On Thursday Rob Manfred to the witness stand in order to defend MLB's investigation into Biogenesis. Manfred ended up admitting that he authorized the payment of $125,000 to come into possession of documents from the anti-aging clinic. This could add some legitimacy to Alex Rodriguez's claim that money was handed over in a duffle bag at a restaurant in order to secure evidence, and if that is factual, what else from his lawsuit with MLB, no matter how outlandish it may seem, is actually true?
A source familiar with the proceedings said Manfred admitted to Rodriguez's attorney Joseph Tacopina, during cross-examination, that a member of MLB's investigative team made two cash payments - one for $100,000 and a second for $25,000 - to Gary Jones, a former Biogenesis employee, for the information. The documents turned out to be stolen from Biogenesis founder (and now MLB's star witness) Tony Bosch, though Manfred testified he did not know that at the time.
A source claims that A-Rod's side also testified to paying $305,000 for Biogenesis evidence, seemingly proving MLB's allegations of the star third baseman obstructing an ongoing investigation. Another source said that Rodriguez acquired copies of the Biogenesis documents only recently and did not pay for them. This is what was said in the hearing, so there might have been some confusion on someone's part if his legal team had a copy of the evidence against their client instead of A-Rod purchasing the documents under the table in order to destroy them.
At this point it's hard to say anything definitively about who did what. Hopefully a more reliable source can give us a better understanding of what actually happened in the courtroom – Did a major discovery take place, or was this just some legal procedure take out of context.
If Alex Rodriguez did indeed try to buy evidence, it could seriously damage his case against a 211-game suspension. That is if you're ok with MLB paying for evidence themselves. Was this all part of their investigation, which is their right to do, or are they just being hypocritical?
With the end of this week, the hearing will not pick up again until the week of November 18. It is widely believed that it could take up to 25 days after the final hearing for arbitrator Frederic Horowitz to make a decision, meaning that the Yankees might not know the fate of their third baseman until after the winter meetings in early December.