NEW YORK (AP) — Major League Baseball is seeking a speedy dismissal of New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez's lawsuit challenging a season-long suspension.
Howard Ganz, an MLB lawyer, said in a letter to U.S. District Judge Edgardo Ramos that Rodriguez's claims do not come "remotely close" to what is needed to overturn an arbitration decision in federal court.
Ganz's letter, dated Monday and filed Tuesday, said the lawsuit should be tossed because a court is not empowered to re-examine the merits of an arbitration decision.
Ganz said in the letter that the standard for vacating an arbitration award "is purposefully high and specifically designed to prevent courts from substituting their own judgment for that of the labor arbitrators selected by the parties."
"A court must confirm an award even when the arbitrator has offered only a barely colorable justification for the outcome reached, and even if the court considers the arbitrator's interpretation of the contract to be plainly wrong," he wrote.
Rodriguez's claims in his lawsuit were considered by the arbitrator and resolved based on evidence and arguments, along with the arbitrator's interpretation of collectively bargained agreements, Ganz said.
He also noted that Rodriguez did not deny engaging in the misconduct that was alleged during the arbitrator's hearing or in his lawsuit.
Ramos set Feb. 14 for a conference and directed lawyers for Rodriguez to respond to the league's claims in a letter of their own by Feb. 7.