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Alex Rodriguez seemed to make news every few hours Sunday evening. Then, come Monday morning, before many baseball fans had even their breakfasts, his lawyer, Joseph Tacopina, appeared on the "Today" show for an interview with Matt Lauer that resulted in an exchange of documents that could lead to even more revelations coming as soon as later today.
For his part, Tacopina provided Lauer and NBC News with an MRI of Rodriguez's left hip that was taken before last year's American League Championship Series against the Tigers and which Tacopina said shows a "hole in his left hip" that indicates Rodriguez's labrum was already torn prior to that series. If true, that would be a key piece of evidence in the grievance Rodriguez and his lawyers are filing against the Yankees. (Lauer said that NBC is having an independent doctor look at the image.)
Lauer countered the MRI by presenting Tacopina, on air, with a letter from Major League Baseball in which MLB agreed to waive the confidentiality clauses in the Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program. Rodriguez and his lawyers have thus far refused to divulge the details of Rodriguez's relationship with Anthony Bosch or to directly answer MLB's charges against Rodriguez citing that confidentiality clause and the need to make their case in arbitration, not in the media.
In his answer to Lauer's very first question, Tacopina had said, "If the vice president of Major League Baseball would be good enough to waive the confidentiality clause, I'd love nothing more than to talk about Alex Rodriguez's testing history and various things."
With the two-page letter in his lap, Lauer replied, "Joe, that office sent us a letter overnight saying they are willing to do exactly that. They sent me a letter saying that if you'll sign this letter they are willing to waive the confidentiality clause in the Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program, that they'll be allowed to talk about everything and you'll be allowed to talk about everything, and they say that would include all prior violations of the Program committed by Rodriguez, all documents, records, communications, text messages, and instant messages relating to Rodriguez's treatment by Anthony Bosch."
Tacopina said he had been asking MLB for such a letter for "three or four weeks" and took the document from Lauer, but did not read or sign it during the interview.
As unsympathetic as Rodriguez and Tacopina -- a brash defense attorney whom the New York Post two years ago called "the most hated lawyer in New York" -- can be, his assertion that Baseball should have provided him with the letter the night before rang true. Baseball's tactic of sending the letter not to Tacopina but to Lauer was clearly designed as a gotcha move to embarrass Tacopina on one of our largest national stages, further evidence of Baseball's underhanded methods in all of this.
Indeed, if there's anything in that letter that Tacopina finds objectionable, and he refuses to sign it as a result, it will only make him and Rodriguez look worse because of the high-profile manner in which he received it. However, if he does sign it, there could be a flood of information coming from Rodriguez's camp this week. Stay tuned, as always.
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