The spectacle that is Alex Rodriguez's legal spat with Major League Baseball took a bizarre turn on Monday, when the league sneakily and publicly one-upped his lawyer's chest-pounding with some showmanship of its own.
Rodriguez has appealed a 211-game suspension for allegedly using performance-enhancing drugs over a multi-year period and then lying about it to the league. Over the weekend, his lawyer Joe Tacopina said he "would love nothing more" than to publicly discuss the evidence he claimed would exonerate Rodriguez, but that he couldn't do so without violating baseball's confidentiality agreement.
Here's Tacopina in an interview published Sunday by ESPN:
I will make [MLB executive vice president Rob] Manfred a deal if he, in writing, waives the confidentially clause, and agrees that it would not be a breach of the confidentially clause, if he allows us to discuss exactly what he wants us to discuss, including the testing result, including the specifics of the tests, the results, we would be happy to discuss it. It would be my pleasure to discuss it. I would love to discuss it. But the minute I discuss it, I'm in violation of the confidentially clause of the JDA. Unlike them, I'm not going to hide behind some anonymous source leaking stuff that is in violation of the confidentially clause like they have done from Day 1. [ESPN]
On Monday, he got his wish.
During an interview on the Today Show, Matt Lauer surprised Tacopina with a letter from MLB Vice President Rob Manfred formally accepting that request, and saying all Tacopina had to do was sign his name to make it official. The deal, Manfred wrote, would pertain to the very evidence Tacopina had insisted he was so eager to release, such as details regarding Rodriguez's testing history, test results, and all of his correspondence with Tony Bosch, former head of the now-defunct Biogenesis clinic where Rodriguez allegedly purchased PEDs.
Tacopina said he would read the letter, but declined to dish his supposed evidence on air.