Major League Baseball’s quest for secret grand jury testimony by New York Yankees player Alex Rodriguez moved to a Buffalo courtroom this week.
Lawyers for Major League Baseball, Rodriguez and the federal government met behind closed doors Tuesday for more than an hour as part of baseball’s efforts to unseal the transcript of Rodriguez’s grand jury appearance here in 2010.
U.S. District Judge Richard J. Arcara presided over the hearing.
Major League Baseball, as part of a motion filed under seal, is seeking to learn more about Rodriguez’s ties to Dr. Anthony Galea, a Toronto sports doctor who admitted smuggling human-growth hormone into the United States.
Baseball also is interested in FBI records concerning Rodriguez and Galea.
It’s not clear what Major League Baseball hopes to find in the grand jury minutes and FBI records, but it’s believed that Rodriguez testified about his treatment by Galea.
Rodriguez, a 38-year-old third baseman known as A-Rod, is facing a 211-game suspension for allegedly using performance-enhancing drugs.
The star ballplayer has reportedly told Major League Baseball that he was treated by Galea but did not receive banned substances.
Lawyers familiar with grand jury proceedings say Major League Baseball faces an uphill battle because of the strict rules about grand jury secrecy and independence.
They contend that baseball’s dispute with Rodriguez, which is essentially labor-management, may fall far short of the legal threshold for releasing grand jury documents.
Rodriguez’s suspension, which is on hold while he appeals, stems from his alleged association with Anthony Bosch and Biogenesis, an anti-aging clinic formerly located in Coral Gables, Fla.
Major League Baseball contends that Bosch helped Rodriguez and others violate contract provisions against performance-enhancing drugs.