Yankees’ Alex Rodriguez Seeks to Block Publicist Subpoena

New York Yankees third-baseman Alex Rodriguez asked a judge to block a subpoena requiring the head of the public relations firm Sitrick & Co. to provide evidence in Rodriguez’s arbitration with Major League Baseball.

Rodriguez, who is facing a 211-game suspension over accusations of using performance-enhancing drugs, filed papers in Manhattan federal court opposing Commissioner Bud Selig’s attempt to get a judge to enforce the subpoena against Michael Sitrick, the firm’s chief executive officer.

“The subpoena represents but the latest chapter in the commissioner’s vindictive and well-documented campaign to destroy the public reputation of Mr. Rodriguez,” his lawyers said in yesterday’s court filing.

Selig sued last month in an attempt to force Sitrick to comply with the subpoena. Rodriguez had hired the firm to help defend him against claims he received banned drugs from Anthony Bosch and his Coral Gables, Florida-based clinic, Biogenesis of America.

Sitrick said in a separate brief filed yesterday that he wasn’t properly served with the subpoena, which requires him to testify and produce documents for the arbitration. He claimed the information sought from him from Major League Baseball is protected by confidentiality rules, because his firm was hired as part of Rodriguez’s legal defense.

In the filing, Sitrick said he isn’t an important witness to the arbitration and “has very little to offer.” Also, he can’t be compelled to fly to New York to testify, he said.

Still, he offered not to oppose a request for his deposition to be taken in California, where he lives, according to the filing.

Rodriguez has separately sued Selig and Major League Baseball, claiming they are trying to ruin his reputation and career without justification.

The case is Office of the Commissioner of Baseball v. Sitrick, 13-cv-07990, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).

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