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Alex Rodriguez hires top criminal defense lawyer Joe Tacopina

Alex Rodriguez YankeesNew 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.”

[Related: A-Rod reportedly secretively got products from founder of BALCO]

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.

Chicago Cubs fighting to put a stop to unauthorized ‘Billy Cub’ mascot

Billy-CubIf you asked Chicago Cubs fans who the team’s official mascot is, some of them would tell you it is “Billy Cub.” Since 2007, John Paul Weier has been climbing into his bear suit and interacting with fans outside Wrigley Field on game day. Now, the Cubs want him to go away.

Weier NBC 5 Chicago on Thursday that he recently received a 120-page cease and desist letter from Major League Baseball claiming he has been infringing on trademarks. The letter ordered him to stop engaging in “unabated Mascot Activities” and claimed that one of the Billys (Weier has recruited others to wear the costume) has been racially abusive toward fans.

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Paparazzi photographer wants to press charges against Lamar Odom

Lamar Odom paparazziOne of the Paparazzi photographers involved in Lamar Odom’s meltdown this week plans to press charges against the NBA player.

TMZ reports that one of the photographers has retained an attorney and wants to see Odom go down. Odom went off on some photographers in Hollywood on Wednesday, removing photography equipment out of one’s car and destroying it in the street, and smashing another photographer’s car with a pole. He reportedly was set off by questions about him allegedly cheating on wife Khloe Kardashian.

TMZ says detectives are investigating the incident and that the case will likely go to the city attorney’s office for criminal prosecution.

Odom will likely have to pay major bucks in damages for the incident, so we have to ask whether or not it was worth it. Dude probably could have bought a stress ball or punching bag and got out his frustration for a few bucks rather than the six figures in damages he’ll probably end up paying.

Alleged attack victim suing Scottie Pippen for $4 million

Scottie PippenScottie Pippen was accused of assaulting a man outside a restaurant in Malibu and sending him to the hospital last month, but the former Chicago Bulls star was not arrested. A story later came out claiming that Pippen acted in self-defense and was being harassed by the alleged victim while he was eating dinner with friends and family. Now, the victim is suing Pippen.

Attorneys for 49-year-old Camran Shafighi filed a $4 million lawsuit against Pippen on Thursday claiming he suffers from headaches, nausea, difficulty breathing and other medical issues stemming from Pippen’s alleged attack on him.

“This has been pretty devastating to him,” Shafighi’s lawyer Lee Boyd told the LA times on Thursday. “This was not the result of some drunken barroom brawl. This is a guy who wanted to take a picture with a cellphone.”

Boyd claims Shafighi simply requested a photo with Pippen for his girlfriend’s 12-year-old son when he was knocked to the ground with a single punch and kicked while he was unconscious.

Police continue to investigate the alleged assault. Pippen was sought out for a possible arrest shortly after the incident occurred, but he voluntarily spoke with investigators who decided an arrest was not warranted. A spokesman for the sheriff’s office said witnesses told police the other man involved in the altercation with Pippen appeared to be intoxicated.

Even if Shafighi wins the lawsuit, $4 million might be aiming a bit high. Pippen works as a special advisor to the Bulls’ president and chief operating officer, but he is not as wealthy as you would expect a six-time NBA champion to be. He was reportedly in a ton of debt several years ago when he was flirting with the idea of an NBA comeback, so I doubt Pippen has millions of dollars lying around to shell out in a settlement.

Items taken from Aaron Hernandez’s home include gun shot residue kit, scale

Aaron HernandezAs expected, authorities released to the public on Tuesday the search warrants and affidavits connected to the Aaron Hernandez murder investigation. The information was made public following a motion filed by several media outlets, including the Associated Press.

Included in the new information was a list of items police seized from Hernandez’s North Attleboro home during their multiple searches of the residence. The Boston Globe’s Wesley Lowery shared two photos of the lists of things police took on June 18 and June 22. During the first search, the day after Odin Lloyd was killed, investigators focused strictly on electronics.

Aaron-Hernandez-items-list-1

When police returned four days later, a much wider variety of items was taken from the home. Among them was a allegedly a gunshot residue kit, which is used to determine if an individual was involved in the discharge of a firearm.

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Search warrant for Aaron Hernandez’s apartment cited cocaine

Carlos-OrtizCarlos Ortiz, the 27-year-old associate who admitted he was with Aaron Hernandez the night Odin Lloyd was shot, is starting to sound like a valuable witness who has been cooperating with police as they continue to investigate the murder. In fact, a report from The Sun Chronicle on Wednesday morning revealed that Ortiz was interviewed by police on June 25th — the day before Hernandez was arrested.

Ortiz provided police with key information about Hernandez’s apartment in Franklin, Mass., where several pieces of evidence were seized during a search this week. One of them was reportedly a white sweatshirt that Hernandez may have been wearing the night of the murder. Ortiz claimed he left a cell phone at the apartment the night of the shooting, which officers believe they found during the search.

In addition to informing police about the apartment and his forgotten cell phone, Ortiz may have mentioned something about drugs. The Boston Herald obtained a copy of the documents relating to the search of the so-called “flop house,” and the warrant contains references to cocaine.

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Milton Bradley sentenced to nearly 3 years in jail for spousal abuse

Milton BradleyMilton Bradley was sentenced on Tuesday to nearly three years in jail for abusing his wife five times between 2011 and 2012.

Bradley was released by the Seattle Mariners in May 2011 and arrested later that year for allegedly swinging a bat at his wife. She obtained a restraining order against him after he also threatened her with a gun.

Bradley was convicted in June on nine misdemeanor charges and faced over seven years in prison. He was found guilty of:

    - four counts of spousal battery
    – two counts of criminal threats
    – one count of assault with a deadly weapon
    – one count of vandalism
    – one count of brandishing a deadly weapon

Bradley’s sentence calls for 960 days in jail (32 months), 400 hours of community service and five years of probation. Bradley also has to take an anger management class and complete a year of domestic violence counseling.

The former MLB player is going through a divorce with his wife of five years, with whom he has two children. The Associated Press says Bradley is appealing his sentence and currently free on $250,000 bond. He is due back in court next month.

According to the LA Daily News’ Susan Abram, Bradley said in a statement to the court that he’s never harmed anyone, but admits he has anger issues. He told reporters after his sentence that he has a lot of respect for the judge and courts.

Here’s a photo of Bradley outside the Van Nuys courthouse.