NEW YORK – Alex Rodriguez, the New York Yankees third baseman who surprised baseball watchers by filing suit against Major League Baseball last Thursday for conducting a “witch hunt” to force him out of baseball, has filed a suit against several pitchers who, the suit claims, “Alex can’t hit worth spit.”
Among others, the suit specifically names Andy Pettitte, Barry Zito, John Lackey and Sidney Ponson, against whom Rodriguez had career batting averages of .222, .212, .186, and .182 respectively.
The suit claims, “These pitchers tried to shame Rodriguez into retiring early by striking him out at will, making him look terrible while lunging after bad pitches, and by causing him untold emotional distress in his ‘house’ when Yankees fans to booed him unmercifully.”
Council representing Rodriguez said that the pitchers named in the suit caused him financial as well as emotional loss: “These hurlers, by substantially reducing both Mr. Rodriguez’ batting average and image as a super-star ballplayer, caused his market value to drop precipitously, and eroded the demand for endorsement deals. Now Mr. Rodriguez is striking back at those who struck him out.”
Rodriguez is appealing a 211 game suspension, baseball’s longest, for taking—and lying about taking—illicit performance-enhancing drugs. The lawsuit Rodriguez filed accuses MLB of paying Anthony Bosch, the head of an anti-aging clinic that allegedly supplied the substances, $5 million to cooperate with its investigation and force A-Rod out of baseball. Bosch denies the charge.
A-Rod’s lawyer, Joseph Tacopina, said at a press conference, “While Mr. Rodriguez categorically denies the allegations that he took any banned substances, if such allegations were true, these pitchers contributed to his doing so by purposely and gleefully making him look foolish, so that he felt pressure to do whatever it took to perform at the level expected of him, including taking illegal drugs, but which he didn’t.”
Tacopina ended the press conference by saying that “A-Rod is A-Rod. He has to maintain his image, which is centered on blaming others for everything that happens to him.”