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Thursday, October 17, 2013

MLB exec Rob Manfred to testify at Alex Rodriguez’s appeal hearing

Major League Baseball chief operating officer Rob Manfred is on the witness list for Alex Rodriguez’s appeal of his 211-game suspension in the Biogenesis probe, a person familiar with the process said Wednesday.

Manfred is the league’s representative on the three-person panel overseeing the arbitration process, but he has no say in the final decision made by chief arbitrator Fredric Horowitz, who can uphold the suspension, overturn it or reduce it…

Rodriguez’s attorneys are likely to challenge Manfred’s appearance, though a source said Manfred has been on the witness list for some time. Manfred’s testimony is considered key in MLB’s contention that Biogenesis founder Anthony Bosch was not paid for his testimony. Manfred, who is second to commissioner Bud Selig, led MLB’s investigation into Biogenesis.

George Nicolau, a former chief arbitrator, said panel members, who assist the arbitrator in procedural issues and matters related to their respective parties, have testified before. “Not just before me, but before other arbitrators,” he said. Nicolau said it would be up to Horowitz to determine the scope of Manfred’s testimony. The sworn testimony given in arbitration hearings could be requested in later court proceedings. “If it’s a matter of contesting the [sic], the entire record would go before the judge.”

While baseball arbitration is considered an informal process, legal experts view the potential testimony by Manfred as unusual. “Rules of evidence would prohibit a hearing officer from testifying at his own hearing,” New Jersey attorney John Furlong said. “If he does testify, it speaks volumes to the lack of adherence to a semblance of evidence protocol.” Manhattan attorney Stephan Kallas added, “I would think down the road if Alex Rodriguez decides to bring the arbitration decision to a federal judge that it’s possible that a judge would frown upon this method of arbitration.”

The District Attorney Posted: October 17, 2013 at 03:51 PM | 3 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: alex rodriguez, legal, ped

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   1. eddieot Posted: October 17, 2013 at 04:46 PM (#4576185)
More evidence that MLB can't get out of its own way. Why can't anyone else testify to this? How about Bud?
   2. dlf Posted: October 17, 2013 at 05:02 PM (#4576193)
While baseball arbitration is considered an informal process, legal experts view the potential testimony by Manfred as unusual. “Rules of evidence would prohibit a hearing officer from testifying at his own hearing,” New Jersey attorney John Furlong said. “If he does testify, it speaks volumes to the lack of adherence to a semblance of evidence protocol.” Manhattan attorney Stephan Kallas added, “I would think down the road if Alex Rodriguez decides to bring the arbitration decision to a federal judge that it’s possible that a judge would frown upon this method of arbitration.”


Apparently the NJ and Manhattan attorneys quoted have never in their life participated in a labor arbitration case. Having one of the party appointed arbitrators testify is common. I've had it occur in cases several times over the years. Remember, there is no expectation that the party appointed arbitrator be neutral.

Manfred is the league’s representative on the three-person panel overseeing the arbitration process, but he has no say in the final decision made by chief arbitrator Fredric Horowitz ...


Not exactly. Horowitz needs a second vote, so he can't go too far out on a limb where neither party appointed member will agree with him. That would, of course, be incredibly rare in a discipline case. But it happens sometimes in interest arbitration where the dispute is over crafting the next CBA and both parties may think a solution is unfeasible.

George Nicolau ...


I love that Nicolau is still with us. He flew as a navigator in B-17s in WWII loosing a leg to anti-aircraft fire over France. He represented a number of famous broadway figures in the late 50s. He joined the Peace Corp in the early 60s. And is one of the legendary figures in labor arbitration. For this audience, he is one of the few arbitrators to serve on panels for MLB, NFL, NBA and NHL. His service as the "permanent" baseball arbitrator ended nearly 30 years ago, but he is still sharp and a fascinating person to listen to.

   3. bobm Posted: October 17, 2013 at 05:40 PM (#4576211)
“Rules of evidence would prohibit a hearing officer from testifying at his own hearing,” New Jersey attorney John Furlong said. 


Thus confirming A-Rod's contention that if you give MLB an inch, they'll take an eighth of a mile.

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