The first eight days of Alex Rodriguez's appeals hearing reportedly were contentious. The suspended superstar's turn at calling witnesses could raise tensions even higher. Ken Davidoff of the New York Post reports attorneys representing Rodriguez are contemplating calling high-ranking Major League Baseball executives, including commissioner Bud Selig and Yankees president Randy Levine, to testify when the hearing resumes Monday.
Rodriguez is appealing his 211-game suspension tied to MLB's investigation of the now-shuttered Biogenesis clinic, where the league contends Rodriguez purchased performance-enhancing drugs.
Rodriguez's representatives have been critical of Selig's actions in the Biogenesis investigation and have sued the commissioner and MLB over what they call a "witch hunt."
Both sides were required to make available a witness list this week. As of Thursday, A-Rod's team listed two witnesses: an expert in retrieving Blackberry text messages and MLB department of investigations senior vice president Dan Mullin. These witnesses have been linked to A-Rod’s allegation that he is the target of a flawed, corrupt investigation, including Mullin’s alleged affair with a female employee of Biogenesis
According to the report, MLB would try to block most of the high-rankings witnesses from being forced to testify, particularly Selig. MLB COO Rob Manfred, who is MLB’s representative on the three-person panel overseeing the hearing, has taken the lead role as spokesman on behalf of the league and its investigation and has undergone cross-examination by Rodriguez’s attorney, Joseph Tacopina. Fredric Horowitz, the independent arbitrator on the panel, would have final say over which witnesses must testify.