Don't be fooled by the title; Joseph Tacopina is not the 5th, 6th, or 7th Beatle. He's more akin to P.T. Barnum with a Ph.D. in spin doctoring.
Alex Rodriguez's heavy legal hitter continued his version of a p.r. tour that began with another of A-Rod esquires, Don Cornwell, talking about appeals. There hasn't been a 1-2 punch in a lineup like this since Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig.
The biggest sideshow was when Tacopina stopped by the Today Show Monday morning only to be met by some unexpected news from NBC's Matt Lauer. (You can see a copy of it here.)
Tacopina has said all along he could not discuss specifics of the case due to the Joint Drug Agreement between Major League Baseball and the players' union. But MLB Vice-President Rob Manfred sent a letter to the Today show stating MLB was willing to drop their part of the confidentiality agreement in order to allow Tacopina to discuss A-Rod's involvement with Tony Bosch, Victor Conte, and Anthony Galea.
Tacopina was not amused and characterized MLB's move as a "publicity stunt". I guess it takes a publicity stunt to know a publicity stunt. He told the following to the New York Daily News:
"I will make Manfred a deal if he, in writing, waives the confidentiality clause, and agrees that it would not be a breach of the confidentiality clause, if he allows us to discuss exactly what he wants us to discuss, including the testing result, including the specifics of the tests, the results, we would be happy to discuss it. It would be my pleasure to discuss it. I would love to discuss it. But the minute I discuss it, I'm in violation of the confidentiality clause of the JDA," Tacopina said.1
Manfred responded to the NYDN:
"While we believe that your public comments are already in breach of the confidentiality provisions of Major League Baseball's Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program (the "Program"), we will agree to waive those provisions as they apply to both Rodriguez and the Office of Commissioner of Baseball with respect to Rodriguez's entire history under the Program, including, but not limited to, his testing history, test results, violations of the Program, and all information and evidence relating to Rodriguez's treatment by Anthony Bosch, Anthony Galea and Victor Conte. Specifically, both Rodriguez and the Office of the Commissioner will be permitted to publicly disclose information and documents relating to:
"1. their results; 2. All drug tests that were conducted on Rodriguez under the Program and All prior violations of the Program committed by Rodriguez; 3. All documents, records, communications, text messages, and instant messages relating to Rodriguez's treatment by Anthony Bosch; 4. All documents relating to Rodriguez's treatment by Anthony Galea and Victor Conte; and 5. All documents relating to the issue of whether Rodriguez obstructed the Office of the Commissioner's investigation."
In the meantime, Tacopina continues to hammer away at the Yankees and their medical staff, claiming they let A-Rod play last post-season with a badly injured hip. It's part of Tacopina's attack against the Yankees and MLB that they are attempting to get A-Rod out of baseball and void his contract.
“This MRI was taken on Oct. 11, 2012, after Game 4 of the Baltimore series [and] before the Detroit series. What it indicated, what it showed, is that Alex Rodriguez had a hole in his left hip, a torn labrum. He went on to play in the Detroit series, obviously didn’t play well, was benched, (sic) was made a scapegoat. Nobody told Alex Rodriguez that he had a hole in his left hip -- nobody. It wasn’t until after the season was done that he went to his own doctor,” Tacopina said.
“I don’t understand the motivation behind that,” Tacopina said. “But the New York Yankees’ doctor, Dr. [Christopher] Ahmad, did this MRI. The report is here. The visual images are in your possession. Brian Cashman can’t say it didn’t happen until the offseason. Obviously, the general manager of this team must have known when this MRI was taken.”
“If he had a hole in his hip he shouldn’t have been walking, much less playing baseball. And believe me, we know that Joe Girardi didn’t know that. But either Ahmad, Randy Levine or Brian Cashman knew about that MRI result ... and the one person it wasn’t shared with, and I don’t understand for the life of me how they didn’t share that with Alex Rodriguez.”2