Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez, in an effort to overturn his Biogenesis-related suspension for the 2014 season, has named both MLB and the Players Association -- the union that represents him and all other MLB players -- in a lawsuit filed in federal court, reports the AP.
According to Steve Eder of the New York Times, A-Rod's suit seeks to "vacate" the ruling of arbitrator Frederic Horowitz, who recently reduced the initial suspension from 211 games to 162 games plus the 2014 postseason. Writes Eder:
In the court filing, which named Major League Baseball and the players union, his lawyers sought to vacate his ban for the 2014 season and to hold the players union responsible for its breaches of the duty of fair representation owed to Rodriguez.
The filing accuses Fredric Horowitz, Major League Baseball's chief arbitrator, of exhibiting “a manifest disregard for the law” and claims that he was not impartial and that he refused to hear evidence in Rodriguez's appeal of the suspension imposed against him last year.
Needless to say, the naming of MLBPA in the court filings probably comes as a surprise to the union, which had been advocating publicly on A-Rod's behalf. In fact, new executive director Tony Clark issued the following statement on behalf of the MLBPA:
"It is unfortunate that Alex Rodriguez has chosen to sue the Players Association. His claim is completely without merit, and we will aggressively defend ourselves and our members from these baseless charges.
"The Players Association has vigorously defended Mr. Rodriguez's rights throughout the Biogenesis investigation, and indeed throughout his career. Mr. Rodriguez's allegation that the Association has failed to fairly represent him is outrageous, and his gratuitous attacks on our former executive director, Michael Weiner, are inexcusable. When all is said and done, I am confident the Players Association will prevail."
Earlier on Monday, a federal judge ruled that A-Rod's team cannot keep Horowitz's decision under seal while moving forward with litigation.