Yankees president Randy Levine to Alex Rodriguez: ‘Put up or shut up’

Alex RodriguezNew York Yankees president Randy Levine has fired back at Alex Rodriguez in response to strong accusations from A-Rod’s lawyer that claimed the team tried to sabotage the slugger by keeping medical records away from him. Levine’s message was short and simple.

“Alex should put up or shut up,” he told ESPNNewYork.com on Saturday afternoon.

By that, Levine is challenging A-Rod’s lawyer Joe Tacopina to release medical records that support the claim that the Yankees lied to Rodriguez. Tacopina even alleged that Levine told the doctor who was about to perform hip surgery on A-Rod that he never wants to see the 38-year-old on the field again.

“We will put up, mark my words, we will put up,” Tacopina said in response to Levine’s challenge. “[Levine] is always a very big talker, but he is going to be humbled eventually. He is acting in a way that if his bosses and superiors and the Steinbrenner family have any sense of decency, if they are true to what the Yankees’ heritage is, they would be appalled with how their president is acting. We will put up.”

With Rodriguez’s permission, Levine said he is prepared to release medical records dating back to A-Rod’s first hip surgery in 2009 to prove that Tacopina’s assertion is untrue.

“That’s nonsense,” Levine said. “You can’t even respond to a thing like that. “If he really believes that, he should file a grievance for the release of all his medical records. We’re willing to release all of them. All he has to do is say yes and we’ll release them all for everyone to see.”

Levine also said that A-Rod should release records from the treatment he received from his own doctor — which was not authorized by the team — so that everything is out in the open. After New York’s loss to the Boston Red Sox on Saturday, Rodriguez said he would release those records “when the time is right.” Levine also said he is willing to share all of the emails he exchanged with A-Rod to prove he has been one of his biggest supporters.

“It’s quite surprising that now Alex needs a new layer to put out reckless, specious and false allegations that only distract from the only relevant question here, the one he refuses to answer: Did he or did he not use performance-enhancing drugs?” Levine added.

Meanwhile, Rodriguez continues to be inserted into the Yankees’ lineup with a goal of helping the team win. While he does that, New York’s front office is at war with his lawyers. I can only imagine how the rest of the Yankees feel about the never-ending soap opera.

Report: Alex Rodriguez leaked info implicating Ryan Braun, Francisco Cervelli

Alex Rodriguez YankeesJust when we thought the Alex Rodriguez saga could not get any more interesting, a report from “60 Minutes” comes along that indicates A-Rod’s inner circle may be responsible for Ryan Braun and New York Yankees teammate Francisco Cervelli being outed for their involvement with Biogenesis.

Back in January, the Miami New Times published a report that included a spreadsheet which showed Rodriguez and other players’ alleged involvement with performance-enhancing drugs. The hand-written documents came straight from Biogenesis boss Anthony Bosch, but Braun and Cervelli’s names were redacted.

Just days later, Yahoo! Sports followed up with a report that included unredacted versions of the documents. Both Braun and Cervelli were mentioned in the second report. Two sources with “direct knowledge” of the matter reportedly told “60 Minutes” that Rodriguez’s camp leaked the unredacted documents to Yahoo! Sports. A-Rod’s lawyer David Cornwell denied the claim.

“The allegations are untrue and are another attempt to harm Alex — this time by driving a wedge between Alex and other players in the game,” Cornwell said in a statement. “While Alex focuses on baseball and repeatedly states that he is going to respect the appeal process, the drumbeat of false allegations continues.”

[Related: A-Rod says this is the calmest he has felt in his career since Seattle]

Why would A-Rod be so adamant about bringing others down with him? The logical explanation would be that it would take some of the attention off himself, with another superstar like Braun also being tied to Biogenesis. The confusing thing is Rodriguez’s name was listed alongside Braun and other players in the documents, yet he is reportedly fighting to have his entire suspension wiped clean while the other players have accepted their punishment.

The popular belief is that A-Rod was given a longer suspension for interfering with MLB’s investigation. If his camp is found to have leaked documents while the investigation was ongoing, that would not look good for Rodriguez.

H/T Sports Illustrated

John Lackey: Alex Rodriguez should not be playing

John-Lackey-beer-drinking-reports-retardedThe Boston Red Sox are beginning a three-game series against the New York Yankees on Friday night at Fenway Park. John Lackey is scheduled to pitch for Boston on Saturday, but he is not looking forward to facing Alex Rodriguez. It’s not that he fears the Yankees slugger — he just doesn’t think he deserves to be playing in the wake of a 211-game suspension.

“I’ve got a problem with it. You bet I do,” Lackey told the Boston Globe on Thursday, via ESPNBoston.com. “How is he still playing? He obviously did something and he’s playing. I’m not sure that’s right … It’s pretty evident he’s been doing stuff for a lot of years I’ve been facing him.”

Like any other player, A-Rod is entitled to an appeal. He chose not to accept his suspension like the other 12 players who were involved with Biogenesis, which was his right under the current Collective Bargaining Agreement. Players like this Tampa Bay Rays slugger feel that the appeal process should be quicker, which is a legitimate gripe.

Lackey also admitted Rodriguez has been a topic of conversation in the Red Sox clubhouse.

[Related: Former MLB reliever feels cheated by players implicated in Biogenesis]

“Sure, we talk about it,” he said. “But talking to the media about it is a little bit different. People have strong feelings. He took me deep the first time I faced him as a rookie, and he admitted to doing stuff back then. There are a lot of things I want back from him.”

I can see both sides of the argument. You like to stick with the “innocent until proven guilty” thing as much as possible, but Rodriguez is directly affecting the outcome of games as long as he plays. Should he be found guilty and once again outed as a performance-enhancing drug user, plenty of people will feel cheated. The quicker the matter is resolved, the better off everyone will be. Just don’t count on a resolution coming before the end of the season.

Victor Conte: 50 percent of MLB players are using PEDs

Victor-ConteBALCO founder Victor Conte sat down for an interview with Jim Rome on on Wednesday and discussed his relationship with New York Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez. During the segment, Conte confirmed a report from last week that claimed A-Rod contacted him with the help of Bill Romanowski in search of legal products that could help give him an edge.

“In the month previous to his visit I was contacted by Bill Romanowski a couple times and he expressed that Alex would like to meet with me for consultation regarding nutritional supplementation,” Conte told Rome. “They wanted to make sure that nobody was in the building and the coast was clear and so on. It was a little bit bizarre that they didn’t just mosey on in.”

If Rodriguez was indeed searching for legal supplements, it’s strange that he wanted to be that secretive. Then again, BALCO doesn’t exactly have the best reputation with Major League Baseball.

“I told him straight up I said, ‘What is this about?'” Conte said. “He said, ‘Performance enhancement — legal performance enhancement.’ So I was very clear that I have no interest in anything from the dark side.”

When Conte was asked about MLB’s drug program, he described it as “inept.” In fact, he estimated that half of the players in the league use performance-enhancing substances at some point during the calendar year.

“If I define (players using performance-enhancing drugs) as the entire calendar year, including the offseason, I believe it’s about 50%. Listen, performance-enhancing drugs work. I know that.”

That is a much different opinion from that of former Detroit Tiger Robert Fick, who recently admitted to using steroids but said he believes baseball is almost 90% clean. However, Conte may have more first-hand knowledge than someone like Fick. If nothing else, A-Rod’s alleged visit with Conte adds another element of shadiness to his story.

H/T Eye on Baseball

Alex Rodriguez will reportedly sue MLB if suspension is not lifted

Alex Rodriguez YankeesNew York Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez is not going to go down without a fight. If that wasn’t obvious before this week, it should have become so when he hired one of New York’s top criminal defense lawyers to represent him. While the general assumption is that A-Rod wants his suspension reduced, a new report from TMZ indicates it may be more complicated than that.

According to TMZ, Rodriguez wants the whole suspension wiped clean and is prepared to bring the case to federal court if he does not achieve that outcome during the appeal process.

The reason for A-Rod’s bold demand — A-Rod sources familiar with the investigation tell us Alex hasn’t tested positive and never ‘knowingly’ used PEDs since 2003 … the last season he admitted using ‘roids.  Our sources say A-Rod has been drug tested 11 times between 2011 and the present … and all of the results were negative.

Our sources fume it’s ‘absurd’ Ryan Braun — who reportedly tested positive in 2011 and then lied about it — was only benched for the duration of this season.  They say it proves MLB’s investigation of A-Rod and the Biogenesis Clinic has been ‘abusive and borderline illegal.'”

TMZ’s sources also reportedly claim A-Rod is planning to sue Major League Baseball for a number of things, including a violation of baseball’s Collective Bargaining Agreement. Apparently the scorned slugger feels that MLB has no evidence to support its claim that he intentionally impeded their investigation.

In an interview with WFAN on Tuesday, Rodriguez’s lawyer David Cornwell said A-Rod’s camp is challenging MLB’s claim that he used banned substances over “multiple years.”

It is hard to even fathom Bud Selig and MLB “losing” their battle against Rodriguez. That would be an incredible embarrassment for the league and a massive hit to the drug prevention program’s credibility.

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.

Report: Alex Rodriguez secretively got products from Victor Conte

Alex Rodriguez YankeesAlex Rodriguez consulted BALCO founder Victor Conte and secretively purchased legal products from the chemist last year, according to a report.

The New York Daily News says Rodriguez, with the assistance of former NFL linebacker Bill Romanowski, sought out Conte last season and asked for legal products that could help give him an edge.

Conte, who spent time in prison in 2005 for distributing steroids and money laundering, has changed his career path and now says he provides athletes with legal products aimed to give them an edge in competition. He met with MLB last week to discuss his involvement with A-Rod, and he talked with the Daily News about his experience with the New York Yankees third baseman.

Conte says Romanowski, who admitted to using steroids and growth hormone provided by Conte’s BALCO company, tried to put the chemist in touch with A-Rod for a few months last year. Conte did not meet A-Rod until the Yankees player showed up uninvited at his Scientific Nutrition for Advance Conditioning (SNAC) office in San Carlos, Calif., while the Yankees were in town to play the Oakland A’s in May 2012.

A-Rod wanted the meeting to be secretive, so Romanowski checked out the office first to make sure nobody was around to see them.

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