A-Rod files suit against MLB, Hospital
NEW YORK -- Alex Rodriguez expanded his assault on the baseball establishment with a lawsuit accusing the Yankees team physician and a New York City hospital of mishandling his medical care during the 2012 AL playoffs.
In a suit filed late Friday in New York Supreme Court in the Bronx, lawyers for Rodriguez say he was given an MRI on Oct. 11, 2012, that revealed an injury to his left hip joint. The suit said that Yankees physician Dr. Christopher Ahmad did not inform him of the tear and cleared him to continue playing, and accused them of medical malpractice.
As a result, the suit claims, Rodriguez further injured himself and also "sustained great pain, agony, injury, suffering, disability, hospitalization, as well as mental anguish and emotional distress." The suit also names New York-Presbyterian Hospital as a defendant.
"We are not commenting due to pending litigation," hospital spokeswoman Myrna Manners said Saturday.
Ahmad did not respond to a telephone message seeking comment.
The hospital and Ahmad may claim that the proper forum for Rodriguez's complaint is either Workman's Compensation or the grievance process of Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Association.
The union is attempting to overturn the 211-game suspension given to Rodriguez by MLB on Aug. 5 for alleged violations of its drug agreement and labor contract. The penalty was stayed pending a grievance filed by the union, and a hearing began Monday before arbitrator Fredric Horowitz, who is chairman of the three-man arbitration panel that includes a representative of management and the union. Barring a settlement, a decision is not expected until winter.
Also Saturday, The New York Times reported on its website that Rodriguez's lawyers at Reed Smith sent a letter to the players' association General Counsel David Prouty on Aug. 22 asking that a union lawyer be replaced as his representative in the grievance by one of his personal attorneys. The lawyers also criticized union head Michael Weiner, who is battling a brain tumor, for comments he made about the case.
Rodriguez hit .120 (3 for 25) with no RBIs during the 2012 postseason, then had left hip surgery in January that kept him from rejoining the Yankees until August.
One of Rodriguez's lawyers, Joseph Tacopina, said in August that the Yankees "put him out there in that condition when he shouldn't have even been walking, much less playing baseball."
The Yankees maintain that Rodriguez had been complaining at the time only of a problem with his right hip, not the left one. Rodriguez had right hip surgery in 2009.
Rodriguez filed the medical lawsuit a day after suing MLB and baseball Commissioner Bud Selig in New York Supreme Court in Manhattan, accusing them of orchestrating a "witch hunt" intended to force him out of baseball as part of its investigation of the now-closed Biogenesis of America anti-aging clinic in Florida.
Both suits came during the first week of hearings on a players' association grievance seeking to overturn the suspension. Thirteen other players accepted suspensions this summer, including former NL MVP Ryan Braun, who was suspended for Milwaukee's final 65 games of the regular season.
The August letter from Rodriguez's lawyers to the players' association accused the union of failing to "fairly represent his interests" and said it "made matters worse by failing to protest MLB's thuggish tactics in its investigation."
A-Rod's lawyers were critical of Weiner for saying in an XM Radio interview in August that he advised Rodriguez to accept a suspension of a certain length -- less than MLB was willing to settle for. They said in the letter that Weiner's statements could "irretrievably corrupt the arbitration process" and "are clearly inconsistent with the MLBPA's duty to fairly and ardently represent Mr. Rodriguez."
MLB Chief Operating Officer Rob Manfred represents management on the arbitration panel and Prouty represents the players' association.
Rodriguez spokesman Ron Berkowitz declined comment on both the latest lawsuit and the letter.
Obama says Skins should change name
WASHINGTON -- President Barack Obama says he'd think about changing the name of the Washington Redskins football team if he were the owner.
Obama told The Associated Press in an interview released Saturday that he's sure Redskins fans don't mean offense.
But he said American Indians feel strongly that the name is degrading. He said he's not sure that the fans' attachment to the name should override those "real legitimate concerns."
Redskins owner Dan Snyder has vowed to never change the name, despite the pressure.
Obama added that he doesn't have a stake because he doesn't have ownership of any football team.
He joked it may be fun after he's out of office -- but he'd probably look at a basketball team first.
Pats' Gronkowski not with team in Cinci
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski reportedly did not travel with the team for Sunday's game against the Cincinnati Bengals.
Gronkowski has not played since breaking his forearm during a Jan. 13 playoff game. He also had back surgery in June.
Patriots spokesman Stacey James said Saturday that he could not confirm media reports that Gronkowski did not make the trip to Cincinnati.
A second-round draft choice in 2010, Gronkowski has scored 39 touchdowns in 43 NFL games. He reached the Pro Bowl in 2011 after setting records for NFL tight ends with 17 touchdown catches, 18 total touchdowns and 1,327 yards receiving.
Minnesota coach Kill out after seizure
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Minnesota coach Jerry Kill has suffered another seizure and did not make the trip with the Golden Gophers to face No. 19 Michigan.
Minnesota officials say Kill was not feeling well on Friday and planned to travel to Ann Arbor on Saturday in time to be there for the game. But he suffered a seizure on Saturday morning and is resting at home in Minneapolis.
Kill suffers from epilepsy. It's the fifth game-day seizure he has had in three seasons at Minnesota, and the second this year. Kill did not coach the second half against Western Illinois but did return to coach the entire games against San Jose State and Iowa.
This is the first time that Kill will miss an entire game because of a seizure.