The on-going drama that is between Alex Rodriguez and the New York Yankees has taken another turn into the strange column, as now the war of words has gone public between Yankees team president Randy Levine and Rodriguez's newly-appointed attorney Joe Tacopina.
On Saturday night just after the Yankees lost to the Boston Red Sox 6-1 at Fenway Park, Tacopina told Andrew Marchand and Wallace Matthews of ESPN New York that Levine told Dr. Bryan Kelly, the surgeon who performed Rodriguez's hip surgery back in April, to make sure the 38-year-old slugger never saw the field again, which is why Tacopina is hoping he could see Levine one day in court to publicly embarrass him.
"I'm anxious to meet them in court," Tacopina told ESPN New York. "I really am. Randy Levine [says], 'If we continue, all parties will be held accountable.' I'm going to mark his words. I will be more than thrilled to be held accountable for exposing him for what he is and for some of the statements he made. If I say that I have something, I have something. If I say I have emails that are damning, I have emails that are damning. If I say that Dr. Kelly was told something, I have evidence that Dr. Kelly was told something. He'll see who has the last laugh."
On Saturday, Marchand and Matthews cited the New York Post's story in which Tacopina talked to Kelly, who was allegedly told by Levine back in January to "make sure he never sees the field again." Tacopina also said that Levine wanted Kelly to help ensure Rodriguez could not return to the field again so the Yankees could collect insurance on the final $114 million remaining on his contract heading into this season.
"The obvious implication there is if the surgery is not successful, I'm good with that," Tacopina said. "Anyone with a brain can understand the implication of that. It was something that troubled Dr. Kelly so much that he decided to relay it to Alex Rodriguez, his patient."
What also has Tacopina infuriated about this is that Levine berated Kelly after the surgeon publicly said that the second hip surgery that Rodriguez had performed had absolutely nothing to do with his previous usage of performance enhancing drugs; which lead to Levine reportedly threatening Kelly over the phone.
"Randy Levine called and just unloaded on him," Tacopina said. "He said, 'You work for us, not him.' "
Levine has denied that those conversations ever took place and has said that Rodriguez should publicly release his medical records if they feel that strong about what Tacopina has publicly said. After the game on Saturday, Rodriguez said he would release everything "when the time was right." Tacopina also said he has e-mails from Levine to Rodriguez that further backs his statements about Levine and how he hoped he never saw A-Rod on the field again.
"He has either forgotten what he has written or he has sense of bravado that is something that is going to come back and make him look very foolish," Tacopina said. "I'm not going to go into what is in those emails. … I assure you that Randy Levine does not want these emails released because they are not fitting of the president of the New York Yankees."
While Tacopina and Levine are in a public war of words, Rodriguez is focusing on baseball and helping the Yankees in the middle of their lineup, as he is currently hitting .279 with one home run and four RBI in the 11 games he's played in since his return off the disabled list from the torn labrum in his hip, which forced him out for the first four months of the season.
The relationship between the Yankees and Rodriguez has gotten rocky, especially with the latest events that have gone public. However, if what Tacopina is stating happened and is proven to be true, it does make Levine look incredibly terrible and should be held accountable for his actions if he told Kelly to make sure Rodriguez never played again.
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