Alex Rodriguez's high-powered lawyer Joe Tacopina was blindsided by "Today Show" host Matt Lauer when the famous criminal lawyer claimed he was anxious to talk about Rodriguez and his case against baseball — as he fights to overturn a 211 game ban he was given for his part in the Biogenesis scandal — but wasn't allowed to because of MLB's confidentiality clause.
Little did the lawyer know what was about to hit him in a gripping display of legal gamemanship.
Appearing on the nationally-televised interview, Tacopina said, "If the Vice President of Major League baseball would be good enough to waive the confidentiality clause, I would love nothing more than to talk about Alex's Rodriguez's testing history and various things. I would love nothing more,"
Lauer was prepared for that response and surprised the attorney by revealing that baseball had sent him the confidentially waiver overnight. He said that if Tacopina signed it, then “everyone” on both sides could talk.
“They sent us a letter saying that if you’re willing to sign this letter," Lauer said. "That they are willing to waive the confidentiality clause in the Joint Drug and Prevention Program, that they’ll be allowed to talk about everything and you’ll be allowed to talk about everything.
“They said that would include all prior violations of the program committed by Rodriguez, all documents, records, communications, text messages and instant messages related to Rodriguez’s treatment by Anthony Bosch.”
Tacopina offered to read the letter. Lauer replied that baseball had just sent it.
“Listen. We would love nothing more than to be able to discuss the testing history, the scientific evidence and the tests of Alex Rodriguez under this JDA drug program, nothing more,” said Tacopina before clamming up and going on the offensive in the interview.
He declined to sign the letter but said that Rodriguez went on to say had an MRI last October that showed he was playing with a torn labrum in his left hip – with the Yankees’ knowledge.
"Here’s what I’m prepared to answer. Alex admitted back in 2001 and 2002 that he had used performance-enhancing drugs as a member of the Texas Rangers when it was not banned (NOTE: Baseball had a banned substance list then, but did not yet discipline for PED use). He has said since then he has not. I will tell you this: This letter, if they had sent it to me last night, I would have been prepared to answer . . ."
"If he will answer that question,"Lauer interrupted. "Doesn’t he owe people the answer to that question before you start pointing fingers at people?"
Tacopina responded, "Let me say this to you first: The reason we’re sitting here today . . . we had this scheduled for last week but we had to cancel. We saw Alex was all over the news. They want to try this case in the media. What has been going on has been outrageous . . . anonymous leak after anonymous leak after anonymous leak. It doesn’t stop. And it has to stop. They are perverting this process. The process should not be perverted."
It was just another interesting turn in the "bumpy road" A-Rod warned everyone about.