Alex Rodriguez benched himself at his own grievance hearing Wednesday.
The New York Yankees star walked out in the middle of a session, furious arbitrator Fredric Horowitz refused to order baseball commissioner Bud Selig to testify. The move, followed by angry statements accusing Selig of bias and the entire arbitration process of flaws, appeared to be a prelude to a lawsuit challenging any ruling Horowitz makes on A-Rod’s suspension.
“I lost my mind. I banged a table and kicked a briefcase and slammed out of the room,” Rodriguez said during a 40-minute interview on WFAN radio. “I probably overreacted, but it came from the heart.”
Horowitz was in the midst of the third week of hearings on the grievance filed by the players’ association to overturn the 211-game suspension given to the three-time A.L. MVP by MLB in August for alleged violations of the sport’s drug agreement and labor contract.
“Today’s antics are an obvious attempt to justify Mr. Rodriguez’s continuing refusal to testify under oath,” the commissioner’s office said in a statement.
The hearing continued for about two hours after A-Rod left the room, one of the people familiar with the situation said, and it is scheduled to resume this morning.
Around the league
The San Diego Padres and right-handed pitcher Josh Johnson have finalized an $8 million, one-year contract. … The St. Louis Cardinals have given a three-year contract extension to manager Mike Matheny. The team also announced that pitcher Chris Carpenter has retired.