'We're going to open up everything'

Updated: November 21, 2013, 8:18 PM ET
By Wallace Matthews | ESPNNewYork.com

NEW YORK -- The Alex Rodriguez show finished without its star performer Thursday, as lawyers for both sides wrapped up their cases and sent the New York Yankees third baseman's fate for next season and beyond into the hands of arbitrator Fredric Horowitz, a source told ESPNNewYork.com's Andrew Marchand.

A decision is not expected until late December or early January, the source said.

On Thursday, Rodriguez's attorneys signaled their lack of faith in the proceedings by vowing to "release all of the evidence" on Friday and preparing to take the case into federal court regardless of how Horowitz rules.

"We're going to open up everything," said Ron Berkowitz, a spokesman for Rodriguez. "We're going to show everything we have to the press so they can show it to the American public."

Presumably, that means transcripts of witness testimony, sworn affidavits and whatever information was supplied to the Rodriguez team by a "whistle-blower" who allegedly works for Major League Baseball but is said to be sympathetic to Rodriguez's side and objects to the way baseball conducted its investigation.

"There's very important stuff that has not been heard," Jim McCarroll, a Rodriguez lawyer, said on a radio show Wednesday.

A source with knowledge of the case told ESPNNewYork.com that the decision to go public with evidence that is supposed to be kept private under the confidentiality agreement in baseball's collective bargaining agreement is a sign that Rodriguez's side "doesn't give a damn what Horowitz rules. They're taking this to the next level. They're like, 'Go ahead, make your ruling, and we're going to move on.'"

Although Rodriguez's lead attorney, Joseph Tacopina, continued to maintain that his client would still testify if baseball commissioner Bud Selig did likewise, a spokesman for Rodriguez said he was "either back home in Miami, or on his way."

Rodriguez stormed out of Wednesday's hearing while Horowitz was in the midst of issuing his ruling that Selig need not testify in the case, and later vowed on a New York radio show that he would not return.

But upon his arrival at the Park Avenue offices of Major League Baseball shortly after 9 a.m., Tacopina said, "If Mr. Selig shows up, Alex will be here ready to testify."

Tacopina did acknowledge, however, that Rodriguez's side had little hope of coaxing Selig to the hearing.

"We can't kidnap him in Milwaukee and bring him here to testify," Tacopina said. "So what we'll do is, we'll head to another venue and we will be able to call up Mr. Selig one way or another."

A source involved in the proceedings told ESPNNewYork.com on Wednesday night that there was no chance Selig would change his mind and testify before Horowitz.

"Why? Because [Rodriguez] threw a tantrum and slammed the table?" the source said. "Never in a million years. Just because you cry and stamp your feet doesn't mean you get your way. Try it with your kids sometime."

In the meantime, the grievance hearing into baseball's decision to hit Rodriguez with a 211-game suspension for his alleged involvement with Biogenesis, a now-shuttered South Florida clinic suspected of being a source of PEDs for ballplayers, continued Thursday with MLB expected to have called rebuttal witnesses, followed by the filing of written summation briefs from both sides.

Once both sides have rested their cases, Horowitz has 25 days to either uphold the original suspension, reduce it, or wipe it out entirely. On Wednesday, Rodriguez denied on WFAN to ever having obtained PEDs from Biogenesis or Anthony Bosch, its proprietor who served as MLB's star witness in the case, and said, "I shouldn't even serve one inning."

Former teammate Mariano Rivera weighed in while speaking at an event to commemorate Mariano Rivera Way -- a new street sign in New York City.

"He has the right to defend himself," Rivera said. "I would have done it, too. Everybody has to defend themselves. We're still human beings."

ESPNNewYork.com's Mike Mazzeo and ESPN's Darren Rovell contributed to this story.

Wallace Matthews has covered New York sports since 1983 as a reporter, columnist, radio host and TV commentator. He covers the Yankees for ESPNNewYork.com after working for Newsday, the New York Post, the New York Sun and ESPN New York 98.7 FM.
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