‘Disgusted’ Alex Rodriguez leaves hearing, says he’s done with ‘farce’
NEW YORK (CNN) — New York Yankees player Alex Rodriguez on Wednesday walked out of an arbitration hearing into his record-setting 211-game suspension after learning Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig would not testify, saying later that he’s done with what he called a “farce” and an “abusive process.”
After arbitrator Fred Horowitz made the decision on Selig, Rodriguez slammed his hand on a desk, looked at MLB Chief Operating Officer Rob Manfred and then at Horowitz, and cursed, a source who was in the room in New York told CNN.
The Yankees third baseman then walked out, according to the source.
Rodriguez is appealing his suspension, which MLB levied after accusing him of taking performance-enhancing drugs and having ties to the now-shuttered Biogenesis clinic.
After leaving the hearing, Rodriguez released a statement saying he was “disgusted with this abusive process, designed to ensure that the player fails.”
“I have sat through 10 days of testimony by felons and liars, sitting quietly through every minute, trying to respect the league and the process,” Rodriguez said. “This morning after Bud Selig refused to come in and testify about his rationale for the unprecedented and totally baseless punishment he hit me with, the arbitrator selected by MLB and the players’ association refused to order Selig to come in and face me.
“The absurdity and injustice just became too much. I walked out and will not participate any further in this farce.”
A spokesman for Major League Baseball told CNN that the league will continue to take part.
“Despite Mr. Rodriguez being upset with one of the arbitration panel’s rulings today, Major League Baseball remains committed to this process and to a fair resolution of the pending dispute,” Pat Courtney said.
The suspension involves Biogenesis, the former anti-aging clinic in South Florida that MLB says supplied steroids to at least a dozen baseball players.
Rodriguez was one of 14 players suspended in connection with the Biogenesis scandal and is the only one who appealed his suspension. Though he was suspended in August, Rodriguez played out the 2013 season because he appealed.
Rodriguez, 38, is fifth on MLB’s list of all-time home run leaders, just six runs behind Willie Mays. He would make $25 million in 2014, if his suspension is overturned. If his suspension is upheld, he won’t be eligible to return until 49 games into the 2015 season.
By Jason Carroll
CNN’s Jason Hanna contributed to this report.