America’s favorite pastime has a seamy underbelly, Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez claims in a bombshell new lawsuit against Major League Baseball and its longtime Commissioner Allan “Bud” Selig.
Baseball officials have employed mob-like tactics to take down the faded All-Star who’s facing doping allegations, including one investigator exchanging a bag stuffed with $150,000 cash for stolen records, according to the Manhattan Supreme Court suit filed today.
Just hours after filing the Manhattan complaint, Rodriguez targeted Yankees doctor Christopher Ahmad and New York Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center in a Bronx lawsuit, claiming the physician misdiagnosed a hip injury in October 2012.
The second suit alleges that Dr. Ahmad missed a “superior labral tear at the left hip” after giving A-Rod an MRI when he was suffering from hip pain.
The botched exam “allowed [A-Rod] to further injure himself” and subjected him to additional surgeries, the suit says.
The Manhattan complaint goes on to allege that the commission made a devil’s pact with the head of a clinic who was accused of giving drugs to underage athletes — paying the Florida man $5 million to nail A-Rod while promising to drop legal claims against him.
The suit accuses the MLB of conspiring with Anthony Bosch, owner of Coral Gables-based anti-aging clinic Biogenesis.
It says baseball officials bribed Bosch with $5 million “to buy his cooperation” in their takedown of A-Rod. Bosch is under criminal investigation for dispensing performance enhancing drugs to minors.
“MLB’s ethically challenged behavior seemingly reached rock bottom in their negotiations with Anthony Bosch,” the suit says.
Dozens of players including Rodriguez, 38, are allegedly connected to the clinic.
A spokesman for Bosch denied the allegations.
“He hasn’t been paid $5, let along $5 million,” the spokesman said.
MLB, during its “scorched earth investigation” into the doping allegations, has “engaged in vigilante justice,” according to the court documents, by bullying and intimidating “those individuals who refused to cooperate with their witch hunt.”
Selig’s investigators allegedly offered former Biogenesis employee Porter Fischer $125,000 for client files.
When Fischer refused the offer, an MLB employee named Dan Mullin allegedly bought the “stolen documents for $150,000 cash, which was handed off in a bag at a Fort Lauderdale, Fl. area restaurant,” according to the court papers.
“Mr. Mullin’s actions should come as no surprise as – despite his role as an investigator for the MLB in this matter – he engaged in an inappropriate sexual relationship with a witness whom he himself interviewed about the Biogenesis matter.”
MLB also allegedly intimidated the owner of a tanning salon.
Investigators had offered Peter Carbone $200,000 to cooperate and when he refused, “they harassed and persecuted him, including by impersonating police officers and forcing his car to the side of the road,” the suit says.
The court papers claim that A-Rod has become a sacrificial lamb in Selig’s dirty campaign to save his own tarnished reputation.
“Taking down Mr. Rodriguez would vividly demonstrate that Commissioner Selig had learned from the errors of his previous explicit or tacit tolerance of steroid use,” the suit charges.
Selig, MLB’s top dog since 1992, was dubbed the Steroids Commissioner in the media when special investigator former Sen. George Mitchell revealed rampant juicing within the sport.
Rodriguez was suspended in August for his alleged use of performance enhancing drugs. The 211-game suspension is the longest non-permanent ban in baseball history. He was able to finish the season pending an appeal of the penalty.
The Yankees are not a named defendant in the suit. But Rodriguez says MLB’s witch hunt has “interfered with his contract” and caused him to “lose tens of millions of dollars in salary based on a faulty and prohibited investigation.”
The sullied slugger has already lost endorsements with Nike and Toyota.
A-Rod is asking for unspecified damages and attorney fees. He’s repped by celebrity attorney Joe Tacopina.
“My legal team is doing what they need to in order to vindicate me and pursue all of my rights,” Rodriguez said in a statement.
He called the suit, “entirely separate from the ongoing arbitration,” over his suspension.
MLB hit back at A-Rod’s accusations, calling the suit “desperate.”
“While we vehemently deny the allegations in the complaint, none of those allegations is relevant to the real issue: whether Mr. Rodriguez violated the Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program by using and possessing numerous forms of prohibited performance-enhancing substances, including testosterone and human growth hormone,” the statement says.
The commission is also investigating whether A-Rod covered- up the violations “by engaging in a course of conduct intended to obstruct and frustrate the Office of Commissioner’s investigation.”
In his suit, Rodriguez does not deny using the substances.