Yankees slugger says associates did not leak documents, implicate players
BOSTON -- Alex Rodriguez strongly denied a "60 Minutes" report that states his associates obtained and leaked documents to implicate the Brewers' Ryan Braun and Yankees teammate Francisco Cervelli in the Biogenesis performance-enhancing drug investigation.
Citing two sources with direct knowledge of the matter, the news program reported that members of Rodriguez's camp obtained unredacted versions from Biogenesis founder Anthony Bosch and leaked them to Yahoo! Sports earlier this year.
"It's not true," Rodriguez said on Friday, speaking to a large group of reporters in the Yankees' dugout prior to batting practice at Fenway Park. "I spoke to Cervelli this morning, had a positive conversation. He understands that it's not true. We're on the same page."
A former three-time Most Valuable Player, Rodriguez expressed regret that his situation was distracting from the Yankees' series against the Red Sox. New York entered play on Friday trailing Boston by 8 1/2 games in the American League East.
He also suggested that he expects there to be more bombshell reports in the near future.
"Let's make one thing clear -- for the next seven weeks, it's going to be a very, very bumpy road," Rodriguez said. "Every day, expect a story like this, if not bigger. After arbitration, I'll have an opportunity with a full platform and I can tell my full story."
Rodriguez has consistently denied any connection to Bosch and the Biogenesis clinic, saying that he was never treated by him or advised by him. Rodriguez has also stated, via a spokesperson, that the Miami New Times documents implicating him were "not legitimate."
According to "60 Minutes," the names of Braun and Cervelli were redacted when various documents were published by the Miami New Times in January. Those documents also implicated the Orioles' Danny Valencia, whom MLB later investigated and cleared.
Rodriguez said that he has not spoken with Braun about the situation.
"The most important thing is that I spoke to Cervelli," Rodriguez said. "Cervelli's like my brother. He fully understands that it's not true."
In a statement to "60 Minutes," Rodriguez's lawyer, David Cornwell, said, "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."
Yankees outfielder Curtis Granderson, the club's union representative, said that he trusts Rodriguez's word on the matter. Granderson pointed out that the story alleges that associates of Rodriguez, and not Rodriguez himself, leaked the material.
"If Alex has denied it, then I'm going with Alex," Granderson said. "If anyone has said anything, it was supposedly not Alex. If it is not Alex, let's talk to that person, whoever that person happens to be. Right now, there is no name. Until that finally comes out, there's not much to be said except for the fact that Alex has denied it. A teammate is a teammate, and I trust my teammates."
Yankees manager Joe Girardi said that he saw no reason to believe the latest round of allegations would create a problem in the team's clubhouse.
"I think the guys have had fun with Alex being back here, and I don't expect that to change," Girardi said. "I don't see anything changing."
Outfielder Vernon Wells agreed, saying, "The only thing that would change would be [his relationship] with Cervelli if it's true. It's directly with him. That's a personal thing with him and Francisco."
Wells continued: "I can only speak for myself. We don't know exactly what's true and what's not. I actually read it and I chuckled. This is just the tip of the iceberg. You hope it's not true. You hope that if you do something, you take yourself down and that's about it. We'll see what happens."
Braun accepted a 65-game suspension for the remainder of the 2013 season on July 22. Cervelli accepted a 50-game suspension on Aug. 5, along with 11 other players.
Rodriguez was suspended for 211 games. He is continuing to play while appealing the ban, with his case set to be heard by arbitrator Fredric Horowitz in the coming weeks.
In his brief commentary, Rodriguez stated his allegiance to the MLB Players Association, which has backed his appeal. He also suggested that he would seek out members of the Red Sox to clear the air while he is in Boston.
"It's frustrating, because I'm a human being," Rodriguez said. "I belong to a union and I've been a member for 20 years; I love Michael Weiner and all the things he's been able to do. Donald Fehr, Marvin Miller. I support all my teammates; whether you play in Boston, with the Diamondbacks or the Mets, I love all the members of the union, equally and unconditionally.
"I feel like I have great support. I've spoken to a lot of my teammates. I plan to speak to Pedey [Dustin Pedroia ], maybe Jonny Gomes, maybe Big Papi [David Ortiz ], and have a full understanding that this is not true."
Rodriguez called his current standing "a very tough situation." He also said that he is not taking anything personally.
"At the end of the day, my goal is to help this team get to the playoffs," Rodriguez said. "Once you get there, anything can happen. I like the way our team has played the last six or seven days; we're showing good life, good at-bats. That's the key for us -- keep that momentum and good energy going, no matter what happens."