Tuesday, October 1, 2013

A-Rod supporters protest 211-game suspension outside MLB offices

Alex Rodriguez may be a pariah in almost every ball park in America after his involvement with the Biogenesis doping scandal became public — including at Yankee Stadium — but he had plenty of fans showing support outside the Manhattan offices of the commissioner of baseball during the first day his arbitration hearing Monday.

The beleaguered A-Rod has found some support in the baseball doping scandal from Hispanics Across America, whose members can be seen waving Dominican flags and sporting No. 13 T-shirts outside the league's Park Avenue offices.

Rodriguez, who is fighting a 211-game suspension handed down by Commissioner Bud Selig for allegedly violating the game's collectively bargained drug policy in an arbitration hearing this week, greeted a large group of supporters waving signs and Dominican flags as he arrived for the hearing Monday. And Tuesday he will be supported by HAA, which says it plans to send a message to Selig, arbitrator Fredric Horowitz and even Yankee President Randy Levine that they are responsible for what the group describes as an unfair suspension.

According to the group's press release, protests will continue through the week with a possible 24-hour vigil in front of the MLB's headquarters from Thursday into Friday.

"We want the arbitrators, MLB and the NY Yankees to hear us loud and clear. We are the fans, we are the people," HAA president Fernando Mateo said.

"The punishment does not fit the crime, said Mateo —who was hospitalized after an altercation with a security guard Tuesday morning. "A-Rod is innocent. If A-Rod is found guilty by association a 50-game suspension like every 1st time offender would be fair."

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