Alex Rodriguez is stepping up to the plate — with a lawsuit against Major League Baseball.
The New York Yankees slugger — who’s currently fighting a 211-game suspension, claiming that the organization, and MLB commissioner Bud Selig, of engaging 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 Players of all time.”
The complaint, filed in New York Supreme Court on Wednesday, alleges a flurry of alleged violations, stemming from MLB’s investigation of Florida clinic Biogenesis of America, which has been accused of supplying pro ball players with performance-enhancing substances. Rodriquez claims that Major League Baseball has used its investigation into Biogenesis to gain information on him, in violation of the collective-bargaining agreements in place for the players.
“From the start of their investigation, Defendants have engaged in vigilante justice,” the suit reads. “They have ignored the procedures set forth in baseball’s collectively bargained labor agreements; violated the strict confidentiality imposed by these agreements; paid individuals millions of dollars and made promises of future employment to individuals in order to get them to produce documents on MLB’s behalf; bullied and intimidated those individuals who refused to cooperate with their witch hunt; and singled out Plaintiff for an unprecedented 211-game suspension.”
The suit also claims that the MLB has “sought to subpoena documents from his former attorneys, and his former public relations firm, solely for use against him in the upcoming arbitration to resolve the appeal of MLB’s suspension.”
The MLB’s alleged actions run contrary to the terms of the Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program entered into by the players’ union and MLB, which has confidentiality rules in place regarding investigations, testing and disciplinary actions.
The MLB, meanwhile, claims that Rodriguez’s suit is in itself a violation of the agreement between the organization and the players’ association, calling it a “desperate attempt” to sidestep the rules of the collective bargaining agreement.
“For the more than four decades that we have had a collective bargaining relationship with the Major League Baseball Players Association, every player and club dispute has gone through the jointly agreed upon grievance process,” the MLB said in a statement Friday. “This lawsuit is a clear violation of the confidentiality provisions of our drug program, and it is nothing more than a desperate attempt to circumvent the Collective Bargaining Agreement.”
Rodriguez is seeking unspecified damages.
In other baseball-lawsuit news, Angels star Albert Pujols filed his own lawsuit on Wednesday, this one against radio talk-show host Jack Clark. In his suit, filed in circuit court in St Louis, Missouri, Pujols claims that Clark falsely accused him of taking performance-enhancing drugs on his “The King and the Ripper” show.
Pujols’s suit alleges that, on the inaugural episode of “The King and the Ripper,” Clark called Pujols “a juicer” who used steroids and performance-enhancing drugs — claims that Pujols denies.
Pujols is also seeking unspecified damages, along with a declaration that Clark’s statements were false.
Pamela Chelin contributed to this report.