Recently, arbitrator Frederic Horowitz reduced the 211-game suspension of Yankees all-star third baseman Alex Rodriguez to 162 games for A-Rod’s role in the Biogensis performance-enhancing drugs scandal. A-Rod wasn’t satisfied with the reduction, however, and filed a tortious interference lawsuit against Major League Baseball and MLB Commissioner Bud Selig in New York federal court with the hopes of reversing the suspension entirely.
Now, A-Rod’s attorney Joseph Tacopina acknowledged to ESPN that the all-star had filed a voluntary notice of dismissal which effectively dropped the lawsuit. When pressed for details, however, Tacopina simply commented, “The statements that were issued say everything that needs to be said. We have no further comments on this matter.” The move to drop the lawsuit was likely motivated by the estimated $10 million in legal fees that it would cost A-Rod to continue his legal battle against the league. Coupled with the $25 million salary hit that A-Rod will take as a result of forfeiting his 2014 contract pay from the New York Yankees, the potential financial burden of the lawsuit was likely too much for the embattled star to stomach.
Some sources suggest that another reason A-Rod abandoned the suit was because he didn’t want to become “black-balled” by baseball like disgraced former player Pete Rose. A-Rod has aspirations of a career in broadcasting once his playing days are over, so he has every incentive to reduce the level of acrimony between himself and MLB before that happens.
In an interview last month, A-Rod seemed to accept his suspension with a certain resignation, commenting, “I think that in the year 2014, the league could have done me a favor because I’ve played 20 years without a timeout. I think 2014 will be a year to rest mentally and physically prepare myself for the future and begin a new chapter of my life. I have three years left on my contract starting in 2015 and I hope to play very well and finish my career in New York.” The veteran star will be 40 years old when he is eligible to return and finish out the last two years of his contract with the Yankees in 2015.
MLB issued the following statement in response to the dismissal: “We have been informed that Alex Rodriguez has reached the prudent decision to end all of the litigation related to the Biogenesis matter. We believe that Mr. Rodriguez’s actions show his desire to return the focus to the play of our great game on the field and to all of the positive attributes and actions of his fellow major league players. We share that desire.”