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Major League Baseball has called for Alex Rodriguez's lawyer to show his hand -- and may have raised the stakes in the process.
MLB executive VP Robert Manfred, in a letter revealed to attorney Joseph Tacopina during a nationally broadcast TV interview Monday morning, agreed to waive the confidentiality clause written into the league's drug-testing agreement with the players' association, as Tacopina had indicated would be a viable course of action.
But Manfred didn't stop at drug-testing information, suggesting the remainder of evidence in the Biogenesis case as it concerns Rodriguez could be released for public consumption, including "all documents, records, communications, text messages, and instant messages relating to Rodriguez's treatment by Anthony Bosch."
MLB sent the letter to the "Today Show" overnight, and host Matt Lauer presented it to Tacopina during the in-person interview before asking the attorney if he would sign it.
"Listen, we would love nothing more than to be able to discuss the testing history, the scientific evidence and the tests of Alex Rodriguez under this JDA drug program, nothing more," Tacopina said in response.
Tacopina later issued a written statement in which he called the letter "a publicity stunt."
"Such a waiver would require PA to be party of the agreement and signatures," Tacopina said in the statement, referring to the players' union. "Nothing but a trap hoping I would sign knowing that I couldn't and in fact would have me breaching the JDA agreement."
The letter, obtained by the New York Daily News, quotes an ESPNNewYork.com story in which Tacopina says he can't get into specifics about the investigation because of the confidentiality clause.
"I will make Manfred a deal if he, in writing, waives the confidentiality clause, and agrees that it would not be a breach of the confidentiality clause, if he allows us to discuss exactly what he wants us to discuss, including the testing result, including the specifics of the tests, the results, we would be happy to discuss it. It would be my pleasure to discuss it. I would love to discuss it. But the minute I discuss it, I'm in violation of the confidentiality clause of the JDA," Tacopina said.
Responded Manfred in the letter, according to the Daily News:
"While we believe that your public comments are already in breach of the confidentiality provisions of Major League Baseball's Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program (the "Program"), we will agree to waive those provisions as they apply to both Rodriguez and the Office of Commissioner of Baseball with respect to Rodriguez's entire history under the Program, including, but not limited to, his testing history, test results, violations of the Program, and all information and evidence relating to Rodriguez's treatment by Anthony Bosch, Anthony Galea and Victor Conte. Specifically, both Rodriguez and the Office of the Commissioner will be permitted to publicly disclose information and documents relating to:
"1. their results; 2. All drug tests that were conducted on Rodriguez under the Program and All prior violations of the Program committed by Rodriguez; 3. All documents, records, communications, text messages, and instant messages relating to Rodriguez's treatment by Anthony Bosch; 4. All documents relating to Rodriguez's treatment by Anthony Galea and Victor Conte; and 5. All documents relating to the issue of whether Rodriguez obstructed the Office of the Commissioner's investigation."
Rodriguez is currently appealing a 211-game suspension from MLB for violating the sport's drug policy.
A source in Rodriguez's camp told ESPNNewYork.com's Andrew Marchand that, in their view, for it to be a legal binding document, it has to go through the proper channels, which includes the MLB Players Association.
Tacopina has fired several allegations toward the Yankees.
His latest allegation came Monday, with the attorney saying the team knew about Rodriguez's torn hip labrum during the 2012 playoffs, but let him play through it anyway.
General manager Brian Cashman, however, says the team wasn't aware of it until after the conclusion of the postseason.