Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez and Major League Baseball have been presenting their cases before arbitrator Fredric Horowitz in New York to determine whether A-Rod's 211-game suspension will stand. Rodriguez was of course disciplined by MLB for his alleged role in the Biogenesis/PED scandal, and Rodriguez has mounted a vigorous appeal.
As a sideshow to all of that, A-Rod and MLB on Thursday stepped up the "war of words" in a big way. First, here, from the AP, is what A-Rod had to say in a statement regarding MLB's aggressive tactics during the investigation and in the wake of his lawsuit against MLB:
"I am deeply troubled by my team's investigative findings with respect to MLB's conduct. 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 percent 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."
OK. That's ... pointed, to say the least. Needless to say, MLB fired off a response, in this instance from the pen of COO Rob Manfred:
"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."
Mr. Manfred's rejoinder is a example of what's called "emptying both barrels."
You can expect this kind of thing to continue until this matter is resolved, and even that probably won't put an end to the sniping. .