A-Rod Wants Millions From Major League
MANHATTAN (CN) - Alex Rodriguez sued Major League Baseball on Friday, claiming its $5 million promise to Biogenesis led to his unprecedented 211-game suspension.
The much-anticipated lawsuit in Manhattan Superior Court, which was leaked to certain media outlets Thursday, says that MLB Commissioner Allan "Bud" Selig and others have "been engaged in tortious and egregious conduct with one, and only one goal: to improperly marshal evidence that they hope to use to destroy the reputation and career of Alex Rodriguez, one of the most accomplished Major League Baseball players of all time."
Rodriguez also says Selig and the MLB sought to "make an example" of him and gloss over Selig's past "inaction and tacit approval of the use of performance enhancing substances in baseball (not to mention his multiple acts of collusion) in an attempt to secure his legacy as the 'savior' of America's pastime." (Parentheses in original.)
Rodriguez claims that the MLB paid Tony Bosch, former head of Biogenesis, $5 million "to buy his cooperation in monthly payments."
He also says the MLB promised to "put in a good word" for Bosch as he faces an investigation by the U.S. Attorneys' Office in Miami and a Florida attorney for "providing steroids to minors."
The MLB "reached rock bottom" when it promised Biogenesis owner Bosch that it would drop its lawsuit against him in exchange for his cooperation against other MLB players, according to Rodriguez's complaint. MLB also allegedly promised to provide Bosch with personal security and to indemnify him when it comes to any legal issues that may arise from his help.
A-Rod was suspended in August, along with 12 others, through the end of the 2014 season after an investigation determined he used testosterone and human-growth hormones over several years.
He accuses MLB of offering money to other former Biogenesis employees in exchange for their testimony.
Rodriguez also says an MLB investigator paid $150,000 in cash at a Fort Lauderdale, Fla., restaurant for Biogenesis documents that were reported stolen out of an employee's car. This investigator, who is not named as a defendant, had also "engaged in an inappropriate sexual relationship with a witness whom he himself interviewed about the Biogenesis matter," the complaint states.
MLB denied the allegations, saying in a statement that "none of the allegations is relevant to the real issue: whether Mr. Rodriguez violated the Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program by using an d possessing numerous forms of prohibited performance-enhancing substances, including testosterone and hum human growth homone, over the course of multiple years and whether he violated the Basic Agrement by attempting to cover-up his violations of the Program by engaging in a course of conduct intended to obstruct and frustrate the Office of the Commissioner's investigation."
Rodriguez says the MLB engaged in "vigilante justice" by paying millions of dollars to individuals and making promises of future employment while investigating Biogenesis of America LLC, a clinic in Coral Gables, Fla., of supplying several ballplayers with PES.
MLB also filed a "sham lawsuit" against Biogenesis in Miami to cull information about other MLB players, then conspired with its owner, Anthony Bosch, to drop the claims against him, according to the complaint.
Bosch, who is not a party to the complaint, is "currently under multiple criminal investigations for dispensing PES to minors," the lawsuit claims.
Bosch did not immediately respond for comment.
The agency also bullied those who refused to cooperate with their "witch hunt," Rodriguez claims.
"However, the MLB was not finished," the lawsuit states.
Long after Rodriguez appealed his suspension, the MLB tried to subpoena documents from his former attorneys and his former public relations firm, "solely for use against him in the upcoming arbitration to resolve his appeal of MLB's suspension." (Emphasis in original.)
He also says the MLB leaked several stories to the media about his suspension, "turning what is supposed to be a confidential disciplinary and appeal process into a public trial of Mr. Rodriguez."
Rechristened in the A-Roid press, the ballplayer says the MLB trampled his rights, and "those of every player in the league."
"The time has come for this egregious misconduct to stop, so current and future players ma know that MLB cannot and will not commit willful torts against them, and otherwise trample their rights with impunity," the complaint states.
Rodriguez says the "unwarranted punishment" issued by the MLB will cost him tens of millions of dollars in salary and prevent him from earning millions more.
He says the suspension had a "deleterious effect" on his image and business. Specifically, he says his appearance in the upcoming animated movie "Henry & Me" about Yankees history was cut.
He also says the MLB "harassed, intimidated and pressured" others in its investigation, including the owner of a "rejuvenation center" in Boca Raton and the owner of a tanning salon who was run off the road after refusing an offer of $200,000 to cooperate with the MLB's investigation.
A former University of Miami ballplayer, Marcelo Albir, and his family were allegedly approached by MLB officials posing as authorities and seeking access to their residences.
Rodriguez says he has lost at least two sponsors - Nike and Toyota - based on MLB's alleged conduct.
He seeks unspecified damages for interference.
He is represented by Jordan Siev with Reed Smith LLP.