Texas Rangers.
Mr. Rodriguez is a 12-time All-Star, 3-time Most Valuable Player — he won the 2003 award during his own self-proclaimed steroid era, though he said he stopped taking banned substances during that spring training — and 10-time Silver Slugger Award winner. He is the youngest player to ever hit 500 home runs, with the help of steroids, breaking the record Jimmie Foxx set in 1939. He is also the youngest player to hit 600 home runs, with the help of steroids, surpassing Babe Ruth’s record by over a year, and currently stands just 6 home runs short of Willie Mays’ career total of 660, with the help of steroids. Mr. Mays, Mr. Rodriguez apologizes.

In 2001, Barry Bonds broke the previous single season home run record by hitting 73 in one season. Mr. Bonds followed that up in 2007 by breaking Hank Aaron’s record for career home-runs, hitting 762. The dramatic competitions involving Bonds, Sosa, and McGwire reignited fans’ interest and passion in the game. At the time, many called his period the second “Golden Age of Baseball.” Unfortunately, it appears to have been merely the “Golden Age of Steroids” — which Mr. Rodriguez was a part of.

In fact, two potential sponsors — Nike and Toyota — have terminated negotiations with Mr. Rodriguez for potential sponsorship contracts based on MLB’s continual leaks and accusations, all before Mr. Rodriguez had his BA and JDA provided arbitration hearing. In 2000, Mr. Rodriguez signed a 10-year, $252 million contract with the Texas Rangers, which doubled the richest contract in sports history at the time. In 2007, he signed a new 10-year, $275-million contract, after opting out of the previous deal. It was the richest in baseball. Mr. Rodriguez’s lack of access to even more money is totally unfair, and pointing this out is a surefire way to create public sympathy for him.

In addition to his endorsement contracts, Mr. Rodriguez owns a number of small businesses, including a construction company and a Mercedes-Benz dealership near Houston, Texas. The principal asset of these businesses is their affiliation with Mr. Rodriguez, and as such, they rely on his good name and reputation. MLB’s public statements concerning Mr. Rodriguez’s alleged PES [note: performance enhancing substance] use, and the cover-up of such use, have damaged Mr. Rodriguez’s ability to run his business. We’ve gotta move those Benzes.
(MORE: Alex Rodriguez Sues Major League Baseball)