And the Lawyers Profited Mightily…
Alex Rodriguez, with his usual sense of timing and self-absorption, has now brought the first of what may be many lawsuits against MLB and those associated with MLB. This lawsuit alleges that MLB has tortiously interfered with his contract with the Yankees by buying evidence, paying Tony Bosch to testify against him and a litany of other improper conduct in order to frame ARod for steroid use.
Three high-priced law firms were involved in the production of the complaint filed New York State court. It’s unlikely, however, that any court will go forward with the lawsuit until the current labor arbitration runs its course and the arbitrator has rendered a final written decision. In fact, the court may well dismiss the lawsuit as preempted by the MLB collective bargaining agreement (CBA) which makes binding arbitration the sole remedy for alleged breaches of the CBA.
It is also reported that ARod will be filing a separate lawsuit against the Yankees’ team doctor Chris Ahmad in connection with the diagnosis on Rodriguez’s late 2012 hip injury.
Assuming that Rodriguez’s newly filed lawsuit does go forward, it almost certainly opens the door for MLB to obtain Rodriguez’s medical records from Dr. Anthony Galea, the Canadian sports doctor who has been known to prescribe athletes human growth hormone.
What exactly ARod and his legal team hope to accomplish with a flurry of lawsuits remains unclear. To me, it smacks of desperation and ARod’s profound penchant for denial. He seems determined to do everything possible to drag out resolution as long as possible and make it as expensive and difficult as possible for MLB to discipline him. There may be a hope that by doing so, it will be easier for ARod to cut a deal that calls for only a 50 or 65 game suspension before the arbitrator issues a final ruling.
The only thing I can be certain about, however, is how much money the lawyers on both sides will be making. One gets the impression that ARod’s fears of losing the remaining $86 million or so on his contract are such that he’ll spend just about any amount in legal fees to protect it. There’s no doubt in my mind that for the next year or so, ARod’s lawyers will bill, bill and bill some more.