60 Minutes is reporting this morning that Alex Rodriguez may have done quiet possibly the most Alex Rodriguez thing ever to cover his own ass. The report indicates that in the weeks after Miami New Times broke the Biogenesis story, Alex Rodriguez's inner circle obtained and leaked documents that implicated fellow MLB players, including teammate catcher Francisco Cervelli, in the Biogenesis scandal.
Rodriguez's camp also leaked Ryan Braun's mention in the clinic's documents Yahoo! Sports, 60 Minutes says.
A-Rod's lawyer released a statement to 60 Minutes that in part says: "The allegations are untrue and are another attempt to harm Alex -- this time by driving a wedge between Alex and other players in the game. While Alex focuses on baseball and repeatedly states that he is going to respect the appeal process, the drumbeat of false allegations continues."
It's worth noting that back in June, when New Times told the full backstory of Porter Fischer, the whistleblower who exposed the clinic, we reported on Fischer's allegations that A-Rod's camp had ended up with some of the documents. Here's how Fischer tells that story:
The way Fischer tells it, the frantic phone call came January 26, the Saturday before New Times' story about Biogenesis was scheduled to land. Fischer had told only a few people he'd been speaking to a reporter, including a friend whom Fischer requested New Times not identify. Rumors were running wild. After New Times had called every player named in the records for comment that Friday, someone leaked details of the coming bombshell to the New York Daily News and the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.
The friend sounded panicked.
Here's how Fischer remembers the call: "Porter!" he hollered. "I need to come over to your place now!"
Fischer was rattled. He checked his .32 Beretta and armed the alarm on his front door. Then he gave his friend his home address. That would be the first of several mistakes he made in the manic months that followed New Times' story on Biogenesis. Fischer would soon find himself burned by his friends, by Major League Baseball, and finally by state investigators.
The first betrayal came from that friend, who showed up around midnight, panting nervously with a simple message: "[One of Bosch's associates] will kill both of us..." he claimed, unless the story was softened.
Fischer began to panic. "What can I do?" he asked. "I just want this to blow over now."
"Let me see the notebooks," the friend allegedly said.
Fischer thought for a minute. Then he went to the closet, grabbed the four handwritten notebooks in which Tony Bosch had kept daily records of his patients, and handed them over. His friend quickly announced he could get them back to Bosch, Fischer says, no questions asked.
As far as Fischer was concerned, that was fine -- he had copies of everything and knew New Times' story would come out soon. "The whole situation was crazy, and I was panicking," Fischer says. "I figured, I already did the damage. What did I need the originals for anymore?"
On Sunday, two days before the story went online, Fischer visited his friend at his business. The friend handed over an envelope with $4,000 in hundreds, Fischer says. "See, I got you your money back from Tony," he said, smiling.
"So you gave him the notebooks back, huh?" Fischer said.
"Oh, no, I told him they were destroyed," the friend said.
Fischer's stomach dropped. "So what did you actually do with them?"
"I gave 'em to A-Rod's people," his friend said, chuckling.
These new allegations against Alex Rodriguez could negatively impact his appeal process as MLB has repeatedly stated A-Rod would receive a harsher penalty due to his attempts to "obstruct and frustrate" MLB's investigation into PED use. Rodriguez's appeal is set to be heard by arbitrator Fredric Horowitz within the next month, and seeing that MLB's collective bargaining agreement clearly states that any allegations of PED use are to first be dealt with privately before either the commissioner's office or the Players Association makes any names public, this could represent a clear violation of said clause.
Alex Rodriguez is facing a 211-game ban, one that he is appealing, and is firmly backed by MLB Players Association head Michael Weiner, recently saying: "We feel what he (MLB Commissioner Bud Selig) did, frankly, was inappropriate and almost ridiculous," he said in an interview earlier this month. "Look at the penalties that have been [given] out and cases that have been decided by the commissioner's office along with the Players Association. Nothing comes close to 211 games."
While it's not exactly clear what what end game Alex Rodriguez may had in mind if in fact he did ordering the leaked documents released, it won't really matter in the end if the reports turn out to be true -- it will spell even more trouble, and bring even more shame, to the Yankees multi-million dollar slugger.
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