Today Mike Lupica writes about the A-Rod appeal. As my post from this morning suggests, I’m actually with him regarding how much of a clown show the protests outside of the arbitration have become. But of course Lupica can’t make one decent point and get off it. He has to use it as a new excuse to go after Rodriguez because that’s just what he does.
Except he does it in the dumbest ways possible. Today he makes two arguments in furtherance of his “A-Rod is an awful monster” campaign. First, if A-Rod is so wronged, why has he not got on a witness stand and proclaimed his innocence?
Through it all, you keep waiting for Alex Rodriguez to be the one to tell you that the case against him is unjust and unfair, that he is an innocent man. Only he never says that, not even to the media, as if he’s under oath. He never says that, his handlers never say it, at least on the record. He just says he will tell his story at the appropriate time.
And you wonder what could possibly be a more appropriate time than at his own arbitration hearing!
You wonder why Alex Rodriguez doesn’t testify on his own behalf the absolute first chance he gets, proclaim his innocence so loudly that they can hear him downstairs on the street between the police barricades.
Any smart observer of this knows the answer to that: A-Rod’s defense is not one of innocence. It’s one of proportionality of punishment. That his suspension is too long compared to other similarly-situated offenders. And more than merely misrepresenting the defense in an effort to make A-Rod seem more disingenuous than he is, he misrepresents how the the arbitration works. It does not require the player’s testimony. And no one with half a brain would go tell the media — which is what Lupica clearly wants — all about his case while it’s still pending either.
The second argument: if A-Rod has nothing to hide, why is his grand jury testimony from the Anthony Galea case still private, hmm?
You wonder about something else in this case, wonder if Rodriguez is so falsely accused, and such a victim of an MLB investigation his lawyers are flop-sweat desperate to put on trial, why did those same lawyers fight so hard in Buffalo to keep Rodriguez’s grand jury testimony in the federal case against Dr. Anthony Galea, Alex Rodriguez’s old doctor, the patron saint of human grown hormone, sealed from now until the end of time?
If there isn’t anything in Rodriguez’s grand jury testimony about his use of banned substances, if there isn’t anything in there that can hurt the guy, why are his lawyers so scared about it?
Let’s set aside the fact that A-Rod’s current legal team is not comprised of “those same lawyers” who represented him when he gave grand jury testimony in Buffalo. A-Rod hired Joe Tacopina and a different legal team since then, so here Lupica is smearing the wrong folks.
Instead, let’s focus on the fact that no lawyers are “fighting so hard” to keep A-Rod’s grand jury testimony sealed. Grand jury testimony is sealed as a matter of course pursuant to federal law. The witness can say what he said in front of a grand jury but no one else privy to it can release it. If they do, they can go to jail. Some folks may be fighting so hard to unseal it, but it’s supposed to remain sealed. That’s how the law works.
But of course if you’re Lupica there’s no sense in understanding how grand juries work. To do so would prevent a great opportunity for grandstanding.