Alex Rodriguez has issued a statement about his ongoing appeal and the evidence against MLB's investigation his legal team has compiled.
"I am deeply troubled by my team's investigative findings with respect to MLB's conduct," Rodriguez said in a statement released through his spokesman. "How can the gross, ongoing misconduct of the MLB investigations division not be relevant to my suspension, when my suspension supposedly results directly from that division's work?
"It is sad that Commissioner Selig once again is turning a blind eye, knowing that crimes are being committed under his regime. I have 100% faith in my legal team. To be sure, this fight is necessary to protect me, but it also serves the interests of the next 18-year-old coming into the league, to be sure he doesn't step into the house of horrors that I am being forced to walk through."
This statement is a response to Bud Selig's comments during the World Series about him standing behind his investigation team. A-Rod's spokesman, Ron Berkowitz, says that Rodriguez wanted to wait until after the Series had ended to respond. That's definitely something new from him!
MLB COO Rob Manfred responded with a statement of his own:
"This latest, sad chapter in Mr. Rodriguez's tarnished career is yet another example of this player trying to avoid taking responsibility for his poor choices. Given the disappointing acts that Mr. Rodriguez has repeatedly made throughout his career, his expressed concern for young people rings very hollow. Mr. Rodriguez's use of PEDs was longer and more pervasive than any other player, and when this process is complete, the facts will prove that it is Mr. Rodriguez and his representatives who have engaged in ongoing, gross misconduct."
A-Rod's Lawyer Joe Tacopina has now issued another statement:
Alex did not use PEDs and Rob Manfred knows it. The fact that Manfred has committed so zealously to prosecuting Alex for offenses he knows he did not commit is why he persistently attacks Alex's character with baseless, cowardly allegations.
"With today's statements, Manfred clearly has hit a new level of desperation. He knows what his sworn testimony was on the subject of his and Commissioner Selig's approach to PEDs being dealt to children, and MLB's willingness to turn a blind eye to such criminal misconduct in support of its quest to get Alex. He knows he cannot run from his testimony forever. It will follow him the rest of his career -- however long that may be -- and he knows it is indefensible. Once it inevitably becomes public through other legal proceedings, he will have to answer for that.
"Rob Manfred has gone so far over the line with his latest slanderous attack against Alex (which presumably was approved by Commissioner Selig) that we demand the other two arbitration panel members immediately remove Manfred from the panel hearing Alex's appeal. Indeed, we do not see how he can continue to hold any position of responsibility within Major League Baseball. But we will leave that to the conscience and judgment of the owners within the league.
"Mr. Tacopina's latest rant is so delusional it doesn't warrant a response," the statement said. "The fact that Mr. Tacopina has now asked for two of the three panel members to be recused tells you everything you need to know."