Why A-Rod made me love the Constitution more

The following piece was written by AAJ Leaders Forum member Marion Munley. It was originally published in the Scranton Times-Tribune on Sunday, April 27.

Alex Rodriguez, one of the most polarizing figures in baseball’s history and third baseman for the New York Yankees, withdrew his federal lawsuit against Major League Baseball, its commissioner, Bud Selig, and the players’ union in February. According to Rodriguez, he withdrew his lawsuit because of his desire to rest both physically and mentally as well as to prepare for the 2015 baseball season.

Of course, A-Rod did not want to reveal the more likely reason for walking away from the court battle — that reason being that he had no chance of seeing the inside of a courtroom, let alone winning his case.

Why is that? Arbitration decisions are difficult to appeal because the option to go to arbitration instead of court is part of a contract between two parties. In A-Rod’s case, the players’ union contract with Major League Baseball contained an agreement to resolve all disputes through arbitration. When he signed his $275 million contract, he gave up his right to trial by jury.

Ordinary citizens probably did not sympathize with A-Rod when he stormed out of his arbitration hearing uttering expletives to express his frustration with the process.

He appeared later that same day on a radio show to explain his behavior. “The man who wants to take away my livelihood (baseball Commissioner Bud Selig) was not required by the arbitrator to testify at the hearing.” Rodriguez knew that this meant his lawyers would be unable to cross-examine Selig, and from his perspective, for all intents and purposes, it was over.

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