This Alex Rodriguez vs. the MLB case goes deeper than just rules. New York published a lengthy piece penned by Steve Fishman on Sunday profiling Alex Rodriguez's battle against Bud Selig and co. and just how intense the battle has become. That's not only because of the 211-game suspension that's on the line. Some serious theatrics has gone on behind the scenes of the case that perhaps unfairly made Rodriguez's baseball's pariah. It's a story of revenge, ambition, villiainy (more so on the MLB's part than Rodriguez's), and the quest of the perfect bronze body (this story does originiate in Florida, after all). Here are some of the more interesting facts from the piece:

  • The roller coast starts because of a $4,000 debt. Porter Fischer—a freelance marketer who loves tanning—got an extra $35,000 thanks to a lawsuit he filed after getting hit by a Jaguar. After meeting up with Tony Bosch, the man at the center of the Biogenesis scandal, Fischer decided to use his comeup on Bosch's program, which of course included human growth hormone and testosterone. Fischer was so pleased with the results that he decided to be an unpaid intern for Bosch, but ended up lending him $4,000 because of a “slight cash-flow issue” (clever euphemism). Bosch decided not to pay him back simply because he's "Dr. Tony Bosch" and taunted Fischer by saying, "What are you going to do about it?” Bad question. Fischer stole Bosch's personal notebook and delivered the documents—which contained Rodriguez's name—to Miami's New Times. The controversy had started.
  • Rodriguez is the hated figure in this case, but what care be ignored is how aggressively obssessive the MLB is about ending his career. Not only did Selig allegedly say he was going to enjoy ending his baseball career, the MLB offered to pay witnesses hundreds of thousands of dollars for information regarding the scandal. The league offered Fischer $125,000 and perhaps a job for further help, but he declined because at this point he feared for his life because of his role in the exposition. There's also how head investigator Dan Mullin slept with a potential witness, according to the witness. Looks like someone's been watching too much of Jimmy McNulty.
  • Another example of the MLB's aggression is how they forced Bosch to cooperate. The doctor was a key factor in the case because he could either explain the notebooks that were being used for evidence, which could doom or free Rodriguez in the case. It all depended on who could get to him first. The MLB was more nefarious, however. The league sued Bosch for “tortious interference," and the doctor was thus coerced to cooperate because he didn't have the funds to fight the suit. The MLB offered to pay his legal fees and one year's worth of security detail for his protection.
  • The article steered away from further villianizing Rodriguez; ex-wife Cynthia recalled Cal Ripken Jr. saying Rodriguez "tries to please everyone. That’s the problem.” Rodriguez is far from innocent though. Rodriguez failed a drug test in 2003 after buying over-the-counter drugs in the Dominican Republic, but hasn't failed a drug test in the three years he's been accused of using.

So it's more primetime drama than rules. Read the whole thing for yourself here

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[via New York]