Saturday, December 14, 2013

Arod in Dominican for David Ortiz Golf Classic receives word of judicial ruling in his favor

12/13/13, "Enjoying the motherland," Arod twitter pic from the Dominican Republic

12/13/13, "A-Rod thrilled by federal judge’s ruling,"  NY Post, Rich Calder

"Alex Rodriguez scored big in court on Friday when a federal judge dealt a huge blow to the 211-game doping suspension Major League Baseball hopes to slap on the embattled Yankees slugger.

Manhattan federal Judge Edgardo Ramos sided with A-Rod’s former PR maven, Michael Sitrick, granting him a stay. That stay gets “The Wizard of Spin” out of complying with the judge’s Nov. 22 order to honor an MLB subpoena and appear before the independent arbitrator who will determine the ban while Sitrick appeals the ruling to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals.

Ramos also vehemently rejected an MLB request to hold Sitrick in contempt of court and slap him with daily fines for wanting to appeal the order, which also requires the PR maven to turn over documents the league believes Rodriguez took from Anthony Bosch, owner of the now-shuttered Florida anti-aging clinic Biogenesis and baseball’s star witness in the appeal hearing.

“It would be unseemly and unruly to hold him in contempt while he pursues his public right to appeal,” Ramos said of Sitrick.

I read the ruling and I think the judge got it right,” Rodriguez told The Post’s Kevin Kernan Friday from David Ortiz’s charity golf tournament in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic.

“I’m optimistic,” Rodriguez later told reporters. “It’s been a very tough several months, a very tough year, but I’m optimistic that a decision will come soon and we can get it behind us and take all this stuff off the back pages and focus on playing baseball and all the great things that are happening with the game, make the decision, whatever happens, let’s move forward.’’

MLB badly wants Sitrick’s cooperation, because he could help confirm the league’s allegation Rodriguez obstructed baseball’s investigation into Biogenesis. The league asserted Sitrick or an underling leaked Biogenesis information about the Yankees’ Francisco Cervelli and the Brewers’ Ryan Braun to Yahoo! Sports, in an attempt to divert attention from Rodriguez.

The judge’s ruling is a huge blow to MLB’s case against Rodriguez because it’s unlikely the Second Circuit Court of Appeals would rule on the matter before the independent arbitrator, Fredric Horowitz, decides on the suspension as expected in early-to-mid January. In theory, the federal appeals panel could expedite the process, although such a move is rare.

But when asked afterward if he thought it would be difficult for the arbitrator to uphold the full suspension if Sitrick never testifies, MLB lawyer Howard Ganz told The Post, “I would not think so.”
Sitrick has argued since he lives in Los Angeles and primarily works in Southern California, he shouldn’t have to comply with a subpoena served at his satellite office in Times Square.

His lawyer, Gayle Klein, said Sitrick is vehemently objecting to testifying because it would cause him “irreparable harm” by setting a precedent of forcing him to fly thousands of miles from his California home to New York for future legal matters.

Ganz said the league twice asked Sitrick to sign sworn affidavits stating neither he nor his employees had the Biogenesis documents — rather than have him appear in person before the arbitrator — but were snubbed.

“We believe the documents are of considerable importance … and were leaked by Mr. Rodriguez or someone on his behalf to [hurt] the [MLB] commissioner’s investigation,” Ganz said.

Ganz also said the league initially thought it would have more time to deal with the matter, but was floored when Rodriguez’s lawyers moved to close the case after presenting two witnesses to the arbitrator, when they had initially promised to call “15 to 20 witnesses.”

“The [arbitration] hearing ended a lot earlier that we thought it would” on Nov. 21, he said, adding the league hopes to reopen the case to take Sitrick’s remarks.

The arbitration hearing ended a day after an irate Rodriguez bolted from the session because the arbitrator ruled MLB commissioner Bud Selig did not have to testify.

Sitrick has claimed he never leaked the documents, but has never responded to questions about whether his staffers did.

Rodriguez also has denied leaking Biogenesis documents and said he reached out to his teammate, Cervelli, to personally discuss the allegations."


12/14/13, "Baseball’s battle with A-Rod trumped Florida law," Miami Herald, Fred Grimm, opinion, via Arod twitter

"Not that we don’t relish the prospect of overpaid jocks getting their comeuppance, but there’s a small problem with trafficking in stolen property. It’s stolen.

Florida law’s not fuzzy about the legality of "dealing in stolen property." A state statute puts it bluntly. "Any person who traffics in, or endeavors to traffic in, property that he or she knows or should know was stolen shall be guilty of a felony of the second degree."

The legislature, in writing the statute, failed to include an exception for Major League Baseball. No worries. It has become apparent, as this latest baseball doping scandal unfolded, that MLB investigators are allowed to operate beyond legal restraints that hamper less exalted elements of society."...


12/12/13, "Alex gives boost "Classic David Ortiz"," El Nacional

"The baseball star Alex Rodriguez arrived Wednesday to Dominican Republic to participate in Saturday's Celebrity Golf Classic "David Ortiz."
Rodriguez said he came to give a boost to his friend and brother David Ortiz, in recognition of the contributions made by the Boston slugger with such noble causes such as raising funds for children suffering from heart problems.
He said he brought the country to friends who participate in the event to help with the event as well as the third baseman Baltimore Orioles Manny Machado fellow."...google translation from Spanish

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