Wednesday, November 20, 2013

A-Rod storms out of suspension hearing, calls process a 'farce'

Angry at what he considered the “absurdity and injustice” of the appeals process for his 211-game suspension, New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez stormed out of the grievance hearing on Wednesday and referred to the process as a “farce.”

The maneuver that set Rodriguez off, according to ESPN, was the decision of independent arbitrator Fredric Horowitz to not call Commissioner Bud Selig to testify in the hearing. The hearing had resumed on Monday after a month-long recess.

A person familiar with the session said that after Horowitz made his ruling, the New York Yankees third baseman slammed a table, uttered a profanity at MLB Chief Operating Officer Rob Manfred and left. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because what takes place at the hearing is supposed to be confidential.

After walking out, Rodriguez issued this statement through his spokesman:

"I am disgusted with this abusive process, designed to ensure that the player fails,” he said. “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.

"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."

The Yankees are desperate for a resolution in the hearing, which will decide the validity of Rodriguez's suspension for his role in the Biogenesis scandal. A resolution was expected to come by December.

Where it goes now is anyone's guess.

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