On Thursday, New York state senator Ruben Diaz and assemblywoman Gabriela Rosa have been invited to MLB headquarters to support Alex Rodriguez as he continues his appeal of his 211-game ban for violating the joint drug agreement and the collective bargaining agreement.
“I called them and they’ve been reading about what I’ve been doing, and I said to them ‘You should come out and show your support.’ And they said, ‘We will,’” said Hispanics Across America president Fernando Mateo.
Mateo said a press conference is set for 2 p.m.
Inside MLB's offices, it is believed MLB chief operating officer Rob Manfred's testimony will take place on Thursday, sources with knowledge of the proceedings told ESPNNewYork.com.
Anthony Bosch, who was the head of the now-defunct Biogenesis clinic, has been MLB's main witness thus far.
When MLB's side concludes its presentation, then A-Rod's lawyers will begin their defense. After Thursday and Friday's testimony, the hearing is not expected to resume until after the World Series, meaning a decision will likely not be known until some time in November or December.
On Wednesday, Rodriguez was once again present at the meeting, greeting his supporters early in the morning. He left MLB’s Park Avenue offices at 6:15 p.m. in a black SUV after signing autographs and posing for a couple pictures. There were an estimated 60 supporters as he left. He did not speak to reporters.
One State Senator, Adriano Espaillat, and one city council member, Ydanis Rodriguez, were also invited to the press conference. Rodriguez will not attend, while Espaillat will be present. Ydanis Rodriguez has decided not to be on-hand because he feels the issue is less about A-Rod and more about MLB.
"It is time for Major League Baseball to end the hypocritical practices in their stance on steroids: rightfully condemning players here in the United States as poor role models for our young athletes, but perpetuating a system reliant upon their use in the Dominican Republic and elsewhere," Ydanis Rodriguez said in a statement. "Countless aspiring baseball players in the Caribbean attend major league camps where trainers, coaches and teammates point to steroids as the way out of poverty and into the major leagues. For every player that makes it, many more are left with their lives shattered and the effects of drugs plaguing their bodies for the rest of their lives. If major league baseball would truly like to assist the young athletes of countries like the DR, they could put their money where their PR campaign is and invest in drug awareness and prevention at these camps to keep kids safe."
Espaillat released as similar statement.
“Steroid abuse is a dangerous health hazard, and it is unacceptable that baseball has turned a blind eye to exploitative practices that have harmed thousands of young men and their families" Espaillat said. "Young impressionable athletes in Latin America and the Caribbean continue to be lured into using steroids as a path to escaping poverty, and are tricked into trading their health and safety for a shot in the major leagues. Missing in action from MLB’s tough talk on steroid abuse is any mention of the industry professionals encouraging and providing these dangerous drugs. Steroid abusers must face repercussions for their illegal actions, but the narrow prosecution of athletes without any attempt to end and expose this predatory system is something far removed from actual justice.”