New York Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez is reportedly pulling out all the stops to defend himself against the 211-game suspension he was given by Major League Baseball. According to the NY Post’s Page Six, A-Rod has hired top New York criminal defense lawyer Joe Tacopina to head up his legal team.
Tacopina is known for successfully defending clients in a number of high-profile cases including ex-NYPD officer Kenneth Moreno, who was acquitted of charges that he raped a drunk woman in her apartment, and former New York State Senator Hiram Monserrate, who plead guilty to using $100,000 that was intended for a nonprofit company to help his campaign.
“Joe is a fighter, and that is what Alex needs right now,” a source reportedly told the NY Post. “He has been brought on to reinforce the trial team, there’s a possibility this could go all the way to federal court. Joe is known for putting the hammer down, he’s going to take on the Yankees and take on MLB.”
The Yankees recently fined A-Rod $150,000 for seeking a second opinion on his hamstring without consulting them first, and a source said Tacopina believes that was an attempt to “break his spirit.” New York obviously wants out of Rodriguez’s contract, although there would be nothing they can do about it unless he is suspended for a long period of time. Even still, they would have to pay him when he returned or release him and pay his entire salary.
Given that MLB claims it has evidence against A-Rod proving that he interfered with their investigation, he could face federal charges. Having an experienced defense attorney like Tacopina on his side would be beneficial if that should happen.