New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez reacts as he hands his batting helmet to first base coach Mick Kelleher after making the final out while batting against the Los Angeles Angels in the seventh inning Thursday. (Reuters)
NEW YORK — CBS’ “60 Minutes” reported Friday that members of New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez’s inner circle obtained and leaked Biogenesis documents that implicated Milwaukee Brewers third baseman Ryan Braun and Yankees teammate Francisco Cervelli.
The documents were leaked a few days after the Miami New Times reported in January that Rodriguez was using performance enhancing drugs.
Braun and Cervelli’s names were edited out of the documents the New Times obtained. However, members of Rodriguez’s camp had unedited versions of the documents and leaked them to Yahoo! Sports.
“The allegations are untrue and are another attempt to harm Alex — this time by driving a wedge between Alex and other players in the game. While Alex focuses on baseball and repeatedly states that he is going to respect the appeal process, the drumbeat of false allegations continues,” Rodriguez’s lawyer, David Cornwell, said in a statement.”
Rodriguez is appealing a 211-game suspension given by Major League Baseball in the Biogenesis scandal. Braun accepted a 65-game ban. Cervelli and 11 other players are serving 50-game suspensions.
Tony Bosch, founder of Biogenesis, has been cooperating with MLB’s investigation of performance-enhancing drugs.
All three of the unedited documents given to Yahoo! Sports include Braun’s name. One shows Braun on a Bosch list along with Rodriguez, Cervelli, Toronto Blue Jays outfielder Melky Cabrera and minor league pitcher Cesar Carrillo.
Rodriguez received a more harsh suspension because baseball officials claim that he has continued to use PEDs for several years and has attempted to obstruct their investigation.
His appeal is expected to be heard within a few weeks. He has continued to play through the suspension.
MLBPA head Michael Weiner has said he will support Rodriguez’s appeal.
“We feel what (MLB commissioner Bud Selig) did, frankly, was inappropriate and almost ridiculous,” he said earlier this month. “Look at the penalties that have been (given) out and cases that have been decided by the commissioner’s office along with the Players Association. Nothing comes close to 211 games.”
It was reported in April that Rodriguez tried to purchase some of Bosch’s business records. Rodriguez’s camp has denied that as well as any connection to Bosch.
LACKEY RIPS A-ROD: Boston Red Sox right-hander John Lackey does not believe that Rodriguez should be allowed to play because of his suspension related to performance-enhancing drugs.
The Red Sox are hosting the Yankees in a three-game series that starts Friday night. Lackey faces Rodriguez and the Yankees today.
“I’ve got a problem with it. You bet I do,” Lackey told the Boston Globe on Thursday. “How is he still playing? He obviously did something and he’s playing. I’m not sure that’s right. … It’s pretty evident he’s been doing stuff for a lot of years I’ve been facing him.”
Lackey said Rodriguez is a topic of conversation in the Red Sox clubhouse.
“Sure, we talk about it,” he said. “But talking to the media about it is a little bit different. People have strong feelings.
“He took me deep the first time I faced him as a rookie, and he admitted to doing stuff back then. There are a lot of things I want back from him.”
In 2002, Lackey pitched for Anaheim Angels while Rodriguez was with the Texas Rangers. Rodriguez has admitted to using PEDs while he played for the Rangers.
Red Sox outfielder Jonny Gomes also spoke out against Rodriguez being allowed to play while appealing his suspension.
“I don’t think so, to tell you the truth,” Gomes told MassLive.com. “I can imagine being the pitcher, just knowing this guy is on or has done steroids. That’s not an equal battle right there. I don’t know how that would really work out. Good thing I don’t pitch. It doesn’t make much sense that he’s still playing.”
Rodriguez is the only one of the 14 players suspended in the Biogenesis scandal who appealed.