Alex Rodriguez filed a lawsuit against Major League Baseball and its Players Association in U.S. District Court in Manhattan Monday in an effort to overturn the 162-game suspension issued by independent arbitrator Fredric Horowitz Saturday, according to court filings.
Rodriguez's camp has promised for months that it would come after MLB and the union if it did not get a satisfactory result in the arbitration hearing challenging baseball commissioner Bud Selig's 211-game ban issued on Aug. 5. Horowitz reduced the suspension to 162 games plus postseason games, still the longest suspension in the history of the drug program, provoking outrage in Rodriguez's camp.
The lawsuit claims that the arbitrator showed partiality and that the Players Association violated its duty of fair representation to A-Rod. Rodriguez's lawyers have repeatedly said the MLB and Selig were unfairly prosecuting the player who was once the game's best.
A-Rod's lawyers had said they would file the complaint sometime Monday, following U.S. District Judge William H. Pauley's ruling earlier that Rodriguez could not file portions of Horowitz's ruling under seal as part of the complaint challenging Horowitz's decision.
Pauley III told Rodriguez's lawyers that their request to file a redacted version of the complaint based on confidentiality issues arising from Major League Baseball's collective bargaining agreement would not fly. Rodriguez seeking to overturn the unprecedented 162-game suspension issued Saturday by Horowitz, who submitted his written report to Major League Baseball and Rodriguez and the Players Association.
Horowitz's report is believed to contain seriously damaging evidence presented in the arbitration that shows Rodriguez used performance-enhancing drugs over several years in violation of the game's CBA.
The hastily called meeting with Pauley followed a "60 Minutes" report Sunday night in which the chief witness against Rodriguez, Anthony Bosch, told correspondent Scott Pelley of massive drug use by the Yankee third baseman. Commissioner Bud Selig and MLB COO Rob Manfred also appeared on the report, as did Rodriguez lawyer Joe Tacopina.
"Given the intense public interest in commissioner's Selig's disclosures last night it's difficult to imagine any portion should be under seal," Pauley said in reference to Selig's brief discussed why he issued a 211-game ban.
Pauley cited First Amendment considerations in ruling that A-Rod would have to file an unredacted version of a complaint to overturn the arbitration award, making the filing public. "There's no evidence here of any bad faith,'' he said.
Howard Ganz of Proskauer, representing MLB, said the league was not seeking to seal any parts of the written decision, which has not been made public.
The brief court proceeding was scheduled so hastily that another of Rodriguez's lawyers, Joe Tacopino, and Players Association counsell David Prouty, participated by telephone. Prouty told the judge the union wanted to redact any portions of the arbitrator's ruling that touched on subjects required to remain confidential under baseball's collective bargaining agreement.
"The players' association believes those matters should stay confidential," he said.
Rodriguez attorneys Jordan Siev and Jim McCarroll of the Reed Smith law firm said Rodriguez will file a complaint sometime Monday that is separate from the existing lawsuit Rodriguez has already filed against MLB and commissioner Bud Selig.
"We're perfectly content to file the complaint unredacted,'' Siev said.
The complaint, Siev told reporters, will seek to overturn the arbitration award and the historic suspension. "It's an attack on the arbitration," he said.
The filing follows the "60 Minutes" report Sunday night in which Rodriguez's chief accuser, Biogenesis founder Anthony Bosch, described years of performance-enhancing drug use by Rodriguez, including injections, blood draws in the bathroom of a Miami club, testosterone-laced "gummies" ingested by Rodriguez in the dugout and complicated arrays of steroids, human growth hormone, insulin and supplements.
Bosch also revealed that he occasionally had to inject Rodriguez with the drugs himself, and told correspondent Scott Pelley that he received $12,000 per month in cash to keep Rodriguez on performance-enhancing drugs.
He said he feared for his life when it became clear to Rodriguez that he might talk about the player's drug use.
One veteran labor lawyer who spoke to the Daily News Monday said making the arbitrator's ruling public would represent "a big loss for (Rodriguez). Now the decision will be public, which will lead to more specifics and less chance of manipulating the facts."