The saga involving Alex Rodriguez, Biogenesis and Major League Baseball took another twist on Friday, with news that, if found to be true, further damages A-Rod's already sullied reputation.
According to a report from Michael Radutzky of 60 Minutes, members of Rodriguez's inner circle leaked documents to MLB that implicated Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun and New York Yankees catcher Francisco Cervelli in the Biogenesis scandal:
Members of Rodriguez's camp at the time obtained unredacted versions (of Biogenesis documents) and leaked them to Yahoo! Sports, according to two sources with direct knowledge of the matter. The unredacted documents also implicated Baltimore Oriole Danny Valencia, who MLB later investigated and cleared.
The report states that the unredacted documents were leaked "days after" the Miami New Times broke the story about Tony Bosch, the owner of Biogenesis, supplying performance-enhancing drugs to athletes.
David Cornwell, Rodriguez's lawyer, issued a statement to 60 Minutes denying the latest allegations:
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.
While all of the venom will undoubtedly be directed his way, Rodriguez himself isn't reported to have leaked the names. We can debate whether the people in his inner circle went through him to get these documents out there, but we can't say with any certainty right now that A-Rod was involved.
That said, if Rodriguez did have a hand in this, it truly speaks to how desperate he is and how far he is willing to go in order to help himself.
Even taking Braun out of the equation, as he was already on MLB's radar after evading a PED suspension in 2012, A-Rod's camp going out of its way to sell out one of the slugger's teammates is damning.
MLB teammates have a bond of brotherhood. When one of them is affected by something, all of them are. Each player is taking the field with the same group of guys during a 162-game regular season that covers half the calendar year.
Even for players that aren't on the same team, there is still the unifying bond of playing baseball at the highest level and striving for the ultimate prize in the sport.
If he played any part in the reported leak, trashing those bonds to take the heat off himself will make Rodriguez an unquestioned outcast in the game of baseball.
It's important for players to have the support of those around them. At least it should be. That isn't to say they all have to like each other, but having each other's backs is a given. Though details are still emerging, Rodriguez has likely lost whatever trust and respect remained from his teammates and players around the league.
Again, we don't know exactly how much involvement Rodriguez had in this leak, or what he will do moving forward. Perhaps he distances himself from his inner circle in an effort to save some face in the Yankees clubhouse.
Regardless of how this turns out, though, this latest development is yet another case of A-Rod trying to absolve himself of wrongdoing by pointing his finger at other individuals.
The best thing that could happen to Rodriguez, even if he didn't drop the hammer on his teammate, would be to accept some responsibility. Unfortunately, at 38, Rodriguez is likely too set in his ways to change.
At least he can sleep easy knowing that others are being taken down with him.
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