MLB notebook: A-Rod's grievance hearing finally ends
NEW YORK — Alex Rodriguez's grievance hearing to overturn his 211-game suspension ended Thursday after 12 days of sessions, a day after the New York Yankees third baseman angrily walked out and decided not to testify in his own defense.
Rodriguez's lawyers returned to Major League Baseball's office for what turned out to be the final day of the proceeding before arbitrator Fredric Horowitz. By the end of the day, both sides had rested their cases, a person familiar with the proceeding told The Associated Press.
The person spoke on condition of anonymity because no statements were authorized.
The next step is for the sides to submit briefs to Horowitz, which will complete the record. The arbitrator then will decide whether to sustain or alter the suspension given to Rodriguez by MLB on Aug. 5 for alleged violations of baseball's drug policy and labor agreement.
A three-time AL MVP, Rodriguez left in the middle of the 11th session Wednesday, furious 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 whatever ruling Horowitz makes.
Outside MLB's offices, representatives of the New York Hispanic Clergy Organization, including state Sen. Ruben Diaz, held a prayer vigil to express opposition to Rodriguez's discipline.
Rodriguez lawyer James McCarroll issued a statement pointing out that this case is the first grievance under the drug agreement involving discipline that didn't stem from a positive test and involved “the commissioner's discretion and decision-making.”
Union head Weiner dies
Baseball players' union head Michael Weiner has died 15 months after being diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor. He was 51.
The union says Weiner died Thursday at his home in Mansfield Township, N.J.
Weiner was a plain-speaking labor lawyer known for his casual dress and easygoing manner. He took over as head of the powerful union four years ago and helped smooth its relationship with MLB management.
Around the majors
The Royals agreed to a $32 million, four-year contract with left-hander Jason Vargas in an effort to fill the void in their rotation created by Ervin Santana's free agency. ... Former Pirates reliever Javier Lopez reached agreement on a $13 million, three-year contract to stay with the Giants. ... The Phillies hired Bob McClure to be their pitching coach. McClure replaces Rich Dubee, who was let go after the season ended. ... The Diamondbacks have named longtime major league pitching coach Dave Duncan to a consulting position. ...The Tigers agreed to a non-guaranteed, $1.9 million, one-year contract with left-handed pitcher Phil Coke.