Shortly after I was hired to write terrible Morning Docket entries for this website, I went to one of those ATL holiday shindigs in New York. Free booze and the chance to hobnob with the kind of people I actively shunned during law school was too great an opportunity to pass up. When I arrived at the bar, I scanned the room for my website superiors. I quickly spotted Lat, breakdancing in front of the jukebox and screaming lines from the movie Chairman of the Board. Perhaps I’ll introduce myself another day, I thought. Elie was a little harder to find. Is that him? What about him? He could be anyone, I said to myself. Trapped in a room of Elie clones.
I began to strike up conversations with everyone.
It wasn’t until the wee hours of the morning that I began chatting with a meek, retiring fellow. I had to lean in to hear his thoughts as he spoke in something barely above a whisper. Whenever I asked this man a question, his responses were peppered with equivocations like “Well, I don’t know” or “That’s complicated.” A hard man to pin down, this one. But the elegant subtlety of his opinions intrigued. Enraptured by this humble man’s quiet reserve, I was shocked when he apologized profusely for his poor etiquette and introduced himself. “I’m Elie Mystal.”
Naw, just playing. Yesterday, Elie sent me an email that began “Defend YOUR BOY now! And by “your boy,” I mean Alex Rodriguez.”
MIKE AND THE DRUG DOG
In Hegelian terms, we are at the antithesis stage of steroid use in baseball. In Seligian terms, we are at the public relations clusterf**k stage. Alex Rodriguez is a weirdo who has trouble mimicking the simplest of human behaviors and emotions. This week, he tried on anger. Hulk smash:
Alex Rodriguez’s future in baseball is more uncertain than ever after a theatrical day in which he punched a wall, pounded his fist on a table, told Major League Baseball chief operating officer Rob Manfred that the process is “f—— bulls—,” and stormed out of his doping arbitration.
And he wasn’t finished.
A couple of hours later, A-Rod took to the radio to castigate Bud Selig and proclaim his innocence in the Biogenesis scandal, denying publicly for the first time (albeit not under oath) that he took the performance-enhancing drugs MLB says he took in what it has described as the most egregious doping case in baseball history.
Let’s be clear about qualifying as the “most egregious doping case in baseball history.” That is akin to being the tallest son of Danny Devito and Rhea Perlman. A storied history of vigorous prosecution, there is not.
It was on Mike Francesa’s show that Rodriguez made his human-like noises. Chirping about his daughter’s birthday, Rodriguez went on to recount what happened at his arbitration hearing:
“Today I lost my mind,” Rodriguez said. “I banged a table, kicked a briefcase and slammed out of the room.”
He went on to attack the 79-year-old Selig, who lives in Milwaukee and whose office is there.
“I know you don’t like New York, but you’ve got to come face me,” Rodriguez said of the commissioner. “This is my legacy. I’m part of history. You tell me why I should serve one inning. Cause you’re retiring next year? That’s not fair, Mike.”
KICKED A BRIEFCASE???!?!?!??
Rodriguez betrays a profound ignorance of how things like arbitration hearings work at the end of that block quote. The idea that there is some sort of mano-a-mano contest between Rodriguez and Selig is insane. Whether Selig personally has it out for Rodriguez or not, the merits of his brief against the aging slugger will determine Rodriguez’s fate.
But you would expect nothing less from a client of Crazy Joe Tacopina’s. Here, the cartoonish lawyer laments the limitations of his assignment:
Tacopina did acknowledge, however, that Rodriguez’s side had little hope of coaxing Selig to the hearing.
“We can’t kidnap him in Milwaukee and bring him here to testify,” Tacopina said. “So what we’ll do is, we’ll head to another venue and we will be able to call up Mr. Selig one way or another.”
We can’t kidnap him. Sigh.
INFAMOUS DOES NOT RHYME WITH JAMEIS
I would rather not get too far into the weeds on this Jameis Winston sexual assault accusation. My writing works best when it’s dealing with bozos and blowhards. And cool go kart tracks. And the best snakes to keep as pets. But definitely not sexual assault accusations. To catch you up to speed, Jameis Winston may or may not be prosecuted for an incident that occurred on December 7, 2012. A woman accused the star quarterback of sexually assaulting her nearly one year ago. Now, the state attorney in Florida must decide whether to press forward with charges.
The task of thrusting and parrying with reporters over these sexual assault allegations now falls to Winston’s attorney. Who is forced to make statements like this:
“We are not surprised with the results of the DNA,” Jansen told reporters. “We voluntarily submitted to a DNA [test]; the only thing we are surprised by is it was leaked out by law enforcement. The question the people should ask is why is it being leaked? For what purpose?”
Jansen added that the fact that Winston’s DNA matched DNA found on the woman didn’t affect his defense. Jansen said he has submitted affidavits to the state attorney from two witnesses — both of whom are FSU football players, according to people familiar with the case — that corroborate Winston’s version of what happened the night of the incident.
“I don’t think it’s a secret what the defense is when I tell you that we are not surprised his DNA was found,” Jansen said. “We anticipated it would be found. We never, ever said he wasn’t there.”
Why was the DNA leaked? For what purpose? I suspect that is what this entire investigation aims to find out.
RAP SHEET ROLL CALL
* A UCLA offensive tackle was arrested on suspicion of sexual assault this week. I think if you’re going to have a snake as a pet, the best snake to own is a rattlesnake. Those f**kers are constitutionally incapable of sneaking up on you.
* Atlanta Falcons running back Jason Snelling was arrested for pot possession. At least he wasn’t toting the rock.
* A Dartmouth lax bro got arrested recently. I… don’t know.
Alex Rodriguez walks out of MLB’s arbitration hearing, slams Bud Selig on Mike Francesa’s radio show [New York Daily News]
‘We’re going to open up everything’ [ESPN]
Jameis Winston accuser interviewed [ESPN]