Source: Players wanted A-Rod out of union

  • Associated Press
  • Tuesday, January 21, 2014 5:12pm
  • SportsSports

NEW YORK — Several angry major league players wanted Alex Rodriguez kicked out of their union after he sued it last week, but staff lawyers told them expulsion was not allowed.

The players spoke Jan. 13 during a Major League Baseball Players Association conference call after Rodriguez sued the union and Major League Baseball to overturn an arbitrator’s decision suspending him for the 2014 season and postseason.

Details were first reported Tuesday by Yahoo Sports and later confirmed to The Associated Press by a person familiar with the call. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because no statements were authorized.

The union and Rodriguez spokesman Ron Berkowitz declined comment.

All players in the major leagues are members of the union and pay $65 daily in dues, or $11,895 if a player is in the big leagues for a full season. Baseball’s labor contract specifies the union is “the sole and exclusive bargaining agent for all major league players.”

The union will incur costs of defending the lawsuit by the New York Yankees third baseman, who claimed in the suit it “breached its duty of fair representation to Mr. Rodriguez.” The union retained Michael Rubin and Barbara J. Chisholm of the San Francisco firm Altshuler Berzon to defend it, according to a court filing Tuesday.

Rodriguez was suspended for 211 games by baseball Commissioner Bud Selig on Aug. 5, and the union filed a grievance contending the discipline was without “just cause.” The penalty was reduced to 162 games plus the 2014 postseason by arbitrator Fredric Horowitz, who concluded Rodriguez violated baseball’s drug agreement each year from 2010-12 and twice obstructed MLB’s investigation in violation of the sport’s labor contract.

Rodriguez agreed to a $275 million, 10-year contract with the Yankees after the 2007 season. Horowitz’s decision cost Rodriguez $22.13 million of his $25 million salary this year; the three-time AL MVP is owed $61 million by the Yankees from 2015-17.

NOTES: MLB and the union have agreed to follow their previous methodology for luxury tax payrolls in dealing with Rodriguez’s suspension. He will count as $3,155,738 this year for the Yankees, which is 21-183rds of the $27.5 million average annual value he would have been listed at. Horowitz ruled Rodriguez loses 162 days’ pay over the 183-day season.

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